DENTAL IMPLANT CENTRE
67 Nelson Road, Boxhill
3128 Victoria, Australia.
Phone: +61 3 98981877.
665 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
3039 Victoria, Australia.
Phone: +61 3 93751600 or +61 3 93757053
Dental Implant Overview
Dental implants replace missing teeth. They are screw-shaped and are placed in the jawbone in positions similar to those of teeth that have been lost. Their success is due to the fact that the bone of the jaw forms a bond with the implant, so that the implant is firmly anchored in the bone. Only dental implants made from titanium metal undergo this unique bonding process.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Function - Dental implants function in a similar way to natural teeth.
Appearance - Besides good function, implant-supported teeth are designed to look like natural teeth both to you and to others.
Confidence - With dental implants, you know your teeth are stable while eating, and you are able to speak properly. As well, the sore gums and bulkiness sometimes associated with dentures is eliminated.
Security - The long-term safety and effectiveness of replacing lost teeth with dental implants is well established.
The Treatment Process: 3-stage team-based approach
Treatment with dental implants involves a small team, whose key members are:
Implant treatment takes place in a number of stages over a number of months. Before starting, a treatment plan must be finalised, and involves clinical examination of the mouth, x-rays, plaster models and photographs. A special type of x-ray examination, a CT scan, will often be required.
The first stage consists of placing the implants in the bone. For a single implant, treatment is commonly carried out under a local anaesthetic (injection in the mouth). For multiple implants, treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia (fully asleep), usually as day surgery.
After 3 - 4 months, Professor Ferguson uncovers the top of each implant and an abutment is connected. The abutment is the titanium metal post which projects through the gum, and on which the new crown or bridge will be built. Sometimes "healing" abutments are placed for a few weeks until the gum is tightly healed, before the final abutment is placed. This treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthesia, unless multiple implants are involved. More frequently now this "second stage" is eliminated by the healing abutment being placed at the time of "first stage" surgery.
This last phase of treatment is undertaken by Doctor Judge and involves construction of the final crown or bridge (see Picture 4). This part of the treatment will start about 4 weeks following the previous stage of abutment connection, about four months after the implant fixture has been placed in the bone.
Implant failure - There are virtually no recorded instances of allergy to titanium metal, so the possibility of the implant being ''rejected'' does not arise. However, occasionally the bond between the bone and the implant, necessary for the success of the implant, does not occur. This involves about 2 - 3% of all implants and the reason is not fully understood.
Discovery of this failure normally occurs at the time of second stage, and the implant will then often be immediately replaced with a larger diameter fixture. This second fixture has then the same high probability of successful integration as the original. Replacement of a failed fixture does add extra time to the treatment process.
Dental implants have a high success rate, which has been scientifically documented over 35 years.