What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them.
How do Dental Implants Work?
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won't slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants. Here’s some very useful information about dental implants and the work we can do.
Step by step for routine dental implants
1 Diagnosis and treatment planning after which it may be necessary to carry out repairs or treatment to any remaining teeth.
2 Implant placement is usually followed by a period of healing lasting from 6 weeks to 6 months. Often the implants are completely hidden beneath the gum, however one-stage procedures where the implant is visible from the time of placement are also commonplace. Stitches are normally removed 7 to 10 days after the implant placement.
3 Several visits may be needed over the first few weeks to adjust temporary teeth or dentures and to monitor healing.
4 Once the implants have healed uneventfully for the required time, they are uncovered if necessary and made ready to connect the teeth. Sometimes the time allowed for implants to integrate may be increased or decreased to suit the local bone conditions and the overall quality of healing.
5 In some cases the first teeth fitted to your implants are not the final ones, but replicas of the intended design. This stage can be used to assess the implants, control early loading and in areas where aesthetics are more critical, also gives the gums time to mature around each implant before final teeth are fitted.
6 Final teeth are commonly fitted between 3 and 9 months after the implants were first placed. The way that the teeth fit together is carefully adjusted so that they do not interfere with each other.
Note: Regular examination and hygiene appointments are then all that is required to maintain the health of the mouth, teeth and implants.