A dental implant is a man made, titanium root which is gently placed where the tooth used to be, as a support for a new tooth, teeth or to support a denture.
Implants have been used successfully for over 40 years in dentistry and have been constantly improving. They now have an extremely high chance of success ( in the region of 92-98%) and are a long term solution for a missing tooth, teeth or completely tooth less mouth . An implant, unlike a bridge or a denture, does not rely on the neighbouring teeth for support. This means the other teeth are left undamaged. Implants are also resistant to decay as they are made from titanium.
If they are well cared for, they have a strong chance of lasting a lifetime. There are several different types of implants which are designed for different types of situations.
For a dental implant procedure to work, there must be enough bone in the jaw, and the bone must be strong enough to hold and support the implant. If there is not enough bone we often grow more in a procedure called ‘bone grafting’.
If you are missing a tooth, the sooner you get implants the better, as every day you are missing a tooth you are losing bone. The more bone you lose the more time and effort it will take to replace.
There is maximum or minimum age for implant treatment, we have patients aging from 18-90 years. If you would like to be able to chew comfortably, smile with confidence and stop bone loss then implants may be for you.
The implant procedure :
To place an implant, we gently numb the area. We use some numbing gels first of all to make it as comfortable as possible. Once you are numb, you will not feel any pain at all. The implant is placed gently through the gum close to where the old tooth used to be. Often a small stitch or two will be placed and this will dissolve within 2 weeks.
The benefits of implants over dentures :
We recommend dental implants to anyone wearing dentures as it is a great way to provide a fixed solution for missing teeth. Implants are an ideal solution for people struggling with loose dentures and also help reduce the bone loss that normally occurs with regular dentures.
A regular denture sits on the gum and is held in place by suction where it is possible to get a seal. Over time, there will be bone loss in the jaws and the gums will shrink. This means that every denture will become loose over time. After a few years you have less bone to make the denture on and so even the best denture will be loose. Implants can stop these problems by reducing the bone loss in the jaws in the same way that teeth do and also by anchoring a denture in place.
They are the only way to prevent further bone loss once the teeth are gone. Many people suffer a great deal of discomfort and embarrassment as a result of loose or ill-fitting dentures, with implants this need no longer be a problem.
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