Implants: Single Tooth
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What’s Involved: Single or Multiple
The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualised treatment plan. This plan is prepared through collaborative consultation with practice dentists and listening to your needs, followed by teeth analysis, x-rays and CT scans where appropriate. For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two dental procedures. First, the titanium implant (replacement tooth root) is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. This procedure is carried out under sterile conditions under local anaesthetic. Although it is entirely painless, some patients elect to be sedated during this phase for extra comfort. During the procedure we may also perform a bone graft, which is sometimes necessary to supplement the bone in the jaw so that the implant can be anchored firmly. This bone comes in granular form and is packed around the implant during its placement.
When a tooth is lost through trauma replacing it immediately with an implant can be desirable. The open socket readily receives the right kind of implant and improves the healing process and reduces the time before the implant can be fitted.
Immediately after surgery, patients are given pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs for the following few days. Although dental implants have a very high success rate and infections after placement are rare, antibiotics are also prescribed at this stage to further reduce the risk of infection. For the next three to six months after surgery, the implant beneath the gum gradually bonds with the jawbone. After this, a healing cap is placed on top of the implant, and impressions are taken and sent to a specialist implant laboratory. Finally, a connector post (known as the abutment) is attached to the implant and your custom-made porcelain tooth is fitted over the abutment. On completion the implant looks and feel just like a natural tooth.