Your smile is your best asset.
A healthy smile projects confidence, warmth and openness to all who see it.
A dental implant is a surgical component typically made of titanium which is placed in to the upper or lower jaw. Dental implants serve as root replacements for missing teeth, providing a foundation for new teeth - either a crown, bridge or denture as needed. Each case is different, and if you have missing teeth or have an uncomfortable tooth that needs to be extracted, you may not be as happy with your smile as you could be. If having missing teeth or an uncomfortable denture keeps you from smiling, you'll be happy to know that there may be a treatment that will have you smiling again with dental implants.
The first stage of an implant is a consultation to discuss your individual needs and expectations of the proposed treatment. Here the dentist will assess your dental condition and some of the options that may be available to you. It is the requirement for most implants to have a CBCT scan completed of the area for implant placement. This is a complex x-ray that is used to make up a 3D model of your mouth so the bone can be accurately measured. The dentist uses this to be able to definitively diagnose whether an implant is a suitable option. From this stage the dentist can construct a full and detailed treatment plan for you to read and decide whether implants are right for you.
Sometimes it is necessary to place artificial bone or undergo work on the sinus. This will be discussed at the review of your CBCT scan and written up in your treatment plan to consider.
The next stage is the making of a surgical guide, a 3D printed replica of your mouth created from your CBCT scan and dental models. This is used to be able to accurately place the implants to the exact position worked out on the CBCT scan.
Once all of this is completed you are ready to go ahead with the implant placement, a session that is completed under surgical conditions with gowns, drapes and specialist equipment. This is all to ensure everything is sterile, and is not as scary as you may think! Many patients report that the days after implant placement are much more comfortable than a normal dental extraction.
After the placement the implant is left alone to heal for a period of months. During this period you may even forget that the implant is there! Options are available to fill the gap during this time, such as a temporary denture which will be discussed with the dentist prior to treatment.
Then comes the exciting process of restoring the implant. The head is uncovered and healing caps placed to shape the gum tissue ready to receive the crown, bridge or denture. Impressions are taken using intricate copings and the work sent off to a technician to be made. The new teeth are shaped and coloured to match your existing teeth to give you a natural looking smile, a process which you are involved in.
When you and the dentist are happy the new teeth are fitted and your smile is restored! Regular reviews with the dentist placing the implant are recommended over the years to ensure your continued satisfaction with the treatment and to help advise you how to look after your new teeth. An implant still needs to be looked after like natural teeth, and regular visits to the hygienist are always recommended!