A dental restoration that replaces a missing tooth by inserting an artificial titanium root into the jawbone and attaching an artificial tooth to it. Once fitted this functions as a normal tooth.
Similar to a regular dental bridge, but it is supported by implants and not by natural teeth.
In most cases, when an implant-supported bridge is used, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each missing tooth. Then the crowns are connected to each other to form one piece.
Implant supported denture is used when a person does not have any teeth in the jaw, but have enough bone to support implants. The implants have special attachments that snap on to the denture.
The denture can be taken out and cleaned, but ones snapped in, it will be very stable in the mouth.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental Implant is a surgical component made of titanium, that integrates with the bone to hold a crown, bridge or denture. This process is called Osteointegration when the Implant forms an intimate bond with the bone. After the implant, you will have a crown which performs just like your natural tooth. By using multiple Implants, you can have a bridge or denture.
When to place an implant?
All of us throughout our lives will eventually lose one or more of our teeth. These gaps left after an extraction can always be replaced to maintain a stable occlusion (and minimise the loss of adjacent teeth). When placing a dental implant, we aim to give a functional and cosmetic fixture.
Eligibility for an implant
Nowadays almost everyone can have a dental implant. This depends on the bone availability in length, and the quality of the bone within the area of which the implant will be placed. There are only a minimal percentage of cases that are not suitable to have implants. Almost all bone deficiency can be managed with bone augmentation or bone grafts.
Advantages of Dental Implants
When you have a missing tooth, the gap left can be replaced by a denture, a bridge or an implant. By having a dental implant, you avoid the discomfort of a denture and touching adjacent teeth. This can lead to root canal treatment and ultimately losing more teeth. Having an implant will help to avoid needing treatment in healthy teeth.
A dental implant is based on predictability and is achieved by an accurate treatment plan.
This involves an initial consultation when your mouth is thoroughly checked to eliminate future complications. In this appointment x-rays, study models of your mouth and photographs will be taken. It will also be decided if you need to be referred for a CBCT-Scan to assess the bone availability and quality. Costs, timings of the procedure and informed consent will also be provided at this initial appointment.
2. Implant Placement
this is a simple surgical procedure that is completed under local anaesthetic. The small titanium screw will be placed into the bone and left to integrate for at least 12 weeks. Approximately 10 days after the placement you will have a review appointment at which the suture will be removed and follow up x-rays will be performed.
3. Restoration of the Implant
After the Osseo-integration process, the implant head is exposed and a healing abutment is screwed onto the implant to shape the soft tissues. 2/4 weeks after the healing abutment is placed it will be removed and impressions will be taken and the permanent crown is manufactured in a dental laboratory. This will then be screwed or cemented on top of the implant.
You will then have 3 initial follow up appointments to ensure that everything is still well. These appointments will be 1 month after, 3 months after and then 6 months after. Following these 3 appointments you will also be seen yearly to monitor the implant correctly. Perfect oral hygiene is recommended to maintain the integrity of the implant. Instructions and advice will be given to you and reinforced at every appointment.
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