Popular Dental Implant Questions

Gum disease is a real threat to oral and general health. In recent years, large-scale epidemiological studies have conclusively demonstrated links between gum disease and a number of systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and even some cancers.

At NQ Surgical Dentistry in Townsville, we treat many patients who have been unaware that they suffer from gum disease. Indeed, gum disease is hugely under-diagnosed in dental practice. Very detailed “periodontal probing” is required to detect the early signs of the disease. Certainly any patient who notices bleeding from their gum when they brush their teeth or use floss should be discussing this with their dentist as it is often the first sign of a problem.

Some patients’ gum disease problems have been made worse by the loss of teeth, and the resulting movement or tipping of the remaining teeth. This is one of several reasons why, when patients have teeth removed, we always discuss with them their future plan for tooth replacement using dentures, bridges or a dental implant.

It is important to replace your teeth as quickly as possible

Your mouth is a delicate ecosystem in which all elements are interdependent and all aspects need to function harmoniously in order to remain healthy. This is why, when a tooth is lost and the ecosystem becomes unbalanced, it can lead to a range of detrimental effects; one of which may be the exacerbation of any pre-existing gum disease or inflammation, or the change in the anatomy which may lead to initiation of gum inflammation that ultimately can lead to further tooth loss!

Replacing teeth “the gold standard”….

With advances in dental knowledge and treatment we are able to provide one of the most stable and effective dental restorations to date – dental implants. As a dental implant does require dental surgery, we know that many of our patients prefer to do some research first. This is why we have compiled several articles to assist patients in their quest for information regarding oral disease and treatments of many different conditions.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is essentially a small titanium screw that is surgically inserted into the site of a missing tooth. The implant is then left to heal and become accepted by the bone, with bone literally growing onto the implant surface. This process called “osseo-integration” can take varying periods of time: from 8-12 weeks in the lower jaw up to 6 months or more in the upper jaw and even longer if extensive bone grafting has been undertaken.

Dental implants can be used as the foundation for a number of systems to replace missing teeth. A single implant may replace a single missing tooth and have a crown attached to the implant. On the other hand, many teeth may be replaced with a few implants by attaching bridges to replace teeth. In the case of the loss of teeth in an entire dental arch, implants can be used to keep a removable denture in the mouth using small precision attachments on the implants. The most extensive and complex restoration would involve the provision of a single fixed screw-retained bridge replacing the entire dentition in one jaw on 6 implants. From this you will understand that there are so many different possibilities and generally implant restorations are extremely versatile.

IS ALVEOLECTOMY PAINFUL?

First of all what is an alveolectomy? An alveolectomy is a form of pre-denture surgery, where areas of the jawbone are reshaped to reduce the chance of ulcers, pain and pressure spots beneath a denture. This leaves an ideal foundation for whatever tooth replacement system is chosen whether it be dental implants, dentures or bridges.

An alveolectomy is a surgical procedure, and simply put – like most other surgeries, patients usually experience some degree of swelling and discomfort after surgery but mild analgesics such as Paracetamol (Panadol) or a stronger mixture of Paracetamol and Codeine (Panadeine Extra) will be more than adequate to control the discomfort. Generally the treatment is performed either in the dental practice with local anaesthetic (with or without intra-venous sedation) or as a day surgery case under general anaesthetic in a hospital or a day surgery facility, and the healing period is assisted by the use of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers.

WHAT IS THE BEST SOLUTION FOR INADEQUATE BONE WHEN OPTING FOR IMPLANTS?

Generally even if there appears to be inadequate bone to allow for dental implant placement, a bone augmentation can be performed to increase the volume of bone available in which to place an implant.
The proposed site for implant placement is first imaged using a 3D scanner, known to most people as a CT scanner, and then surgery can be planned with great accuracy. This often allows for the placement of the implant and bone grafting at the same time.

It is extremely important for the gum tissue to be healthy if implant and bone grafting surgery is to be successful and for good healing to take place. This may be achieved by carrying out root surface cleaning and improving the effectiveness of plaque control. For this reason a number of patients will need to spend some time with the dental hygienist prior to implant surgery.

WHY ARE HEALTHY GUMS IMPORTANT FOR DENTAL IMPLANT TREATMENT?

Healthy gums are not only important for the health of your mouth, but also for the health of your whole body! Unhealthy, inflamed or infected gums can not only cause further tooth loss but they can also cause remaining teeth to become loose and hence eating can become difficult. Unhealthy gums can also significantly lower the success rate of dental implant therapy! In order to provide you with the GOLD STANDARD of dental health care, Dr Colin Priestland will always ensure your mouth is healthy before proceeding to surgical treatment to ensure you get the best outcome.

To discover more about our dental implant solutions or to book a consultation with our friendly team in Townsville, please do not hesitate to contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico 

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