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implant dentistry

Missing a tooth? No problem!

Root Canal

Here are 4 alternatives for patients who are using one or more missing teeth.

  • Do nothing – which is an option, but not wise in many cases because studies have shown, over XX number of years, adjacent teeth will fail.

  • Denture – most economical treatment option and area ideal for an immediate replacement of extracted or missing tooth. Dentures should be regarded as a stepping stone to a fixed option.

  • Bridges – are multiple units of crowns and are cemented to abutment teeth, therefore they are fixed in the mouth. However, depending on the case, a bridge may not always be advisable or possible. Furthermore, an implant bridge can be cemented on to multiple implant fixtures (titanium screws).

  • Implants – have increased in popularity and acceptance in Australia since the 1980s, when it was performed in the mainstream dentistry. Implants are versatile, they look and function like natural teeth. Implants may be utilised in many clinical situations form replacing a single tooth replacing multiple missing teeth and even supporting dentures. In fact, they can be used to replace the entire missing dentition.

Dental Implants

Dental implants comprise of a titanium oxide metallic screw (implant fixture), a connector (abutment) and a replacement tooth crown, bridge or denture (implant prosthesis). The fixture(s) is/are surgically placed in the jawbone (maxilla upper, mandible lower) at the site of the missing tooth/ teeth.

Dental implant treatment is considered for replacing teeth that have already been lost or need to be extracted. Over a three to four month period, the titanium oxide fixtures will integrate with the bone tissue to give a stable support for the new tooth/teeth. As mentioned above, they are a versatile option in that they can support crowns, bridges or dentures. To clarify, the implant fixture refers to the titanium ‘screw’ under the gum (you can’t see this) and the crown, bridge or denture is the visible tooth restoration.

The titanium oxide surface of the fixture is very well tolerated by bone cells, which ‘accept’ it as one of their own. The process of bone integration around the microscopically roughened titanium oxide surface of the implant is known as ‘osseointegration’. This means that in the majority of cases, the implant heals and settles nicely into the jawbone with problems being rare.

There are several good reasons to replace missing teeth:

  • For cosmetic reasons, avoiding gaps in your smile and maintaining the shape of your face.

  • To reduce the pressure on the other teeth,

  •  To reduce the risk of cracks forming in other teeth.

  • Reduce the chances of developing jaw problems (TMD – Temporomandibular Disorders).

  • To prevent changes to the bite (occlusion). Teeth can move, tip and tilt when there is a gap.

  • To help keep the other teeth cleansable and therefore reduce the potential risk of tooth decay and gingivitis.

  • For proper speech.

  • For functional chewing.

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