What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed in the jaw to replace missing teeth. These artificial roots placed in the jaw provide strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth made to match your natural teeth.
Implants have been shown to dramatically improve the quality of life and smile when used to complement the aesthetics and function of teeth.
Dental Implants are a more permanent solution to tooth loss
Your Permanent Solution
Dental implants are designed to be permanent and durable so you can have a lifetime of strong, healthy smiles. Dental implants from Extreme Dentistry provide improved stability in the mouth, help with biting pressure as well as reduce irritation and enhance speech. Some of the main benefits of dental implants provide include:
Aesthetically pleasing – Dental implants are the ultimate tooth replacement solution as they mimic your natural tooth roots.
Functional – They act and feel like real teeth. Sometimes you can chew harder on your implants than your own teeth.
Beneficial to your diet and health – You can eat and chew normal foods again without pain or irritation. Speaking may also become easier after you replace missing teeth.
Maintain bone structure – Dental implants can help maintain your bone structure and support your facial tissues. They can reduce or eliminate bone atrophy, which causes “shrinkage” or facial cosmetic changes.
Implants in the jaw cause the jaw to exercise and maintain the strength and density of bone. Without tooth replacement, the bone in the jaw will just wither away.
Dental implants are artificial posts inserted into the jaw bone to hold up a false tooth or, in case of multiple missing teeth, the implants can be spaced apart appropriately to hold up a set of teeth grouped together, which we also refer to as a bridge or denture. The use of dental implants in rehabilitation of patients who have lost all their teeth has been linked to an increased quality of life, ability to eat well, speak well, and overall feeling of wellness.
For a teeth implant to be considered, we have to first have the bone structure and density available to put the implant post into. Teeth that have fallen out a long time ago cause loss of bone in the area. This bone loss warrants regeneration of the bone first before the implant can be placed, or often the regenerative exercise can be coupled with the placement of the implant. Dentists will make their decisions on which approach, where to get the bone from, what kind of bone etc. will be determined after a proper assessment is made using a guide stent and a 3D x-ray.
Once you have gone past that stage and are considering the implant therapy, questions of success and longevity may arise when considering the investment you are thinking of making.
There are literally thousands of different dental implant brands available and of all these have gone through many changes over the years. Dr Anand has decided to put his faith in the Ankylos brand implant from Germany, which is one of the oldest brands, with 25 years in production and success without any changes to its design.
Dental implants have been in mainstream dentistry for about 30 years. The person who received the world’s first dental implant recently passed away after having had the implant in the mouth survive for 50 years. It would be wishful thinking to assume all dental implants in Darwin will last that long or that it will last forever. Nothing lasts forever if you are going to use it seven days a week, every month year after year.
As the implants of early days and designs are ageing, we are now finding problems we still don’t have solutions to. The most common problem with an implant is not the implant but rather the false teeth placed over the implants. Because implants settle in and become rock solid with the bone, they don’t have any give or flex like the natural teeth and it is not uncommon to find the ceramic restorations chip as the restoration ages.
It is very likely over the service time of the implant prosthesis that situations may arise where the implant teeth may need to be replaced due to wear or chipping or fracture. The odd component may need replacing or additional surgery may be required to service and maintain your investment.
Regardless of how expensive a car or watch or a house you buy, everything needs regular service and maintenance so there can be some ongoing cost associated. In most cases, the cost is almost none and in some cases, the cost can be significant depending on the situation.
Don’t expect your implant to stand there smiling away if you allow the rest of the mouth to fall apart. Of course, the implant crown does not decay but if your gums become diseases (periodontitis) or change in health status, the bone around the implant will also suffer and hence problems arise.
Peri-implantitis is a big problem with a lot of common implant brands being affected. Peri-implantitis is the equivalent of gum disease around natural teeth but much worse and harder to treat, and in some cases, leads to total destruction of bone around the implant and hence failure of implant/s.
Dental implants, if they are to fail, they will either fail very early in the treatment often even before the prosthesis is placed or there may be slowly progressive bone loss around the implant, which can take years before presenting as a problem.
On the other hand, when they work, they work so well that nothing beats them. Fortunately, up to 80% of Ankylos implants are working really well even after having been on the mouth for 20 years.
Are you going to be the lucky one? We don’t know! Are your dental implants in Darwin going to last your whole life? We don’t know because we don’t know how long you will live, we don’t know if you will live a strong healthy life forever or will die very sick with compromised immune system. So, there is no guarantee on how long the implant will last.
Right now, given what we know about dentistry, dental implants seem to hold one of the highest success rates of all the dental therapies available. Those people who have benefitted from these therapies absolutely swear by them. There are also those that have suffered a lot by way of failures as they seek the ultimate solution to tooth replacement.
Every patient will have a different experience of the procedure and some patients may be more anxious than others. Thanks to recent dental technology, the dental implant procedure is relatively painless and the anaesthetic is usually only limited to the gums around the implant site.
If you are anxious about the dental implant procedure, we offer a range of pain management options for increased comfort, however most patients report very little discomfort and can use their implants the same day. The pain management options we offer include:
- Nitrous Oxide – also known as Laughing Gas or Happy Gas
- Oral Sedation – The use of anti-anxiety relaxant medication can help and is usually taken in the Darwin practice an hour before dental treatment.
- Penthrox– Penthrox is administered in the surgery in the presence of a doctor and has strong pain relieving and anti-anxiety properties.
- General Anaesthetic – this needs to be administered at a day surgery unit.
We prescribe pain medications and antibiotics as part of our comprehensive post-surgery care protocol and we have the majority of patients will be able to return to work and take part in their usual activities the next day.
Extreme Dentistry gives you a guarantee that should an implant fail either in the early stage or during healing or during treatment or up to one whole year from the day implant treatment was finished, we will re do the whole procedure at no additional cost.
Thereafter between one and two years, if any servicing is required, the cost to the patient will be half of what is normally charged. Between 2-5 years, the cost will be ¾ of what is normally charged. This guarantee is only be valid if you return for 6 monthly check up and maintenance of your teeth so any potential problems with the implant can be quickly dealt with before they become big problems.
Unfortunately just having missing teeth does not qualify you for dental implants and to be a good candidate, Dr Anand will look for a range of criteria including:
Is the patient in good health? There are a few risk factors for dental implant failure which include patients who smoke or have diabetes.
What is the patients oral condition? The remaining teeth, gums and jaw need to be stable to place dental implants. If the other areas of the mouth have dental decay, broken teeth or gum disease, this will need to be treated before the implants can be placed.
Can the patient maintain a healthy mouth? The success of implants can often depend highly on the ability of the patient to keep their teeth and gums clean.
To know for certain if you are a good candidate for dental implants in Darwin, contact the experienced team at Extreme Dentistry today.
To find out more about the range of advantages a dental implant procedure can give your smile, call us on (08) 8948 1225 to book a consultation today.