Dental implants are an innovative, popular and effective method of replacing a missing tooth or several teeth. They offer a range of benefits over other restoration methods, primarily that they secure directly to the jaw, providing a very natural feel in the mouth.
They do not impact your natural teeth unlike a bridge, which anchors to the neighbouring teeth at either side of the gap. In addition, a dental implant is the best way to prevent or reverse the effects of bone loss after losing a tooth.
When we lose a tooth, over time, the surrounding bone in the jaw begins to break down and recede. This can impact the health of the neighbouring teeth and affect your suitability for a dental implant in the future. Promptly fitting a dental implant prevents the loss of bone from occurring.
A single tooth dental implant is a small titanium screw placed into the jaw. We then attach a custom made dental crown that matches the colour and shape of your natural teeth to the top of the implant, providing a missing tooth replacement that looks, feels, and functions just like a real tooth.
We can also use dental implants to replace multiple missing teeth. Some implant procedures even enable us to replace full arches of teeth with high-quality prosthetics in a single appointment, as well as providing additional security for other prosthetics like a dental bridge or a set of complete dentures.
The process of fitting a dental implant involves several steps.
Initial assessment — The dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, including x-rays, to make sure you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.
Implant placement —Your dentist will begin by numbing the area to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort before embedding the titanium screw into your jaw.
Healing — Once the implant is in place, it will begin to fuse with the surrounding bone as your gums and jaw heal. This process typically takes between 3 and 6 months, but it may be quicker in some cases.
Crown fitting — When your implant is sufficiently secure in your jaw, your dentist will attach a custom-made dental crown on top. Your custom-made crown will match the colour and shape of your natural teeth so it blends in with the rest of your smile.
In some instances, the dental implant process may involve additional steps.
Tooth removal — If you are having a tooth removed for any reason, your dentist may recommend the immediate placement of an implant to preserve the surrounding bone.
Bone grafting — If you lost a tooth some time ago, the bone in your jaw in that area may have already broken down and receded. If that is the case, you may not have sufficient bone density to support an implant. We can correct this by way of a bone graft. Typically, this involves taking a small section of bone from elsewhere in your body and placing it into the jaw. Over time, the graft will encourage new bone growth, allowing you to get a dental implant in the future.
Once the process is complete, you will have a fully functioning and natural-looking replacement tooth that provides all the same benefits as a natural tooth. Caring for your implant is easy — simply continue to care for your gums and remaining teeth with an effective oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist and hygienist for regular dental exams and professionals cleanings.
With the proper care, dental implants can last more than 10 years, depending on the material you choose for your replacement tooth. The most popular option is porcelain, which is highly stain-resistant and incredibly long-lasting.
If you are looking to improve your smile, click here or request an appointment by calling 01908 373614