Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular treatment for tooth replacement for many people. The majority of patients in good general health can benefit from the technology.
However, it is important that implants are placed in a healthy mouth.
Implants provide a means of tooth replacement that is as close to your natural tooth as currently possible and which can last as long as your natural dentition.
Implants can also be used as an anchorage to retain dentures or dental bridges.
To begin you will have to attend a consultation appointment. Here they will measure the amount on bone in your mouth, assess your oral hygiene, take x-rays and will give you options on which sort of implant you would like.
Dental implant surgery is usually done under local anaesthetic. This completely blocks pain from your mouth and you will stay awake during the procedure.
You may have a sedative – this relieves anxiety and helps you to relax.
It’s rare, but you may need to go into hospital and have treatment under general anaesthetic. This means you will be asleep during the operation.
The root structure of an implant is constructed with a titanium screw. At the first treatment appointment, an incision in the gum is made and the screw is implanted into your natural bone. Your gum is then sutured, covering the screw. It is then left for 3-8 months to form a secure foundation.
At the next appointment, an abutment is fitted over the top of the screw. The abutment is needed as it is used to support the crown and hold it in place.
Then a crown is fitted over the top, to create a comfortable replacement which looks just like a real tooth.
Once the crown is fitted, you can treat the implant like a normal tooth. This includes brushing and interdentally cleaning.
It is also possible to use implants to support more than one tooth. For example, it is possible to place 2-4 implants to hold a full set of dentures. By fitting the dentures to implants you will get more stability and it can help improve confidence knowing that the dentures cannot move.
Your dentist will be able to advise you on the most appropriate treatment for your needs
Benefits of dental implants
Improved appearance – Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
Improved comfort – Because they become part of you, dental implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
Durability – Dental implants are very long lasting and with good care, many dental implants can last for at least 10 years.