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Dental Implants

In October 2015, Matt became one of the first in Australasia to gain the prestigious qualification of a Diploma in Implant Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland. This examination assessed Matt’s knowledge of all things related to Implantology, Oral Medicine and General Dentistry.

Since 2011, Matt has been certified to practice IV Sedation and was accredited with a Level 6 Advanced Life Support status. This enables Matt to offer comprehensive implant and restorative treatment options to nervous patients. 

What is a Dental Implant?

A Dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone. Once fused to the bone, crowns and bridgework can be attached to the implant. 

Dental implants can in many cases be the preferred treatment to replace a tooth or teeth lost following an injury or through periodontal (gum) disease. 

Dental implants have many uses in dentistry, eg: 
▪    To replace single or multiple teeth without affecting the adjacent teeth 
▪    To support bridgework or replace a partial denture 
▪    To help support or secure upper or lower dentures 
▪    To replace a mouthful of teeth using the screw retained “All-on-Four” concept

Dental implants are a natural-looking tooth replacement option. They can provide patients with increased freedom and confidence by restoring an unsightly gap in their smile or a denture which never stays in one place, making eating difficult. In many cases dental implant teeth can be made to look and feel like one’s own teeth. Under the right conditions and with the appropriate maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. Ongoing long-term studies show that dental implant treatments generally exhibit predictable and excellent success rates. 

Smoking, poor oral hygiene and changes in a patient’s systemic general health can compromise an implant’s long-term success.


Am I a candidate for Dental Implants? 

Generally, you need to be in good general health as well as having a healthy mouth. Dental implants are reliant on adequate jawbone to allow placement and for good retention of the dental implant. It is important that, if you are considering dental implant treatment, there is no active periodontal (gum) infection present in your mouth as this can have a negative effect on your dental implant treatment. We offer a comprehensive hygiene service to help you achieve this.

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Follow-up Care

Just like teeth, dental implants require careful and thorough daily cleaning (oral hygiene) at home and regular dental check-ups. Dental implants are very much like your natural teeth and will require similar care both at home and at the dentist. 

The right brushing technique, flossing and keeping the plaque levels in the mouth to a minimum are all important for the long-term health of a new dental implant.

Following the completion of dental implant treatment, the hygienist and dentist will collectively develop the best maintenance program for their patient. Follow-up appointments for the rest of the patient’s life are necessary to monitor the health of the bone and gum around the implant tooth, as well as overall gum health.

In NZ, the cost of an implant can vary between $3k and $8k. This is dependent on the site of implant placement, the need for bone grafting and the type of restoration to go on top.

Additional Procedures in Implant Dentistry

Ridge Augmentation (Bone Graft):

Bone defects in the upper and lower jawbone may result following the loss of teeth, trauma or infection. Such damage to the jawbone may leave inadequate bone volume to place dental implants. To overcome this problem it is possible to lift back a portion of the gum and place a bone graft or a bone substitute to build up the jaw and regenerate some of the lost bone. 

This can be undertaken as a separate procedure or, in some cases, in conjunction with the dental implant placement depending on your circumstances. Ridge augmentation techniques help to enhance appearance and increase the chances for long-term success of a dental implant. These surgical techniques are intricate and technique-sensitive and as such require an experienced hand. 

Sinus Augmentation (Bone Graft): 

In many cases loss of the upper molar teeth can be compromised by poor bone quality and quantity. The key to successful implant treatment is adequate bone quality and quantity. The back part of the upper jaw is an area in which a portion of the sinus cavity can be found. 

This creates difficulties for implant placement unless sinus augmentation (bone grafting) is undertaken. Sinus augmentation is a specialised surgical technique in which the sinus floor is gently raised to develop bone and allow for a more ideal dental implant placement. 

Matt was one of the first in NZ to utilise Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) therapy in promoting wound healing with less pain and inflammation. He uses this technique to enhance sinus bone grafting procedures and reduce the risk of post-operative complications.

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