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Dental implants

Diagram of the structure of a dental implant

If you have missing teeth and would prefer a more permanent solution than a traditional removable denture, then a dental implant may be just what you're looking for

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root which is surgically placed in the jaw bone. Normally made of titanium, after placement the implant fuses with the surrounding bone to provide a solid and permanent anchor for either a crown, bridge or denture

What's involved
The first stage of the process is normally the extraction of the tooth to be replaced. The resulting socket is then allowed to heal and, after a few months the implant is surgically placed in the jawbone. The implant is then left for 3-6 months to enable it to fuse with the surrounding bone. Once that has been achieved, an abutment is then attached to the implant and impressions taken for the final restoration if appropriate. A week or two is then allowed for the crown, bridge or denture to be manufactured at the laboratory and a final appointment made for the fitting of the item which can either be cemented or screwed to the abutment or clipped into place in the case of removable implant supported dentures.

Will I be suitable for an implant?
For many patients, the answer is a simple yes. However a proportion may need either a bone graft in the lower jaw or sinus lift in the upper jaw to provide sufficient bone to hold the implant in place. We will be happy to advise you whether this applies to you and the additional costs if so.

The benefits
Implants cost a lot more than other solutions for missing teeth so what are the benefits? Firstly, as long as you take care with brushing & flossing, they should last for the rest of your life. They prevent bone loss in the area surrounding the extraction site and restore full function to the mouth. Unlike traditional bridges, they do not rely on the surrounding teeth for support and therefore do not require the removal of healthy tooth structure from them which is the case for fixed bridges.

Next steps
If you'd like more information or would like to know whether you are a suitable patient for dental implants, request your free consultation by completing the form in the resources bar or calling the practice.