Dental implants remain the longest lasting solution to missing teeth. As close to real teeth as modern dentistry can currently get, they look, feel and work just like your own teeth. Dental implants also provide a secure anchor for bridges and dentures, and can be life-changing for people who currently wear dentures or have several missing or damaged teeth.
A dental implant comes in two parts. The first is an artificial root made from titanium that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It can be placed in either the upper or lower jaw and, in time, will bond with the jawbone.
The second part is what is attached to the dental implant root. For those missing one tooth, a crown will be created to perfectly match your existing teeth. If you have a full set of dentures, this can be attached to four or six dental implant roots for a really sturdy result.
If you have a missing tooth then you may consider not doing anything and leaving the gap. Although this may be a perfectly acceptable option, in most instances replacing the missing tooth is far better – here’s why…
When you have all of your teeth they all work in unison with one another and each tooth supports the tooth next to it to prevent it moving. The opposing teeth keep each other in the right place and all of the teeth support the surrounding bone. If you lose a tooth then this delicate balance is upset.
Teeth either side of the gap can begin to drift in, teeth opposing the gap can begin to drift up or down and the bone that surrounded the tooth that has been lost can begin to resorb. In time, this can affect your ability to eat and chew and also have a cosmetic implication. Your delicate gum architecture can also be interrupted by drifting teeth.
It is therefore important to stabilise the bone and surrounding teeth using either a denture, dental bridge or dental implant to prevent these problems from worsening.
In a healthy person with a healthy mouth and bone, implant roots (the metal part) should last as long as natural teeth. They need caring for as natural teeth do. The crowns or bridges supported by the implants can last a decade or more.
All treatment is carried out under a local anaesthetic and, if you’re a nervous patient, dental sedation can be offered to make you as comfortable as possible about the procedure. Dental implant treatment is a minor surgical procedure that has been performed for many years, with an excellent success rate. Once your new implant has been placed we normally wait around three to six months to allow full healing, then we can place a new tooth.
Fortunately, there are very rarely problems associated with dental implants. They have a success rate of up to 98% and, with proper care, can last many years. A few of the problems that can sometimes occur with dental implants are:
Peri-implantitis – this is the destructive inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants, and is similar to periodontitis which occurs around natural teeth. The best way to prevent peri-implantitis is to maintain good oral health care regime by visiting the dental hygienist regularly after the implants have been placed. You should avoid smoking as this can increase the risk of developing peri-implantitis.
Pain after the implants have been placed – this is normally controlled by taking over-the-counter painkillers for one to two weeks after a dental implant is placed and is generally part of the healing process. However, if the pain continues and becomes severe, then please contact us immediately as there may be an underlying problem causing the pain. Discomfort after implant placement is normal, excessive pain is not.
What is the dental implant procedure?
Although most people are suitable candidates for dental implants, they aren’t always the right solution, especially if you have significant bone loss or you’re a smoker. To find out whether dental implants would be right for you, we recommend that you book a free initial consultation so that we can discuss your individual case and give you advice that’s tailored specifically to you.
I find the staff friendly, attentive and professional. Every visit I have made to the practice has left me feeling care for and in charge of my treatment. Jo is absolutely brilliant and she always makes me feel welcome and is always eager to help.
DC, Great Glen
*Results may vary and are different for each individual. As such, Glen Dental cannot guarantee specific results.