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Look Your Best with Dental Implants in Melbourne

Woman in dentist chair smiling No matter your age, you still want to look and act young at heart, but that can be exceedingly difficult if you have missing teeth. They’re always the first thing you notice in the mirror, and you just know that’s what everyone else sees too. They make you look older, they make it harder to eat, and you’re finally ready to do something about it. Thanks to Dr. Ronald Richardson, you can! He can provide you with dental implants, the most comprehensive and aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option available today. What are they? How do they work? How can you get them? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What Are Dental Implants?

Tooth implant Your teeth are composed of two main parts: the crown (the portion you can see) and the root (the part below your gums). Everyone knows how important the crowns are—they are what makes your smile beautiful and helps you speak and eat comfortably. The roots are just as important, however. They provide essential support to your jaw that enables it to hold your other teeth in place. When a tooth goes missing, this support is lost, and the jaw will typically start to shrink and weaken. While other restorative methods (such as crowns and bridges) replace the crown, dental implants go a step further and actually restore the root as well.

The root itself is actually made of a tiny titanium post. This not only provides a very secure hold for your replacement teeth, but it also prevents the bone loss we just mentioned. No other treatment can do that, and that’s what makes dental implants so special. With this new root, the health of your mouth is protected for the long term.

Of course, that’s just below the gum line. For the crown, a variety of natural-looking dental restorations can be placed. They’ll be primarily made of dental porcelain that can perfectly mimic a tooth in both strength and beauty. In the end, dental implants will give you the next best thing to a real tooth, and they’ll help your smile look and feel better than ever for years to come.

How Can I Get Dental Implants?

Tooth implant If you’re interested in replacing your teeth with dental implants, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richardson. At this appointment, you’ll discuss your goals for your smile and he’ll determine if dental implants are the right treatment for you. If they are, the entire procedure involves 3 main phases:

  • Placement: This is a minor surgical procedure where a small incision will be made into your gums and the implant post(s) will be positioned within your jaw. An extensive and detailed treatment plan will be made to make sure the posts are put in the perfect place.
  • Healing: After the procedure, you’ll be given 4-6 months to heal. Your gums will only need a week or so to heal themselves, so this time is mostly to allow the titanium posts to naturally bond to the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration. This is very similar to how your real teeth work, and it’s another way that dental implants provide a very firm hold. During this period, you’ll be fitted for a temporary restoration so that you’ll never be without teeth.
  • Restoration: Once you are completely healed, you’ll return to Dr. Richardson to have your final restoration placed.

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Dental Implant Cost

Illustration of dental implant If you’re considering dental implants to replace missing teeth, don’t let the cost scare you away. The truth is that dental implants are a worthwhile investment. They not only enhance your smile and help maintain a more youthful appearance, but they also may just end up costing less than other tooth replacement options. A bridge or denture requires regular maintenance and refitting, which can cost you time and money. Dental implants, on the other hand, are designed to last for decades when you practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental checkups.

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Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Woman with flawless smilePrior to starting your dental implant tooth replacement plan, we may need to perform one or more advanced procedures, including bone or soft tissue grafting. These services are necessary when the supportive structures have diminished to an extent that you are less likely to experience successful dental implant placement. Once the bone or tissue graft is in place, our skilled dentist will be able to surgically position the implant posts with improved chances for successful implantation.

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Now, you can enjoy the stability of dental implants when replacing an entire arch of missing teeth. All-On-4 differs from traditional implant-retained dentures because only 4 implant posts are needed. They are strategically placed into the thickest part of the jaw, often eliminating the need for bone grafting. In many cases, Dr. Trantham can fit you with a temporary denture the same day as your placement surgery, so you do not need to go without your teeth.

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Dental Implant Aftercare Instructions

If you’ve just had dental implant surgery, then there are few things you’ll need to do to ease your recovery and help the healing process. For the first 24 hours, take care not to disturb the surgical site. Don’t spit, rinse or touch your mouth. You can and should eat, but stick to a diet of soft foods at first. Drink plenty of fluids, too. Complete your normal oral hygiene routine with brushing and flossing, but avoid any sutures and the implants. Finally, be sure to take the antibiotics Dr. Trantham prescribes and stay ahead of discomfort by taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

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Retained Dentures

If you are missing all or most of your teeth, implant-retained dentures may be the best way to rebuild your smile. Rather than relying on suction or adhesive to stay in place, they’re anchored in the jawbone, a fact that makes them more secure and natural feeling than their traditional counterparts. These restorations may be permanently fixed in place, or they may be removable. Both types of prosthetics offer reliable function and a beautiful, natural appearance.

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How Dental Implants Replace Your Missing Teeth

A single tooth

For this, Dr. Richardson will use an implant-retained crown. It will be made entirely of porcelain, meaning that it will completely blend into your smile and be just as strong as your other teeth.

Multiple missing teeth

An implant-retained crown can also be attached to a row of prosthetic teeth to create a fixed-bridge. If you are missing teeth throughout your mouth, multiple posts can be used to support a partial denture. Both of these versions of traditional restorations are much better for your overall oral health because they do not require any modification of your remaining teeth in order to be placed.

An entire arch of teeth

Dental implants can even be used to support a set of full dentures. When compared to traditional dentures, implant-retained dentures are much more comfortable, maintain their fit for much longer, and even allow for a dramatically stronger bite force. This means that patients will be able to enjoy foods they usually had to avoid while wearing traditional dentures, which often led to malnutrition and poor overall health.

Meet Your Melbourne Implant Dentist

Dr. Ronald Richardson

Dr. Tong Dr. Ronald Richardson is a graduate of West Virginia University and has been in practice for more than 25 years. He has taken numerous courses and received thousands of hours of advanced training in the fields of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, the two primary disciplines needed for implant dentistry. He believes in providing complete dental care, and that means giving his patients functional and beautiful smiles that will last the test of time. He knows how important a person’s teeth are to them, and that’s why he continues to educate himself so he can deliver only the highest quality care to each and every patient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do dental implants work?

A. Dental implants are used to replace the entirety of a missing tooth from root to crown. They are made up of three main parts: a titanium root, a dental prosthetic, and an abutment that connects these two elements. They are simply the best tooth restoration option out there because they provide the ideal medical and cosmetic solution at the same time.

Q. Why are dental implants better than traditional crowns and bridges?

A. Dr. Richardson prefers to use dental implants because they accomplish something crowns and bridges simply can’t: restore the roots of your teeth. This not only provides a much better looking solution, but it also helps maintain the shape and health of your face for years to come.

Q. How do I know if I’m a good candidate for dental implants?

A. Dr. Richardson can determine if you are ready for dental implants at your first consultation, but typically, patients need to be in decent overall health, have stable oral health, and have enough healthy jawbone to support the implants. A bone graft may be necessary before implants can be placed to augment the jaw.

Q. How long does it take to get dental implants?

A. This can vary greatly from person to person. Many people can complete the entire process in less than 6 months, while more complicated cases can often take over a year. Dr. Richardson will be able to map out your particular treatment plan at your first appointment so you can get a better idea of your particular timeline.

Q. How long do dental implants last?

A. Dental implants can be taken care of just like your natural teeth. With regular brushing, flossing, and routine checkups, they can easily last for 30 years or more.

Q. How much does a dental implant cost?

A. The final cost of your dental implant procedure will be based on a few key factors:
  • How many implant posts you need
  • What kind of restoration you want
  • If you have any insurance coverage/financing
Of course, each of these will vary from person to person, and Dr. Richardson can give you specifics at your initial consultation. Many insurance plans have excellent coverage for dental implants, and we also accept financing from CareCredit. While dental implants may cost more upfront than other restorations, they typically do not need to be replaced nearly as often. For many, dental implants are a onetime cost with decades of benefits. Other treatments typically need to be completely replaced every 7-10 years. When considering the long term, dental implants usually are the better financial and medical choice.

Start Rebuilding Your Smile Today!

woman holding a mirror examining her teeth It’s time that you start looking forward to seeing your face in the mirror again. You should be eager to share your smile with the world and feel like nothing can hold you back. With dental implants, we can restore your teeth to their former beauty and help you live the life you deserve.

If you’re ready to start getting your smile back, simply contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.

Our dedicated team genuinely looks forward to serving your every oral healthcare need. Send us an email or call today for a free consultation, and discover the difference our patient-centric approach can make in your next dental experience.

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