A dental implant can be used to replace a missing tooth. An implant is a very strong artificial (prosthetic) tooth which essentially mimics the missing tooth. This fixture in the mouth has become a predictable and long-lasting treatment option for replacing missing teeth.
More information about the options to replace missing teeth is available here.
An illustration showing the concept of a Dental Implant, in this case replacing a single missing tooth. Note that the titanium screw replaces the root and a porcelain-covered crown replaces the enamel. The implant is quite separate from the natural teeth.
An implant is a titanium screw, which is surgically placed into the bone in the space where the tooth was lost. The implant screw replaces the root of the missing tooth.
Once the bone around the implant has healed, an implant-retained crown is placed over the top. This crown replaces the top part of the missing tooth.
Implants can also be used to anchor bridges and dentures, to replace multiple missing teeth.
Any surgery or invasive procedure carries risks, about which you will be informed before the treatment is provided. The type and number of surgeries required will depend on the case, and healing times will also vary.
Dr Teo will assess the site’s suitability for implant placement. She will then either place the implant, or where appropriate, refer you to a specialist for the surgical part of your implant treatment. It is critical that the dental implant screw is placed in the ideal position within the jaw: this requires detailed consultation and planning between the specialist (if necessary) and Dr Teo, who attaches the final crown to the implant.
Dr Teo places the crown on your dental implant once healing is complete. You may be referred to one of our specialists for more involved implant restorations such as implant-retained bridges or over-dentures.
Care Of Your Dental Implant
It is important to keep your dental implant free of plaque, in order to prevent gum disease from developing around the implant ‘root’. In most cases, implant care is similar to the care of your natural teeth and involves daily brushing and flossing.
The implant crown will generally be covered in a dental porcelain (supported by underlying metal); the porcelain allows it to be matched to the colour of your nearby teeth. However, porcelain is brittle, just like enamel, so it is possible for porcelain to chip. In most cases the crown can be repaired. If you have a history of grinding your teeth, Dr Teo may recommend that you wear a night guard (occlusal splint) to protect your implant from fracture. Learn more about occlusal splints here.
Dental implants have a very high rate of success, and generally last for many years. You can learn more about dental implants by visiting our articles section on about Dental Implants .