People lose teeth all the time, either through damage when teeth are knocked out (rugby players and boxers commonly experience this) or due to decay, gum disease or old age. Whatever the reason is for losing your teeth we can replace for both aesthetic and functional reasons.
Dental implants are now a popular treatment to replace missing teeth as they provide a longer-term solution, slowing down bone loss and preserving healthy tooth tissue.
What is a dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial substitute for the root portion of your natural tooth and they are anchored into a pre-drilled socket in your jaw-bone to support a crown, or secure a denture firmly in place. Implants are made from titanium, a material that is bio-compatible and integrates easily with your bone tissue.
Before your implants can be placed it is important for our dentists to assess the health of your teeth and gums, if there are any signs of gum disease, this must always be treated first. Your treatment will be planned to assess your bone quality. The procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthesia or sedation can be requested for nervous patients.
The gum where the implant is to be placed is cut and lifted and a small hole is drilled in the jawbone at the precise location of the intended implant. The titanium implant is tightly fitted into this socket and the gum is stitched back over the implant. Once the implant has been placed it is left to heal and integrate with the jawbone for between 6 weeks to 6 months. The bone tissue will anchor itself into the rough surface of the implant.
During this healing period you will be given temporary teeth, or you can continue to wear dentures. It is important that any temporary teeth do not exert any forces on the healing implant. After the healing period the gum is lifted again and a post is attached to the implant with a temporary crown. Four to six weeks later when the surrounding gum tissue has matured your final permanent restoration can be fitted to the implant.