Dental Implant Patient Journey
You are a good candidate for dental implants if you
- Are in good health
- Have healthy gums
- Have enough bone to anchor the implants in the jaw
- Are committed to taking care of the implanted teeth with regular brushing and flossing
Consultation and Planning
If you are interested in a dental implant and your general health is good you may be a suitable candidate, the next step is to see if your jaw bones and mouth can support an implant. We do this by digitising the shape of these structures. First small small X‑rays and photos may be taken of the jaws and the surrounding teeth at your consult appointment. Next an intra oral scan of your mouth is made . This is a series of quick “photo like” images which are stitched together by the computer, completing a digital 3D impression of your mouth in a matter of minutes. We use an I tero digital intra oral scanner for this.
Next a 3D X ray — a CT scan — showing the amount and quality of your jawbone is taken This is taken at the Alice Springs Hospital X ray department.
Then a planning meeting is held with Implant Concierge. At this meeting the important jaw structures are examined and measured to see if there is enough healthy bone to support a dental implant in a good position for your chewing or smiling. And to make sure it’s not in the way of any vital structures best left alone. This planning is in 3D and uses the most advanced technologies available.
If you are a good candidate and you decide to go ahead with dental implants, this planned information is transferred to your mouth by a guide used at the time of dental implant placement.
The implant is usually positioned in the jaw in a minor key-hole surgery in the dental chair under sterile conditions and just local anaesthetic. Patients often comment that the procedure was much easier than they thought it would be, and much more straight forward than other dentistry they have had done in the past.
After the Implant is Placed
The root part of the implant ‑the implant fixture- is left to heal. The jaw bone grows onto the implant fixture and the gums around it mature. This is a natural healing process that cannot be hurried. The time for healing depends on your personal health and jaw bones, it is usually 3 months.
Making your tooth/teeth
Once the implant fixture is secure in the jaw bone we can make the implant supported tooth or teeth. This is usually done in two short dental visits.
In the first we collect information using the digital scanner again, and the second we deliver the tooth. We use a scan body to show our partner technicians the exact position of the new implant in relation to the rest of your mouth. Photos and tooth colour matching will also be done.
The dental Technicians use CAD CAM technology to design and make a prosthetic tooth or teeth for you which is accurately fitting and aesthetically optimal.
Our technical support is provided by Australian technicians from Race Dental Laboratory in Castle Hill, NSW. This family owned and operated business is committed to excellence in their field and lead the industry in Digital Dentistry solutions, they provide 100% Australian made, TGA approved materials with written warranty back up. Dr Alison Wissman has worked with Race Dental since 2014.
The second appointment, your tooth is delivered onto your dental implant. These new teeth look like real teeth, they are fixed to the jawbone. They feel like real teeth and they function like real teeth.
Long term care
It is really important to keep your dental implants and the gum tissues around them healthy. Brushing, flossing and interdental brushing will be needed to protect them. We also recomment regular check ups for implants – just like your real teeth.