Losing teeth is a traumatic experience for many patients. Apart from what it does to your smile and confidence, it becomes more difficult for you to chew your food. Dental implants look, feel and work just like your own teeth.
Dental implants are small root-sized metal screws, which can be permanently fixed in the jaw to replace missing teeth. Any number of teeth can be replaced - from a single front tooth or back tooth, up to a complete replacement of all the teeth in the upper and lower jaws.
Once placed, implant-retained teeth are strong and firm and will look, feel and function as well as natural teeth. Once they have successfully fused into the bone, dental implants will normally be permanent.
The first dental implants were placed in 1965 and are still going strong. Success rates are extremely high, with millions of dental implants being placed each year.
We can use one of three approaches to place dental implants, depending on what will be most suitable and successful for you.
Conventional Implants: 1st and 2nd Stage Placement
First, you’ll need to come along for a short examination and, if early indications are favourable, we will take x-rays to assess the suitability of your jaws for implants. If they do prove suitable, we will then give you a rough idea of the cost of your dental implants.
If you then decide you want to be considered for treatment, we will arrange for you to see the consultant oral surgeon who would actually place the dental implants. In some cases more specialised x-rays may need to be taken by a hospital radiographer.
The consultant oral surgeon will place the implants in the jaw, under either general or local anaesthetic depending on how many implants are being placed and what the patient wishes. The implants are then left under the gum to fuse into the bone for 2-4 months
2nd Stage: After fusion to the bone has occurred, the implants are uncovered and connectors fixed on to extend the implants into the mouth.
Following a further short period for healing, impressions of the implants are taken and crowns or bridges are constructed and eventually fixed to the implants with small screws which are covered with filling material.
If your dentist feels you are suitable for Immediate Function Implants you will only go through with the 1st stage of implant treatment (please refer to above diagrams). After your initial consultations your dentist will place the implant in the jaw and immediately assess how firm the implant is. If the bone is strong and the implant is stable enough an instant attachment will go ahead.