Missing teeth can lower your confidence and make you feel self-conscious. Losing a tooth can also impact your bite; neighbouring teeth can shift position and become more vulnerable to decay, chipping and cracking.
A dental implant is a custom-made artificial tooth that offers a permanent, proven solution for missing teeth. The artificial tooth is made of either ceramic or titanium (the same material used to heal broken bones) and is fixed to a titanium post that’s implanted into your jaw bone. Implants look, feel and function just like real teeth, and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Dental implants can:
- Replace missing teeth
- Support dental bridges
- Secure dentures (either removable or full and fixed)
Advantages of dental implants
- Unlike other dental restorations such as bridges, dental implants don’t require your teeth to be ground down on each side of the gap.
- Implants are comfortable, convenient and strong.
- Implants are easy to keep clean.
- Implants prevent side effects of tooth loss such as gum recession, bone loss and speech difficulties.
- Dental implants can make dentures secure and reliable – no more messy adhesives or slipping, uncomfortable dentures.
What does the process involve?
Although it’s different for every individual, the dental implant process generally involves four steps.
Step 1: Consultation Your dentist will consider your general and oral health and ensure you’re a good candidate for dental implants. You’ll be given an individualised treatment plan with details of when you need to return and how long your implant process will take.
Step 2: Implant placement
Your dentist will insert a titanium implant into the jaw bone where your new tooth will sit. The implant is then allowed to bond with the bone, which can take between 6 weeks and 9 months depending on the individual. During this time we can give you a temporary tooth if needed. Please note, charges for temporary teeth are not included in implant prices and will be quoted separately.
Step 3: Extension placement
An ‘extension’ is added to the implant in your jaw so your new tooth can be attached snugly on top. We generally allow a few weeks for the gums to heal after this process before fitting your new tooth. However, not all implants require this step.
Step 4: Crown placement
The final step is to secure your new tooth (the crown) in place. Your finished implant will look and feel so natural that you’ll forget you ever had a missing tooth.
Your comfort is our top priority
It's normal to feel nervous before a dental procedure such as an implant. But with Smilecare, you can relax knowing you're in the very best hands. We’ll go out of our way to help you feel at ease, including soft music, DVDs and warm blankets. We’ll also explain your options for pain relief, ensuring you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.