Losing a tooth, or several teeth makes it difficult to eat normally but it can also affect your confidence, making you too self-conscious to smile or talk properly. We understand this and can offer an affordable, effective solution.
There are lots of reasons why we lose teeth; gum disease, tooth decay, accidents and ageing can all cause teeth to loosen, fall out or become damaged and need replacing.
The Latest Technology in Dental Replacement
Previously, the only option available to people with a missing tooth was dentures or bridges. Now, thanks to advances in dental technology, there is a range of sturdier, more durable and natural-looking options available to patients, including dental implants.
These can be used either to fix dentures or bridges securely into position (implant-supported prostheses) or on their own to replace single or multiple teeth (implant-retained prostheses).
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or a whole arch of teeth. Root Form Implants usually consist of a metal screw or rod, typically made from a safe, biocompatible substance such as titanium, which effectively serves as an artificial root replacement and will, over time, fuse with your natural bone. This provides a sturdy base upon which a crown, single artificial tooth or bridge/overdenture (multiple replacement teeth) can be attached.
Alternative types of the implant include Plate Form or Trans-Osseous Implants, which involve placing a metal plate, rather than screws or pins, underneath the gums, and Subperiosteal Implants, which require an implant that is individually moulded to fit the exact outlines of your jawbone which is then inserted beneath the gum line.
Generally speaking, though, Root Form Implants are the most popular option and offer the highest rates of success.
Additional Considerations – Contra-Indications and Complications
Implants are best-suited to patients in good health who do not have compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatments, do not smoke or drink heavily and do not suffer from tooth-grinding conditions such as bruxism.
In some cases, especially where a patient’s jawbone is damaged or too thin to take a Root Form Implant, a bone graft may be necessary to improve the density and strength of the jawbone. This will ensure that the implant remains firmly anchored in position within the jawbone once inserted.
Sometimes, it may also be necessary to perform a ‘sinus lift‘ before putting in an implant. This involves restoring the floor position of any sinus cavities in the jawbone, which may have dropped due to tooth or bone loss, to their correct levels by using a bone substitute to prop them up. This can sometimes happen with the maxillary sinuses located in the rear part of the upper jaw.
Many dentists recommend dental implants because they offer the possibility of permanent tooth replacement that is stable, looks and feels like a natural tooth, and does not affect the surrounding teeth (a common issue with dental bridges) or affect speech in any way. They also form a strong, solid attachment for dental bridges and dentures, which, in turn, improves their structural integrity and fit.
The long-term prognosis for maintaining good dental health is also superior since they are easy to clean and floss.
Research has also shown that implants can actually help to slow down any further deterioration in the jawbone and gums, preventing gums from shrinking and receding, and helping to halt bone loss.
On the cosmetic side, implants can also help you to maintain good facial proportions by reinforcing your natural bone structure. This prevents your cheeks from sagging and the lower part of your face from getting that ‘sucked in’ appearance.
For the Best Results, Choose a BACD dentist
Implant dentistry is a fairly complex area of dentistry, so it is important to choose a practitioner that is well-qualified and experienced enough in this area to deliver a great-looking, successful result.