Losing a tooth for reasons such as decay or injury can cause several issues for your everyday lifestyle including difficulty with eating, speech impediment or even bone loss which can put a massive dent in your overall confidence and oral hygiene. Your teeth and smile can be restored successfully with the correct dental implant which can last a lifetime with the proper care.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the recommended permanent treatment for missing teeth as they function like a normal tooth whilst building healthier gums for better oral hygiene. The treatment involves a titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone, beneath the gum, to create a stable foundation that will hold the crown in place for a permanent and restorative solution.
A dental implant is used to replace any missing teeth where you can have a single tooth implant, multiple or full dentures. Implants help to stimulate and preserve bone structure for the missing tooth that may have been lost due to decay by acting as a root. The dental implant will maintain your jawbone structure and density which helps to retain your natural face shape and smile that has been affected by the missing tooth or teeth.
What are they used for?
- Single tooth Dental Implant
You may only require an implant for a single tooth where a dental implant will replace your entire missing tooth from the root, using a titanium screw, and once healed, a crown will be added as the tooth. This is a great solution for those missing a single tooth or multiple teeth in non-adjacent areas of the mouth.
- Implant-support bridge
A dental bridge is used when there are multiple missing teeth that sit adjacent to one another where two crowns are placed either side of an artificial tooth to hold it together. This process is not much different from the single tooth implant as the crown on either side of the bridge will be fixed into the mouth with a titanium screw; however, the teeth in the middle of the crown will not be supported with an implant. This is a cost-effective solution where multiple teeth can be replaced without having to individually input an implant; however, bone mass may be lost due to that.
- Implant supported partial or full dentures
With older age, teeth begin to fall out where you may require partial or a complete set of dentures. Although some opt for the traditional dentures which are removable, many find the permanent solution much more effective for their daily life. The permanent denture is completed with the input of four dental implants on the arch of the gums as a partial or full denture which will facilitate every form of tooth loss.
Types of Dental Implants
The most common dental implant available is the endosteal implant which requires a titanium screw: threaded, cylinder or bladed, to act as a root to support the replacement tooth. This type of implant is used for a single tooth or multiple missing teeth in different areas of the mouth. The titanium screw is surgically implanted into the root after the jawbone has been drilled into where you must wait for the soft tissue and bone to heal before you can finish the treatment. It may take several weeks or even months for healing to complete before a crown is later added. The endosteal implants are best for stability and giving a natural feeling when implanted to the mouth. Unfortunately, this implant will only work for those with sufficient bone mass.
The subperiosteal dental implant is much different to the endosteal implant as they are placed on or above the jaw to hold the replacement tooth rather than drilled into the bone. The choice to carry out this implant is due to having insufficient or narrow bone structure where the titanium post is not surgically attached but rather exposed through the gums to hold the denture in place. Although the subperiosteal implant is a lot quicker than the endosteal implant, they do not offer the same level of stability as the implant is not placed inside the jawbone but rather held together on top of it with soft tissue.
A zygomatic implant is used to replace teeth in the upper jaw for those who do not qualify for traditional implants for reasons such as lack of bone mass. The very long and dense implant is placed into the zygomatic (cheek) bone which acts as a solid placement for the implant. Although this solution provides a high success rate, there are many common complications that may occur such as paresthesia or sinusitis; however, the replacement teeth can be added immediately during surgery which means you can enjoy your new smile during the healing process.
- All-on-4 implants
The All-on-4 implant is a cost-effective solution that requires a small surgery to place 4 implants into the upper and lower jaw for partial or full dentures. Some dentists may offer an all-on-5 or 6 where 5 or 6 implants are planted into the mouth for a more stable base. For this treatment, two implants are inserted at the front of the mouth and two are angled in the back to provide full support for the arch. This solution is a lot less invasive and great for those with lack of jawbone as it eliminates the need for bone grafting. Patients will have temporary teeth attached to the implants which are replaced with permanent teeth after several weeks of healing.
Which Type of Dental Implant is Best For You?
There are several factors including oral hygiene, bone density and age that can cause tooth loss or injury. Booking a consultation with one of our trained professionals will allow you to make an informed decision before going ahead with choosing the best option for you. Our dentists will be able to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for dental implants or whether another solution is best for you.
Here are the basic assessments we do to determine which dental implant is right for you:
We use modern technology to assess and analyze your jawbone structure to identify your bone density and mass before going ahead with an implant treatment. You may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure to help regenerate soft tissue and bone or perhaps move forward with a treatment that will not require such efforts.
Dental implants are usually more successful in adults who have completed the growth of their full facial structure and bone development. It is recommended that children should wait until they are 18 before going ahead with any type of implant.
Before we go ahead with suggesting the best treatment for you, we will assess your health and lifestyle. It is not recommended for patients who suffer with gum disease, are smokers or have conditions such as diabetes to have implants.
Of course, we will always do our best to find a treatment that can provide a solution for your smile! Request a consultation with one of our professionals to learn about the best dental implant for you.