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Dental Implants, Implant Placement

Dental implants in Harpenden

Dental implants are one of today’s most popular long term solutions to missing teeth and we have been placing them here at Wayside Dental Practice for over 10 years. The benefits can be life changing, providing the answer to any embarrassment or discomfort caused by missing teeth or loose dentures. Dental implants are our treatment of choice for missing teeth because they look and feel like natural teeth while restoring normal function and appearance. Our patients often tell us that treatment has been life changing and has made a huge difference to their ability to socialise, their self confidence, their appearance and general quality of life. Recent technological advances make dental implant treatment much more straightforward even where there is little remaining jaw bone, for a single tooth, several teeth or even all of your teeth. Dental implants have many advantages. An implant retained crown has a similar appearance to a normal crown and appears to emerge through the gum naturally. Replacing a missing tooth with an implant avoids having to cut into adjacent healthy teeth to support a dental bridge. The presence of the dental implant will retain and improve the bone around the missing tooth area, maintaining facial structure by preserving the shape of the jawbone. We use the Nobel Biocare dental implant system, and hold an extensive stock of their components to provide the precise implant for your individual needs. We feel that this system is the most established world wide, is backed by extensive research and they are continually innovating both in their implant components and guided technology to aid placement. We do not use low cost, low quality substitutes as these can lead to failure later on and also do not provide such an aesthetically pleasing result. Providing dental implant treatments requires investment in the best surgical facilities, the most highly developed implant systems and the latest imaging and dental laboratory technologies. It also requires highly trained technicians who deal with implants on a daily basis and maintenance support from experienced hygienists.

Implant Placement

Placing dental implants in Harpenden

Dental implants are small titanium screws that are like artificial tooth roots. They are surgically inserted into the jaw to become an anchor for one or more of your missing teeth. They are used to support fixed crown and bridgework, replacing one tooth, several teeth or a whole set of missing teeth. Implants can also be used to stabilise a loose or uncomfortable denture.     Dental Implants are usually completed in two stages after a thorough assessment usually involving a Cone Beam CT Scan. Stage 1 is the implant placement which is performed under local anaesthesia and with the use of a dental laser. Patients report very little discomfort during and following surgery. The implant is then left for 3 to 6 months while it integrates into the bone to ensure a strong, solid foundation for the replacement teeth. During this time temporary bridges or dentures may be used. In some cases, temporary teeth can be attached to the implants the same day. Stage 2 involves creating and attaching your new tooth or teeth to the dental implant. Ninety-five per cent of implants now last for at least 15 years but they need careful cleaning. Without this you will experience problems similar to that of gum disease around the implant which can result in bone loss causing it to loosen and fail. Cleaning around implants is no more difficult that cleaning your natural teeth and we will strongly advise you to see the hygienist on a regular basis to maintain your implant and the rest of your teeth and gums.  

Teeth in a Day / All on 4

Replace an entire arch with dental implants in Harpenden

Teeth in a day, or All on 4, or Same Day Smiles are the names for a treatment that enables denture wearers to get a new set of teeth in one day. The first step is meticulous planning using 3D imaging to assess the bone and other structures to place the implants in a way that provides a strong, solid base and that allows the new teeth to be placed in a way that gives the best appearance possible. The implants will be placed often at the same time as any teeth are removed. Impressions will be taken and a few hours later, resin teeth will be fitted. These teeth will look like normal teeth and be fully functional. Once the implants have integrated into your bone, after 3 to 6 months, the resin teeth are replaced with your new teeth which will be based on a ceramic or titanium structure.

Implant Supported Dentures

Secure your dentures with dental implants in Harpenden

Implants can be placed to support a denture. The advantage of this is that it gives the denture greater stability and comfort and the implants will allow the jawbone to be retained in the area where they are placed. Typically, dentures rest on the gums and on any remaining teeth. For many patients, dentures will adversely affect these tissues until eventually, more teeth are lost and the jawbone erodes. As these supporting structures are lost, the denture becomes more difficult to wear. Placing implants to retain dentures provides greater long term stability and comfort for denture wearers.

Cone Beam CT Scans and Image Guided Surgery

State-of-the-art dental implants in Harpenden

At Wayside Dental Practice, we have a state of the art Cone Beam CT Scanner. Cone Beam CT scanning is an X ray based imaging technique that provides a fast and accurate image of bony anatomical structures in three dimensions, which are not visible with traditional x rays. This allows us to accurately determine the quantity and quality of your bone and to precisely plan where to place the implants. Vital structures such as nerves and sinuses are precisely located to add to a greater measure of safety not provided by traditional x rays. 3D imaging has become the standard of care for implant dentistry. The Cone Beam CT scan itself is comfortable, hassle and pain free as well as a very quick procedure. It is also very safe as it emits very small amounts of radiation. Cone Beam technology emits 80 to 100 times less radiation than a traditional medical CT scan of the same area. Nobel Biocare have produced their own special planning software. The Cone Beam CT scan goes directly into the software as it is taken so that your dentist can start the planning in 3D without lengthy downloads or data conversions. We also scan a radiographic guide, which is a mock up of the position that we want the final teeth to be in. This is also placed directly into the software and the two 3D images can be superimposed so we can see where the final tooth or teeth need to be in relation to the available bone present. This makes the planning and placement of implants highly accurate and saves you several extra visits. Once we have decided where the implants need to be, and have placed them virtually in the 3D image of your jaw, we can print out a 3D drilling guide so that the implants can be placed exactly where they have been planned in the software. This guide is emailed to a Nobel Biocare laboratory in Gothenburg where the guide is made and then sent to us ready for the surgery. We believe that our continual investment in new technology and training greatly enhances our patients’ experience and treatment outcome.