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Dental implants

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Why dental implants?

People lose teeth all the time, either through trauma or decay, gum disease or old age. Whatever the reason for losing teeth, they need to be replaced, both for aesthetic and functional reasons.

The most common treatments for missing teeth are either a denture or a fixed bridge. However, dental implants are now becoming a more popular treatment to replace missing teeth, as they provide a longer-term solution, slow down bone loss and preserve nearby healthy tooth tissue. Unlike conventional crown and bridge tooth replacement, dental implants do not require the grinding down of healthy teeth to support such structures.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial substitute/ replacement for the root portion of your natural tooth and is anchored into a pre drilled socket into your bone to support a crown, bridge or secure a denture firmly in place. Implants are made from titanium, a material that is well tolerated by bone and integrates easily with bone tissue.

How is a dental implant placed?

Before any implants are placed, it is important for your dental surgeon to assess the health of your teeth and gums. If there are any signs of gum disease or decay, these must be treated first. Thereafter, your treatment will be planned following several x-rays, models, and thorough assessments of your bone levels.

The procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. The gum where the implant is to be placed is cut and lifted and a small hole is drilled at the precise location of the intended implant. The titanium implant is drilled slowly into the socket and the gum is stitched back over the implant. If there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the implant, bone may be placed into the socket.

Bone grafting

During the placement of implants it is essential that there is sufficient bone to ensure long-term stability of your dental implants. Dental bone graft is a natural bone material of bovine origin with structure and chemical composition similar to that of human bone. In time this material will remould into your own functioning bone.

Once the implant has been placed, it is left to heal and integrate into the jaw bone for 3 – 6 months. During this ‘healing period’ patients are given temporary teeth or continue to wear custom made dentures. It is important that temporary teeth do not exert any force on the healing implant. After the healing period, the gum is lifted and treatment is started on constructing the permanent restoration that is fitted into the implant.

Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?

Dental Implants can be placed in patients of any age with fully developed jawbones, provided that they have sufficient quantity and quality of bone tissue available. Most healthy individuals that maintain a good oral hygiene programme are suitable candidates for dental implants.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants have been used for over 30 years to replace missing teeth and they can last a lifetime depending on how well you look after them. Like any other restoration, your implant – supported teeth can still be damaged by trauma and affected by gum disease and poor oral hygiene.

How much do dental implants cost?

The price on a dental implant tends to vary considerably and depends on several factors, including the type/quality/brand of the implant used, the amount of work required such as bone grafting and the number of implants required. The cost of a single tooth implant can vary from £1750.00 to £2000.

Only your dental surgeon can advise whether dental implants are suitable for you, please contact us for a free consultation today.