What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a fixed option to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Implants have been used for over 20 years in dentistry with predictable results. We are proud to use high quality implants with considerable evidence behind them to give nothing but the best for our patients.
Dental Implants are now the gold standard option of replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth with its high level of success and predictability.
Dental implant process
Once your case has been thoroughly assessed and planned, your implantologist will discuss all your treatment options. The implant is then safely placed in the jaw bone, which can either be under local anaesthetic alone or combined with sedation to help overcome nervousness. This titanium implant is then left to bond to your own bone in a process called osseointegration and this can take upto 6 to 8 weeks. The treatment then enters the 2nd phase. At this point the implant is nicely healed. The connection (abutment) is attached to the implant on which the final porcelain crown is fitted. The shade of this crown is matched to your own teeth to give you the final result, which looks, functions and feels just like your own natural tooth. The above treatment process may vary to some extent depending on cases to case basis
Do I have enough bone for a dental implant?
The assessment and treatment planning process gives a good idea what the jaw bone is like at the recipient site in terms of quality and quantity. Cases where the bone is deficient, a bone graft may be needed. A bone graft can be a synthetic substitute to replace the missing bone which can be either applied to the site before the implant placement or at the time of the implant placement. There are other sources of bone graft, which your implantologist will discuss with you at the planning stages. To get a good idea of the underlying bone and other anatomy, a CT scan is required which is again very straightforward. This technology gives 3-dimensional view of the implant site and also allows clever simulation of virtual implants on the scan. Your implantologist will show you the scan and explain the vital information it reveals.
Applications of dental implants
- Single tooth implants
A single implant is uses to replace a single missing front or back tooth.
- Implant retained bridges
Multiple implants are used to replace missing teeth.
- Dentures retained by implants
In a patient who has lost all upper or lower teeth, a denture can be made to connect to 2 to 4 implants. The denture is much more stable when connected to implants and less likely to move during chewing or eating. The dentures still have to be removed every night.
- Full mouth implant bridges
In a patient who has lost all upper or lower teeth, a fixed bridge can be made to fit over a number of implants. This number of implants can be 4 or above, depending on case by case. The bridge is fixed onto these implants and does not come out every night.
Am I suitable for a dental implant?
The implant has a very high success rate. In order for implants to be successful, the patient’s medical status and oral health plays a vital role. Your suitability will be deemed at the assessment and treatment plan appointments.
Natasha Foster (Implant nurse)