Offering a long-term solution for people with missing teeth, dental implants use metal ‘posts’ inserted in the jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth, crown or bridge in place.
Fitting dental implants is a multi-step treatment which can take several months to complete.
The first stage of treatment is for our specialist restorative dentists to insert the metal ‘post’ – or implant – into the jaw. This will then be allowed to heal for several months to ensure that it is integrated into the bone and is a firm root for the replacement tooth, crown or bridge.
The second stage of treatment involves exposing the implant, attaching a part called an abutment to the implant, and then using a temporary crown whilst the permanent crown is made.
The third stage involves fitting the permanent crown to the implant. The whole process can take up to a year to complete depending on how quickly the bone heals around the implant.
The health of your gums and jaw bone will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. The stability of the replacement tooth will depend on the implant being held firmly in place by the jaw bone and gums, and therefore the restorative dentist will only proceed if they are happy there will be a high chance of success.
A number of medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis and chronic sinus problems can limit the success of implants and will need to be assessed prior to treatment.
Once treatment is completed, you should be able to eat and drink normally and no-one will be able to tell that the tooth is a replacement.
As always, excellent oral hygiene is important to keep the gum area around your new tooth clean and free from plaque to prevent gum disease and future dental problems. Providing you continue to look after your teeth, the implant can last as long as 25 years.