As many as 3 in 7 adult patients have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. This means that there has been something of a push in dental research to allow people to have restorative teeth that look like natural teeth and work like natural teeth.
And while many people have heard of dentures and fitted bridges, there has been a shift in recent times towards oral implants, as this is now a treatment that is available in the majority of cosmetic dental surgeries. However, given that it is a newer process than having dentures or bridges fitted, the majority of people who would benefit from it want to learn more before they undergo the procedure.
So, in this very short article, 5 questions relating to the fitting of a dental implant Melbourne will be answered.
How are they fitted?
The implants are fitted via surgery, which involves your dentist numbing the area where they are to be sited and then making some precise incisions into the gum line. Peeling the gum line back to expose the bone, a hole will be drilled unless there is already a vacant socket from a recently extracted tooth. The implant is placed into the drill site, which may involve a lot of fiddling, but the process is relatively straightforward and will take around 1 to 2 hours per implant. Once the implant is fitted, the gum is sewn up and that stage of the procedure is finished.
When are the prosthetics attached?
Once the implants have fused with the jaw, depending on your age and general health, it can take between 3 to 6 months to have the prosthetics fitted. If after 12 months your dental team finds that there is no sign of the implant fusing, it will be removed and the treatment will be considered a failure. But provided all goes well and the implants fuse with the jaw, the prosthetics will be attached when your dentist determines that the implant is stable enough, which will usually be around 6 to 8 months after the fitting.
How do I care for them?
Caring for oral implants once prosthetic teeth are attached is extremely simple. You will need to brush and floss them as you would your regular natural teeth, but you will also need to attend biannual appointments with your dentist to ensure that gum disease is not setting in. Gum disease can cause all implants to fall out, much in the same way as it can cause natural teeth to fall out, and needs to be kept at bay.
Can anyone have them fitted?
Sadly, not everyone is suitable for oral implants and when you attend your initial consultation, your dentist will need to take an X-ray of your jaw to assess its thickness and its health. If your jawbone is deemed healthy and thick, then you will likely be suitable for oral implants. You also have to be over the age of 18 and have good general oral health.
How long do they last?
With the aftercare mentioned above, tooth implants should easily last 20 years or more. However, if you experience blunt force trauma to the area or are suffering from gum disease, this life span may be shortened and you should seek the advice of your dentist as soon as possible.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.