At Sunshine Coast Smile Centre we offer a comprehensive range of in-house general, cosmetic and dental implant services, which are all performed on site at our practice in Cotton Tree.
A Dental Implant is the most successful form of treatment available for the replacement of missing teeth, offering you teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.
Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, replace uncomfortable dentures or to retain a loose denture.
An implant is a medical-grade titanium screw placed into the jawbone as a substitute for a missing tooth root.
They are allowed to integrate naturally with the bone (a process called osseointegration) before a crown, bridge or fixed denture is fitted to replace one or more missing teeth.
Benefits of a Dental Implant
The benefits of a dental implant are:
- They are a permanent solution to missing teeth
- They are identical to your natural teeth in appearance, feel and function
- They restore your bite by stopping the remaining teeth on either side of the space moving and rotating, which often makes it difficult to chew food efficiently
- They improve the appearance of your smile
- They reduce the appearance of premature ageing and wrinkles
- They help retain bone structure.
Am I a candidate for dental implant?
Most patients, who are in good general health with good oral hygiene, are suitable candidates for dental implants. Prior to the commencement of any treatment, a thorough oral and medical assessment will be conducted on an individual case basis.
However, a small percentage of patients may not be suitable for various reasons. Factors that may prevent some patients from receiving an implant include:
- Existing medical conditions
Certain medications, type II diabetes, psychiatric disorders and alcoholism may prevent some patients from being able to receive dental implants. Our dentists will consult with you in detail about your suitability and may recommend alternative treatments.
- Gum disease / Periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is the main causes of tooth loss in adults. If you have gum or periodontal disease you are still able to have implants, your gums must be treated successfully before placement.
- Currently wearing dentures
If you have worn dentures for a long period you may have lost some bone structure. An x-ray or CT scan will show if this has occurred. Many patients that currently wear dentures are suitable for implants and opt for this treatment as a permanent solution to loose fitting or painful dentures.
- Bone loss
In order to place an implant successfully, it is crucial that you have adequate bone structure in which the implant can integrate. For patients who have experienced bone loss, a bone graft surgical procedure may be required to add height or width to increase the volume of your jawbone.
Prior to the placement of a dental implant a thorough oral and general health examination is required, from which we will provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan. This examination is essential so that Sunshine Coast Smile Centre can determine the most suitable placement option for your implant.
Placed under a local anaesthetic with clinical precision, the procedure involves making only a minor incision in your gumline and your implant being gently guided into its pre-determined position. The incision is closed with a few stitches. Many patients report little to no discomfort and return to work and their normal routine the following day. Should you experience any discomfort after the anaesthetic has worn off, an over the counter pain relief medication can be taken.
After your implant has integrated (usually 3 months later) it is uncovered and an attachment referred to as an abutment is secured. It is to this abutment that your replacement tooth is permanently attached.
A thorough oral hygiene routine is just as important for your implant as it is for your natural teeth. Even though your implant is titanium and your replacement teeth are made from high-grade porcelain, your surrounding teeth and gums are still vulnerable to decay and gum disease. We recommend a dental examination and clean appointment every six months to ensure your implant and natural teeth remain in perfect health.