All About Implants
Do you have a missing tooth, or missing teeth? Do you have dentures that move around and make it hard to eat? Do you wish that you hadn’t had that last tooth out, and that you could turn the clock back and rethink that choice? If so, then a dental implant might be a treatment that would help you.
Implants are made out of grade 1 surgical titanium, (the same as used for hip and knee replacements). There are 2 parts to an implant. The 1st part goes into the bone and replaces the root of the tooth, and then a crown is placed over it to restore the part of the tooth that you see in your mouth. Implants have a very high success rate. It takes 3 months for the bone to grow on to an implant in the lower jaw (integrate) and about 6 months for the top jaw.
The key to successful implant placement is in the planning behind the scenes way before the implant is placed. Implants need to be placed in sufficient bone to be able to support the load placed on them by chewing and grinding. To look their best they also have to be placed so that the implant looks like it comes out of the gum just like a real tooth. One of the hardest things to manage with implants is to maintain the little triangle of gum between the teeth, which makes a big difference with appearance. When we lose a tooth, the gum flattens out, and that little triangle bit of gum vanishes, leaving a dark space between the teeth, which can be very unsightly. Careful planning is needed to put the implant in the best position. When we assess whether an implant can be placed, we have to look at multiple things including the bone contour, your smile, tooth shape, tooth colour, the gum thickness and its contour. Poor positioning of the implant will compromise the way that it looks after all of that hard work and effort.
The problem is that the place where the implant has to be put is not always ideal. Sometimes the shape and size of the gum or the bone is not what we need it to be. So what can be done about that? Hard and soft tissue grafting can be done to replace the missing support tissue, which may have disappeared following the removal or loss of a tooth. Sometimes, very little modification is needed to recreate the aesthetics. All of this takes extra time and planning before the work is done, and is critical to getting the result you need and want.
It’s really important to remember that once an implant has been placed, and has “integrated” with the bone, it is a very difficult procedure to remove it. Moving a poorly placed implant is likely to require oral surgery and bone grafting. This is why when you decide to have an implant placed, you need to choose a dentist that you trust, and who has the training and experience to provide the treatment that you need at the best standard.
At McCloy Dental, Dr Russell McCloy has extensive experience at placing implants. He has completed study at the prestigious GIDE Academy at UCLA USA, where he was trained by some of the worlds leading experts on implants. He has now placed over 300 implants, and more importantly has the experience to advise you about your best options for treatment. He will sit down with you and discuss the case with you so that you know all of your options, how the treatment is likely to proceed and work out, and if you are likely to benefit from a team approach and if referral to any specialist for any of the procedures is required.
When we think about implants, most of us think about replacing one or a few key teeth, but implants can also be used to anchor dentures. Many of you would have heard of the “All on Four” procedure. This means that you can restore all of the top or all of the bottom teeth by using just 4-6 implants. This can be done as a quick 1 off procedure, but it can also be staged out to suit budget and work commitments. Imagine how great it will feel to tuck in to a nice steak after years of loose, false teeth
So if you have missing teeth, or are considering having implants, pick someone that you know and trust to do the work to the best possible standard. After all, you have to live with the consequences for many years onwards.
McCloy Dental has always used Australian dental laboratories that work to the highest standards. We stand behind our work, and know that it will be done to the highest standard. So when you have to make a choice about implants and crowns remember that doing the job right the 1st time around is always the best.