Dental implants are a perfect solution for missing or broken teeth.
In this quick article, we cover everything you need to know.
Let’s get to it!
- 1 Dental implants: what you need to know
- 2 Why dental implants?
- 3 Dental implant treatment procedure
- 4 Conclusion
Dental implants: what you need to know
In both cosmetic and restorative dentistry, dental implants have become an established way to replace severely damaged and missing teeth. The implants are designed to look and function just as natural teeth do, and with proper care and maintenance, they can serve as a long-term restoration without the need for further treatment.
As leading dental implant experts, we’ve undertaken countless procedures over the years (see some of our examples here). We have the knowledge, specialist skills, and experience to give you back your great smile. If you’ve lost a tooth or severely broken one or more, our dental implants treatment could be the perfect solution for you, to restore both the aesthetics and biting function of your teeth without the need for bridges and dentures.
Why dental implants?
Dental implants can dramatically improve the quality of your life and restore your confidence. You’ll no longer have to worry whether other people are noticing your missing teeth, and you can eat what you like at parties and restaurants (and at home, of course).
Aside from causing crippling self-consciousness, gaps from missing or broken teeth can lead to a number of health concerns. Chewing and speaking becomes more difficult, and there’s a higher risk of developing oral conditions, shifting of the remaining teeth, and poor nutrition from the inability to eat certain foods. Moreover, the longer the gap remains unfilled, the more bone deterioration can occur on the part where the tooth was supported.
Dental implants can be an effective solution to these risks and problems, providing the following benefits:
- Enhancing your smile and confidence
- Serves as an indistinguishable and long-lasting tooth replacement
- Prevents further bone deterioration
- Keeps the surrounding teeth from shifting and getting misaligned
- Avoids the gum irritation and slippage problems associated with dentures
- Restores proper chewing and biting function
- Helps to maintain the structure of the face by encouraging new bone growth
The right candidate for dental implants ideally has an ample amount of jawbone density to support the implant. In case you don’t have the right amount of bone density to support an implant, you might have to undergo a bone grafting procedure before the implant procedure is possible.
Dental implant treatment procedure
A dental implant is a small titanium screw designed to integrate seamlessly into the bone under the gum tissue, which is where the root of the missing tooth would sit. The titanium implant is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, the whole replacement tooth, including both the supporting implant and the false tooth are simply referred to as “implants”.
Once the implant integrates with the patient’s jaw bone, an abutment is then screwed into the implant, onto which an artificial crown is screwed. Along with the crowns, the implant can also be used to support fixed dentures, fixed bridges, or over-dentures (detachable dentures). Once healed, the implant should look and feel like a normal tooth, and the bone in the jaw should remain intact.
If you’re in Liverpool or Southport, with our dental implant service you can have any number of teeth replaced, whether it’s a single tooth or a complete set.
Here’s an overview of how the typical dental implant procedure works:
1. Initial Contact and Advice from an Implant Professional
The first step is a detailed discussion with a professional dentist or implant coordinator for information and advice on dental implant treatments and costs. This can be done over the phone or face to face, where you can see the facilities. With a proper introduction, you’ll have a better idea of the available treatment options and the expected costs. Of course, this is just for introductory purposes and shouldn’t replace the need for a clinical assessment.
2. Dental Consultation and Assessment
This is the stage where your oral health is assessed. If you are a good candidate for dental implants, a dental CBCT (cone beam CT) scan will be taken to assess the quantity and quality of the bone density. After the consultation, a brief meeting with an implant professional will formulate a detailed treatment plan, including the treatment options and costs, risks, charting, and aftercare information.
3. Dental Implant Placement
Placing the implant will require a small surgical procedure, which is carried out under local anaesthetic. You shouldn’t feel any pain at the time of the placement.
Images obtained from the CBCT scan will be used to ascertain the type of implant to use and direct its placement. The titanium implant is carefully screwed into the bone under the gum, and is then sutured with dissolvable stitches. A healing cap might be placed immediately, which saves the need to have it done in the restoration stage.
4. Integration of Dental Implant
The implants will need some time to bond (or integrate) with the bone after installation. The processed is known as osseointegration, and will take anywhere from 2 to 8 months depending on the patient’s treatment plan. Overall, it takes at least 3 months for the lower jaw and 6 months for the upper jaw.
If you’re having two or more teeth replaced, you will have temporary restoration teeth in the meantime.
This is the stage where the bridge, crown, or dentures are created and then placed onto the implant. This stage requires 2 to 6 appointment depending on the complexity of the patient’s case, with about two weeks between the appointments.
The restoration process involves the following:
- The dental implant is uncovered and a healing abutment is placed onto it. However, this can be done when the implant is being placed.
- The final impressions of the missing tooth are taken along with the colour of the adjacent teeth.
- Bite registration to ensure the bite occlusion is comfortable for the patient. (Not always necessary)
- Try-ins where the patient tests out the new bridge, crown, or denture. Any adjustments are sent back to the lab. (Not always necessary)
- Final fit of the abutment along with the crown, bridge, or denture.
We provide high quality crowns, dentures, and bridges to ensure an optimum aesthetic outcome for all our patients. Dental implants installed at our dental clinics can last for decades with proper care and maintenance.
6. After Care
The dental implant treatment isn’t complete when the crown is successfully placed. It’s important that the patient follows a proper oral hygiene routine to enhance the durability of the implants. This means following prescribed at-home techniques, visiting a dentist at least every 6 months, and scheduling annual assessments for the implants, gums, and overall oral hygiene levels.
Here’s a video showing how implants are inserted:
If you’re still researching, can find more information about dental implants on Wikipedia.