A dental implant is an artificial tooth root (commonly made of titanium metal) placed into your jaw to support a replacement tooth, bridge unit or denture. Implants are often a more conservative treatment option than more traditional dental techniques as they do not rely upon adjacent teeth for support.
In suitable patients, implants can be used in conjunction with various combinations of natural teeth, crowns, bridges and partial or complete dentures to restore a healthy, stable and efficiently functioning dentition.
Dental implants will allow you to speak and eat with more confidence and comfort. They are fixed, stable and secure, and can overcome patient concerns about loose dentures. Comfort and aesthetics are prime reasons for choosing the implant option as they can look and feel like your own teeth. They also integrate into the structure of your jaw, preventing loss of bone volume after a tooth has been lost.
Even if you have lost a significant amount of bone before considering an implant, it may still be possible to place one after an initial bone graft.
The ideal candidate for an implant will be in good general and dental health. The best cases will be patients with well-maintained mouths, free from periodontal (gum) disease.
Placement of an implant requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthesia, perhaps with sedation if you are slightly apprehensive. Once inserted, the implants must be allowed to integrate with your jawbone. This normally takes at least three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw.
During this time, the implants are usually left buried under the gum. Often aesthetically pleasing temporary restorations may be placed over the region. Later, a short operation allows the implant to be exposed before it is used to support the new crown, bridge or denture.
Treatment is normally far less painful and traumatic than imagined. Modern techniques ensure the insertion of the implant can be carried out relatively quickly and without undue discomfort. Naturally, any surgical operation carries a slight risk of complications, however these can be minimised with careful attention to detail by a skilled and experienced operator.
The success rates for dental implants are very high and they are considered an excellent option for replacing missing teeth.
Our highly competent and experienced implant practitioners, Mr Dhanda, a specialty registrar in Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery, and Dr Hinchliffe, would be pleased to offer you an initial consultation to discuss your particular case.