A dental implant is a treatment to replace a missing tooth. Manufactured from titanium, the implant mimics a natural tooth root
The first step involves the insertion of the toothimplant into the jaw bone. A biological process then occurs around this implant, allowing the fusion of the bone onto the implant surface. Following this process, the implant then behaves as a stable foundation which will support a crown.
Dr. Jeremy Vo is a trained specialist in the placement of dental implants with an emphasis on maximising healing following surgical procedures.
Fig 1. Dental implant supporting a crown
Dental Implants Versus Real Teeth
Want to know the difference between dental implants and real teeth? Turn to Putney Periodontics for an explanation. What we can tell you is that in the majority of situations teeth will last longer than implants. When teeth are healthy and well looked after, the best long term benefit will be to keep your own natural teeth for as long as possible. However, when a tooth is lost, replacement with a dental implant can help avoid certain negative consequences including:
- Teeth either side of the space and tilt and drift
- Affecting appearance, especially when missing teeth are visible
- Reduced chewing ability
Dr Jeremy Vo will help make a practical assessment with you on whether uncertain teeth will be worth keeping and whether it will require a replacement.
Replacing teeth with dental implants has several advantages including:
- High success rates.
- With careful planning, a dental implant will look and feel just like your natural tooth.
- Compared with Dentures, you will be able to chew more efficiently and speak more clearly with dental implants.
- Compared with a Dental Bridge, implants don’t negatively impact on the neighboring teeth. Bridges are anchored to neighboring teeth to keep them in place. However, these healthy teeth must first be ground down in size.
Fig 2. Adjacent teeth ground down to make room for a bridge
What happens after a tooth is removed?
The removal of a tooth has lifelong consequences. Over time, the bone under the gum ‘shrinks’ as the body is no longer stimulated by chewing forces to maintain this bone. As a result, in the mouth of a person who has lost multiple teeth over many years, the jaw starts to dip significantly which can make implant treatment in the future more complicated and costly. Furthermore, over a long period of time, the facial structure may also be affected to the point of visible alteration from missing teeth.
Before tooth removal, Dr. Jeremy Vo will go over patient info with you and discuss the steps to take in ensuring that your bone structure will be suitable for implants later on.
Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?
It is important that healing occurs normally following the insertion of a dental implant. This process can be influenced by :
- Certain medical conditions such as diabetes
- Certain medications
- Presence of existing dental infections
- Bleeding gums
During the consultation, Dr Jeremy Vo will take a history of your dental status, medical status and functional requirements. This will allow a detailed discussion with you in order to determine whether a dental implant is a valid option for you.
What do Dental Implants look like?
See below for an example of a case completed by Putney Periodontics Dr. Jeremy Vo. This patient broke her front tooth from a young age. She was extremely happy when she was finally able to go on with her life without having to wear her partial upper denture.
Does implant surgery hurt?
Putney Periodontics Dr. Jeremy Vo routinely performs dental implant treatments simply in the dental chair. In order to perform the surgical procedure safely and precisely, specialised equipments and sterile working surfaces are set up. The only anaesthetic required is local anaesthetic, which means you do not need to be put to sleep for the procedure. Once the area is numbed up, you will no longer feel any discomfort. You will be able to resume normal activities fairly soon after, and depending on the nature of your work, you will still be able to work the next day. However, taking a few days off may be highly recommended when it comes to more complex dental surgeries.