Dental implants may be big news on the dental scene, but not everyone is familiar with what they are and how they work. If you’re new to dental implants, here is a guide to help you understand a bit more about this incredible treatment.
The ins and outs of dental implants
Dental implants are small titanium prostheses used to replace the tooth root when the natural tooth is lost through injury, infection or gum disease. The aim of treatment is to anchor a new crown, bridge or denture to create a healthy looking and functional smile.
Before you start implant treatment, it is important for us to plan your treatment precisely. Once we have checked that you are a good candidate for implant treatment, we use the latest technology to find the optimum site for the dental implant in your jaw bone. A socket is created in the bone tissue using a dental drill and the implant is then placed very carefully. This involves creating an incision in the gum and lifting a small flap to access the bone. Once the implant is secure, the flap is closed and the implant is left to heal. Titanium is selected because it is biocompatible, which means that it can integrate into the bone in the same way a natural root is anchored. Once the process of osseointegration is complete, the implant can then be joined to a crown, denture or bridge, which replaces the visible part of the tooth.
Implants are impressive because they provide the same level of functionality as a healthy tooth. They are last for many years and produce beautifully natural looking aesthetics, so nobody will ever guess that you have implants rather than natural teeth.
Am I a suitable candidate for implant treatment?
Implant treatment is suited to most adults with missing teeth, however there may be some exceptions. If you have active gum disease, your bone tissue is very weak or you are a heavy smoker, there may be other options that are more appropriate before we continue with treatment. When you have your consultation, we will go through some basic tests to ascertain whether implants are suitable and discuss the treatment and any other potential options in detail with you.
Dental implants have revolutionised tooth replacement treatment over the last few years and we are delighted to offer both traditional and mini dental implants.
Dental implants are small prostheses, which are fixed into openings in the jaw bone to take on the role of the absent tooth root. Implants are made from titanium, which is a biocompatible material; this means that the implant is able to integrate into the bone tissue. Implants are very versatile tooth replacements because they fit with different types of restoration and this makes them an accessible treatment for patients with any number of missing teeth. Once the implant has integrated, the new restoration can be attached and the new tooth will work in exactly the same way as a natural tooth.
About mini implants
As the name suggests, mini implants are smaller versions of traditional dental implants. Mini implants are versatile like normal implants and they are also suitable for patients who lack bone mass and density in the jaw bone. These implants may be suitable for patients who have been advised against traditional implants or told that they may need bone grafting because they are more tolerable.
One common use of mini dental implants is to anchor a denture. Dentures are effective tooth replacements in their own right, but they do occasionally cause problems and implant-retained dentures are considered an excellent option for patients who may have experienced issues with the fit and function of traditional dentures in the past.
With implant-retained dentures, the dentures are secured by mini implants (or traditional implants), rather than the suction of the gums and this allows for greater bite power, enhanced comfort and a reduced risk of slipping, irritation and sore spots.
To find out more about dental implants, mini implants and our other restorative treatments and to see how mini implants could benefit you, call us and make an appointment today!