Dental Implants

Thanks to the technology and science of modern dentistry, teeth can now be replaced with a dental implant which looks and feels like a natural tooth and is functionally strong and secure.

Dental implants have become an extremely popular and effective method to replace missing teeth and or to replace the need of dentures.

Dental implants are made of biocompatible material to the body such as titanium. They are a post like structure of between 8 to 12mm which is surgically placed in the jawbone. Once integrated they can be built up with porcelain teeth.

Dental implants can not only be used to replace missing teeth but also used to stabilise ill fitting dentures and replace all teeth in the mouth.

The process consists of three stages and is spread over a three to six month period.

  1. Firstly the dental implant needs to be surgically placed into the bone. This in many cases is a simple procedure which can be done under local anaesthetic only. If wanted full sedation can occur. Many of our patients describe the procedure being simpler than the extraction of the original tooth.
  2. Once placed, the implant integrates to the bone in a procedure called “Osseo Integration”. The bone grows around it and attaches to the titanium becoming an integral part of the bone. This process of “Osseo Integration” takes approximately 8 weeks in most cases. During the 8 week process, a false tooth may be worn as a temporary.
  3. Once integration has occurred, it is time to build a porcelain tooth to the implant. The procedure is extremely simple for the patient. It includes taking impressions either by putty or optically (see CEREC) and constructing the missing tooth or teeth.

Once the tooth/teeth are manufactured it is screwed or cemented into place. This procedure in most cases is needle-free and is completely painless.

Like all surgical procedure, success is governed by the health of the patient. Smokers, chronic illness, diabetics, cancer and osteo issues may interfere with success.

Careful planning by experienced practitioners is of the upmost importance. Dr Michael Lucas has had over 20 years experience with dental implant restorations and has held positions within committees of the Dental Implant Study Groups.