Dental implants can be a long-term solution to missing teeth. While the process can take several months, it can be a great and long-lasting option for the right candidate.
When you lose an adult tooth, there are several ways you can go about dealing with the issue. One of those options is to get a dental implant.
Learn a little more about dental implants by reading some of the most commonly asked questions and answers. Be sure to ask one of our local Bathurst dentists at The Dental Practice about whether they would be right for you.
What are dental implants?
An implant is a new, false root that gets “implanted” into your jaw where you’re missing a tooth. Usually made from titanium metal, this implant is then used to attach a false tooth, which creates a lasting, more natural-looking, but fully functional tooth.
The tooth itself can be made from porcelain, every effort is made to try to match the colour to your other teeth. This way, you’ll have a fixed solution to a gap in your smile, which can help prevent further oral health issues and can make it easier to smile, chew, and speak.
What happens during the procedure?
Getting implants almost always requires more than one visit to our local Bathurst dentist clinic.
During the first appointment, usually the dentist will make an incision into your gum, then they will drill a small hole in your jawbone. The implant is placed in the jaw, and your gum is stitched back together.
Your body then needs time to heal the gum and allow the implant to bond with the bone. This can take up to five or six months in total. During the second procedure, your dentist will attach a small device to the implant (called an abutment) that will eventually connect the tooth to the implant. In some cases, however, your dentist will do this step during the first procedure.
Finally, a tooth is custom-made for you in order to both fit in your mouth and match your other teeth in terms of shape and colour. Your dentist will attach this to the abutment.
Who can get dental implants?
Implants aren’t suitable for everyone – you must have reasonably good oral health to support the process. Issues like gum disease (also called ‘periodontal disease’) can make dental implants an inadvisable choice.
Our dentists will conduct a series of x-rays and examinations to ensure you’re a suitable candidate for dental implants. If you have problems with your jawbone, you may be able to receive a bone graft to build up the area before receiving an implant. Your dentist will talk you through this process, if it’s right for you.
Are dental implants expensive?
Dental implants can cost more (up-front) than other methods of tooth replacement such as bridges and dentures. However, are usually less likely to need replacement and tend to have a range of benefits when compared to dentures. This can mean that certain benefits outweigh the initial cost of an implant. It’s important to weigh up all options and talk to your dentist about the best option for your circumstances, goals and budget.
How do I look after my dental implant?
Taking care of your dental implant is often similar to caring for a natural tooth.
Be sure to brush twice daily, floss, and maintain regular appointments so your dental professional can keep an eye on the implant. Plus, a healthy diet is always beneficial for your oral health, as it can reduce the risk of decay and other issues. Your dentist can further advise you on any additional advice that’s specific to your implant or oral health circumstances.
Chat to your local dentist Dr Sanjay Hirekodi about whether a dental implant is the best option to replace your missing tooth.
To book an appointment with Dr Hirekodi at The Dental Practice give us a call on (02) 6331 3699.