What is an implant?
Implants are titanium inserts that are placed into and become incorporated into your jaw bone. They are essentially a substitute for a natural tooth root and are placed where you have a tooth or teeth missing. The implant will have a crown and/or bridge attached to it to replace one, a few, or all your missing teeth. It is not uncommon to have the entire upper or lower arch of teeth replaced with implants instead of dentures or to have your existing dentures converted into implant dentures that can now remain fixed in the mouth.
Planning your implant
After initial consultation to discuss your treatment needs a scan called a cone beam X-ray will be required. This establishes a clear three dimensional (3D) picture of where the implant will be positioned in your jaw. It will also be used to create a 3D treatment plan and a surgical template to enable guided surgery. Guided surgery is implant placement performed with a predetermined template to position your implant exactly as planned from the cone beam X-ray. This process enables you to see the virtual implant prior to you commencing your treatment. It also enables the implant to be placed in a much shorter appointment then normal and multiple implants can often be placed at one appointment.
Benefits of implants
Dental implants have become an important part of modern dentistry, with millions of people already benefiting from the use of implants. In the right situation, implants allow the replacement of missing teeth with a substitute tooth that looks, acts and feels like a natural tooth providing you with long term dental function and outstanding aesthetic results.
How do I know if I need an implant?
If you are missing one, a few or all your teeth, or even if you have loose dentures, implants may be for you.
You may also have a tooth that is not responding to normal treatment such as root canal treatment or a crown. Similarly you might have been diagnosed with a cracked tooth which is painful when you bite. An implant may be an alternative treatment and worth investigating before having further treatment on an already compromised tooth.
As the above information is designed to provide you with some general knowledge about dental implants, it is not an indication of your suitability as each and every person has unique circumstances and requires individual considerations and an individual consultation.