Are you embarrassed about your missing teeth?
Do you stop yourself from smiling because you don’t like your teeth?
Do you wish you didn’t have to wear a removable denture?
A lot of people struggle with loss of teeth. Your smile is important when making first impressions but it is not just aesthetics that are compromised when we lose teeth. Our teeth are important to help us to chew and enjoy our food properly. Missing teeth can lead to problems eating and in turn to digestive problems and reduced nutritional intake from our food. There are many reasons why people have missing teeth, an accident or trauma, gum disease, dental caries and failed dental work.
A lot of people with missing teeth are unhappy and suffer from reduced confidence and self esteem. Missing teeth can make you appear older as your teeth provide structure to your face. Missing teeth can cause your lips and mouth to appear sunken,
Dental implants are made of titanium and are artificial tooth root replacements which are used to provide support to one or more dental restorations designed to mimic the appearance of your teeth.
Dental implants can be used to support an individual tooth but one implant is also capable of supporting a number of teeth. If you are undergoing a full mouth reconstruction then several implants may be required in both the upper and lower jaws. The implanting process creates a much sturdier anchor for your restorations compared to bridges and dentures enabling them to have a much longer life.
Why do people get dental implants?
Dental implants are a very effective solution to the problem of missing teeth. They can help to fill the gaps. They are effective, permanent and can enable you to eat foods you thought having dentures would not allow. You can smile without worrying about your appearance. You can talk confidently without being self conscious and can generally restore your self esteem. Dental implants can successfully tackle all problems that missing teeth cause.
Procedure for fitting dental implants.
You will require a thorough oral examination to make sure that your mouth is healthy. Any other dental problems such as gum disease or dental decay or failing restorations will need to be treated first. You will require xrays to allow your dentist to assess the quality and quantity of bone in the area where the implant is to be placed. In some cases a CT scan may also be required.
The implant is usually placed under local anaesthetic but we also offer sedation for this treatment as some patient prefer not to be awake during the procedure. An incision is made into the gum which is then lifted to expose the bone where the implant is to be placed. A hole is then drilled into the jaw bone and the implant is then carefully secured into the jaw bone. The gum is then replaced and sutured. After the implant has fully integrated the permanent restoration is attached. Some patients may not have enough bone in the area targeted for the implant and so a bone graft may be required.
After the gum tissue around the implant has completely healed, the gum is lifted again and a post attached to the implant. You will usually have a temporary crown on this to minimise the amount of force placed on the implant. Once the gum has healed again the temporary crown is removed and a permanent restoration is fixed to the implant.
Recovery from dental implant surgery
Following implant surgery you will need to give your mouth time to heal and recover and become used to the implant. The length of time for this varies from a few weeks up to six months for some people for full integration. During the healing phase it is common to have temporary bridges or dentures to wear.
Benefits of dental implants.
Loss of teeth causes atrophy which means your bone will cease to grow in the area where the tooth has been lost. Following loss of a tooth the bone and gum recede. The titanium anchor used in dental implants has actually been shown to stimulate bone growth which means the shape of your jaw will not change. People who wear dentures often have to avoid certain types of hard foods whereas the sturdiness of dental implants means that you can have anything that you want to eat. In order to fit bridges often healthy tooth structure needs to be removed but with dental implants there is no need to file any of your natural teeth. Over time dentures can become loose because the bone and gum supporting the dentures changes whereas with implants there is no danger of the teeth becoming loose.
Risks of fitting dental implants
All patients will need an implant assessment to see if they are suitable for implants. A number of factors need to be taken into consideration. The vast majority of implant surgery is carried out safely however as with all surgical procedures there are some risks involved. If you don’t maintain good oral hygiene then a number of problems can occur including infection.