Missing a tooth, or several teeth, following an accident while playing contact sports, or through the ageing process, decay and gum disease is common. Whatever the reason, all is not lost. You are not deemed to spend years with an unsightly gap, wearing removable dentures. Dental implants are an excellent solution. Not only do they support artificial teeth which look as good as your natural teeth but they are invisible and function well. You may have heard about dental implants but need a fuller explanation on how they are fitted so you are fully informed before you go ahead. Alkali in Putney will help you to understand the complexities of implants at every stage before you decide to fill the gap with new teeth.
New teeth not only restore your smile but your self-esteem, rebuilding confidence you thought lost forever. Missing teeth and bone loss can lead to premature ageing. Resorption is a normal and inevitable process in which bone is lost when it is no longer supporting teeth. Only dental implants can stop this process and preserve the bone. You may think you need a face-lift whereas you really need to restore your teeth.
Implant Procedure Explained
1# What comes first:
The first step is to make an appointment with your dentist for an implant consultation. The dentist will make an evaluation to see if you are a suitable candidate. This involves clinical exams or x-rays and CT scans. It is important you are in good health for implants to successfully integrate and heal. Some diseases, such as uncontrolled diabetes, prescription medications or smoking and drinking can affect the outcome. Your dentist will need to take a full history.
Where and how your implants are placed requires a detailed assessment of your mouth and jaw bone. Planning with the help of computer imaging ensures that dental implants can be placed in exactly the right position in the bone.
In some cases, it will be necessary to carry out a bone grafting procedure as there may not be enough bone for the implant to be attached to. This procedure will happen separately to the implant procedure. The time frame of the treatment depends on how complicated it is and how many implants you will be having.
2# The Implant Treatment:
All treatment will be done under local anaesthesia. However unpleasant the procedure sounds, do not fear. You will not feel any pain. The dentist will cut into your gum and then drill a very small hole into the jawbone to make a channel where the implant is to be placed. There are two stages to this procedure:
During stage one, the implant, a tiny titanium pole, is fitted into the jawbone and screwed in place. In the second stage, the implant will be concealed under the gum while the bone heals.
In some cases, the implant will be screwed into the jawbone and sealed with a screw cover beneath the gum. The tissue is then sutured over it. Others will have a healing cap with the tissue sutured around until it is has fused and fully healed. This cap is only temporary and will be removed in due course.
3# Healing after Implant Surgery
It will take roughly three to sixth months for the bone to heal and fuse with the implant. The time frame is approximate. As individuals, we all have a different recovery rate. You may feel a little discomfort in the early days but with the help of over-the-counter pain relief medication, you should not have any problem. Your dentist will give you a set of instructions to help the healing process and will need to see you during the healing period to make sure all is going well.
After your mouth has healed, you will have another appointment where the dentist will fit an artificial tooth, a crown, bridge or implant denture on top of the implant. To do this, the dentist will uncover the gum immediately over the implant and fit an abutment. Having done this, the dentist will ensure it fits well on the implant and that it is not causing you any discomfort.
4# Fitting New Teeth after Implant Surgery
And now for the best part; your new teeth. From impressions and moulds of your existing teeth, a 3D image is made. With the aid of cad-cam technology, our highly skilled technicians create the framework of your new tooth, or teeth, and fabricate individual replica teeth from ceramic or resin. The teeth will be a perfect reproduction of a natural tooth in colour, size and shape. Not only will they look good but they will function well, leaving you free to bite into an apple and eat all the foods you enjoy without any risk of embarrassment or discomfort.
If all of your lower or upper teeth are missing, you will need multiple implants to support your dentures. Implant dentures are often used to replace extensive tooth and bone loss, providing support for the facial structure, lips and cheeks, so you do not have the image of a hollowed face we fear as we get older. An implant denture has attachments that snap or clip it into place on the implants and look as good as real teeth.
5# Maintenance of Dental Implants
After your new teeth have been fitted, your dentist will follow up with several review appointments to ensure your implants are healthy and all is going well. Your dentist will need to monitor your implants to make sure the integrity of the implant is secure, and that the crowns, bridgework or dentures are functioning satisfactorily. Implants do require looking after. It is important to practice good daily oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing to control bacteria and avoid gum disease. It is also important to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly.
Are you looking to replace your missing teeth with implants? Please post your comment below we would love to hear your personal experience.