A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth. They are a fixed alternative to dentures and are a good option for people who have lost a tooth, or teeth, due to periodontal disease, an injury, infections or some other reason. They are a natural and long-term procedure for tooth replacement. Implant integration requires a minimum of 3 months and can be more if a bone graft is necessary. The result is strong and natural looking teeth. If looked after they can last from 10 to 30 years.
A crown is a type of lid that completely covers a real tooth or an implant abutment. It’s made from either porcelain fused to metal or metal free zirconium, and is fixed into your mouth. Crowns can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed or been damaged, or to make a tooth look better and to correct the bite. They can also be joined together to form a dental bridge. To fit a crown on a natural tooth, the tooth is drilled down, so that it becomes a small ‘peg’ shape, an impression is taken and a final crown is cemented onto it. Implant crowns/bridges can be screw retained or cemented.
Some times there is not enough bone to support dental implants. In this case bone grafting can be used to ‘fill-out’ the area where the implant will be placed. Depending on the situation often this can be carried out at the same time as the implants are placed. For some there will need to be a period of integration of several months before implants can be placed.
If your gums rest too low on your teeth or have an uneven gum-line and you are conscious of this, gum contouring. can help. The procedure can be carried out as part of other cosmetic procedures, such as crown or veneer placing, to achieve a desired symmetric or more even gum-line.
Veneers are less strong then crowns, only cover the outer surface of the tooth and are mainly used for minor corrections. To fit a veneer, the front of the tooth is drilled away, an impression is taken, and a thin layer of porcelain is fitted over the front of the tooth. Veneers are not suitable for everyone, the bite and the strength of the teeth has to be checked to confirm one’s suitability. If veneers are not suitable, crowns can be fitted to provide the desired results.
Orthodontic treatment (usually with braces) is most commonly used to improve the appearance, symmetry and alignment of crooked, protruding or crowded teeth and to correct problems with the bite. Orthodontics mainly use braces to correct the position of teeth.
Unlike many UK dentists, during the lockdown our London clinic remained open as our dental staff were able to enter the UK under special licence to fulfil their duty of care.