Using Dental Implants
Dental Implants are a durable, long-lasting and more natural way to replace a missing tooth. They are considered a more ideal way to restore function and aesthetics without the need to involve healthy teeth beside the gap, or to resort to removable dentures.
To check whether an implant retained crown might solve your missing tooth problem, please make a booking to consult one of our experienced dentists.
Replacement of one or missing teeth using implants
Dental implants replace the root of teeth inside the jawbone below the gumline. Once they have ‘knitted’ to the bone, they can be used for several applications.
The commonest use nowadays is to replace a single missing tooth called an “implant=-retained crown.”
Implant retained crowns are standalone, non-removable replacements for natural teeth. They are perhaps more rigid than natural teeth, but are the closest to a natural tooth in terms of feel and look compared to other treatments.
When properly planned an executed, a dental implant will closely mimic the look of the natural tooth and emerge harmoniously from the gumline.
Benefits of an Implant-retained crown
What is the process of having a dental implant?
Dental implants require a number of appointments over a period of weeks to months to complete. These appointments include:
1. Treatment planning including 3D x ray of jawbone, models, discussion of expectations, risks, complications and success rates.
2. Implant surgery. This is done at Pymble Dental Practice under local anaesthetic and with or without sedation. Each surgery is unique and will be explained in great detail before commencement, and is planned to be the least invasive in order to get the best result. Temporary teeth by way of a bonded bridge or removable device can be used to disguise the gap in the healing phase
3. Review appointment- 2 weeks after the surgery we like to ensure good intial healing by way of a 15-30 minute review/
4. “osseointegration”- a healing phase where the bone knits to the implant screw. The patient does not need to come into the office during this phase.
5. Impressions for the crown or dental prosthetic. Putty or digital moulds are taken to help our Sydney based technicians craft a beautiful and naturally congruent tooth or set of teeth to be attached to the implant.
6. Insertion of the dental implant prosthesis. There is normally no injections required at this appointment.
What happens if I don’t replace a missing tooth?
When a single missing tooth is not replaced, there are several possible and usual consequences.
Drifting of the teeth either side of a gap
Overeruption of the tooth which used to bite against a missing toot
Recession of the gum of the adjacent teeth
Loss of bone in the jaw where the tooth used to be
Diminished chewing function
Facial collapse when many teeth are lost and not replaced
Caring for a dental implant.
Dental implants cannot get decay, however they are not without complications. The commonest complications with ‘Implant retained crowns” are chipping of the porcelain of the dental crown, loosening of the screw that holds the crown onto the implant, and loss of the screw hole filling. These are all easily managed with minimal cost in time or money to the patient or dentist.
Less common complications include fracture of the crown-implant screw, and in extremely rare cases the implant itself can fracture. There are risk factors involved in these catastrophic complications that can largely be overcome by using appropriate planning, higher quality implants and better laboratory technicians.
Implants may also suffer from ‘gum disease’ ; specifically called ‘peri-implantitis’. This is more common in people who had gum disease prior to implant placement, patients with poorly controlled diabetes, smokers and people with poor oral hygiene.
Implants may require special instructions on flossing and care. At each regular check-up our dentists will examine the health of the gum and bone around implants, as well as making sure the ‘bite’ and fit of the crown on top is correct, hence reducing the risk of complications.