The benefits of dental implants from Charlbury Dental Practice can be life changing, providing an answer to any embarrassment, discomfort or inconvenience caused by missing teeth or loose dentures.
Dental implants are our treatment of choice for missing teeth because they look and feel like natural teeth whilst restoring normal function and appearance. Implant dentistry can change your smile and life for years to come!
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed carefully into the jawbone to act as an anchor to support one or more replacement teeth. Also implants can be used to anchor loose dentures.
What is a dental implant made of?
During the 1960s researchers observed that the metal titanium formed a very strong bond to surrounding bone, a process termed “osseointegration,” so pure titanium has become the material of choice for implants. Coatings of biomaterial encourage the formation of bone on the implant and so speed up the osseointegration process.
Why should I consider dental implants?
If you, like lots of people have lost one or more teeth, you may be all too familiar with the unpleasant consequences. For many, missing teeth leads to:
- an unattractive smile
- embarrassment from loose dentures
- pain or difficulty with eating.
What alternative treatments might I consider?
Your dentist will discuss treatment options with you in order to find what approach is best for you. Traditional dentistry can provide replacements for missing teeth using bridges, or removable partial or full dentures.
However each of these solutions has its problems:
- Bridgework usually involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth.
- Partial and full dentures can, at times, be unstable leading to denture sores or speech difficulties; there is also the psychological effect of having to “remove your teeth” at night, which some patients find difficult.
- Another little known problem associated with tooth loss is a process known as "atrophy," a shrinking of the jawbone that can progress relentlessly over the years. Bone atrophy not only affects jaw function, but can cause adverse facial cosmetic changes.
What are some of the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants offer an effective, safe and predictable solution to the problems resulting from missing teeth. Many patients report exciting benefits from dental implants, such as:
- Replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth
- Improved taste and appetite
- Improved cosmetic appearance
- The ability to chew without pain or gum irritation
- Improved quality of life
One additional and very important benefit can be the reduction or elimination of bone atrophy or shrinkage, commonly associated with loss of teeth.
What does the treatment involve?
Dental implants are usually completed in two phases after a thorough assessment, occasionally involving a CT scan.
Phase 1: This is the actual implant placement, a process generally performed in our dental practice with local anaesthesia or oral sedation to help make you more comfortable. Using precise, gentle surgical techniques, the implants are placed into the jawbone.
The implants are left for 3 to 6 months while osseointegration (bonding to bone) takes place. This helps ensure a strong, solid foundation for replacement teeth. During this time, temporary bridges or dentures may be used to minimize any cosmetic or chewing inconvenience. In some cases temporary teeth can be attached to the implants the same day, thereby avoiding the need to wear a removable denture. Your dentist will explain which approach they recommend in your case.
Phase 2: This involves creating and attaching the new tooth or teeth to the anchored implant(s) in your jaw. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or complete dentures.
How successful is the treatment?
Dental implants are truly revolutionary, solving an age old problem safely and predictably. Implantology is a tried and tested treatment. Ninety-five percent of modern implants last for at least 15 years and there are now patients who have had implant supported teeth for more than 25 years.
On the rare occasion that integration does not occur and the implant is loosening, then it can be removed and the site allowed to heal, with placement of another implant at a later stage.
What sort of dental implants do you provide at Charlbury Dental Practice?
We use dental implants systems which have been developed and produced by Nobel Biocare to meet your individual needs. There are many implant makes but we use this one as it has been around for the longest period of time and has a much respected reputation amongst implant surgeons.
Do I need to do anything special to maintain the implant?
Dental implants are firmly secured to bone and, as with natural teeth, require thorough cleaning. If this is not carried out then you may experience problems similar to that of gum disease with infection around the implant resulting in bone loss, loosening and failure. Cleaning around implants is no more difficult than cleaning your natural teeth and we will strongly advise you to see the hygienist on a regular basis to maintain the healthy status of your implant and the rest of your teeth and gums.