Why should I consider a Dental Implant?

There are many reasons why you should consider getting a dental implant. While implants are often considered for aesthetic reasons, they​ have many other benefits.

  1. Support your natural teeth: When you lose a tooth, the bone surrounding that tooth will gradually lose its density and will slowly retract. This can cause some of the surrounding natural teeth to lose their stability and without the support of an adjacent tooth, your teeth can drift out of position. This has both aesthetic and functional consequences and can affect your bite.
     

  2. Permanent: Dental implants are a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. Once planted correctly, there is no special maintenance needed (unlike dentures which require constant maintenance). You simply treat it like a natural tooth, brushing and flossing regularly!
     

  3. Eat naturally again: Dental implants can restore your ability to chew naturally.
     

  4. Enhance your smile: Completed correctly, dental implants are aesthetically pleasing and look completely natural, blending in perfectly with your other teeth.
     

  5. Retain your face shape: With missing teeth, your jawbone will deteriorate over time. This may cause your face to become sunken.

What are my options when it comes to 

Dental Implants?

Welcome to

Optimum Dental

Your friendly Epping Dental Clinic

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental Implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A missing tooth or teeth can impair your ability to eat properly, impact your confidence and in some cases, impair your ability to speak properly. Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution and restores your full ability to eat and speak correctly.

Dental implants or ‘tooth implants’ are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are a surgical treatment requiring a dental implant, that is a metal fixture (usually a screw) to be fused to a patient’s jaw bone. The function of the dental implant is to act as a sturdy support or anchor structure for a dental crown, bridge or dentures. Dental implants are the most ideal solution for replacing a single or multiple missing teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile, bite and speech. Unlike a dental bridge, it does not involve any tooth preparation on healthy adjacent teeth and the end result is very similar to a natural tooth.

The development and use of titanium dental implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the last half century.  Continual improvements to techniques and materials used for tooth replacement makes dental implants highly sought after. They are the best available solution that can reliably support the surrounding teeth and stimulate the natural healing and formation of bone. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually fuses (grows around it and holds) it in place. In today’s world, dental implants are considered the most advanced solution for tooth restoration. Tooth restoration helps restore a patient’s smile and overall confidence.

What is involved when getting a dental implant?

Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and an excellent replacement for their own tooth. However, it is a complex and involved process so it is in your best interests to fully understand the procedure and speak with an expert prior to making your decision. Dental implant treatment is usually completed in multiple stages that includes a series of minor operations and tests. There are generally five phases to getting an implant:
 

  1. Consultation: First, you will have an initial appointment with Dr Karu to determine if your oral health and the condition of your jaw bone is suitable for a dental implant. This treatment is not suitable, or not recommended if you have untreated tooth decay or gum (periodontal) disease, are over the age of 60, have undergone chemotherapy for cancer or other treatment or have low bone density. If you are suitable for this treatment option, scans and x-rays will be completed to give Dr Karu the clearest picture of where to place the implant.
     

  2. Placement: Should you be compatible with this treatment, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. You will be given an anaesthetic so that you don’t feel pain during the surgery.
     

  3. Abutment: Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. Your dentist may recommend a special diet during the healing process. Some patients may need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
     

  4. Impression: Once the implant is stable, the dentist will create a foundation for the new tooth or teeth and a mould of the mouth is taken so that the artificial tooth/teeth can be made.
     

  5. Crown: The last step involves the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth by way of screwing or cementing the tooth into the implanted foundation. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customise a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown is specially made based on the appropriate size, shape, colour and fit for you and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. It is important to note that the replacement teeth usually take some time to make. While you are waiting for your custom replacement teeth to be manufactured, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready for placement.

Would you like a free Dental Implant consultation?

Dental Implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It is a decision that requires a fair bit of consideration and it can be daunting to think about. That's why we offer free dental implant consultations at our Epping Dental Clinic to help you make the right decision.

Come see us today or schedule an appointment by calling us or using our online bookings system below.

What are the Pros and Cons of dental implants?

Dental implants are a fantastic solution when it comes to replacing a missing tooth or teeth. But with any solution, they have their pros and cons. When you visit our Epping dental clinic and speak to Dr Karu, he'll go through all the pros and cons of not only dental implants, but also any potential alternatives that may be more suitable for your particular circumstances, taking into account your health, pre-existing conditions, and your budget. A quick summary of the pros and cons for dental implants are:

Advantages of dental implants:

  • Fixed option, meaning that it is attached to the jaw bone similar to a natural tooth

  • They look and feel like your own teeth and when completed correctly, will only be identifiable by a dentist

  • They don’t sacrifice the quality of other teeth as they do not need to anchor onto adjacent teeth, there is no need to grind or manipulate the adjacent teeth during its placement most of the time

  • They are an ideal replacement option if you'd like like to replace your dentures and dental implants last longer than bridges or dentures

  • A long term, cost effectiveness

  • For potential future loss of teeth, multiple implants can be joined together to convert to a bridge meaning not every single missing tooth needs to be implanted

  • They prevent bone loss, which is often associated with missing teeth

  • They allow you to eat hard foods without any issues

  • They are considered the best treatment option for replacing missing tooth/teeth and can improve your self confidence

  • They have a high success rate

Disadvantages of dental implants:

  • Relative high cost initially comparing to most standard tooth restorations (crowns and ceramic onlays are significantly cheaper if the tooth can be restored that way and if so, our dentist will discuss this with you)

  • Minor surgery is required

  • Relative risk associated with smokers and immunocompromised patients

  • If your jawbone lacks the required bone structure, you may require bone grafting (a process known as jawbone regeneration) to accept a dental implant. This is common if you've been missing teeth for an extended period of time. An examination from your dentist at our Epping Dental Clinic will be able to determine whether you have enough bone structure for a dental implant.

Importantly, when you visit Dr Karu at Optimum Dental, he will carefully inspect your teeth and advise you of any other alternatives that may be suitable. With a wealth of knowledge from his long tenure as a dentist and a conservative approach, he'll always seek out potential alternatives to surgery if they are suitable. Rather than extract a tooth and replacing it with a dental implant, he may suggest saving the tooth using root canal therapy, and restoring it with an onlay or crown where possible. Every case is assessed on a case by case basis and tailored specifically to you!

What are alternatives to getting a dental implant?

While dental implants are often considered the ultimate tooth replacement solution, it may not be the "right" solution for you. This may be due to budgetary reasons, lack of jawbone requiring bone-grafting, existing health issues and more.

What is important is that your dentist spends the time to talk you through all your options and takes all of these factors into account to ensure you leave happy and healthy! Dr Karu and the Optimum Dental team will assess your particular situation to help you determine whether dental implants is the right solution for you.

At our Epping Dental Clinic, we offer many dental services so should dental implants not be the right fit, we'll also be able to offer you a different solution. Alternatives to a dental implant that may be suitable include a dental bridge (cantilever bridge or fixed bridge) or dentures (partial dentures or full dentures).

If you're unsure which option is right for you, please contact us or come visit us in Epping and our friendly and highly experienced team will be able to help you make the right choice!