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General FAQ

Oral and Maxillofacial FAQ

Prosthodontics FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions - General FAQ


  1. What are implant teeth? Are they the same as the screw-in teeth I have heard about?
  2. Why do I see two Specialists?
  3. Will the surgery to place the implant be painful?
  4. How will I look?
  5. Is it expensive?
  6. Does it take a long time to get an implant?
  7. Can my treatment be done in hospital?
  8. Will the TAC or Workcover pay for an implant?
  9. How long do implants last?
  10. What happens if my implant fails?
  11. Will I have a tooth in place during my implant therapy?
  12. How often do we need to see Professor John Ferguson and Dr. Roy Judge during the implant therapy?

 

 

1) What are implant teeth? Are they the same as the screw-in teeth I have heard about?
Implant teeth replace natural teeth in the most functional and realistic manner. Some people call them screw-in teeth, because the titanium implant is screwed into the bone of your jaw where the root of the natural tooth used to be. The implant acts like the root of your own tooth to which the new crown will be attached.

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2) Why do I see two Specialists?
The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will arrange for the actual implant to be placed into the jaw. This can be done in the dental chair or for multiple implants may be done in hospital under an anaesthetic. The Surgeon will look after your care for approximately 3 to 4 months whilst the implant becomes integrated with the bone. When the implant is stable and the healing stage complete you will then see the Prosthodontist, who will make the crown or tooth to attach to the implant. This will look and feel like a natural tooth.

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3) Will the surgery to place the implant be painful?
Some people experience mild discomfort for the first day after an implant has been placed. This is easily dealt with by using mild painkillers.

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4) How will I look?
With skilled prosthodontic treatment, your implant will be indistinguishable from your own teeth. Great care is taken to match your teeth. Nobody will know you have an implant if you choose not to tell them.

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5) Is it expensive?
When you consider the cost of bridges, or look at other dental options for replacing missing teeth, by comparison implants are not expensive as they are regarded as a long term solution and do not damage adjoining teeth.

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6) Does it take a long time to get an implant?
It may seem that implant treatment takes a long time After the implant is placed, it is necessary to wait for 3 to 4 months whilst the implant becomes attached to the bone This is followed by fitting of the crown.

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7) Can my treatment be done in hospital?
Yes, many patients find this a more comfortable option, and this can easily be arranged for you, as Professor Ferguson operates at several private hospitals.

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8) Will the TAC or Workcover pay for an implant?
In appropriate cases TAC and Workcover will pay for the cost of implant treatment, subject to prior approval with which we can assist you by making application on your behalf.

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9) How long do implants last?
The literature shows that implants have been studied in the mouth for more than 30 years. They seem to last very well up to this point. Beyond that we do not have valid data. However considering the good 30 year history one would hope and suggest that implants would last much longer.

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10) What happens if my implant fails?
The chances of implant failure are low however in our experience the failure of an implant is not catastrophic. It is simply removed and replaced with an implant which is slightly larger in dimension. Of the implants that we have replaced we have had no subsequent failures.

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11) Will I have a tooth in place during my implant therapy?
In most instances we are able to have a temporary tooth over the implant throughout the treatment phase. This is especially important in the front of the mouth. Sometimes in the back of the mouth where a tooth is not visible, in consultation with patients we would not provide a temporary in that it is easier for the patient to keep this area clean
.

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12) How often do we need to see Professor John Ferguson and Dr. Roy Judge during the implant therapy?
There is no exact figure however a general guide is that before any work is done the patient will be required to see Dr. Judge on a couple of occasions to ascertain the feasibility of treatment and take appropriate records for the planning of the surgical procedure. Again before the surgical procedure they would have to see Professor Ferguson to work out surgical issues and access to the implant site. The first stage of treatment is usually the placement of the implant, undertaken under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. The implant is normally placed under the gum line. Three to four months later the implant is uncovered by Professor Ferguson and two weeks later the patient returns to Dr. Judge for an impression of the top of the implant and adjacent teeth. This allows construction of a temporary crown or bridge depending on the number of implants placed. The temporary crown or bridge will then be worn for three to four months to allow the gums to heal and to allow modification and fine-tuning of the crown or bridge design, such that the patients expectations are met. When a final crown or bridge design has been developed this is then changed over into a permanent crown or bridge by Dr. Judge.

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