Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

In recent years dental implants have become increasingly common place. Just like the teeth they replace, dental implants can be used to support single crowns, bridges large and small, and even dentures. They are made from medical grade Titanium such as you would find in replacement hips and knees and are placed in your jaw to mimic tooth roots, where they fuse to the bone creating a solid anchor for your new teeth. The evidence tells us that when well cared for implants can last you many years. Are you looking to replace missing teeth with dental implants in Halifax? Our team is here to help!

Why Implants might be a good choice for you:

  • Replace a missing tooth with something that looks and feels great.
  • Restore your confidence talking, smiling and eating.
  • You don’t need to replace each missing tooth with an implant. We can place implants at strategic points to support a few or many teeth on a bridge.
  • The teeth either side do not need to be drilled to replace a missing tooth, this can sometimes lead to a tooth dying and needing a root treatment.
  • A loose lower denture can be made firmer with just a couple of implants!
  • Implants can help preserve the shape of your face. When teeth are extracted, the bone that supported the teeth isn’t needed any more. The body absorbs this bone and the cheeks and lips sink back as they lose their support.

Are Implants right for you?

Implants are a terrific way of replacing teeth but sometimes it may not be the right time.
Young people should have stopped growing before implants are placed otherwise the jaws continue to grow around the implant. This means the minimum age is 18, although for some there is a degree of facial growth into their mid-twenties.

There is no upper age limit if you are well. However, some medication, bone diseases, immune problems and other serious illnesses may mean it is either not possible or appropriate to place implants for you.

The health of your mouth is crucial for the success of implants so any active disease should be resolved before starting implant treatment. Gum or periodontal disease is a particular concern and must be stabilised first as unfortunately we find people with this issue tend to have more problems and are more likely to lose their implants earlier.

Smokers can have implants but we would advise you stop before treatment as bone grafts tend to be unsuccessful in smokers and the long term prognosis of implants is affected.

What will my treatment involve?

  • Examination: proper assessment of your mouth is required to anticipate any potential problems. The health of your mouth, the condition of the bone, how you smile will be taken into consideration before planning your new restoration. Conventional 2D X-rays and sometimes 3D (CBCT) images will be required to plan where the implant(s) will be placed. Clinical photo’s may also be used to help explain the proposed treatment and a detailed plan of your treatment will be drawn up and explained to you.
  • Implant placement: a small cut will be made in the gum over the space where the implant is planned, a hole is then made in the bone and the implant inserted. Sometimes this is done immediately after an extraction but more often the implant is placed after a degree of healing has occurred. If there is limited bone for the implant to sit in, it may be necessary to add a bone substitute (bone graft) to the area. A false tooth on a temporary bridge or denture is placed and the implant is then left to heal and unite with the bone for 3-6 months.
  • Restoration: once the implant has healed it is uncovered and impressions taken for the final tooth/teeth, this may require a period with a temporary restoration so that the full potential of your new tooth can be developed. Only once you are happy with the final restoration will it be fixed to your implant and you’re ready for that big smile!

Can I forget about implants once they’re in?

Like most things, if implants are cared for, they can last for many years. Clinical evidence tells us that 95% of implants last 10 years. Unfortunately, a very small number of implants never heal with the bone and simply come out. The greater problem is with implants that are not properly cleaned, as like teeth, implants can develop gum disease. Bacteria left by inadequate cleaning first irritate the gum (mucositis), then the bone (peri-implantitis) causing it to melt away around the implant, this is usually painless. This is why it is essential your implants are checked regularly, your oral hygiene is meticulous, and you avoid smoking. Your dentist and hygienist will be there to ensure you have a maintenance plan and help you with any problems or concerns you have about your implants.

Would you like to book an appointment? Please call us today on 01422 353520

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