WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are used when a tooth or teeth have been lost.
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is placed within the jaw bone to act as an artificial root. Titanium is well-tolerated and over a period of time your own bone becomes attached to the surface of the implant. This provides a firm foundation for the attachment of a crown, bridge or denture.
WHY DENTAL IMPLANTS FOR MISSING TEETH?
Tooth loss can have important functional and psychological implications. Patients may suffer difficulty with eating, uncomfortable and poorly retained false teeth or self-consciousness.
Where there is loss of a single tooth, restoration of the space using an implant does not involve treatment to or trimming down of adjacent teeth as might be required for a conventional fixed bridge.
A dental implant and implant crown will also help to minimise the amount of bone that will be lost in the area of the missing tooth. Preserving bone may help to maintain your remaining natural teeth and natural facial contours.
In many cases dental implants can allow removable dentures to be dispensed with completely by replacing them with fixed bridgework similar to natural teeth with not only an aesthetically pleasing appearance but also a virtually natural function. Where a denture is required, it is fixed to the implant allowing the wearer to feel confident that it is secure.
When your treatment is complete, you should be able to chew, speak and socialise without experiencing the negative emotions that may be associated with missing teeth.
SINGLE TOOTH – STEP BY STEP
The need to replace a missing tooth could be the result of an accident or because there was no predisposition for a tooth at birth.
The dental implant is installed in the jaw bone. No healthy teeth are affected or damaged. With other replacement solutions, adjacent teeth might need to be ground down to support a bridge.
The abutment is attached to the dental implant. A crown is then placed on the abutment, fitting perfectly at the edge of the gum.
The new tooth is now complete and it is virtually impossible to see the difference between the existing teeth and the new tooth.
SEVERAL TEETH – STEP BY STEP
Some people loose teeth in the back of the mouth. This is typically caused by gum infection (periodontitis) or by teeth cracking due to previous fillings.
Between two and four dental implants are installed for a dental implant bridge. This solution does not affect your own teeth. The bridge will function for many years, regardless of the condition of your existing teeth.
Abutments are attached to the dental implants. The next step is to fit a bridge; the new set of teeth is placed on the abutments.
The dental implant bridge is now in place and can withstand the strong chewing forces that occur in the back of the mouth. It feels and functions like natural teeth.
REPLACING ALL TEETH – STEP BY STEP
If you have lost all your teeth in one or both jaws, you can choose a permanently anchored dental implant bridge or a removable prosthesis that is connected to two or more dental implants. This is called an overdenture. This type of overdenture remains in place more firmly than a conventional removable prosthesis. For the most natural looking solution, the permanently anchored dental implant bridge is the answer when the prerequisites are met.
For a permanently anchored dental implant bridge, several dental implants are installed to form a good foundation. Because the dental implants are anchored in the jawbone, they stimulate the bone tissue and help to maintain healthy bone levels and facial structures.
An overdenture involves installing two or more dental implants that will be used as a secure foundation to attach the prosthesis.
The abutments are attached to the dental implants and the bridge is fitted in place. All dental work is performed according to your prerequisites and wishes.
The dental implant bridge, or the overdenture, is now in place. It looks and functions like normal teeth. You can now eat whatever you like and laugh without having to worry about the prosthesis falling out.