WHY CHOOSE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants offer a permanent solution for missing teeth. A dental implant is typically a small screw shaped attachment usually made from titanium. It is essentially a substitute for a natural root. Once osseointegration (when the bone attaches firmly to the implant) has occurred, a replacement tooth can be secured to the top of the implant. The great thing about dental implants is that they can look and feel just like a natural tooth and perform just like one too! You can have multiple implants to support a denture or a bridge.
There are many benefits to having dental implants. They are more comfortable than wearing dentures because there is no movement or slipping as there is with dentures. Dental implants can also be a viable alternative to root canal work, as the teeth which have been subject to root canal treatment can often be more prone to decay. However, implants, on the other hand, never decay and are extremely hard wearing.
When you have lost a tooth there are many adverse effects. The bone where the tooth was will simply disappear and this will have an effect on the appearance of your face. The area where the tooth lay will become sunken showing premature ageing. Implants can work wonders as they will protect the jawbone and prevent this from happening.
What is involved in the implant process?
Initial consultation & Assessment
Firstly, an initial consultation is required to discuss your options and to assess the feasibility of implant treatment. The process is very important as we will give you details of the treatment and answer any questions you may have. At this stage we usually provide a written plan detailing the sequence of treatment and associated cost.
A relatively simple minor surgical procedure that can be performed under sterile conditions in a dental surgery under local anaesthesia and, if indicated, supplemented by conscious sedation. If after assessment the underlying bone is judged to be deficient, a number of options are available for bone regeneration. This may be carried out prior to, or at the same time as the implant placement
Although some implants can be loaded into function immediately or soon after surgery, it is often suggested that a period of three months or more be allowed for the implant to fully integrate before loading. The patient’s own denture or in some cases a simple adhesive bridge, can be worn during this healing phase.
The restorative phase
Once integrated, the implants may need to be uncovered and can be brought into function with a variety of restorations, ranging from single crown, small or large bridge, or if preferred, a removable over denture clipped to the implants. The replacement teeth are constructed by a specialist dental laboratory working closely with the dental surgeon.
Following the completion of implant treatment, patients need to clean thoroughly around the implants as instructed by the dentist. They should attend their dentist for regular reviews so that the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and the integrity of the restoration can be checked.