Dental implants are artificial tooth roots and are the foundation for bridges or crowns which replace missing teeth.
A dental implant is a post made of titanium that is embedded in the jawbone just below the gum line.
This makes them a better alternative than other available options. Patients can lose their teeth due to an illness, a traumatic accident, or tooth decay.
Whatever the reason, your smile can be restored.
Dental Implants at a Glance
- Replace a single tooth
- Replace several teeth
- Replace all teeth
Dental implants are durable, stable and an ideal solution for replacing a single missing tooth and eliminating the need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth.
Implants can be used to replace and support individual crowns or bridges. Support from adjacent healthy teeth is not necessary because implants act as replacement tooth roots.
In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant-supported dentures and full bridges are designed to be a stable and effective long term solution. Implants eliminate the need for adhesives to keep dentures in place.
Dental Implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth and provide a superior alternative to traditional dentures. Unlike dentures, implants do not require an intrusive support structure positioned within the mouth. Instead, the dental reconstruction (or crown) is fixed directly to a titanium rod that is implanted directly into the jaw bone.
Following a detailed initial consultation with our experienced Implant Dentist, your treatment begins with the fixing of titanium support rods into the jaw bone. Sometimes the jaw bone itself needs to be built up before this begins – a process known as augmentation. Our experienced dentist will decide exactly which course of treatment is required. Following fitting of the titanium support rod (or implant) a period of time is needed for the implant to integrate with the surrounding jaw-bone and gum line.
During this period you will be fitted with temporary crowns.
When the implant is fully integrated, the permanent crown will be fixed in place using very strong dental fixative.
Dr. Pedro Gutierres
Dental implants are usually the tooth replacement treatment´s choice. They can be described as a long lasting fixture that can integrate with the bone to provide support for tooth crowns and dentures. They look and feel just like natural teeth.
Your jawbone begins to shrink from lack of stimulation. Losing your teeth will affect your smile and change the shape of your face, causing lines and you to look prematurely aged.
Dental implants are suitable for most adults who are in good general health and have healthy gums. They aren’t suitable for children and young people under 16 because the underlying bones are still growing.
Your dentist may not recommend dental implants if you:
• have had radiotherapy to your jaw area
• have uncontrolled gum (periodontal) disease
• have very high cholesterol or uncontrolled blood sugar levels (uncontrolled diabetes)
The vast majority of patients with missing tooth/teeth are candidates for dental Implants. However, each patient is different. Make sure you tell us about any medical problems you have, and we will let you know if implants are an option for you.
Implants can last many years if cared for properly and with regular dental check ups/hygiene visits.
Dental Implants have an extremely high average success rate of over 95%. Implants have higher success rates then when compared to other tooth replacement methods such as removable dentures. They are considered widely as the method of choice to replace missing or failing teeth.
All dentistry procedures and particularly complex ones like implantology start with a detailed consultation with Dr Gutierres. During this meeting, Dr Gutierres will discuss and agree with you exactly which treatment is appropriate for you and a personalised treatment plan will be developed. Dental implants often prove to be a better alternative to traditional dentures because they are permanent, very natural looking, do not require intrusive support structures and fully restore tooth and mouth function. Our many delighted patients report that this has significantly improved their confidence and self esteem.
Over the long term, dental implants are a viable alternative to traditional dentures as they require minimal ongoing intervention from the dentist. We will be pleased to discuss costs and finance options with you.
These ‘new teeth’ are maintained in much the same way as normal teeth. Specific brushing and flossing techniques will be taught. On your regular dental check ups the implants are to be reviewed. Good oral hygiene is required to ensure the long-term success of your implants.
If the titanium fixtures have successfully integrated to the bone and are properly maintained, they should last for many years. However, just as you would expect conventional crowns, bridges and fillings to need occasional repairs or replacements during the course of their lifetime, your implant-supported teeth may also need similar maintenance.
The exact number of implants depends on the number and location of the missing teeth, volume and quality of the bone on the area. If you are missing one tooth, one implant is usually what will be required to replace it. Bigger gaps of two or three missing teeth do not necessarily require one implant per tooth. It may be possible to replace wider gaps with a smaller number of implants through an implant bridge.
If you have no teeth on the top jaw, because the bone is generally not as strong as on the bottom, most cases will require a minimum of 6 implants to support a complete arch with 10-12 replacement teeth.
Even if you have no teeth on the bottom, the bone on the front of the jaw is often very dense which results on less implants being required to treat the full arch. Although in many situations it is possible to provide a simple treatment plan using only 4 implants, it is more common to use 5 implants to replace all the bottom teeth.
If an implant fails to integrate with the surrounding bone, it means that it has not achieved a rigid fixation. It will eventually become loose and will not be able to support a replacement tooth. Commonly there is no discomfort with the failing implant and because it will become loose it be easily removed. If there are other implants remaining it may not even be required to replace it at all.
Nevertheless, if you decide to have implant treatment you must be prepared to deal with the possibility that failures can happen and may not always prove to be so easy to deal with.
Implant treatments are a reliable treatment modality with failing implants accounting on the region of 5-8%. In practice this could mean that 1 in 20 of the implants placed might not survive in long-term function. It is a good idea to talk about how an implant failure might affect your treatment plan before you start the treatment.
More about Dental Implants
Stage 1: Assessment and planning
Your first appointment will be to discuss your treatment and often involves taking x-rays and photographs. We will explain which methods are available to replace the missing teeth and we will discuss with you which one is most suitable. During the initial patient consultation we will set out a specific treatment plan to best suit your individual case and answer any questions you might have.
Stage 2: Implant placement
A relatively simple minor surgical procedure is performed under sterile conditions in the dental surgery under local anaesthesia and, if indicated, supplemented by conscious sedation.
Stage 3: Integration period
Although some implants can be loaded into function immediately, or soon after surgery, it is often suggested that a period of three months or more be allowed for the implant to fully integrate before placing the tooth restoration on top of the implant.
Stage 4: The restorative phase
Once integrated, the implants may need to be uncovered and can be brought into function with a variety of restorations, ranging from a single crown, small or large bridge, or, if preferred, a removable overdenture clipped to the implants.
Stage 5: Maintenance
Following the completion of implant treatment, patients need to clean thoroughly around the implants, as instructed by the Oral Hygienist. They should attend their dentist for regular review so that the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and the integrity of the restoration can be checked.
Types of Implant
A Sinus Lift is a bone grafting procedure used when replacing missing teeth with dental Implants. The purpose of a Sinus Lift is to add volume to the bone of your upper jaw. This is done when there is not enough bone to accommodate and support a dental implant when replacing one of your back teeth.
An implant-supported bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing, leaving someone’s mouth with a wider tooth gap. It is also used when there is concern that you might put too much pressure on individual implants that are not connected to each other.