What is an implant?

Dental Implants

Dental Implants have caused a revolutionary change in dentistry. The more advanced our technology becomes, the more exciting our treatment options become. So, what are they, how do they work and why would you want one? Let’s break it down.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that is carefully inserted into the jaw bone. This serves as a replacement for the roots of the teeth that have been lost due to injury, disease or decay.

On top of the implant, an abutment and ceramic crown is then placed. Implant retained ceramic
crowns can be impossible to distinguish from natural teeth, both functionally and cosmetically.

Some of the major benefits of dental implant treatment is that they are strong, stable, secure and reliable so you can eat quite normally after treatment is complete.

They provide an aesthetically pleasing result, blending with the adjacent teeth.

When can dental Implants be used?

It doesn’t matter whether teeth were lost through accident, disease or decay, dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement for many patients.

Our dentists will be able to assist and inform you whether you are a good candidate and what option best suits your circumstances.

Dental Implants can be used when:

  • A single tooth is missing
  • Several teeth are missing
  • All teeth are missing

So basically, if you are missing one or more teeth then an implant may be an option for you.

How does it work?

After detailed consultation and examination, a treatment plan will be prepared by your dentist. Only once you are happy with the plan, will your dentist perform surgery to place the implant.

Following the placement of your implant, an integration period of between 6-16 weeks is required. This to allow for your bone to fuse to the implant through a process called osseointegration.

When your dentist is satisfied with the stability of your implant fixture, the final restoration can take place.

Care and maintenance

With long term studies over more than three decades and over a million patients treated, implants are highly successful- with a 95% success rate. With good oral hygiene and regular check-ups this will help ensure a long lasting solution.

Let’s recap! An implant consists of three parts, the implant fixture (screw), the abutment and the crown.

The implant fixture is placed in the jaw and acts as a root, the abutment and the crown are attached to this to form a fully functional tooth replacement.

Pretty cool stuff, right? Implants can be used to replace single, multiple or all missing teeth depending on the patient. With the correct care and maintenance they are an excellent treatment option for those with missing teeth, as they have an excellent long term prognosis.

This is why so many people are now opting for this as a solution to their missing teeth.

This is all of your basic information regarding dental Implants, however if you believe that this may be a good option for yourself and would like to know more then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 3203 7177. We love to answer any questions you may have and assist you in any way we can.

What is a crown?

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers a damaged or weak tooth and fully encases the visible portion of the tooth. Crowns restore shape, size, strength and appearance whilst protecting the tooth from damage.

A crown may be needed for a number of reasons, these reasons can include:

  • To protect weak teeth
  • Restore a broken tooth
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling or minimal tooth structure
  • To hold a bridge in place
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Or for cosmetic modification

There are many different uses for crowns and there are also different types of crowns that can be used. There are metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, all porcelain and ceramic crowns. Each type of crown has different benefits for each person and can be chosen depending on the situation and the tooth.

Metal (gold alloy, other alloys or a base metal alloy)

Metal crowns require less tooth structure to be removed during the prepping process, the wear to opposing teeth is minimal and they can withstand biting and chewing forces well, lasting the longest in terms of wear. Metal crowns rarely chip or break although aesthetically are not ideal, especially for anterior teeth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal

These crowns are colour matched to the adjacent teeth, making them a good choice for both anterior and posterior teeth. They do however cause more wear to opposing teeth compared to metal or resin crowns. These crowns look most like a normal tooth, although the underlying metal can show through as a dark line especially around the gums and can also chip or break off with time.

All-resin

All-resin crowns are less expensive than other types, they can be colour matched to adjacent teeth and are good for front teeth. They do however wear down over time and are more prone to fractures compared to other materials.

All-ceramic or All-porcelain

These crowns have a better natural colour match than any other type of crown material. They are most suitable for people with metal allergies, however, are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal. They will wear down opposing teeth more than metal or resin crowns but are a good choice for anterior teeth.

 

There are two visits involved in the making of a crown, the first visit is to prepare the tooth and the second visit is the placement of the permanent crown.

The first visit is very important, it is where the dentist will prep the tooth for a crown to be fabricated to fit around the prepared tooth. Your dentist may want to take some x-rays to check the roots and also the vitality of the tooth. This also helps to identify whether there is any extensive decay or if the tooth is at risk of infection, if this is the case your dentist may need to perform a root canal treatment before commencing with the crown.

The tooth will be numbed so there will be no pain or sensitivity for the patient, the tooth will then be filed down along the chewing surface and the sides. The amount of tooth structure removed will be dependant on the type of crown material used as the thickness varies between materials.  

 

Dental Trauma

What is dental trauma?

Dental trauma refers to injury/damage to the teeth and/or gums. Most commonly caused during contact sports and high contact physical activities.

Prevention

Regular use of a mouthguard during sports and other high risk physical activities is the most effective prevention for dental trauma. However, injuries can still occur whilst wearing a mouthguard as users are not always aware of the best makes or sizes, which results in a poor fit. This is why a custom fitted mouthguard is essential during physical contact sports and activities.

What to do if an adult tooth is knocked out?

  1. Find the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown (the white part), not by the root (the yellow part).
  2. If clean, replant immediately, if possible using gentle pressure
  3. If contaminated, rinse shortly with cold tap water and put the tooth back in its place.
  4. Hold the tooth in place. Bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position.
  5. If you cannot put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk or saline. When milk or saline are not available place the tooth in between your cheek and your teeth.
  6. Seek dental treatment as soon as possible.