When a tooth is missing, a dental implant provides a treatment option that can look natural and function a lot like your own tooth. An implant is not attached to the surrounding teeth, so it is easier to clean than a bridge. Unlike a denture, an implant doesn’t come in and out of the mouth. It is fixed in place, and is constructed to look like a natural tooth. Many patients can even forget it is there!
It can be disappointing to learn that a tooth needs to be extracted. However, modern dental implants can often be used as immediate tooth replacements, meaning the implant is placed at the same appointment the tooth is removed. This can ensure that the tooth replacement process is as efficient as possible, and can also maintain the aesthetics of your smile.
Types of Dental Implants
An implant is not for everyone. Whether or not a dental implant is appropriate to restore a missing tooth depends on the quality of bone that is available. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are eligible for an implant after examining your mouth and taking a scan of the area.
Single Tooth Replacement
The most common type of dental implant is a single unit (including the implant itself, and the crown) which is used to replace a single tooth. This option is an appropriate choice if the teeth surrounding the gap are unrestored, or heavily compromised. Both of these circumstances make a bridge less desirable.
A single dental implant is the closest thing to replacing a natural tooth in a like-for-like way. Modern implants have very good longevity under most circumstances, and all come with manufacturer and laboratory warranties.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
If multiple teeth are missing, two or more implants can be used to support multiple crowns. This is an implant supported bridge. It’s a great option for patients who currently wear a partial denture, and would prefer a fixed, non-removable restorative option. In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to use a single implant to restore two adjacent missing teeth. This however can impact hygiene and may compromise aesthetics.
Implant Retained Dentures
For people who wear full upper or lower dentures, implants can make a very significant improvement to denture stability and retention. Two or more implants are placed with special adapters that clip on to the denture. The denture is still removable for cleaning, but the retention and stability is greatly increased.
We have a transparent fee policy. See our fee schedule so you can make a fully informed decision.
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Make an appointment to discuss your unique dental or restorative needs. We have two locations, Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo.
Please note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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