Dental Implants – FAQ’s

St Kilda Melbourne

Natural teeth can be lost due to decay or gum disease, or because of trauma. Here at Dental Art, we understand how embarrassing and upsetting it can be to lose even a single tooth. Luckily, dental implants can replace single or multiple teeth, or even complete arches of teeth in a way that is secure, strong and long-lasting. A properly planned and placed dental implant will closely replicate the appearance and feel of a real tooth.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small medical-grade titanium posts that are inserted into your jawbone, artificially replacing your tooth root. After insertion, the post gradually fuses with your jawbone so it becomes strong and stable. Once fully healed, it is ready to support your new implant tooth. We can use dental implants to support single crowns, bridges or full dentures.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Benefits of dental implant treatment include:

  • Preventing further jawbone loss
  • Psychological well-being
  • Enjoy being able to eat a greater variety of foods
  • Cavities cannot occur in implant restored teeth
  • Increased confidence when socialising with others
  • Upper denture wearers will find food is tastier, due to their upper palate being uncovered
  • Implant-supported teeth are strong and will not move when you eat or speak
  • Properly maintained dental implants can last for years

Who Can Have Dental Implants?

Provided your teeth and jaws have finished growing and developing, and you have reasonable dental and general health, you are likely to be suitable for implant treatment. We assess every person very carefully before recommending dental implants because we want to make sure this is the best and most appropriate treatment for you. If you smoke or have a medical condition affecting your immune system, we might suggest considering other options that will be more successful. It is always worth asking us, as we consider everyone based on their dental and medical history.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

When properly cared for, dental implants should last for many years and some people will enjoy the benefits of treatment for life. The success rates of good dental implant treatment are very high, but you must be prepared to look after your oral health. This isn’t difficult as we can show you how to clean around your dental implants and regular check-ups and cleanings are very important. Your implants may be made from inert materials, but they are surrounded by living tissues, that without good oral hygiene could become infected.

What is the First Step in Finding Out More About Dental Implants?

Your first step is to book a consultation with our friendly dentists here at Dental Art. We will examine your mouth and we can discuss your dental and general health. At this stage, it is important to make sure you don’t use any medications that could affect healing after surgery and we need to know if there is anything in your medical history that could affect treatment. Your safety is always our top priority. This appointment is also your chance to find out more about treatment so please feel free to ask questions.

Taking Diagnostic Tests

The next step is to take digital dental x-rays, impressions and a cone beam CT scan. Your CT scan allows our dentists to identify the exact location of all the important structures in your jaws and which must be avoided during surgery. It will also show the quantity and quality of healthy bone available for your implant surgery. This scan is particularly important, providing 3D images of your mouth that are used to plan computer guided implant surgery.

Why Use Computer Guided Dental Implants Surgery?

We use computer guided implant surgery here at Dental Art because it is the best and most precise way to place dental implants, providing predictable results. Based on your CT scan, our dentists can plan exactly where to place each dental implant, making sure your treatment results in teeth that look and feel natural and which are fully functional. Once surgery is planned, a surgical stent or guide is made utilising this information. A surgical guide is a sophisticated template that will be used during surgery, ensuring your implants are inserted into their preplanned positions. This helps to ensure your surgery is smoother, quicker and ultimately more successful. Your appointments will be quite quick because all this planning is done behind the scenes.

What is the Actual Procedure for Placing Dental Implants?

Dental implants do require a small surgical procedure, but please don’t worry as our caring team here at Dental Art will go out of our way to look after you and to keep you comfortable. It typically takes around an hour to place a single implant. Using your surgical guide, our dentist will need to make a small incision in your gums to accurately insert the implant post. Afterwards, your gums are stitched up and the post must be left to heal or osseointegrate with your jawbone.

What is Osseointegration?

During osseointegration new bone cells begin to gradually around and on the implant post, so it becomes firmly bonded within your jaw and cannot move. Dental implants are often specially treated in some way to help encourage this process and it will take approximately three months for your implant post to become fully osseointegrated with your jaw. We know people are often concerned they will be without teeth during treatment, but we can provide temporary teeth to use while your implant fuses with your jawbone. Once osseointegration is complete, we can make your new crown, bridge or denture, completing your treatment.

What Happens If I Need a Bone Graft?

Sometimes a cone beam CT scan will show there isn’t quite enough bone to support a dental implant. This can often be the case if you lost teeth many years ago, and where the jawbone has gradually resorbed, or if you had advanced gum disease that has destroyed your jawbone. If you need to replace your upper back teeth, you might need a sinus lift; these teeth are close to your sinus cavities which are air filled spaces on either side of your nose and the bone here is naturally thinner. A bone graft is a straightforward procedure to increase the width or height of your jawbone. Please don’t worry if you need a bone graft as this treatment is routine and highly successful.

If you have questions about this treatment or would like to book your initial consultation, please contact Dental Art to talk to our friendly team.

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