What are Dental Implants?
- An implant has a root and a crown much like a tooth, the crown appears to emerge from the gum in the same way a natural crown would.
- The Titanium on the surface of implants has been treated to become "biocompatible", this means that bone cells are encouraged to create new bone on the surface of the metal resulting in a very strong bond between the implant and the jaw.
- The bond between the bone and metal is known as an "active" one, the old bone is continually being removed to be replaced by new bone. This means that as long as oral hygiene is being maintained and a person remains relatively healthy, the dental implant will remain as solid in the bone after twenty years as it was after one year!
The Dental Implant Procedure
- Replacing a tooth with an implant is the only option which does not result in any damage to teeth or gums, as well as giving the best possible natural-looking results.
To achieve this level of integration, it is important to be examined by a qualified and experienced dental professional. The procedure will happen in stages, typically:
- The initial stage of the procedure would be to undertake a thorough examination to identify any signs of gum disease and assess the quality of the bone.
- Next, a scan will be arranged to assess the quality and density of your bone material and to check the shape of the area before any work takes place.
- Under anesthesia, the bone is gently prepared for the titanium implant. The gum is re-closed by stitching or grafting, and then it is left to heal.
The bone tissue itself will grow and begin to anchor itself upon the specially designed textured surface of the titanium implant. During this healing process, patients are given a temporary bridge or denture.
After healing, the gum can be lifted to attach a healing cap to the implant. Four to six weeks later, when the gum has matured, the final permanent work can be completed. Frequently Asked Questions
Am I Suitable for Dental Implants?
- There are very few reasons why you are not clinically eligible for having dental implants.
- The only real condition which will not allow an implant to be placed is if you are taking or have had a particular medication, Bisphosphonates, ( an anti-osteoporosis drug), if you have never heard of it then you probably have not had it.
- As soon as your jaw has stopped developing (around seventeen years old), then you are a candidate for implants.
- Lacking bone in an area is not usually a problem in placing implants, as there are many techniques to solve this limitation.
- As with any dental structure, good dental hygiene must be maintained at all times.
- Smoking does reduces the life expectancy of any dental structure and implants are no different.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
- Unlike other parts of dentistry, implant dentistry involves working with healthy tissues only, this means tissues are able to adapt and heal very quickly, resulting in a painless experience.