Dental Implants are used to replace the roots of a tooth, they can hold a single crown, a bridge, or a denture. A single dental implant can support one or more replacement teeth – so you don't always need to have one implant per missing tooth, your dentist will carefully assess how many implants are needed in your circumstances.
Curious about the implant journey at Belmore Dental? There are just 6 simple steps!
The first visit to Belmore Dental will be your initial consultation, at this stage you will meet with one of our friendly treatment coordinators, who will be with you throughout your implant journey. The treatment coordinator will have a discussion with you regarding your concerns and find out a bit more about why you have decided to start the dental implant process, she will usually take a series of clinical photographs and then introduce you to your implant dentist.
Once you have met your dentists, the clinical side of your consultation will begin. This usually includes a further discussion, an extensive examination and assessment of your mouth, and possibly an x-ray, CT scan and/or intra-oral scan. All of this will allow your dentist to accurately plan the best possible treatment options for you and to carefully monitor changes in your mouth in the future. Where required, you will then return to the treatment coordinator to discuss the plan your dentist has suggested, this will ensure you leave with all questions answered and any further appointments scheduled.
Dental implants, in general, have an excellent success rate, up to 98% with proper care. The best way to ensure that they are given the highest chance of being successful is to get the mouth to an extremely healthy stage before the implant surgery occurs. To reduce the risk of infection or implant failure, they need to be placed in a clean, healthy mouth, therefore we will perform any other required dental work, such as dental hygiene, fillings, or root canal treatment before starting your implant procedure.
So, as we have already covered, dental implants replace the tooth's roots. This means that if you are not already missing a tooth, any teeth that are failing and need to be replaced, will have to be extracted prior to the dental implant being placed.
A tooth extraction is usually a very straightforward procedure, however, for those with dental anxiety the thought of getting a tooth removed can be crippling. In this instance, you still needn't worry, at Belmore Dental we have a number of dental sedation options available to make your treatment more comfortable.
When teeth are lost or removed and not replaced, unfortunately bone loss will naturally occur in these areas, at times leaving people without enough bone to securely support an implant.
Dental implants are fused into bone, so it is essential that we have enough good quality bone in the areas we want to have implants placed in order to ensure their success and stability. If your jawbone isn't thick enough or is too soft, you may require a form of bone augmentation before you are able to proceed with the implant treatment.
Your teeth experience extreme pressure, especially when you chew. The jawbone and gum tissues need to be strong to support dental implants and ensure the lifetime success of your treatment. Bone augmentation, such as a bone graft, Is a simple procedure that will create a more robust base for the implant and is carried out prior to the implant procedure, usually requiring a few months of healing before the new bone is ready to accept the implant.
There are two types of bone augmentation offered at Belmore Dental, if you'd like to find out more, please click here.
Placing an implant is a precise but straightforward procedure that is usually performed under local anaesthetic only and feels no different during the procedure to, say, having a simple filling carried out. You will be completely numb during the treatment and as such won't feel anything other than a little pressure throughout. After the surgery and after the anaesthetic wears off you may feel some mild pain or discomfort that can be easily controlled with over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications.
Once the implant is secured within the bone, and the gum tissue is replaced, you might receive a cover screw or healing cap. The cover screw is flat and protects the implant until it is ready for the abutment - the piece that attaches the implant to the crown. A healing cap Is shaped similarly to an abutment, allowing your gums to heal in the proper contour.
Once the implants have healed securely within the bone, the healing caps or cover screws will be removed, and an abutment will be attached to the top of the implant. Healing may be as little as a few weeks or as long as several months depending on your individual situation.
Depending on whether you're replacing a single tooth, or multiple teeth, either a crown, bridge or implant retained denture will be fitted on top of the abutments.
Once your implant has been placed, we will invite you back to attend regular review appointments, for the first year you will be seen every 3 to 6 months on your dentists' recommendation. After this period has passed, depending on your home care routine and your regular attendance with a dental hygienist who is trained to care for implants, you may be able to visit the dentist for a review just once a year.
Before deciding to go ahead with implant treatment, it is important to remember that implants need to be cared for in the same way as natural teeth. Natural teeth require consistent up keep and excellent oral hygiene measures to maintain their health, implants are no different.
A dental implant is an investment in yourself, your oral health, and your confidence!