About Dental Implants
What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants offer the ‘gold standard’ solution to the problem of 'the missing tooth', and can be used to replace several teeth. They can alter the lives of many patients as they can restore appearance, health and the functionality of their mouths. They are essentially man made, titanium rods designed to replace the missing tooth root and provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth.
Conventional crown and bridgework involves cutting down teeth either side of a gap. As stand alone units, implants do not involve the adjacent teeth.
Why should I consider a dental implant?
Poorly fitting dentures often mean you can't eat or speak well, but when attached to an implant they are held securely in place, restoring confidence, function and aesthetics.
Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful and long lasting dental treatments available with over 95% of implants placed still in place and doing well 10 years after placement
Do they work?
Treatment normally involves 3 phases:
Phase 1: The Diagnostic Phase
This is a critical phase. Successful treatment outcomes require meticulous planning and preparation. At the diagnostic stage a detailed implant assessment will be carried out. This will include a detailed medical history and clinical examination to assess each patient’s suitability for treatment. Radiographs and study models will be taken and in most cases we will organise a sectional C.T. scan of the proposed area of the jaw where the implants are to be placed. This produces a 3D image of the jawbone and adjacent structures which allows the implants to be placed with great precision.
The implants are placed in the surgery under local anaesthetic. Each implant is placed into a socket carefully drilled at the precise location of the intended tooth. A healing cap is placed over the implant and the area is left to heal for approximately 3 months during which time the implant integrates with the surrounding bone, establishing a solid foundation for the replacement teeth.
Phase 2: The Surgical Phase
Following the healing period a restoration such as a crown or bridge can then be placed on top of the implant, or it can be used to retain a denture. Implants offer a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth, and looked after correctly can last a lifetime.
Phase 3: The Restorative Phase
Not every case is suitable for implants but if you are fed up of unsightly gaps or poorly fitting, bulky dentures then speak to your dentist who will be happy to assess your suitability for implant treatment