Cosmetic Dentistry – Dental Implants

A dental implant is simply a titanium insert or rod which is implanted into the jawbone to act as a stable base for an artificial tooth or to provide support for bridges, crowns or loose dentures. Titanium is the material of choice because it can integrate with bone with minimal risk of rejection.

A dental implant acts in the same way as the root of a healthy tooth and can be used to support a single tooth or denture or together with a row of implants to create a full mouth reconstruction.

The dental implant technique is now well established and the resulting transformation can last up to 15 years.

The dental implant procedure:

Placing dental implants requires a minor operation which can often be performed under local anaesthetic but in some cases may require general anaesthetic.

Once fitted, in can take 3 - 6 months for the implants to fully integrate after which your cosmetic dentist will reassess before proceeding to fit the crowns or dentures. During the integration period you may be fitted with a temporary restoration which remains until the implants are sufficiently stable to fit the artificial teeth. After the initial assessment, the cosmetic dentist will provide you with a full timetable for completion of the treatment.

Can the teeth be remove from the implants?

This depends on how the implant is used. If the implant supports a single tooth it can only be removed by the cosmetic dentist, however if the implant(s) support a denture, this may be removed for cleaning.

Is an implant used for every tooth?

Not necessarily – an implant can usually support up to 2 teeth so up to 6 implants may be used for a full jaw reconstruction.

Bone grafts:

Where there is insufficient jaw bone to insert a standard implant, a bone graft may be required. This is where alternative bone is taken from the patient and surgically added to the implant site. This adds complication to the process and in some cases “mini implants” can be used as an alternative procedure.

Mini implants:

Mini implants may be a possible alternative to standard implants in cases where insufficient jaw bone exists to successfully place the standard titanium rod. If this is possible the inconvenience and extra cost of bone grafting can be avoided. Your cosmetic dentist will advise accordingly.

Advantages of Dental Implants:

  • Dental implants can be used to replace single or multiple teeth to enhance your appearance, smile and confidence.
  • Even in bad cases of significant tooth or mouth deterioration, dental implants can be used to give massive visual improvements
  • Dental implants can last up to 15 years
  • Mini implants are often a viable alternative where insufficient jaw bone exists to use standard implants
  • The implant technique has been around for 40 years and is a trusted technique with high levels of success

Disadvantages of Dental Implants:

  • A surgical procedure is required although this can often be done under local anaesthetic
  • Cost! – implants can be expensive (£2000 per tooth or more) so do your research carefully!
  • Bone grafting may sometimes be necessary but mini implants could offer an alternative in some cases
  • In rare case, implants may fail to bond with the surrounding jawbone. In this case the jaw may be allowed to heal before trying again or the cosmetic dentist may produce a “bridge” as an alternative solution.

Dental implantology is a highly specialised technique so it is important to consult a professional, fully qualified cosmetic dentist before proceeding.

Please read on to discover key facts about all the other cosmetic dentistry techniques and options....... Orthodontics

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