Having missing teeth can really knock your confidence, as well as affect the way you eat and speak.
Dental implants offer a long-lasting and discreet choice of treatment for replacing teeth. Your dentist places them directly into your jawbone, where they provide an artificial replacement for the root of your missing tooth or teeth. They can support crowns or dentures, in a similar way that roots support natural teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant itself is a titanium screw, which is placed directly into your jawbone, replacing your missing tooth root. After it’s fitted, the bone surrounding your implant will gradually fuse to it, holding the implant firmly in place. A false tooth (a crown or denture) is then fitted to the top of the implant (the abutment), giving a natural look to your smile.
An implant is not the only way to replace missing teeth. Other options are:
- Full or partial dentures – false teeth attached to a removable metal or plastic framework
- Bridges – false teeth that are fixed onto the existing teeth either side of your missing tooth or teeth
Your dentist will help you to decide what’s best for you. An implant isn’t the right option for everybody. It can depend on many things, including which teeth are missing, and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums.
Dental Implant treatment
Dental implants are usually fitted during two separate procedures:
- First the fitting of the implant itself into your jawbone. A temporary measure such as a denture, sitting over the implant, may be used to replace the gap.
- Secondly the new tooth is fitted onto the implant a few months later.
Frequently asked questions
Implants are fitted under local anaesthetic which numbs the mouth, so you shouldn’t feel your implant being fitted. After your surgery, you will likely have some pain, bruising and swelling which will probably last around a week. This is normal, and you will be able to go to work the day after your procedure. Your pain should ease with over-the-counter painkillers. If you’re concerned that your pain is abnormal, you should always consult your dentist.
If you look after them properly, implants can last as long as your natural teeth. It’s important to make sure you care for your implant properly to get the maximum lifespan out of it and reduce the risk of infection.
Dental implants are screwed into your jaw bone to hold a new, false tooth in place, whereas bridges use the surrounding teeth as support for a false tooth or teeth. Sometimes, some healthy parts of your natural teeth have to be cut away to support bridges, whereas dental implants do not harm the surrounding teeth.
Dental implants are suitable for most adults who are in good general health and have healthy gums. They aren’t suitable for children and young people under 18 because the underlying bones are still growing.
Your dentist may not recommend dental implants if you:
- Are a smoker
- Have had radiotherapy to your jaw area
- Have diabetes which isn’t well-controlled
- Suffer with gum (periodontal) disease
However, each case is different. Tell your dentist about any medical problems you have, and they’ll let you know if implants are an option for you.
For more information book a Dental Implant Consultation on 01778 347 677.