Dental implants Adelaide
Losing a tooth isn’t as bad as it used to be, thanks to dental implants.
What are dental implants? Why would someone need them?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are used to replace missing teeth. They look just like normal teeth and are actually surgically implanted into your jawbone.
When somebody comes in and they have a missing tooth or several of them, we give them three options: dentures, bridges or dental implants.Most people prefer dental implants, the main reason being that they’re fixed rather than removable like dentures, and they don’t involve any reshaping of the adjacent teeth, as bridges do.
Are they as good as your natural teeth?
Nothing is as good as your natural teeth. While dental implants have an excellent success rate in patients who take care of them, it’s important to remember that they aren’t placement for a tooth; they’re an alternative to not having a tooth.
What is the procedure for getting dental implants?
Our practice at Shepherds Hill Dental Centre, Adelaide, has been here for over 40 years, so we have excellent relationships with multiple oral surgeons, periodontists and prosthodontists, whom we work with when a patient needs dental implants. Because there’s surgery involved, we believe this is best done by a specialist with specific training in this area. The implant procedure needs to be carefully planned, with a team approach.
- Assessment. First, there’s a careful evaluation process both by the dentist and the oral surgeon. X-rays or scans and moulds may be required to measure whether there’s sufficient bone to place the implant and to restore it. The nature of the placement and restoration is discussed.
- Titanium screw is implanted into the jawbone. After the implant is inserted during surgery, there’s a period of healing – it might be a couple of months – while we wait for the implant to integrate with the jawbone. In dental speak, we call this stage integration.While everything is healing, let’s say it’s a front tooth, you might have a temporary denture in the meantime, just to get you by. If it’s a back tooth, most people don’t mind not having one.Once the implant is integrated and fully locked into the bone, the oral surgeon will give the dentist the OK to go ahead to the next stage.
- ‘New tooth’ is attached to the implant. The new crown is attached to the titanium screw via anabutment. This is like a little bit of Lego that connects the crown (your new tooth) to the titanium implant and holds it firmly in place. Once the crown is connected to the screw, your new tooth is ready for use.
Tips for taking care of your dental implants
As with natural teeth, maintaining the implant or implants requires a trip to the dental hygienist. If the bacteria around the implant isn’t cleaned away, you could get implant disease and lose your implant.
- Clean really well at home. The main thing to stress – and this links to our preventive dental philosophy – is that like your real teeth, dental implants will only last if you take care of them with good oral hygiene. If plaque and bacteria aren’t removed, they may attack your implant just like they would a real tooth. The bacteria can attack the gum and bone, then loosen the foundation for the implant. That’s when the implant can fail.
- Come in and see us regularly. When you come for a dental clean and check-up, the dental implant will need to be cleaned by the hygienist to ensure that plaque isn’t growing around it. Deeper plaque around an implant can’t be cleaned at home, which is why regular cleaning visits are crucial to implant survival.
Considering single or multiple dental implants needs careful assessment and our dentists will be with you every step of the way. Call us now for a consultation at Shepherds Hill Dental Centre on 08 8278 6858.