Dental implants are a secure, strong and effective way of replacing missing teeth. They use a post planted in the jaw bone to support a replacement tooth, acting like the root of a natural tooth. Implants can also be used to support fixed bridges or dentures.
Why have a Tooth Implant?
Teeth can be lost as a result of gum disease, dental decay and injury. Having a missing tooth can greatly impact self-confidence, especially if the gap is visible when you smile. While there are different options available for replacing missing teeth, implants are the best solution as they are long-lasting, secure, and strengthen your jaw. Implants are also incredibly versatile and can even be used to retain dentures.
What is involved in having an implant placed?
It takes several appointments for us to place an implant and restore a missing tooth. We start with an initial consultation where we discuss in detail your treatment plan and how long we envisage the treatment will take.
We take x-rays and scans of your mouth so we can get a clear picture of your jaw. It’s important that there is enough bone density to support an implant. We use these x-rays and scans to locate the best spot for us to place the implant. If we are replacing a single missing tooth, the implant will be placed where the tooth root used to be.
Placing the implant
We always use anaesthetic and make sure you are completely at ease when having the implant placed. We place a temporary crown or bridge at the site to keep the area protected while the implant fuses and heals. It takes a few months for the implant to fully fuse to the jawbone. Once it has healed, we arrange the top of the implant to be exposed from the gum so we can take impressions of the area.
Preparing for the restoration
Whether you are having a crown or a bridge affixed to your implant, we will need to take impressions so we can create perfect replacement teeth. These impressions are then used by a dental lab where your new teeth will be made from tooth-like porcelain. Once they have been crafted and sent back to us, we arrange for the fitting.
Fitting the replacement teeth
The fitting makes the treatment worth the wait when you can see yourself with a full smile again. We test the crowns or bridge before fitting in place to check the fit and make sure that you are happy with the end result. We then fix them in place to the implant abutment using a special dental adhesive.
Looking after your Dental Implants
Just like with natural teeth, implants will last longer if you keep up with a regular and thorough cleaning routine. While the replacement teeth are resistant to bacteria, the supporting gum tissue and bone are not. Keeping your mouth clear of bacteria will make sure your implants last just as long as your natural teeth.
Frequently Asked Question
Many patients with healthy teeth and gums are suitable for implant treatment. However, in some cases, there may not be enough bone density present in the jaw to support an implant. A bone grafting procedure can be performed if necessary.
Dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime if they are properly looked after. This includes maintaining an excellent brushing and flossing routine, looking after your general health and attending regular check up appointments with your dentist.
No, dental implants look and feel exactly like natural teeth. We can match the shape and colour of your existing teeth when creating your final fixed crown or bridge so it blends seamlessly into your smile.
You should treat your dental implants just like natural teeth, and include them in your normal oral hygiene routine. As they are made from artificial materials, your implants are invulnerable to decay or cavities, but you will still need to brush and floss to keep the gum surrounding the implant healthy and problem-free.