Dental implants are a popular treatment which provide a significantly better long-term solution to broken or missing teeth than dentures or a fixed bridge.
A dental implant is a replacement for the root of the tooth. It is surgically placed in your jaw to firmly support a prosthesis (such as a bridge, crown or denture). Dental implants are made of titanium, which is readily accepted by the surrounding living tissue. The ideal goal for dental implantation is a process called osseointegration, where the bone integrates directly with the implant and holds it firmly in place.
The Dental Implant Procedure
- To achieve this level of integration, it is important to be examined by a qualified and experienced dental professional. The procedure will happen in stages, typically:
- The initial stage of the procedure would be to undertake a thorough examination to identify any signs of gum disease and assess the quality of the bone.
- Next, a scan will be arranged to assess the quality and density of your bone material and to check the shape of the area before any work takes place.
Under anaesthesia, the bone is gently prepared for the titanium implant. The gum is re-closed by stitching or grafting, and then it is left to heal.
The bone tissue itself will grow and begin to anchor itself upon the specially designed textured surface of the titanium implant. During this healing process, patients are given a temporary bridge or denture.
After healing, the gum can be lifted to attach a healing cap to the implant. Four to six weeks later, when the gum has matured, the final permanent work can be completed.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many advantages. They avoid bone loss associated with dentures and provide improved functionality and hygiene. They can help avoid the loss of healthy teeth associated with bridges, and can provide better function and aesthetics when compared to other dental solutions.