Teeth can be lost for a number of reasons including decay, trauma, infection or gum disease. Tooth loss can result in a whole host of problems. Implants can improve how you eat and speak, prevent shrinkage of the jawbone, and keep existing teeth firmly in place. Implants are truly life changing.
Dental implants are the best-known treatment to replace single or multiple missing teeth because they feel and behave just like natural teeth. You won’t be able to tell the difference, and after a while it’s likely you’ll forget they’re even there.
An implant is a small, titanium cylinder that is placed in the jawbone and can be looked upon as an artificial tooth root. The implant thus serves as a base for your replacement teeth, whether that’s a dental crown, fixed bridge or denture.
The procedure to place implants to replace single missing teeth is straightforward and usually involves a simple surgical procedure.
Once a crown is placed over the implant it appears indistinguishable from a natural tooth, blending in with your existing teeth so you feel confident that you have your natural smile back.
Implants can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth and are a particularly attractive option for dealing with large gaps. It is not necessary to have one implant per tooth. Continuous gaps can be served by replacing missing teeth with a bridge supported by implants, which reduces cost and complexity as well as producing a better result in most instances.
Quite often we are able to give patients permanent fixed teeth where they have originally had dentures or very large gaps, and this can be truly life changing.
Why have Implants?
- Unlike ill-fitting dentures, which can have a tendency to move around uncomfortably in your mouth, implants stay firmly in place.
- Implants help protect the jawbone by keeping it stimulated and they prevent existing teeth from moving around.
- They eliminate the speaking and chewing problems that may be caused by missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures.
- They can provide a significant boost to your confidence by restoring your smile.
What does the Treatment Involve?
- We carry out a full assessment of your general health, how your teeth fit together, your oral health and the volume of your jaw bone. If we discover you have insufficient bone volume, you may need a grafting procedure to allow for the successful placement of implants.
- The titanium implants are placed in the bone under a local anaesthetic using a relatively simple surgical procedure.
- Titanium is very well tolerated by the body, so over a few months, the implants will bond with the bone – a process known as osseointegration.
- Once settled in and fully healed, we can fit replacement teeth to the now firmly positioned implants.
Looking after your Implants
You need to maintain good oral hygiene following treatment to ensure your implants remain trouble-free. If well looked after, with a regular brushing and flossing routine, they can last for over 15 years. You should also attend regular check-ups so your dentist can make sure your implants stay in great condition.