Implants offer a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth and is the gold standard option for great looking, natural teeth replacement. Whether not brushing and flossing regularly or catching a cricket ball to the face, losing a tooth is fairly common in this country. The national Oral Health Tracker reports that only half of all Australians brush their teeth twice a day and 90 percent of adults have some form of tooth decay. If you do wind up losing a tooth from decay or an accident, all hope is not lost with accessible dental implants in Sydney. They offer a permanent solution to tooth loss while providing a natural look and function.
Below, inner-west sydney based implant experts Dr Huy Nguyen and Dr Darren Wang addresses most common questions regarding dental implants.
What is a dental implant?
A tooth consists of two main parts which are the crown that’s seen above the gum line used for biting and chewing, and the root that’s embedded in the jaw for holding the tooth in place. A dental implant comes closest to replicating a natural tooth in form, function and feel.
With dental implants, a titanium screw takes the place of the root and is inserted into the jawbone where a tooth is missing. Mimicking the root of the tooth, the screw fuses with the bone and acts as an anchor for the artificial tooth.
The artificial tooth is called a crown which is the only part visible in the mouth. Impressions will be made of the mouth and the remaining teeth before creating the crown so it will fit inside and match the color of the other teeth. The artificial tooth is usually made of porcelain to make it life-like and long-lasting.
Connecting the screw and the crown is the abutment piece of the implant that rests above the gum line. This abutment is fitted into the screw that’s within the jawbone before the crown is either cemented or screwed to the abutment to secure it permanently.
What you’ll get is a replacement tooth that’s just as good as the original so you can eat, smile, laugh, talk, kiss and live the way you want to without worrying about your teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants compared to other treatments?
Beside dental implants, the other options to fill the space of a missing tooth are fixed bridges and removable dentures. A bridge is basically an artificial tooth fused to a metal frame which is anchored on the adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth. Dentures, on the other hand, are false teeth on a flesh-colored acrylic base that is fitted over the gums.
Because the bridge is attached to the surrounding teeth, the device can place a great strain on these healthy teeth and create problems. It can damage natural teeth by contouring and reshaping them to provide space for the dental bridge. The supporting teeth are also susceptible to decay and gum disease that can cause the bridge to fail over time.
In the case of dentures, they can be hard to maintain with specialized cleaning solutions that depend on the materials they’re made from. They can slip around while speaking or eating which can prove embarrassing. Denture-wearers also have to avoid sticky and hard food, and hot beverages that can warp the appliance.
With dental implants, there’s no need to give up your favorite food and drink and drastically change your diet. Your natural teeth will remain unscathed as there’s no need to shave the adjacent teeth to bridge the gap. Day-to-day care of implants is no more complicated than the normal brushing and flossing to keep them clean and shiny.