What are Dental Implants?

Having missing or failing teeth need not cause you anxiety anymore. With Dental Implants you can replace missing and failing teeth to restore function and appearance. Having dental implants planned and placed by a skilled Adelaide Dentist or Dental Specialist will ensure you can depend on your teeth (and smile) for many years to come.

How Did Dental Implants Evolve Over the Years?

Dental implants are not a new invention. The first metal dental implant was discovered on the body of an Egyptian king who lived in approximately 1000 BC. His upper jawbone had a copper peg hammered into it!

The first Titanium Dental Implant was used in 1965. It has since proven to be very successful. Over the years, dental implants have seen significant improvements. Today, a vast majority of dental implants are made out of Titanium, not just in Adelaide, but worldwide.

Titanium is light, durable, and is biocompatible with the body’s biology and goes through a process called ‘Osseo-integration’.  This basically means the bone accepts and grows around the Dental Implant and becomes the replacement for the tooth root that was lost.

How do Dental Implants work?

Dental Implants look a bit like a small screw and replaces the root of the missing tooth, whether the tooth is recently lost or has been missing for some time. The Dental Implant is designed so a tooth can be placed on top. There are many manufactures of dental Implants. Many profess to be ‘The One’. Though there are definitely Dental Implant Companies that are very successful or have Studies to show how good they are, it’s the skill of the Dental Specialist in planning and placing the Dental Implant that is really important. You can have the best Dental Implant in the world, but poor planning, poor placement, poor surgical protocol, a poor sterile field, or having blunt instruments can end up with a less than ideal outcome. There is no ‘Cheap’ option for dental implants if you want longevity and easy maintenance. Any corners cut to save money can impact on the final outcome and success of the Dental Implant. The old adage is so true, “You get what you pay for”. Patients who have treatment with Dr Lidums appreciate the time he takes to carefully plan and discuss the options. They love looking through the folios of other patients who have had similar problems and ended up with transformed smiles.

Not ‘One size fits all’

Every person has such differing needs when it comes to dental implants. Replacing a front missing tooth is very different from replacing a failed back tooth and having numerous missing teeth will have a very different treatment approach if you already have no teeth. Also the health of an individual, the amount and quality of bone available, the health of the surrounding teeth all impact on the type of dental implant treatment required. When planned and placed well, Dental Implants can provide many years of comfort and the ability to eat well and smile confidently.

When planned poorly, this can lead to compromised aesthetics, poor function and sometimes the inability to even put a tooth on top! This is demoralising and costly for patients who have placed their trust in someone to provide them with a new teeth only to be advised they are unusable. Careful planning, 3-D X-rays and discussions with the Dental Specialist on what to expect are vital in getting a result that will be functional and look natural. Having your Dentist show photos of what they have done for others is really helpful in bridging the gap between what you want and what the teeth will actually look like at the end of treatment.

Contra-Indications: What might prevent me having Dental Implants?

Our health can impact on how well a Dental Implant can work and last. Having compromised health and use of some medications can impact the bone and healing and therefore the longevity of Dental Implants. Your Dentist or Dental Specialist will discuss this with you and ensure any Dental Implant treatment planned is done in consultation with your Doctor or Medical Specialist to ensure the best result is achieved and your health is maintained and possibly improved.

Smoking also has risks. Smoking negatively affects blood flow to the bone and tissues surrounding the gums and teeth, which impacts bone healing. Implants fail because of a failure to integrate with the surrounding bone. It has been found that 15.8% of implants fail in smokers, versus 1.4% of implants in non-smokers.

Although there are new designs and developments in dental implants to assist in smokers having what we call ‘Immediate or Same Day Teeth’, it always best to avoid smoking when having dental implants.

So what goes on top of the Dental Implant?

The tooth that is screwed into the top of the Dental Implant can be made out of a variety of materials such as Plastic/Acrylic, Porcelain or Zirconia. These provide differing levels of strength and appearance.  Thankfully, like all technology today, there are new designs and materials being developed all the time. So many of our patients are amazed at the natural look and feel of their new teeth. A skilled Adelaide Dental Lab can provide beautiful aesthetics.

What Are Their Advantages?

Dental implants are not just essential to replace missing teeth to restore function and your smile. Gaps in the mouth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift towards the empty space which causes crooked teeth as well as severe bite issues which can impact on the function and appearance of teeth. Unlike natural teeth, titanium can never get dental decay. Therefore, with regular care and maintenance, like we have on our natural teeth, dental implants can last for years.

Our skilled Adelaide Dentists can place Dental Implants to replace missing teeth. If you have been unfortunate to have lost many or all of your teeth, a procedure call the All-on-4 Teeth-in-a-Day Dental Implant Treatment can replace all your teeth with just 4 implants in just one day. Of course careful diagnosis and planning is required and each patient is assessed carefully to ensure the best outcome can be achieved.

Call Lidums Dental Adelaide today to find out if Dental Implants will give you back your smile and function.

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