Dental implants are the most reliable solution for teeth replacement. They are permanent, fixed and designed to look and feel like natural teeth.
World-renowned implant system
At Hawthorn East Dental, we use the very latest specialist grade AstraTech EV implants. AstraTech (Dentsply inc.) is a Swedish company that pioneered the modern day parallel dental implant. Since the Eighties, many specialist surgeons and other competitive companies have used AstraTech implants as a benchmark to compare success rate and longevity.
What is an implant?
Dental implant is a dental prosthesis, made of specialized medical-grade titanium, that bonds intimately to the jawbone. The implant itself is divided into two components: the Fixture that replaces the root of a tooth and the Prosthesis that replaces the tooth/teeth on top. Because of this, the whole implant procedure occurs in two steps: The Surgical Phase and The Prosthetic Phase.
The Surgical Phase
Following thorough assessment and planning, involving computed tomography (Cone-beam CT Scans), the implant fixture is careful placed into the area of missing tooth. The surgery generally takes one visit and sometimes can be done together when the tooth is removed. After the fixture is placed, the internal area is covered with a special protector known as a healing abutment, or in some cases, a cover screw.
The implant is then allowed to ‘rest and heal’ for around 3 months, where bone slowly grows into the threads of the fixture. This biologic process is known as osseointegration.
You can choose to have this procedure done under local anaesthesia in the dental chair or in hospital under general anaesthesia. We will consult with you to establish your suitability, the time required and a cost estimate for the procedure.
Success or failure of implants depend on the general health of the person receiving it, medications taken, and of course oral health and hygiene.
Once the implant is well integrated, the prosthetic phase begins.
The Prosthetic Phase
This phase involves the placement of prosthesis on top of the fixture(s). The prosthesis can range from a single tooth to a complete upper and lower arch replacement. It can also be either permanently fixed or in some cases, removable.
Where the prosthetic is fixed, the crown, bridge or denture is fixed to the fixture(s) with either retention screws or specialized cement. Where the prosthetic is removable, a corresponding adapter is placed in the prosthetic so that the two pieces can be secured together.
When replacing multiple teeth, the number of implant fixtures (anchor points) will be less than that the number of actual teeth replaced. A well-known example of this is All-on-4. This is where a full-arch prosthesis is anchored on only 4 implant fixtures. The exact number of fixtures needed depends on the jawbone quality and quantity of the individual and will be assessed in the planning stage.
The procedure to construct an implant prosthetic is quite straightforward. A high accuracy impression is taken with specialized attachments known as impression coping and complimenting laboratory analogue. This impression, which mimics your teeth and implants exactly, is then sent to a precision lab to construct the prosthesis. Construction takes 2 weeks and once it arrives back, it’s simply a matter of attaching it to the implant fixtures.
At Hawthorn East Dental, we use the very latest in implant surgical innovations and protocols to give you the best possible outcome.
Implant placement generally follows five steps:
1. Consultation – We will consult with you to establish your suitability, the time required and costing. We take moulds and CBCT scans of your teeth and jawbone to establish a precise treatment pathway.
2. Surgery – A minor surgical procedure that can be done under local anaesthetic or under general anaesthesia in hospital. Healing time is very quick with most patients experiencing much less discomfort than a tooth extraction.
3. Review – We will review two weeks after surgery and again three months post-op to have the implant ready for restoration.
4. Impression – Once the implant is secure, a high accuracy impression is taken and sent to the laboratory to construct the crown/prosthesis on top.
5. Finished product – Once the crown/prosthesis arrives, it will be carefully and precisely attached to the implant. We will review once again after two weeks.