Dental Implants In Melbourne
Dental implants provide patients with additional options for replacing chipped or broken teeth. While a dental bridge and dentures replace the crown of your tooth (the part above the gum line), dental implant treatment replaces both the tooth root and the crown.
Why you should replace a missing tooth
When you lose a tooth the jawbone which holds the tooth in place starts to shrink. This is irreversible and can, over time, lead to further tooth loss.
Furthermore, the teeth on either side of the missing piece will also start to shift in order to close the gap. This can cause a bad bite, which in turn can snowball into other problems such as neck pain and headaches.
How the process works
When you visit Bayside Smiles in Melbourne, we will assess your oral health and take x-rays of your teeth and jaws. When considering this option for teeth replacement at our Melbourne clinc, you must have adequate jawbone material for the placement of the implant.
If the x-ray shows you do not have adequate jawbone material then we may recommend a bone graft. This is a surgery which will take bone (either animal or your own) and graft it onto your jaw. For some patients, this is not an option and at this stage we may recommend either a dental bridge or partial denture.
If you do have adequate jawbone material, the next appointment is where the dental implant will be placed. This involves surgically placing the dental implant at the site of the missing tooth root.
When the implant has been placed your dentist will stitch your gum closed and allow your jawbone to fuse around the dental implant. This is a process known as osseointegration and can take between three to six months depending on factors such as:
- Your oral health
- If the implant was placed on the upper or lower jaw
- Your overall health
Once your jaw has fused with the dental implant the gum is reopened and an abutment is placed. The abutment is what the dental crown, bridge or denture is attached to as the final stage of the treatment.
It is important to keep in mind that, pending gum disease, dental implants are permanent. But the dental crown, bridge or denture is not. These ideally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.