Dental implants are small titanium screws that take over the function of the root of a tooth. They are surgically inserted into the jaw bone to eventually hold your new tooth or teeth. They can be used to support fixed crown and bridgework, replace 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 three stages:
The first stage is a Cone Beam CT scan which is taken to ensure there is enough bone to support an implant and if so, to plan precisely where to place it using computer guided surgery. We want to ensure the best available bone is used to achieve the optimum aesthetic result.
Stage 2 is the implant placement which is performed under local anaesthesia and with the use of a dental laser. Patients often report very little discomfort during and following surgery. Once placed, the implant is 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 3 involves creating and attaching your new tooth or teeth to the dental implant.
Ninety-five percent 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 our hygienists can provide excellent oral health instruction specifically for dental implants. We will strongly advise you to see the hygienist on a regular basis to help you keep the area free of plaque and to maintain your oral hygiene.