Dental implants are an effective, long-lasting way to replace one or more missing teeth, and can offer an alternative to traditional dentures or bridges. The use of dental implants is a scientifically proven treatment that has been successfully used in the last three decades by qualified dentists and surgeons worldwide.
What is a dental implant?
Implants are titanium posts that are placed in the jawbone to mimic the function of a natural tooth root. These titanium posts eventually fuse with the bone, providing a firm foundation for a crown or bridge.
What are the benefits of getting dental implants?
- Improved appearance – implants look and feel like your own teeth; your smile and the look of your jaw line will also be improved, therefore preserving your facial structure.
- Improved speech – with ill fitting dentures, teeth can slip within your mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. This can be overcome with an implant.
- Comfort – implants fuse with your jaw bones. This means they do not move and therefore feel like your own teeth.
- Reduced bone shrinkage – bone shrinkage around missing teeth reduces when replaced with implants.
- Improved eating – with missing teeth or dentures, people usually have to modify what they eat. Once implants are stable, most people are able to eat and drink as normal.
- Better oral health – since nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are intact allowing easier access to clean between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
- Durable – implants are very durable and should last for many years. With good care, many implants have the potential to last a lifetime.
We carry out a full assessment of your general health, how your teeth fit together, your oral health and we will also take some x rays, models as well as a 3D scan if required, to check the density and volume of your jaw bone.
- Treatment planning:
If you are suitable, we will then work out the optimal position for placement of the implant and how many tooth implants are needed. If we discover you have insufficient bone volume for implants, you may need a grafting or bone regeneration procedure to allow for successful placement of the implants.
- Implant placement:
Implant placement is a small surgical procedure that is carried out under local anaesthetic. During this stage, the implant screw is precisely placed into your jaw bone.
- Healing and permanent tooth replacement:
Implants usually take up to 3 months to fuse with your normal bone. When it has fully healed, we will then fit the permanent crown, bridge or denture onto the firmly positioned implant.
Dental implant aftercare
Once your new implants and the surrounding gum have healed, and your replacement teeth have been fitted, they must be cared for in the same way as normal, natural teeth. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, brush twice daily, floss and visit your dentist and hygienist regularly.
If tooth cleaning is poor, bacteria can build up and cause inflammation. If left untreated, the inflammation can cause bone loss around the implant. Eventually, the implant loses anchorage in the bone, becomes loose and can fall out.
Dental implant success
Healthy lifestyle choices are essential for long-term success of your implant. Smoking restricts healing dramatically. Nicotine in smoke constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the soft tissues, which can affect the immune response. This slows the process of healing and affects the long-term health of gum and bone. Smoking increases the risk that implants may not heal properly after they are placed and makes them more likely to fail over time. The implants can also fail due to a poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of dental care.