Seek help to replace missing teeth
IF you're tired of losing your teeth, it could be time for dental implants.
Face Value Dental's principal dentist Malcolm Duff said dental implants offered a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth.
He said that once placed in the jaw, an implant could support one or more prosthetic teeth that could look, feel and function like natural teeth.
The implant itself is a metal post shaped like a screw that is used to replace the root of a missing tooth in the jaw. Once inserted, the jaw bone grows around the implant over time, holding it securely in place while also helping to support the jaw.
"The implant will initially be covered with a temporary crown while the gum heals and implant fuses with your jaw," Dr Duff said.
"Later this is replaced with a fixed crown or bridge designed to blend with natural teeth, or the implant can support a removeable denture if preferred."
For bigger issues, arch implants are another option, enabling dentists to replace a row of teeth using four to six implants.
When it comes to the procedure itself, Dr Duff said patients were given sedation to numb pain and discomfort, usually in the form of local anaesthetic into the gum.
After the procedure, over-the-counter pain relief and extra care eating helps to aid recovery.
"Depending on the type of implants you have, the dental implant procedure can take many appointments over six months or more, if you to need to wait for the implant to bond with your jaw," Dr Duff said.
"Recovery from each stage of the implant treatment will normally last a few days to a week.
To improve recovery time and chances of a successful treatment, it is recommended to:
• Eat soft foods while gums heal
• Get plenty of rest and avoid exertion
• Brush and floss teeth (and implant) as normal
• Have regular check-ups with your dentist
For those not sure about the idea of implants, other alternatives include dentures or a dental bridge.
"Dental implants are the most complex and expensive option for replacing teeth, but they're also the only option that supports the jaw and helps to prevent bone loss," Dr Duff said.
"As implants are secured in the jaw, you won't have to avoid certain foods which would usually be advised if you have dentures or a bridge."
To find out more about dental implants and the other services offered at Face Value Dental, see www.facevaluedental.com or phone 07 3221 0677.