A dental implant is a titanium metal replacement for the root of a tooth. Implants are implanted into the jaw and support a crown equivalent in appearance to the lost tooth. In the case of multiple lost teeth, it is not always necessary to place an implant for each individual tooth. For example, four teeth missing in a row can be replaced by a four-tooth bridge supported by two implants. An entire arch of teeth in the upper or lower jaw can be supported by as few as four implants. This is commonly known as the “All-On-4™” surgical technique. The All-On-4™ protocol generally takes place in two visits over a period of 2-3 days.
Titanium is used as the material the from which implants are made, as it possesses the unique property of bonding (integrating) with bone, and is thus described as being bio-compatible with the human body. There are very few patients for whom this treatment would not be suitable, although caution is exercised with patients who have bad gum disease and certain medical conditions such as severe diabetes. Dr Ferguson has a wealth of experience in dental implant surgery and works with other clinicians to help restore and maintain patients’ oral health by way of these sophisticated modern treatments.
Key Benefits Of Dental Implants Treatment
Although All-On-4™ dental implants treatment may seem to be costly, it offers a number of key benefits that are unmatched by other options:
- Function: Bridges and crowns supported by titanium dental implants give support that is as strong as that of a natural tooth, allowing the implant-supported teeth to function the same way as natural teeth.
- Appearance: Modern dental technology allows the creation of crowns and bridges that look like real teeth.
- Stability and comfort: Unlike conventional dentures, implant-retained dentures and implant-supported fixed teeth, including All-On-4™ dental implant bridges, stay completely stable while eating and speaking, avoiding any potential for embarrassment or discomfort. The gum soreness that is often associated with the movement of conventional dentures is also completely eliminated.
- Safety: Dental implants have been used clinically since the 1990s, and the high rate of long term success and safety is supported by thousands of peer-reviewed scientific and clinical studies.
Dental Implant Procedures
As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Ferguson’s role is to first plan the overall treatment in conjunction with a restorative dentist. This is followed by the actual surgical procedure of placing the dental implant or implants into the jaw bone. Problem teeth can be removed at the same time if necessary. Once the surgery is complete, impressions of the implants are made and sent to a dental laboratory where custom bridges are made. Depending on the number of implants. The surgery can take place either in Dr Ferguson’s rooms under local anaesthesia or in a hospital. The patient's progress will then be monitored over the following months to ensure that the treatment is successful. Dr Ferguson has a particular interest in using bone grafts if necessary and has decades of experience in treating a range of complex cases. The grafts are harvested from several sites around the jaw and enable the implants to be placed in an ideal anatomical position. Bone grafts are the required technique for restoring regular anatomical integrity following the loss of teeth and associated bone tissue due to an injury or infection.