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Ethos dental in Ringwood cares about its patients. Thats why when we see or think of something that we feel that our patients need to know about, we put our pen to paper and start writing. This is a blog on all things dental, be it dental hygiene, cosmetic dentistry ideas or just plain good habits!

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What are dental implants?

February 3, 2019 Implants

Dental implants are metal posts that are inserted into the jaw where a root of a tooth once was. A crown can then be attached to the metal to fill the missing tooth gap. Dental implants are one to the most successful treatments done to replace missing teeth – the literature quotes a success rate of 95-98%. Compared to a dental bridge or denture, dental implants are a more fixed option. They do not require cutting down healthy teeth and are less likely to get food and bacteria trapped underneath them. On average, dental implants last 10-20 years, provided you take good care of them. Molar implants typically do not last as long as front tooth implants as they naturally receive more wear and tear.

What is the procedure for a dental implant?

First, the tooth is removed and the jawbone is prepared for the dental implant procedure, depending how much bone there is in the jawbone, this can take a while before starting the procedure as assessment has to be done with scans/x-rays. This process may involve bone grafting. The implant root analogue (artificial dental root) is then placed into the jawbone. Once the implant root is placed, the bone is allowed to heal between 3 – 9 months. As this is a crucial step of the procedure, as high chance of failure occurs in this phase, due to infection during healing or body’s own foreign body reaction. As people who smoke or are immunocompromised (diabetics) are more prone to implant failures, due to reduced resistance to bacterial infection and poor healing capabilities.

The dentist will place an abutment to the implant, upon integration of the implant to the jawbone, known as osseointegration. Which is followed by the final restoration, attaching a crown or bridge.

Is a dental implant right for me?

Dental implants are a great option for those who would like to replace their missing teeth. They provide more stability as opposed to a bridge or denture because the metal implant post fuses with the jawbone. Generally, dental implants are suitable for who have a fully grown and healthy jawbone, don’t have gum disease or any conditions that may compromise the immune system’s ability to heal.

Dental implant aftercare

It is important to commit to keeping the implants healthy to maximise their longevity. Regular visits to the dentist as well as good oral hygiene are recommended.