dental implants

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone and is used to replace the root of a missing tooth. Once placed it remains fixed and can be used as an anchor to support one or more teeth. Because the titanium is bio-compatible, dental implants fuse directly to the bone, providing excellent support for replacement teeth.

Is a dental implant suitable for me?

A dental implant may be suitable for you if your gums are kept healthy and if there is enough bone to support an implant. You should also be in good general health. Nobody is too old to enjoy the benefits of a dental implant. During our consultation we will examine the health of your teeth and gums and analyse areas of missing teeth with the help of Xrays. We may also have models of your teeth made to help with implant planning. Sometimes we may need to take a 3D scan (CT scan) if further information about your jawbone is required.

What are the alternatives?

For any gap in the mouth there are a number of ways to replace the missing teeth:

  • Bridges: This is where a tooth next to the gap is filed which allows for a crown to be placed on it. Attached to the crown is another crown which will sit in the gap. Although this is a fixed (non-removable) option to replace teeth it does involve damaging a tooth which may cause further problems to the health of that tooth. Another type of bridge is a ‘stick-on’ bridge which uses a wing that is cemented around the back of an adjacent tooth. This is much less destructive but can sometimes fall out, especially in a heavy bite.
  • Dentures: These are replacement teeth that sit on the gum and can sometimes clip onto surrounding teeth. While there is no filing required to remaining teeth, it is removable which some people find off-putting. Often a period of adjustment is required as a person learns to eat and speak while wearing a denture.

  • What are the benefits?

    Dental implants are a fixed way of replacing lost teeth without having to damage any of your other teeth. A dental implant that has successfully fused to the bone can offer excellent support and is almost like a new root. As such there is improvement in chewing and the feeling is more natural than the alternatives. Even in cases where there are few remaining teeth, implants can be used to support and retain a large denture. Additionally, a dental implant can help to preserve the surrounding gum and jawbone from shrinking which the alternatives cannot do, thereby preventing a premature aging effect.

    For more information, please refer to our patient information section here.

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