Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Have you searched Dentist St Heliers because you are missing one or several of your teeth? Dental implants may be the best way to replace these teeth! As dental implants become more popular, more and more dentists are offering this service.  

 

However, some people have issues with their gums and or jaw bone that mean a general dentist is not capable of performing the implant procedure safely.  When these dentists are out of their depth but go ahead anyway, it can lead to major health issues and massive expense because it often requires a specialist oral surgeon to fix it.

If we can do your implants safely, we will.  If there are issues with your gums and/or jaw bone and you need a specialist surgeon, we refer you to Auckland’s premier dental implant surgeon, Dr Richard Longbottom.

 

WHAT IS AN IMPLANT?

Implants are small titanium screws similar in size to a tooth root.  They are placed into the jaw bone in placement of a missing tooth or teeth.  Implants are then covered with a crown which is made of Ceramic or Porcelain materials to simulate a tooth.

 

BENEFITS

  • Maintain the integrity of bone structure after tooth loss
  • Preserve the health of adjacent teeth, since there is no need for bridgework
  • Function and feel like natural teeth
  • Improve speaking ability when bulky dentures are eliminated
  • Improve facial appearance by preventing bone loss
  • Distribute bite forces evenly throughout the mouth
  • Can be used to replace loose-fitting dentures

 

MORE BENEFITS OF IMPLANTS

  • Look and feel completely natural, improving your appearance and confidence
  • Don’t irritate the gums the way dentures can
  • Are stable and secure for improved eating and speech
  • Are convenient and reliable—and can’t be lost or misplaced like dentures
  • Help protect remaining teeth from shifting and becoming loose by filling in the gap left by missing teeth
  • Help maintain fullness of the facial tissues for a more youthful look
  • Can stimulate bone growth, helping prevent the unattractive “bite collapse” that denture wearers can suffer
  • Are strong enough to support other dental appliances, making bridgework or dentures more secure and comfortable
  • Can last a lifetime with proper care

 

THE PROCESS OF PLACING AN IMPLANT

Recommendation for an Implant

Placing an implant is a complex process and best performed by a specialist in this field.  For information on why choosing a specialist for this process is important click here.  The condition of your whole mouth will be considered when recommending an implant so a general dental consultation is often the first step in this process.

Assessment and Planning for Implant placement

Once your general dentist has recommended you as a candidate for an implant you will then be referred to a specialist in this field.  As this is a niche field the specialist will require an assessment appointment where they will take further records and plan a case for you.  As with most dental treatment each individual will require a different treatment plan and so this is only a guideline to what your plan may look like.

Placement of the Implant

The implant will either be placed in your jaw at either the same time as removing a tooth or alternatively, it will be surgically placed.  This is dependent on many factors such as the current state of the tooth being replaced, its surrounding tissue and your general health.  Once the implant has been placed there is a healing period of normally up to 6 months.  In instances where there is not a lot of bone support remaining a bone graft may be required.  This normally occurs when many teeth in the same area have been removed or there has been extensive dental decay which has affected the surrounding bone.  A cover known as a healing cap is placed over the implant for a few weeks.

Placement of the Implant Abutment

The healing cap will be removed and replaced with an abutment which is what the tooth like crown will be placed over.

The average treatment time is 3 – 6 months and the end result is the same: permanent, functional and natural-looking teeth.

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