Generally speaking, provided a person has a fully mature jaw and is in good overall and oral health, they are potentially a suitable candidate for implants. However, a patient must have sufficient bone in their jaw to support a dental implant.
A lack of bone doesn't mean they can't have implants, but a bone graft may be required before dental implant surgery.
Certain medical conditions can also affect implant suitability, such as uncontrolled diabetes and a weakened immune system. Patients from Sunshine Coast that smoke should also be willing to quit before the entire dental implant procedure as smoking can negatively affect the healing process.
The implant procedure is not a quick fix solution to missing tooth replacement and is carried out in multiple stages with time for healing in between. As a result, dental implants in the Sunshine Coast can take between 6 to 9 months and often longer. Here are the various stages of the implant procedure.
- An initial consultation at our clinic in Sunshine Coast to determine if a patient is suited to dental implants.
- A comprehensive oral examination, X rays, and 3D scans to create a treatment plan.
- Optional pre-treatments such as dental extraction, a bone graft, or sinus lift to prepare the mouth for implant surgery. These treatments, if required, can add 3 to 9 months to the overall duration of the implant procedure.
- Dental implant surgery to place the dental implants. Sunshine Coast patients will have to wait several weeks or months after surgery for their implants to fuse with the bone in their jaw.
- Another short surgery to place the abutment once the implant post has fully healed. This component is what connects the implant with the prosthetic tooth. Sometimes, however, the abutment is placed simultaneously with the dental implant.
- Placement of the dental crown a couple of weeks later to complete the restoration.
Ultimately, the length of the dental implant procedure depends on a patient's oral health, whether any additional treatments are required, and their ability to heal.
Dental implants have proven to last for several decades, but it depends on how well a patient cares for them.
It's imperative for patients to follow the aftercare instructions of their Sunshine Coast dentist for their implants to stand the best chance of success. Infection and gum disease are the number one cause of implant failure, so it's critical for patients to maintain good oral hygiene, not just following the surgery but for the rest of their lives.
While the titanium implant post can last indefinitely, a dental crown will likely need replacement around the 15-year point.