The five main steps of dental implant procedures

Dentist Blog

In Australia, more and more people are opting for dental implants over dentures to replace one or more missing teeth. There are a number of reasons for this. Not only do implants look more natural, but the amount of maintenance required to keep them clean and functional over the years is extremely minimal compared to their denture counterparts. If you're considering getting dental implant because you've lost or are in the process of losing decaying teeth, the following will give you an outline about what to expect from the actual procedure. Unlike dentures, which are ready to use practically right away, it takes a few months for your dental implants to be complete and set. At the end of that period, when you feel confident about your smile and ability to chew like normal, the wait and effort will have felt worth it. 

Step one: Assessment

First and foremost, you'll visit your dentist for an inspection of your mouth. They will inform you about what types of implants you may need and how much they'll cost. While the procedure has a very high success rate, it's required that you are in general good health, have an adequately strong jaw bone, and do not have any debilitating gum diseases, such as gingivitis, for you to be eligible for implants. If initially it's deemed that you don't have enough bone in your jaw to support your chosen implant, don't fret. There are procedures to fix this. 

Step two: Tooth extraction

Once everything has been decided, you'll undergo surgery. The first port of call is usually the removal of any teeth that are still present in the area where you want your implant. These teeth are usually in a state of decay. After they have been removed, it'll take a couple of months for the area to heal and for you to be ready for the next stage.

Step three: Implant placement

At this point, your surgeon will place the implant into your mouth and attach it to your jaw bone with the aid of a dental drill. A temporary cap is placed over the top of the site and any disturbances to your gum are repaired. While it might sound a little scary, there's no need to be. You'll be administered anaesthetic to keep you calm and pain free as the procedure takes place. 

Step four: Healing stage

A period of time is required for your gum to heal and for the implant to fuse with your jaw. Depending on the type of implant you have and the quality of your jaw bone, it can take up to six months for this to occur. For others, it may only take half that time. Your dentist will be able to give you a better approximation based on their earlier assessment. 

Step five: Inserting the crowns

Finally, after everything is properly healed and connected, the healing cap is removed and your dentist attaches the artificial teeth to your implant. If you take care of your dental implants as you would your original teeth, you'll only need to replace this implant in about two decades, if ever. All in all, it's pretty simple. 


19 December 2016

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.