A dental implant is commonly made of titanium, a metal that is well-tolerated by the body, which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. A small attachment at the top of the implant emerges through the gum. Crowns, bridges or dentures can then be attached to the implant by screws or clips.
For people in good general health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to disease, an injury, or some other reason, dental implants are an ideal option. They are so natural-looking; you may forget you ever lost a tooth!
There are 2 common types of implant used today:
Dental implants have been used for over 30 years to replace missing teeth. Depending upon how you look after them, they can last a lifetime.
For anyone seeking the optimal method of replacing missing teeth, dental implants are rapidly becoming the preferred treatment. They offer an immediate and permanent solution for people with missing teeth and for those losing their teeth.
Under a local anaesthetic, implants are placed during a small operation.
The gum where the implant is to be placed is cut and lifted. A small hole is drilled in the jawbone at the precise location of the intended implant. The titanium implant is tightly fitted into this socket and the gum is stitched back over the implant. If there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the implant, a bone graft may be required, or alternatively we may use smaller sized mini-implants, if suitable.
You may feel a little discomfort after the operation due to stitches and the normal healing process.
After they have been placed, your implants will need to bond with the bone. This can take at least 3 months in the lower jaw, and 6 months in the upper jaw. If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then you can wear them throughout the healing period once they have been adjusted after the surgery.