What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small screw-shaped titanium device that is placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. Once the area has healed, an attachment is placed onto the implant to support a porcelain crown. The finished implant restoration should look, feel and perform just like a natural tooth. Implants can also be used to secure bridgework or removable dentures in situations where several teeth have been lost.
What does Implant Treatment Involve?
Before implants can be used, the condition of the mouth and jawbone needs to be assessed using x-rays, photographs and models of the teeth. In many cases, some preparatory dental treatment may be necessary to ensure that the mouth is completely healthy before implants are placed. Implant placement is a relatively simple minor surgical procedure that can be performed under local anaesthesia.
Dental implants are placed either at the same time as a tooth is removed or some time after an extraction, depending on the condition of the bone at the time of extraction. Implants may be placed under the gum and may not be visible in the mouth until later.
A period of up to three months is normally required allow proper healing and integration with the jawbone before implants can be used. During this time, it is possible to have a temporary restoration to replace any missing teeth. The replacement teeth are custom-made in a specialist dental laboratory working closely the clinic. Once completed, implants require proper maintenance by thorough cleaning and regular checks at the clinic.
Are there Alternatives to Dental Implants?
Missing teeth are traditionally replaced by removable dentures or fixed bridges. Dentures typically rely on suction to hold them in place and can sometimes feel loose or uncomfortable. Conventional bridges are held in place using other teeth, but these usually need to be cut down or reshaped to allow the bridge to attach. Dental implants can be used to provide a fixed replacement for a single tooth, for multiple teeth or to secure full dentures.
Will I be Suitable for Dental Implants?
Most people who have good general and oral health will be suitable for treatment with dental implants. Adequate bone is needed in order to place implants and the gum tissue should be free of infection or gum disease. Please make an appointment with our periodontist, Dr. Sorin Cristea for a consultation.