- Dental Implants
- There’s no need to go through life with missing teeth. Implants are a safe, well-established replacement. Our surgeons have placed over 30,000 dental implants, making us one of the most experienced dental teams in Europe.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
Dentures are false teeth and although their quality has improved, they can slip out of place, while eating, or speaking, causing huge embarrassment. Implants are implanted securely and therefore don’t move, making you feel more confident when talking and more comfortable when eating.
The colour is matched to your other teeth, making them look just like your natural teeth and provided you look after them, as you would your own teeth, they are a good long-term solution.
Here seen from the side, this is a front lateral incisor. There are many options for the type of crown used such as porcelain fused to metal and the latest zirconia based crowns. Not every crown requires an implant; for example, if 3 teeth need replacing next to each other then usually only 2 implants are required with 3 crowns on top.
The post, which is the upper portion of the abutment, will in this case have the crown cemented onto it after the lower section is attached to the implant below. Notice the curved horizontal line which is designed to fit the lower curve of the crown. None of the abutment will be visible once the crown is fitted onto it. There are options for abutments from standard abutments right up to the most aesthetically pleasing zirconia abutments used primarily for front teeth.
The Dental Implant
None of the implant is visible once the abutment and crown have been fitted. There are a range of implants available and usually you will be able to choose the one that suits your budget. Some implants are better suited to solve certain problems but you will always be advised where this is the case.
To begin, you will have an incision made and the implant placed into the jawbone using a screw, which replaces the root of the original tooth. The gums are then sutured using stitches and left to heal for three to six months, during which time the jawbone will integrate with the implant.
Temporary crowns or dentures can be fitted but patients must avoid hard or chewy foods. When healed, an abutment is placed on the implant and an impression is taken which is used to create the crown, or ‘tooth’. The crown will be shaped and coloured to match your other teeth. A final fitting completes the process.
Dental implants usually require at least three months to heal, but with a bone graft this can extend to 6 months or more.
All of this may sound painful, but the procedure is easier than taking a tooth out. Usually a local anaesthetic is used, which means you are awake but shouldn’t feel any pain. Should you be very anxious, you can have oral sedation or general anaesthetic. You may experience discomfort and swelling for a few days after the procedure, however painkillers, such as Ibuprofen are recommended and you can use an icepack to reduce swelling. Avoid smoking and vigorous exercise, and eat soft foods until your mouth has healed.