Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jawbone to replace missing natural teeth. Implants and their attached crowns closely mimic the look and function of real teeth. They can make an attractive alternative to dentures and bridges. Dental implant techniques can replace one or several missing teeth. In some cases, an entire set of artificial teeth can be carries on dental implants.
As shown in the illustration, a dental implant is the metal “root” (implant) that is inserted into the jawbone. The artificial tooth (crown) is attached to the implant by use of an abutment. In some cases, instead of an artificial tooth, an implant can be fitted with special clips or attachments (similar to press-studs) to hold a denture. The studs will minimise movement of the denture.
All of our dentists are experienced in the field of implant dentistry and can advise you of the best treatment options to suit your particular case.
Dental Implant Procedures
Different types of implants are available. Most implants are made from materials such as titanium that are capable of forming a strong integration with the surrounding bone tissue. The implant chosen for you by the dentist may not resemble the implant pictured on this site.
In most cases, the dental implant procedure involves three separate treatment stages:
- insertion of the implant into the bone.
- insertion of the abutment (or connector) on the implant
- attachment of the artificial tooth (crown) to the abutment or connector.
The overall implant process can take considerable time. The procedure can take from three to six months or more from surgical placement of the implant to the fitting of the crown.
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. In some cases, the dentist may insert the implant and affix both the abutment and and artificial tooth during a single operation. However, not every patient is suitable for, and not all dentists offer, this single-stage procedure.
The insertion of the implant can be performed at the dentist’s clinic, at a day-surgery centre, or in hospital. The dentist will advise which setting is the most appropriate for you.
Depending on the complexity, the procedure can take from 30 minutes to several hours.
Detachable teeth, known as “over-dentures”, are not as sturdy as non-removable teeth but are easy to clean thoroughly and repair. In some people, they may feel more comfortable. The dentist can advise which option is best for you.
Once the artificial tooth is fitted, a dental X-ray radiograph may be taken to ensure the correct placement of all implant components.
The implant works like a natural tooth root.
It bonds with bone and anchors the artificial tooth into the jaw. Implants can be applied in a variety of ways to solve problems with missing teeth.