A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, usually made from titanium that is placed into the jaw. A crown or bridge is then fitted on top to replace the missing tooth. The procedure must be performed by a trained dentist and in the right hands, this is a simple procedure.
Several implants can strongly secure a denture in place and give you the confidence to eat what you want without worrying about them coming loose.
Patients must have healthy gums and enough jaw bone to support the implants.
The procedure of having dental implants is performed over a period of several months. Initially the implant is placed into the jaw bone and left to heal over a period of 3-6 months. During this time the implant integrates with the surrounding bone tissue providing a solid support for the replacement tooth.
Once the jaw has healed, an impression is then taken of the mouth and sent to a dental technician, providing the exact size and shape for the replacement tooth. The technician will then build a bespoke replacement tooth (crown or bridge) which will blend in naturally with the other teeth.
Once the replacement tooth is ready, it will be tried in place and small adjustments made to ensure you can bite comfortably. Once you and your dentist are happy, the replacement tooth is then secured in place.
Good oral hygiene is vital after implants have been fitted. As well as avoiding decay and gum disease, this will prolong the success and life of the implant. Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to advise a suitable home care regime to ensure that good oral hygiene is maintained.