More and more patients are opting to have a dental implant as a permanent solution to replace a missing tooth in favour of the less rigid partial dentures and dental bridges. Implants come in the form of small screws anchored directly into the jawbone to hold an artificial tooth in exactly the same way a root supports a real tooth. This creates a feeling more similar to having a real tooth and also gives the patient an extra sense of security.
One dental implant fitted by a Bath dentist can support one or more artificial teeth, and five implants is usually enough to support a whole dental arc. Whole arc replacements are commonly being used as an alternative to dentures, which are notoriously prone to moving about and even falling out, which can be a source of great anxiety for many patients.
The surgery needed to fix a dental implant is more complex and more expensive than most other dental substitutes but the advantage of extra security and longevity often proves to be well worth it. A dental bridge will commonly last for between five and seven years whereas an implant, if properly maintained, can last as long as twenty-five years.
Once fixed into the jaw, the implant, usually made form titanium, will be left for several weeks or months to fuse with the bone and tissue structure around it. This process is called osseointegration and can vary significantly from patient-to-patient. Although it should be pointed out that implants may not be suitable for all patients depending on the condition of the jawbone and existing teeth.