Returning your smile to its former glory with the next best thing to natural teeth
Implants achieve a lot more than just replacing teeth. Having a whole smile again leaves you feeling like a new person, full of confidence and proud to smile.
Dental implants are titanium posts that can support replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth with a bridge. In many situations when none of the teeth can be saved, it is possible to remove all teeth in one or both jaws and replace all missing teeth with dental implants. This can be done on the same day.
Why have dental implants?
There are many ways to replace missing tooth/teeth such as dentures, bridges or implants. Unfortunately, dentures are not fixed and hence can keep moving in your mouth while talking, swallowing or chewing. It covers your gum area around neighbouring teeth or palate and so affects the way you can taste your food. It also places undue pressure onto other teeth. Bridges using your natural teeth involves drilling adjacent teeth and hence it is much more invasive.
When you have a missing tooth/teeth, the jawbone gradually degrades over time with the absence of the roots in the bone. Implants prevent this shrinkage as they form firm foundations in the jaw, encouraging the jawbone to remain healthy. As implants are fixed, there’s no need to worry about loose dentures or removing them at night. Implants look, feel and function like natural teeth.
Can I have implants?
Before starting any implants treatment, Dr Devang Patel will arrange for x-rays and scans to determine how much bone density is at the site where the implant will go.
Severe gum disease is one of the reasons why there may not be enough bone. Some people naturally have less bone than others. However, there are treatments that can replenish the bone, adding to the volume before an implant can be placed. Dr Devang Patel is an expert in advanced bone regeneration, bone grafting and sinus lift, and using state of the art equipment and techniques, he has managed to place implants for patients where it was deemed not possible due to lack of bone.
Implant treatment explained
The best time to plan for an implant is before any teeth are removed. If teeth have already been removed, then we usually wait for 10-12 weeks before assessing bone height and width with CT scans. Once we have assessed the bone we then place implants as soon as possible. We need to allow plenty of time between appointments to give your implant time to fuse properly. Usually 8 to 12 weeks is enough.
Once we have checked that the implant has fused properly and securely, we expose the top of the implant and add a cap. This allows the gum to heal naturally around a tooth-like shape. The cap is then replaced with an abutment. We take measurement of this and the surrounding teeth to capture enough information for the master technician who will create your custom-made tooth.
When we have your replacement, Dr Devang Patel will see you for the fitting. It’s always an exciting time when we see your complete smile. During the whole process, we can provide a temporary bridge so you aren’t left with a gap.
Looking after your implants
The longevity of your implant relies on your oral care regime and dental visits. Gum disease can attack your bone as well as your gums, affecting the integrity of your implant. This can all be prevented by keeping your implants safe from gum disease through cleaning away plaque and bacteria and routine hygiene appointments
Part 1 – Effects of missing teeth and replacement options