Dental implants can be used as a treatment to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants replace a missing tooth or teeth with a titanium post which is surgically implanted into the jawbone. The jawbone will take about 8-12 weeks to grow around the post. After that period a strong and stable foundation will be formed between the post and bone, and a crown will be fabricated to fit the implant. The aim is to create a strong and stable natural looking tooth.
Implants can be used as an alternative to dentures, as implants can give a greater level of stability than conventional dentures. No adhesives are required and you should be able to enjoy a wider range of food.
Dental implants replace missing tooth roots, and can form a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function in a similar way to your natural teeth. Dental implants also preserve the remaining bone by providing the stimulation previously provided by the natural tooth roots.
How does a dental implant work?
There are numerous advantages to dental implant treatment over other treatment options. It is not necessary to grind down the adjacent teeth for a bridge, or secure a partial denture to adjacent teeth with clasps which can affect the natural tooth. Implant-supported replacement teeth spare patients many of the disadvantages of traditional false teeth.
What factors contribute to long-term success of Dental Implants?
Long-term success depends on multiple factors. Firstly, success will depend on the quality and quantity of bone. Secondly, the experience and ability of the dental surgeon can be a factor. As with any surgical procedure, there is no substitute for the experience and individual skill and training of the dentist. And finally, the quality of the restoration placed on top of the implant will play a big role in long-term success.
Who can place a dental implant in my mouth?
A periodontist, an oral surgeon, or an implantologist places dental implants. Periodontist and oral surgeons work together with a restorative dentist. The periodontist or oral surgeon will place the implants and then the patient will be seen by a restorative dentist for completion of the crowns or overlying appliance. An implantologist is trained in both dental implant surgery and restoration of the dental prosthesis. If your treatment is carried out by an implantologist they will undertake both the surgery and the restoration.
Are there any age limitations for dental implants?
No. Any person at any age can have dental implants as long as there is enough bone available in which to place the implants.
How often will I need to have my dental implants checked?
The success of your implants will depend on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist every three to four months. This hygienist should be trained in maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
An effective local anaesthetic is used during the surgery so that you do not experience any pain during the placement of the implants. Any discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with appropriate medication.
When can I return to work after implant surgery?
You can usually go to work the next day, unless you are advised otherwise by your consultant. Your implant dentist will discuss all postoperative instructions with you.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Benefits of dental implants can include:
- Improved appearance
- Improved comfort
- Improved speech
- Enjoy a wide range of foods
- Improved convenience
- Improved self-esteem