What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial replacements for the roots of teeth. They are normally made of titanium, and integrate into the jawbone to replace the missing roots of teeth. Once dental implants are fully integrated, they can be restored, either using dental crowns, bridges or they can be used to secure a denture.
What can be replaced with dental implants?
Dental implants can replace single teeth by using a crown, or multiple teeth using bridges, or an entire arch using crowns, bridges or dentures.
If you have a lower denture that is loose, a commonly used option for replacing a lower denture is to use two dental implants with ball attachments. As lower dentures can be a nuisance and are renowned for being unstable, ball attachments stop movement and keep the dentures in place.
But dentures can also be replaced with full arch bridges. These give very strong, secure results and provide a good appearance. This is the closest result to natural teeth.
What is the process for dental implants?
The process for placing and restoring dental implants varies, depending upon what is required for each individual case.
Sometimes some augmentation is required before implants are placed. After any augmentation is done, the dental implants are placed into the jaw and typically allowed to integrate for 3 to 6 months before impressions are taken. This is to allow new bone to form around the dental implants.
After this time, a series of appointments are needed to take impressions, record the way your teeth bite together and to ensure a good fit of the final restoration.
Will I be able to eat with dental implants?
Yes! That is one of the main advantages of dental implants! Many people find that they can’t eat as well after losing teeth. Dental implants restore your ability to eat much better than dentures.
Will dental implants cause problems with my other teeth?
No! One of the main advantages of dental implants over conventional dental bridges is that it DOESN’T do any harm to your other teeth. In fact, other teeth can move about after you lose a tooth. A dental implant will prevent movement of the other teeth and reduce the risk to other teeth.
There is an abundance of information available from the ADI here: http://www.adi.org.uk/public/implant/index.htm. The ADI is a group set up to improve knowledge about this fantastic treatment within the UK.