Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and can last a lifetime with correct maintenance.
Dental Implants are the new standard of care for tooth replacement. Dental Implants are made with titanium and are highly biocompatible which allows the implant to bond with healthy bone. This is called osseointegration and is achieved in 95-98% of cases.
This process of osseointegration takes about 3 months at which time they are ready to be used to provide permanent support for dental crowns, bridges and dentures.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
The rationale for replacing missing teeth depends on which tooth has been lost and its importance from a functional perspective. Back teeth are important from a functional perspective, whilst front teeth have more aesthetic considerations.
Loss of a back tooth can lead to:
- Decrease in chewing ability
- Increase pressure on the neighbouring teeth which can precipitate further issues with them especially in people who have wear on their teeth or whose teeth have been compromised by the placement of large restorations previously
- Migration of neighbouring teeth. This is especially the case with the loss of the lower first molar which acts like a pillar in the mouth. When it is lost the teeth around it migrate especially the upper first molar which drops down into void. This creates poor contact points with the teeth in front and behind, over time this predisposes these teeth to gum disease and decay
- The second molar on the bottom drops into this space also. This creates a destructive contact on its opposing tooth. If the opposing tooth has been compromised by a large restoration, this can lead to its fracture
- Loss of the bone occurs overtime due to lack of stimulation from chewing forces. We can place implants where teeth have been missing for decades but it can involve the need for bone and soft tissue grafting to allow for the safe placement of the implant
- Loss of back teeth and the bone can also cause a decrease in lower facial height which can result in a more aged look.
Loss of a front tooth can lead to:
- Unattractive smile
- Changes in lip support causing a more aged look
- Decrease in chewing ability.
Advantages of Implants
- A dental implant is a stand alone fixed tooth replacement which is independent of the teeth either side
- No grinding down of otherwise heathy neighbouring teeth which increases the risk of future tooth failure
- Maintains the bone
- Maintains tooth and mouth functionality
- With immediate implants we can take a tooth and replace it all on the same day. Walk in with a tooth and walk out with an implant supported temporary prosthesis.