There is now a safe and reliable method for replacing missing teeth, whether you have lost one, several or even all your teeth. The new teeth look and feel just like natural teeth and allows you to live, laugh and enjoy life with full confidence.

This notice will answer many of your questions regarding dental implants however, if any further information is required please feel free to discuss them with us. Click below for more information about dental implants.

What is a dental implant?
An implant is a titanium screw or post that serves as the replacement root of a missing natural tooth. It is surgically placed into the jawbone and after a period of time the implant and the bone grow together by a process called “osseo-integration” and becomes the secure anchor for a replacement tooth.

They can be used to replace single or multiple teeth. Once in place, implants can be used to attach different types of dental restorations such as crowns, bridges or dentures.

What are the components of dental implants?
There are three components to dental implants: 1. The implant itself which replaces the missing root. 2. The abutment which connects the crown to the implant. 3. The crown, bridge or denture which replaces the visible part of the tooth.

Am I an implant candidate?
Anyone missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay may be a candidate for dental implants. There are certain necessary requirements that are essential for implant success and these will be discussed with you. Each individual has a different clinical situation. X-rays are essential to assess whether you have sufficient quality and quantity of bone. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes and leukaemia may be complicating factors.

If you are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted then you are most probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Careful examination and planning must be done prior to embarking on any treatment.

How will I benefit from dental implants?
Dental implants offer many benefits never before available for treatment of missing teeth. In short, dental implants will look, feel and function like your real teeth.

The benefits include improved appearance, improved self esteem, the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy food and often protects the remaining teeth and jawbone.

What are the alternatives?
There are other methods to replace missing teeth, however they are not as ideal as implants.

A denture (false teeth) is one option that is simpler and cheaper but these teeth are removable and definitely not as comfortable as implants.

A bridge is another option but they are costly and the anchor teeth will need to be worked on with resultant loss of tooth structure.

Who places dental implants?
Some general dentists place their own implants but generally a dental specialist such as a maxillo-facial surgeon or a periodontist will place the implants. When the implant is ready the dentist will then complete the treatment by placing a restoration onto the implant.

It is a team approach that requires careful planning and understanding between the surgeon, the dentist and the patient.

Can dental implants be used as an alternative to root canal treatment?
Yes! Not all teeth are good candidates for root canal treatment. These teeth are susceptible to decay and fracture, whilst implants are not and almost never break.

Can dental implants be rejected?
Yes! Implants are machined from surgical grade titanium which is a biocompatible material. However, there is a slight possibility that they will not integrate with bone. If this were to occur, the implant would be replaced with another one. It is highly unlikely that the second implant would not integrate.

Will smoking affect implant integration?
Yes! Smoking can inhibit proper healing of an implant. However, this does not prevent smokers from having successful implants. It is advisable to quit smoking as the statistics have shown a greater failure rate amongst smokers than in non smokers, due to the effect on bone healing.

Will the procedure be painful?
There is usually minimal pain if any at all. The procedure is done under local anaesthetic, general anaesthetic or sedation. There may be some post operative discomfort that is usually alleviated by routine pain killers.Please remember that with any form of surgery comes some degree of discomfort. You may experience some pain, bruising or swelling.

How long do implants last?
There is no reason why implants cannot last a lifetime. The success rates are in the mid 90% range. It has become a very predictable form of treatment.

What maintenance is required?
Normal oral hygiene methods need to be applied such as twice daily brushing and flossing. Regular check ups are necessary as are frequent oral hygiene visits. Your dental team will discuss your individual needs with you.

How much do implants cost?
This depends on the number of implants to be placed and the type of restoration that will be fitted. A thorough dental examination, x rays and discussions are needed so that quotes can be provided for the entire procedure.Costs include the implant itself and any components, the surgical placement fee, the laboratory costs for the construction of the prosthesis and the fee for the restorative practitioner.Having an implant is an investment in your future and quality of life. To have new teeth that feel like your own is a highly valuable experience. It is a great and affordable treatment that will save you from other dental expenses in the future. There are other cheaper methods available to replace missing teeth but these all have their own disadvantages and shortcomings.