When it comes to implants, we work closely with the Periodontist who looks after the implant surgery and planning.
Once the implant has been placed and it has integrated and is ready to be restored, Dr Shibata will complete the treatment by restoring the implant crown.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium metal screw which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth.
Are implants safe? How long will they last?
Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.
I have some of my own teeth.
Can I still have implants?
Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants - from one single tooth to a complete set.
Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?
Implant placement may depend on the state of the bone in your jaw. Dr Shibata will refer you to see a Periodontist to assess the amount of bone still present. If there is not enough, or if it isn't healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.
Do implants hurt?
Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or with a general anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.
Can I have the implant restored straight away?
The implant may be restored straight away in selected cases however the implant more commonly requires sufficient time to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw. It may be necessary to fabricate a temporary partial denture if the implant is to be placed in the anterior regions of the mouth.
Each implant treatment duration depends on how complicated your treatment is. Your dentist will be able to give you a timetable once the surgery has been done.
Are the teeth difficult to clean?
Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you'll be shown methods to help.
If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?
Yes, if you don't care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and don't smoke, then you should not have any problems.
Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?
No, unless you're only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.
What if I get hit in the face?
Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. However, if the false teeth are damaged and the remnants are left in the bone then they may be more difficult to remove than natural teeth would be. After healing, new false teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.
What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?
This happens very rarely. If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way. Once the jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there.
Is the treatment expensive?
Unfortunately, yes. However, in many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges.
There are advantages to it, too. An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the healthy teeth on either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can't eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. Implants are a more permanent solution.
Where do I get this treatment?
Dr Shibata will talk through the treatment and create a treatment plan for you to take home and have a think about. You will be referred to a specialist for assessment and treatment and return to the practice for the final stage of restoration.