What Are Dental Implants?
Dental tooth implants are one of our most effective restorative treatments and is a technique our practice carries out. If you need to replace one or more broken or missing teeth and would prefer a more permanent alternative to false dentures, a visit to our implant dentists will provide you with the solution you need to reclaim your quality of life, your smile and your self-esteem.
Choosing a clinician
As simple as the procedure is, it is highly specialised. It requires years of postgraduate study and accredited training before a practitioner is qualified to carry it out. For this reason, you need to be selective when choosing a dentist to treat you. Our Cheltenham dental implant dentists are experts in the field and are lecturers who are internationally recognised, as well as published authorities on the subject of dental implants. Added to their experience is their access to our cone beam CT scanner to ensure the treatment is both accurate and safe.
Finding a skilled professional to perform such a procedure is vital, but other important factors include the type of implant being used as well as the laboratory it is sourced from. We make sure all our implants come from the world’s leading manufacturers and most experienced laboratories in the country. Your health and safety is our highest priority and we take every measure to make sure it is maintained. Our friendly approach to dentistry means that you will always be made to feel comfortable during your visits too.
You should always ask your clinician about their implants; which ones they use and about the manufacturer, how extensively they have been tested and also about previous patients who have had the same procedure carried out. It’s good to get an idea of how satisfied previous patients have been.
In addition to restoring your teeth and providing you with a healthy, natural-looking smile, dental tooth implants also have several health benefits:
- They come in the form of titanium screws that provide the artificial root of your teeth. The screws are biocompatible with your jawbone, which means that not only will your body not reject them, but they will also stabilise and stimulate the bone, keeping it healthy and preventing further bone loss which can be a problem if gaps are left where teeth ought to be.
- The procedure for inserting dental implants is relatively short and simple for a dental treatment, as well as painless thanks to anaesthetic, which means it can all be performed during a single visit and your new teeth can be ready to use immediately.
- Dental Implants are not invasive and will not affect adjacent teeth the way dental bridges can. They will feel at home in your mouth as if they were your own natural teeth.
- Dental implants are secured into the bone, making the prosthesis attached to them so stable and comfortable, you will barely notice they are artificial.
- Dental implants can be used to secure dentures removing the possibility of the negative side-effects associated with dentures, such as gum inflammation, impaired speaking or chewing or the general embarrassment some patients feel when wearing them.
As long as you care for your new teeth and maintain a good dental hygiene routine every day, dental implants will prove to be a long-lasting replacement for lost or damaged teeth.
What is the best solution for me?
Since every patient is different it is essential that each individual consults their dentist for advice before proceeding with treatment, but whether you are looking to replace just one or several missing teeth, our implant dentists will be able to advise you accordingly and help you find the replacement you need.
One tooth missing
Every missing tooth needs to be replaced, even if it is only a tooth at the back of the mouth that no one can see. If you feel that your smile is unaffected by the tooth loss, the reasons for filling a gap go beyond cosmetic ones as a missing tooth left untreated can have negative effects on your dental health over time and a replacement is always necessary.
A dental implant is the best way to solve the problem of a missing tooth permanently. Implants form the base for a dental crown which is attached to them. These crowns have the appearance, feel and function of a real tooth and, with the shade and shape to match your own teeth, neither you nor anyone else will be able to tell the difference. The implant will also maintain the health of any adjacent teeth.
Several teeth missing
If you have more than one tooth missing it can often seem like a larger problem but there is always something that can be done. Our skilled technicians have often combined dental bridges and implants to create a simple solution.
The dental bridge is durable and helps protect the jawbone and maintain overall dental health as all good implants should. They also look and function just like real, natural teeth.
All teeth missing
If you are unfortunate enough to lose all of your teeth then your quality of life and self-esteem will be drastically affected. While dentures are a quick, simple solution, many people find them to be less than favourable.
Many dentures wearers find them painful and uncomfortable, a problem exacerbated if they require the use of a dental adhesive to fit properly. On top of this they can be the source of embarrassment by making eating and speaking an uncomfortable chore and can generally be cumbersome.
If you suffer from these problems, or want to avoid them, then a fixed prosthesis supported by implants may just be what you are looking for. You will be amazed at just how comfortable they are and how confident they make you feel. The treatment for this is called All-on-4 and will make functions like eating, speaking and smiling a lot easier.
All-on-4 dental implants are the ultimate solution for replacing missing teeth with one simple procedure. All-on-4 earns its name because the denture or bridge that replaces your teeth is all held in place by just four implants. The surgery is so quick and straightforward, it can be performed all in one day, which is why some refer to it as ‘smile in a day’. While single implants are more suited to individual tooth replacements, All-on-4 can replace an entire set of missing teeth with just one prosthetic.
It is the simplicity of the All-on-4 dental implant treatment that allows it to be performed so quickly, although skill, experience and precision are required by a dentist if they are to perform it. Holes are drilled into the jawbone and then the implants are inserted into them, while anaesthetic ensures the whole experience is painless for you. These holes must be drilled to the exact size of the implant to keep the implants safely secured. Once in place, a bridge specially created to suit the size and shape of your mouth is attached to provide you with a whole set of new teeth that are instantly ready to use.
Your new teeth will look and feel natural, making eating and speaking as easy and comfortable as if they grew there naturally. They feel so good you won’t even notice the difference.
Dental implant surgery usually has three phases:
Phase 1- Assessment
Every patient is unique and so are you, which is why you will need to consult your implantologist, so that your case can be assessed and the best treatment for it can be determined. Your implantologist will talk you through the options that are available and advise you of which treatment will be best for you so that you can make an informed decision.
Phase 2 – Surgical
This is the practical part that starts with a local anaesthetic, or intravenous sedation if you require it, and ends with a new set of teeth for you! The treatment is carried out in our Cheltenham dental clinic and lasts from 45 minutes to 3 hours. However, you may not have the crown applied during this session if the implants are not ready for it. Implants require time to integrate with the bone, which takes longer for some patients than for others. If immediate loading cannot be carried out, then delayed loading will be the preferred option after the integration period. This can last anywhere between 6 weeks and 6 months.
Phase 3 – Restoration
If delayed loading was necessary then it will take another visit to your implant dentist after the integration period to complete the process. On this occasion the permanent crown will be applied and your new teeth will be ready to use.
Does it matter if I have missing teeth?
Missing teeth may affect your appearance and self-confidence but the real priority is your dental health, which is why they should always be replaced, visible or not. Missing teeth can have the following effects if left untreated:
- Missing or broken teeth can cause TMJ if the way that your jaw works is hindered by the tooth loss. TMJ Disfunction is extremely painful and can require surgery.
- Any gaps expose the surrounding teeth and this can be harmful. It also leaves the gum exposed making it susceptible to disease.
- Missing teeth can result in bone loss and, in turn, the structure of your face. You may find that over time your features may droop and appear more distorted over time.