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Faqs About Dental Implants

Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to dentures, but they’re not just for elderly patients. They’re more comfortable than removable dentures because they’re custom-fitted to the patient’s tooth, so they don’t bruise or chafe the gums. They also don’t require any special care, so you can eat, brush, and floss, just like you would with your own teeth. Dental implants are built on a titanium base because it’s a hypo-allergenic metal that is less likely to be rejected by your tissues, cells, or bloodstream.

How long do dental implants take?

Your implants are applied in two stages. Your dentist will start with a titanium base that will be attached to your jawbone. It needs to grow into place and fuse with your bone, a process that takes three or four months. Once it has permanently set, your dentist will screw a crown on top of the titanium base. This crown forms the biting (and brushing) surface of your tooth, and will usually be the same colour as your natural teeth.

Can you differentiate them from regular teeth?

The base of the dental implant is titanium, but you can’t really see that portion of the tooth because it’s embedded in the gum and fixed to the jaw bone. The surface of the tooth is covered by a crown, often made of composite or porcelain. If your dentist is skilled, s/he can match it to the exact shade of your other teeth, so you can’t distinguish an implant from a natural tooth just by looking.

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Does it feel different?

The screwed-on crown feels just like an ordinary crown or filling, so no, it doesn’t feel distinctly different. You may be aware of it for a while, just like an ordinary filling, especially if it’s replacing a lost tooth and you were used to the ‘hole’. But after a few weeks, you’ll forget it’s an implant. However, keep in mind that if you whiten your other teeth, your crown will retain its own colour. Fillings (and crowns) don’t respond to whitening formulas.

Is it painful?

You’re having a titanium plate attached to your jaw bone, which is an intricate and complex process involving blood vessels and nerve endings. Dental implants require sedation to manage the pain, and if your dentist uses the right dosage of anaesthesia, you won’t feel any pain. However, once it wears off, you’ll feel residual pain, so your dentist will prescribe an after-care routine that is likely to include safe painkillers. Once they’re in place, implants to don’t slip, crack or break, so they’re unlikely to be painful or damaged in the future.

At what age can you get them?

The assumption is only elders need implants, but you can have them at any age to replace a lost or broken permanent tooth. Majority of dentists advise waiting until age 16 to 18 when most of your permanent teeth have erupted, and your jaw has settled into its mature shape. It’s not typically a treatment offered to children, because their teeth and jaws are still growing so the implant could shift as their jaw expands.

For comfortable, secure, permanent dental implants, call Dental Avenue Maroubra today on 02 9344 8822.

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