Many of us do everything in our power to look after our teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and attending all your dental appointments are crucial for the long-term health and functionality of your teeth. However, sometimes all we can do is still not enough when it comes to our oral health. Some people are genetically pre-disposed to gum disease and tooth decay, substantially increasing the likelihood of their teeth becoming damaged beyond repair. In other cases, accident or trauma can cause dental problems and even tooth loss.
Thanks to rapid innovation in the field of dental care in the last few decades, patients no longer have to compromise on the health, function or appearance of their smile. Dental implants offer the strongest and most discreet solution to damaged or missing teeth. Once in place, they look, act and feel just like regular teeth – no one need ever know the difference!
What Are Dental Implants?
In short, dental implants are replacement teeth. You can have just have just a single implant, or if you have several teeth that require attention, you can have multiple single implants or an implant-assisted bridge. An implant-assisted bridge works just like a traditional dental bridge, except that is it secured via the implant rods.
The implant itself is made up of three sections:
Titanium Rod: A tiny titanium rod is inserted into the jaw where the implant is to go. In the case of implant-assisted bridges, the various locations of the rods will be pre-determined using CT/X-Ray images of your jaw.
Abutment: This is a secure fitting that joins the titanium post to the visible portion of your tooth.
Crown: This is the visible part of your tooth, which can be color-matched so that it is imperceptible from your natural smile.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
The popularity of dental implants is increasing year on year. This is because of the unique benefits that they offer which include:
- Strength - Once the titanium implants are inserted, a process known as osseointegration begins. This is where the post becomes fused to the jaw bone, creating unparalleled strength and stability.
- Durability - If properly cared for, dental implants have been known to last much longer than any alternative solutions. In many cases, they can last the patient a lifetime.
- Discretion - Unlike dentures which slip and slide, dental implants stay firmly in place. They are so discreet that it will be impossible for anyone to tell that your implant is not your natural tooth.
- Permanent - Dental implants are also completely permanent, so there is no need to take pesky dentures out to clean them, or to eat certain foods. Your implants will function just like natural teeth.
- Success - Titanium is very rarely rejected by the body. Between 95 and 98% of dental implant procedures are a complete success.
Am I A Suitable Candidate For Dental Implants?
Dental implant surgery has an extremely high success rate. However, it will still be necessary for you to attend a consultation appointment to determine if it is the right solution for you and if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
You will need to have x-ray and/or CT imaging during this stage to establish where the implants are required, and if you have strong enough bone density to support the titanium posts. An examination of your mouth, gums and teeth and a comprehensive medical evaluation are also necessary to assess your candidacy for the procedure.
You may be refused dental implant surgery if you:
- are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant in the next few months
- are a heavy smoker
- have insufficient jaw bone density to support the implant, or if your jawbones are still developing
- have uncontrolled diabetes
- suffer from an autoimmune condition
- are a haemophiliac
- have undergone any treatment that involved a high dose of radiation to the head/neck area, such as radiotherapy for cancer
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery requires several appointments with Dr. van Gennip The first part of your surgery will involve taking moulds of your mouth and teeth so that your final crowns can be custom-created to fit seamlessly into your mouth.
Dr. van Gennip will then insert the implants into your jaw. This is done under local anesthetic and so you should not feel any discomfort during the procedure. Once the implants are in place, you will be given temporary crowns and then left for osseointegration to occur.
Once the titanium posts are fully fused to your jawbone, you will return to have the temporary crowns replaced with your final, color-matched crowns.
If you suffer from damaged or unsightly teeth, or if you have a gap in your smile that is making you feel self-conscious, then dental implants could be the right solution for you. Make an appointment with Dr. van Gennip to discuss your candidacy and take the first step towards better oral health.