At Endeavour Hills Dental Clinic the dental implants that we place are similar to all dental implants in that they are made of Titanium.
The brand of dental implant that we place is usually Nobel Biocare – a large international company and producer of the original ‘Branemark’ tooth implant.
Implant tooth replacement is a two stage procedure.
First the dental implant is placed during a small surgical procedure and then after allowing a sufficient period of time for the implant to integrate with the surrounding bone, then an implant crown is placed on top of the implant.
It takes three months for the implant to integrate, or six months if there was a bone graft at the same time or if the implant is initially unstable.
During integration, if the implant is initially stable a titanium healing abutment is placed that is smaller than a tooth and cylindrical in shape. If short term cosmetic appearance is important, it may be possible to place a temporary crown on top of the implant that is the same size, shape and colour of the original tooth.
If the implant is initially unstable during integration, a cover screw is placed on the implant and it is completely buried under the gum until it becomes stable. The implant crown is usually screwed onto the underlying implant.
We place the dental implants and the implant crowns at Endeavour Hills Dental Clinic. We have the implant crowns made locally using 3D scanning and CADCAM technology. We choose each crown with the technician based on the individual patient’s needs but they are often made of the metal free material Zirconia.
The main clinical benefit to using a dental implant to replace a missing tooth is that it is retained independently in the mouth and biologically conservative. In other words, the adjacent teeth on either side are not used to support the replacement tooth (as in the case of a dental bridge) saving the need for adjacent teeth to be drilled.
By contrast, a fixed bridge is a restoration that is fixed in place by attaching to the natural adjacent teeth. The way that the bridge attaches is that the neighbouring teeth are “prepared” by removing the enamel layer and are replaced by crowns to which the false tooth is attached. Thus a three-unit bridge is three crowns joined together with the middle crown being the false tooth, with the side crowns cemented or bonded to the neighbouring natural teeth.
Dental Implants last longer than dental bridges and in many cases last a patient’s lifetime, reducing the amount of dental work to be done in future.