What are they?
Dental implants are titanium rods that are surgically placed in the jaw bone, acting as the missing tooth root. This will hold a crown or dental bridge to restore missing teeth, or to hold loose dentures in place, called implant-retained dentures. Under suitable conditions, the bone fuses with the implant, known as osseointegration.
Your first visit will be for an implant consultation, during which we will assess your suitability for the procedure. Treatment generally involves 4 stages:
- Diagnosis – an x-ray and/or CT scan to determine how much bone is available and to make sure there’s no hidden infection of pathology.
- Surgery – a small hole is drilled in the correct and safe area and then the Implant is inserted.
- Impressions are taken.
- Final fitting of the crown, bridge or denture – sometimes this can be done straight away, if the bone is stable, otherwise you’ll need to wait a few months for the implant to settle first.
Who are they best suited to?
Non-smokers and patients who have plenty of bone and good oral hygiene. Be warned, that smoking severely restricts the blood supply and, with it, the size of the bone into which the dental implant can be placed. However, the good news is that if you stop smoking, the bone will often quickly recover.
Will it hurt?
The surgery itself is pain-free. After the procedure, you may feel slight discomfort for a day or so, although this should soon subside.
What about results?
It depends on how well you look after them and if you follow advice and have regular hygiene and dental examinations. Crowns, meanwhile, will tend to last 10-15 years, although it largely depends on how well you look after your teeth! Dental implants are a very successful treatment option, although careful selection is required. See the results for yourself in our Cosmetic Dentistry Before & After Gallery.