Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth, as they closely replicate the appearance and function of natural teeth. They can be used in cases unsuitable for conventional bridges, in preference to dentures. The implant simply provides support for a crown or bridge, removing the need to use neighbouring teeth for this purpose.
The treatment involves the placement of a titanium implant in the jaw bone under local anaesthetic. The implant is then normally left to heal and integrate into the bone for a period of approximately 3-6 months.
This is followed by the restorative stage. A connector (a titanium post) is fitted into the implant. An impression is then taken to allow the crown to be prepared. Finally, this is attached to the connector and placed in position on the implant.
Dental implants can be used in cases where patients have one, several or even all missing teeth. For more than one missing tooth it is often possible to attach more than one replacement tooth to a single implant, or even to support a large bridge on several implants.
For patients who have lost all or most of their teeth, the “all on four” technique uses the latest advances in implant technology to support a full upper or lower arch on four implants. In some cases, an “immediate load” technique is possible, where a temporary bridge is placed on the implants straight away following the implant surgery. This is especially useful where multiple teeth are to be replaced, as it allows the patient to eat normally during the healing process.
As an implant is placed in the jaw bone, before going ahead a CBT scan of the implant site is usually performed to check that sufficient bone is present and in good condition. In some cases, bone augmentation or sinus lift procedures may be required.
Once an implant has been carried out, a high standard of oral hygiene needs to be maintained, with regular visits to the dentist and hygienist highly recommended. Clinical data shows that the long-term success rate for implant treatment is very high, in the region of 90-95% in the absence of risk factors such as smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, gum disease, and poor bone quality and quantity.
Dental implants are carried out at Towngate Dental Practice by a visiting implantologist, who specialises in this field and has many years of experience with implant techniques. The restorative phase is completed by one of our own dentists.
If you are interested in implant treatment to replace one or more missing teeth, please book a no-obligation appointment for an assessment.