What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium replacements for your teeth’s natural roots. Their function is to permanently anchor the overlying crowns, bridges or dentures to the underlying bone.
How do they work?
Osseointegration. In brief.
Dental implants are tapered posts made of biocompatible titanium that are surgically placed into bone. Once the surgery is complete, new bone cells begin to grow in and around the implant. This fusion, or osseointegration, between the jaw and implant starts almost immediately. After circa 12 weeks, the implant is usually fully fixed in the jawbone and strong enough to support the final restoration. An individual crown, an implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple teeth are then fabricated in the laboratory and attached to the abutment.
What are the benefits?
Confident, happy smile.
Dental implants improve your smile, speech and bite if you are missing teeth. If you lose a tooth through disease or injury, the bone that once supported it shrinks away. Dental implants maintain the integrity of the jaw bone in a way that dentures and bridges cannot. The psychological benefits are also varied. For many, the thought of losing teeth or wearing dentures can be traumatic. Dental implants are a great away to overcome this worry. Knowing the implant will remain fixed in position, no matter what, can be tremendously reassuring for patients.
Are they for me?
Who is most suited to dental implants.
If you want the most natural, hassle-free solution for replacing missing teeth, then dental implants may be the correct option for you. Dentures and bridges are viable alternatives, but they do not suit everyone. Dentures are removable and bridges require the preparation of existing teeth. Dental implants, though more expensive initially, are many people’s preferred treatment
Nearly every adult is a candidate for dental implants. Generally, it is not advisable to place dental implants in young teens because the dental bones are still growing at that age.
The best time to place a dental implant is at the time the tooth is extracted, or very shortly thereafter. Dental implants can, of course, be placed many years after a tooth has been lost, but there has to be an adequate amount of healthy bone available to support the titanium implant.
How is it done?
Steps to placing a dental implant.
When you make an appointment with our implant dentist, they will do various tests and examinations to formulate a treatment plan. These include dental health checks, radiographs, including 3D CBCT, study models, photographs and shade matching. Planning is the most important factor between success and failure, and this is why we insist on a thorough consultation with the implant dentist for all clients wishing to undergo this treatment.
Once the clinician has gathered all the information, they will go though the various treatment options with you. It is at this juncture that costs, payment plans, pros and cons and consent forms will be discussed. You are free to take all the information away with you to think about it before committing to any treatment. In fact, we will encourage you to do so. Patients need the space and time to be fully aware of all risks and benefits, both financially and dentally.
When you have decided to proceed, we will book you in for the surgery. During the operation, a small incision is made in your gum and a pilot hole is prepared to receive the titanium implant. The implant is then screwed into place. This will remain in situ for up to 12 weeks to allow the implant to fuse to the bone. Temporary bridges or dentures can be fitted at this point to maintain the space in between visits.
When the implant has integrated properly, a dental abutment is attached to the implant and impressions are taken for the final restoration. Once the laboratory’s ceramicist has fabricated the porcelain crowns or bridges, the bite is checked and adjusted in the chair. If all is well, the dentist will then secure the restoration to the abutment via screws. The entire process takes circa 14 weeks from the initial consultation.