The replacement of missing teeth with dental implants has been used for more than 40 years and is well recognized as an effective and predictable treatment choice. Implant treatment is considered more predictable than bridgework, resin bonded bridges and endodontic (root canal) treatment.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws with a special coated surface. Implants come in various lengths and diameters. Dental implants are substitutes for the roots of missing teeth that they are designed to replace. They are placed into the jaw bone that fuses to the surface of the implant. This process of fusion is known as osseointegration.
Why Missing Teeth Should Be Replaced With Implants
First of all, it is very important to understand what happens when a tooth is lost and is not replaced with a dental implant.
When a tooth is extracted or removed, not only do you lose chewing ability, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems.
When one or more teeth are lost, the jawbone will undergo resorption. This means that the bone in the mouth will disappear. This process usually begins four to six months after the tooth is removed. It can create the appearance of a collapsing facial structure. The sooner implants are placed, the less bone you will lose, and a far better aesthetic result will be achieved.
Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Missing teeth can affect your appearance, reduce your self-esteem, and have an impact on your ability to articulate clearly.
Implants and Dentures
Removable dentures rest on the gum. Over time the underlying bone disappears and the dentures become loose and move around in the mouth. This leads to loss of facial structure that affects your appearance. Patients find it very difficult to chew or function normally with dentures.
Dental implants can be placed into the bone to form permanent replacements for removable dentures. Dental implants can also be used to provide fixed anchorage for removable dentures.
Phone us on (011) 640-5131/2 to book your appointment
Linksfield Park Clinic
24 12th Avenue
Tel: (011) 640-5131/2
Fax: (011) 640-1822
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for implants?
Patients who require implants are often of all ages. Implants are the right choice for anyone missing one or more teeth. They are especially practical for patients who can no longer wear removable dentures. Your maxillofacial and oral surgeon can determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history.
What does implant surgery involve?
Implants are usually inserted under local anaesthesia. Once the local anaesthetic injection has worked the gum is cut and pushed back to expose the underlying bone. A hole is then drilled into the bone and the implant is screwed into the bone. Next, the gum is put back in the right place with stitches. These stitches are usually dissolvable.
How long will the operation take?
It usually takes around half an hour to place a single implant. Obviously if you are having more than one implant placed it will take longer.
What can I expect after the operation?
It is unlikely that you’ll experience a lot of pain after implant surgery, but regular painkillers will be arranged for you. There is often very little or no swelling.
When can I have teeth made on to the implant(s)?
Your maxillofacial and oral surgeon will advise you when you can have teeth fitted to the implant(s). In some instances, a tooth can be fitted immediately to the implant. The tightness of the implant in the bone is measured and if it’s suitable a tooth can be made and fitted immediately to the implant. This is a huge advantage for patients who are missing teeth in the front of their mouth.
Dr. Rael Polakow has years of experience in doing dental implants. Phone us on (011) 640-5131/2 to make an appointment and find out how we can help you.