Tooth loss is, unfortunately, still very common and can occur due to dental disease or trauma. Whatever the reason, it is important to replace teeth as soon as possible, as even losing a single tooth negatively affects dental health. Dental bridges and dentures are two possible options, but the most modern and long-lasting solution is teeth implants. These are dental implants closely replicating real teeth and are the next best thing to restoring natural teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are generally made from titanium, a medical-grade biocompatible material. They usually have three components. The first is the implant body, a screw-like post inserted directly into the jawbone. Once inside the jaw, it quickly becomes fused in place, creating a stable anchorage point for a new tooth. The second component is the implant abutment attached to the implant body, protruding just above the gumline.
The abutment allows the final restoration to be fitted in place. The restoration could be an implant crown, or where multiple implants are inserted, an implant bridge or implant-retained denture. Implant crowns and bridges are permanently fitted in the mouth and are usually screwed or cemented in place. An implant-retained denture snaps onto special dental implant abutments but can easily be removed at home for regular cleaning.
Why Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants are widely considered the gold standard for restoring missing teeth. There are many reasons why you should consider dental implants, and we’ve listed ten below.
- Dental implants are strong and stable, providing replacement teeth that feel just like real teeth and function similarly.
- Treatment is long-lasting, and provided they are cared for properly, dental implants can last for decades or even for life.
- Unlike dentures that can move around uncomfortably, dental implants ensure teeth are held firmly in place, so there is no need to worry about socialising and eating with others.
- Because implant teeth are so strong, you will be more able to eat the foods you enjoy. Implant crowns and bridges have a biting strength similar to natural teeth. An implant-retained denture makes eating a greater range of foods far easier.
- An improved biting and chewing strength can positively impact digestion. At the same time, enjoying a greater choice of foods can improve overall nutrition, benefiting general health.
- Multiple tooth loss removes the support for the cheeks and lips, creating a sunken-in appearance that is prematurely ageing. Dental implant teeth help restore appearance, providing the right support for the muscles in the cheeks and lips and ensuring facial dimensions are correct.
- Dental implants protect and preserve your healthy teeth. Because they are self-supporting, there is no need for adjacent teeth to be reshaped, which is the case for an ordinary dental bridge. Instead, the implant teeth help ensure your natural teeth remain in the right positions, preventing unwanted tooth movements or changes to your bite, and they help share the stresses of biting and chewing food.
- Dental implants are the only treatment that helps protect your jawbone. After natural teeth are removed, the bone that originally surrounded the tooth roots soon begins to resorb, affecting your remaining teeth and facial dimensions. Because dental implants closely replicate real tooth roots, they help prevent this bone resorption. Preventing bone loss is why we thoroughly recommend investigating dental implants soon after tooth loss or when you know you have failing teeth that will need removing soon.
- Implant teeth are very easy to look after. You can brush and floss around dental implant crowns and bridges, and implant-retained dentures are easily unsnapped from the mouth so they can be cleaned thoroughly. There is no need to worry. We provide complete care instructions when you receive dental implant treatment at Tandara Dental Centre and are always here to offer additional assistance and advice.
- Implant treatment is very predictable. Whenever someone visits our dental practice to inquire about implant treatment, we screen them very carefully to ensure implants will provide the desired results. Close attention to detail during implant treatment means the success rate is typically 95% or higher.
Who Should Consider Dental Implants?
Most people are suitable for implant treatment, provided you are over age 18, so your jaws have finished growing and developing. Age isn’t generally a barrier, so long as you are generally in good health. Implant treatment is an increasingly popular solution amongst older adults, many of whom may have struggled with loose, ill-fitting dentures for years. It’s possible to have implants in your 80s or 90s, as it is never too late to benefit from improved oral health, especially as it can help protect overall health.
When you first visit our practice, we will review your medical history and thoroughly assess your dental health. Because dental implants require a short surgical procedure and once in the mouth need time to heal, it’s important to ensure there aren’t any existing oral or general health conditions that could affect the healing process. Also, we must make sure that any dental problems like tooth decay or gum disease are treated beforehand to ensure that the implants are successful.
We plan each implant surgery carefully using a cone beam CT scan of your mouth, allowing us to identify the optimal location for each implant. It is a process that ensures the surgery and healing afterwards is quicker and smoother for our patients. The surgery needed for dental implants is quite quick. It takes an hour or less to insert a single implant and is often possible using just local anaesthetic. However, sedation dentistry is available for anyone requiring lengthier implant treatment or who feels anxious or nervous and will ensure treatment is more comfortable and relaxing.
How Much are Dental Implants?
Dental implants initially cost a bit more as they require skill and training to be placed properly. However, they can prove very cost-effective in the long term because they can last for years. We only use the highest quality medical-grade implant components from reputable dental implant manufacturers.
Dental implant costs can vary considerably depending on the number of missing teeth and your oral health. For example, people who lost teeth a while ago or had severe gum disease (periodontal disease) may have also lost some jawbone. A bone graft restores any missing bone, ensuring implants are properly supported but can increase the cost of treatment and possibly the time needed.
When you visit Tandara Dental Centre, we can provide a comprehensive quote based on your oral health. Some options, such as a full-arch bridge, will cost more than an implant-supported denture because of the number of implants and materials needed, so we explain all possible solutions in detail, helping you make a more informed choice.
Are Dental Implants Really Worth It?
Dental implants have been used worldwide for decades, and treatment provides reliable long-term results. For some, these results will be life-changing, providing teeth that are stable, strong and comfortable and which look good. However, treatment is longer, and the costs upfront are higher. Even though implants are artificial, they need regular ongoing oral care, including regular dental check ups, to ensure they remain strong and healthy, protecting your investment and smile.