Why dental implants?
Dental Implants are now a very successful and accepted treatment option to replace lost teeth.
At Foundation Dental Services (FDS) we have placed over 3000 dental implants with experience spanning 15 years. The provision of dental implants has become one of our most popular procedures.
The information below is provided in a simple “question & answer” format. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask one of our team.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant allows replacement of missing teeth.
Most dental implants use titanium to replace the root portion of the tooth, and ceramic to replace the crown.
How long do implants last?
Many of the dental implants placed in the 1970’s are still in function today. There does not appear to be any reason for the titanium portion of a dental implant to routinely need replacement.
The ceramic crown or bridge placed on top of the implant will be subject to normal ‘wear and tear’ and require the same maintenance as any other dental work.
Who can benefit from a dental implant?
Dental implants can be used to replace front teeth that are lost due to trauma or sporting accidents.
They can also be used to replace teeth that have failed to respond to conventional dental treatment (ie. root canal therapy or large fillings). Uncomfortable dentures can often be stabilised by one or more dental implants. In some cases the denture can be discarded altogether. Dental implants can also be used to provide more back teeth and increase chewing comfort.
How do I know if I can have an implant?
A detailed consultation appointment is the first step to help decide if a dental implant is the right choice for you. This visit will include a detailed examination of the clinical situation. Often patients are referred to our practice by another dental professional. Many others are referred by family or friends.
How is the implant placed?
Dental implants can usually be placed in the dental chair. The area is numbed up using regular dental anaesthesia just like a filling. The old tooth socket is then located and the titanium section of the implant carefully positioned to take the place of the root of the tooth. Patients often walk in and walk back out ninety minutes later with the new implant in place.
How long does the whole treatment take?
Gathering the data required to allow an implant treatment plan to be formulated may take one or two short consultations. This will involve both the FDS specialist and your general restorative dentist. An appointment will then be arranged for placement of the dental implant. A period of 6 to 12 weeks is recommended to allow the dental implant to ‘integrate’ with the surrounding tissues.
The restorative dentist will then be able to complete the crown or bridge-work on top of the implant over the next 2 to 6 weeks.
Will I have a gap while the dental implant is healing?
The restorative dentist will make sure that a temporary bridge or denture is available for the implant healing period. You don’t have to worry about missing your teeth for any length of time.
Will the treatment be uncomfortable?
The anaesthetic used to place the implant is the same that is used for a “dental filling”. After the procedure a mild analgesic (head-ache) tablet is all that is required. In a few cases a slightly stronger analgesic may be required for the first night. Most people are pleasantly surprised with how quickly the dental implant settles.
Are there any complications with implants?
The complications of dental implants are much the same as for any other minor oral surgery procedure. The detailed pre-treatment examination and radiographs (Xrays) are carried out to minimise any risk in the procedure. If there is a specific risk in your particular case it would be identified and discussed with you well before the dental implant is placed.
Will I get anything back from the health fund?
Rebates from the health funds vary significantly depending upon the fund you have chosen and your level of ancillary cover. It is wise to present a treatment plan to your fund before treatment is commenced.
How do I look after my dental implant?
You will be given detailed instructions on how to monitor and care for your dental implant. Generally, the care is very similar to how you would look after your own teeth. In particular, you must keep the gums healthy with regular daily cleaning.
To book an appointment for a dental implant consultation, please call (07) 3878 2519.