What is a dental implant?

Nothing has had such a profound impact on dentistry as the development of dental implants.

In modern dentistry crowns, bridges and dentures are not the only options you have when it comes to replacing missing teeth. When you have a missing tooth or teeth, it’s not just your appearance that’s compromised but also your oral health. The loss of a tooth can result in teeth on either side of the gap moving out of position and into the space.

Additionally, tooth roots help maintain the strength and density of your jawbone as well as muscle tone.

A dental implant is a fine titanium screw or rod that’s placed into the upper or lower jawbone during a minor surgical procedure, which can be completed under local or general anaesthetic. Titanium has been used successfully in medicine for many years as it naturally integrates with bone.

The dental implant is a replacement for the missing tooth root to which a crown, bridge or denture is secured.

The greatest advantage of a dental implant is that they as strong and look, feel and function like natural teeth. They also provide an alternative solution to dental bridges, which rely on health teeth on either side of the space for support.
Implant surgery is done in three different treatment stages:

  • Implant is placed into the bone
  • Abutment inserted on top of implant
  • Artificial tooth, crown or denture is attached to the abutment.

The implants rest under the gum for several months. During this time they fuse to the jawbone and become osseo (bone) integrated. After the appropriate healing time, we uncover the implants and use them to replace one or more missing teeth by creating a dental prosthesis (eg crown, bridge or denture).

Every attempt is made to ensure the success of the implant.

From surgical placement of the implant to the fitting of the crown, bridge or denture the complete implant process can take from three to six months or more if bone graft surgery is required. This depends on factors such as your general and dental health, the amount of bone, rate of healing, degree of integration between the implant and the bone and the extent of any other dental problems.

A thorough evaluation by our team at The Art of Dentistry will help determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

Dr Gleeson will also advise which is the most appropriate dental implant for your personal circumstance.