What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is currently the most advanced tooth replacement technology. A dental implant feels, looks, and works like the original tooth. Implants can be used to replace multiple missing teeth and also allow the permanent fixation of existing dentures.
Unlike a denture, a dental implant does not require pastes or glues. It is permanent and non-removable. Unlike a dental bridge, fitting a dental implant will leave surrounding teeth untouched.
Dental implants are maintained the same way as you would your natural teeth – with regular brushing, flossing and professional cleaning by a hygienist.
Is a dental implant for me?
It can replace broken or missing teeth, to restore your natural smile.
It can prevent bone loss (due to missing teeth) and maintain your facial structure.
It can alleviate bite or joint problems caused by missing teeth.
It can complement and strengthen an existing bridge or denture.
What is involved?
A dental implant typically requires several visits, over several months, to our surgery.
A surgical grade titanium post is first implanted into your jawbone. This can often be done at the same time as the removal of the broken or diseased tooth. When this post has subsequently integrated with your jawbone, a small connector (abutment) is attached to the post. An artificial tooth is then attached to this connector.
Our complete service means every step is done in-chair by Dr Henry Chan. This can save you time and money as you won’t need to be referred to other consultants.
A dental implant is sometimes referred to as a “screw-in” tooth. This does not mean you can “unscrew” or remove the tooth. Once integrated the dental implant will function like a normal tooth.
A few implants can also be used to replace multiple teeth or even all the teeth in the mouth. This will slow down and help prevent further shrinking of the jawbone that could lead to facial collapse. Often, early intervention can prevent more complicated procedures such as grafts prior to implant surgery.
In some cases, additional surgical procedures such as a bone graft or a sinus lift may be necessary. These procedures build strong foundations to anchor the titanium post.
If required, these procedures can also be done in-chair at our surgery for your convenience.
Although very safe, there is still a small element of risk as with all surgical procedures. Complete healing can take months.
What are the alternatives?
You may benefit from more traditional alternatives like dental bridges and dentures instead of dental implants. We can advise you based on your specific needs.
What is the next step?
If you have lost a tooth, call us to make an appointment as soon as you can. If you ignore a missing tooth, you could end up with bite problems and bone loss.
The sooner we can examine you, the more options we will be able to provide in our treatment plan.
See the Dental Implants Fact Sheet for more details.