Dental treatments

Dental Implants

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What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a titanium metal rod, which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as ‘implants’.

Are implants safe? How long will they last?

Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

How long does treatment take?

Your dentist will be able to give you a provisional timetable before the treatment begins.

Usually the permanent teeth are fitted 6 – 9 months after the implants are put in. Q. How soon can I have the new teeth? A. The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been put in. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw.

Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are fitted for the artificial teeth to be attached much sooner than this.

If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the surgery.

How soon can I have the new teeth?

The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been put in. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw.

Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are fitted for the artificial teeth to be attached much sooner than this.

If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the surgery.

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.

Do the implants show?

Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.

Is the treatment expensive?

Unfortunately, yes. However, in many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges.

There are advantages to it, too. An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem.

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