Boxhill address
67 Nelson Road, Boxhill
3128 Victoria, Australia.
Phone: +61 3 98981877.
Moonee Ponds address
665 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
3039 Victoria, Australia.
Phone: +61 3 93751600 or +61 3 93757053

Mt. Waverly address
Suite 3, 370 Blackburn Road, Mt. Waverley
Victoria 3149, Australia.
Phone: +61 3 98031288

Implant FAQ

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

9) How long do implants last?
The literature shows that implants have been studied in the mouth for up to 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.

10) What happens if my implant fails?
The chances of implant failure are low however in our experience the failure of 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.

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 anterior region but sometimes in the posterior region 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.

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.

Oral and Maxillofacial FAQ

1) Do I need a referral to see Professor Ferguson?
Not everybody needs a referral to see an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, however if you are going to claim a Medicare rebate for certain types of treatment, you will need a referral.

2) Why can't my own dentist take my tooth or teeth out?
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons have substantial training and experience in removing difficult teeth or wisdom teeth. This can make it a more pleasant experience for the patient.

3) Why do I have wisdom teeth?
The most commonly held theory is that because humans are in an evolutionary phase of developing smaller jaws, the teeth are not necessarily becoming smaller therefore there is not enough space for all the teeth. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and thus often have no space left to grow into the mouth

4) Can I have my surgery in hospital?
Many patients choose to have their surgery carried out under general anaesthesia in hospital. Professor Ferguson operates at a number of private hospitals, where you will be well cared for and can have your surgery whilst you are asleep.

5) Will I need time off work if I have my wisdom teeth out?
Most patients will need some time off work after having a number of teeth out. You can discuss this at your first visit. You can also be given a medical certificate for the time you need to take off work.

6) Will I be able to eat after my surgery in hospital?
After surgery the nurses will offer you something to eat or drink, when you are feeling well enough. We will give you an instruction sheet to help you choose the sorts of foods you should be eating for the following days while your mouth is healing.

7) I have a lump in my mouth, can Professor Ferguson look at it and tell me what it is?
Yes, Professor Ferguson is a specialist who can advise and treat all conditions occurring inside the mouth. . Dealing with such problems is an important part of oral surgery practice.

8) Why does my child's Orthodontist want us to see Professor Ferguson?
Many children or adults having orthodontic treatment have too many teeth for the size of their jaws. Some of these teeth need to be taken out, and this may also include the wisdom teeth. This makes more room for the Orthodontist to straighten the remaining teeth.

Prosthodontics FAQ

1) How long does a crown last?
The literature suggests that a crown will last between 15-20 years. This is an average value. Some crowns may last for longer and some may last for less. They tend to fail due to de-cementation and or decay underneath the crown. Sometimes they may fracture but also be repaired in the mouth. The amount of decay of the tooth underneath the crown will decide the simplicity or otherwise of a replacement crown.

2) How long do my teeth stay bleached?
The evidence suggests that if the patient moderates their intake of tea, coffee and red wine, that bleaching lasts for at least 4 years. Beyond this it is a simple measure using conventional techniques to top up and re-bleach teeth.

3) How is my denture held in place?
The partial denture and available teeth often clasps fit to the outside of the adjacent teeth and hold the denture into place by friction or resistance to the teeth. In the case of full dentures, the upper dentures are held in place acting as a suction cup attached to the upper jaw. The retention of the lower denture is not so stable and is basically held in place by the actions of the lip and the tongue however it is never as stable as the upper full denture.

4) Why does my tooth need to be prepared prior to the placement of a crown?
A crown is a benefit to teeth in that it can hold the residual tooth structure together increasing its resistance to biting forces. Also it replaces the outside of the tooth in some instances to make the tooth more aesthetic by replacing the discoloured enamel and filling material with new glazed porcelain. In this instance the preparation of the tooth allows a new "skin" to be placed on to the tooth.

5) What is the best material that my crown can be made of?
There are several materials that crowns can be made of including gold, ceramic, ceramic fused to metal and resin type materials. The material that is used is decided upon on a case by case basis. For instance if strength is required, gold is the material of choice. If aesthetics and function are required, porcelain fused to metal is an appropriate material. If aesthetics is of a high priority then ceramic is used. In cases where the crown is to be a long-term provisional restoration then a resin composite material is appropriate.