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Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implant is an artificial tooth root made out of titanium, which can be used to support one or more false teeth. Just like a natural tooth root, a dental implant is placed into the jawbone, beneath your gums. After the placement, they allow the dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them, in a form of crowns, bridges and even dentures. If your ability to chew, speak or smile with confidence has been affected by the loss of one or more teeth, then an implant is a highly successful solution.

By fusing into your jawbone, dental implants provide reliable and secure support for artificial teeth. Bridges and dentures placed on implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth, which significantly improves speaking and eating. This solid and secure fit makes them feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.

Your clinician will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of having an implant, as well as the costs of the treatment and the options available to you. Treatment from start to finish usually takes between 4-6 months.

Advantages

  • Implants are completely safe.
  • With great aftercare, they should last for the rest of your life.
  • You can have numerous teeth replaced with implants.
  • Once healed they look and feel just like, and be as strong as natural teeth.
  • They don’t require preparation of neighbouring teeth.
  • Can support fixed cemented bridges and eliminate the need for a denture.

 

Disadvantages

  • Not all patients are suitable for dental implants.
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol can affect the outcome.
  • If not looked after they can lead to gum infection, bleeding and soreness.
  • They are investment, and cost more than traditional bridgework or dentures.
  • You may have to wear a temporary crown on the implant until it has suitably healed.

Dental implant treatment has 2 stages:

Implant placement: Implants are placed into the bone in a relatively pain-free procedure. The bone and gums will be given time to heal before a crown (or denture) are attached. In most cases, you can receive a temporary crown the same day the implant is placed but your clinician may decide to let the gum heal fully before fitting a crown.

Crown placement: Once the implant has fused with your jawbone, your final crown, bridge or denture will be placed to restore your natural smile.

Your dentist will give you tailored instructions on how to look after your implant. They may give you some painkillers to take over the next few days if you need them. You may need further appointments to fit your new teeth to the substitute tooth root.

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