What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw surgically placed in your jaw bone. The titanium screw fuses with your bone over time, and can then be used to support a prosthetic crown, bridge or denture.
Am I suitable for placing a dental implant?
Most patients may have dental implants placed safely. However, if there is insufficient bone height for the placement of the implant, additional surgical procedures such as a bone graft or a sinus lift may be required. In addition, certain medical conditions where there is impaired wound healing may be a contraindication to implant placement. When in doubt, check with your dental surgeon.
How is the implant placed?
X-rays or a CT scan is first taken to ensure there is sufficient height of bone and to verify the position of the implant. The surgical implant placement is usually done under local anaesthetic so it is painless. A small flap is cut in the gums to expose the jaw bone. A hole is then prepared in the bone, and the implant screwed in. The gums are then sutured together over the implant and the implant is allowed to heal and fuse with the bone, usually around 3 months. 3 months later, the implant is re-exposed in a second minor surgery, and the final prosthesis can be fabricated.
How long can the dental implant last?
Success rate depends on how well you’re able to maintain the cleanliness of the dental implant, position of the implant, and quality and quantity of bone around the implant. Current literature generally suggests that if well maintained, dental implants have a success rate of 95%.