If you have one or more missing teeth, you may want to consider having implants. A fixed alternative to removable dentures, implants replace missing teeth with a natural-looking crown or bridge.
Teeth can be lost for a number of reasons, including decay, trauma, infection or gum disease, and this loss can result in a whole host of problems. Implants can improve how you eat and speak, prevent shrinkage of the jawbone, and keep existing teeth firmly in place.
What are implants?
Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone to act just like tooth roots. As titanium is a durable metal, that is very well tolerated by the body, these cylindrical posts eventually fuse with the bone, providing a firm foundation for a crown or bridge.
- Unlike ill-fitting dentures, which can have a tendency to move around uncomfortably in your mouth, implants stay firmly in place.
- Implants help protect the jawbone by keeping it stimulated and they prevent existing teeth from moving around.
- They eliminate the speaking and chewing problems that may be caused by missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures.
- They can provide a significant boost to your confidence by restoring your smile.
Step 1 – We carry out a full assessment of your general health, how your teeth fit together, your oral health and the density of your jaw bone. If we discover you have insufficient bone volume, you may need a grafting procedure to allow for the successful placement of implants.
Step 2 – The titanium posts are placed in the bone under a local anaesthetic using a relatively simple surgical procedure.
Step 3 – Titanium is very well tolerated by the body, so over a few months the implants will bond with the bone – a process known as osseo-integration.
Step 4 – Once settled in and fully healed, we can fit replacement teeth to the now firmly positioned implants.
You need to maintain good oral hygiene following treatment to ensure your implants remain trouble-free. If well looked after, with a regular brushing and flossing routine, they can last for over 15 years. You should also attend regular check-ups so your dentist can make sure your implants stay in great condition.