A dental implant is a titanium post placed in the jaw bone. Over time, the implant fuses to the bone, providing life-long support for a natural-looking crown or bridge. There are clinical and aesthetic advantages of placing a dental implant into the gap left by a missing tooth. The implant prevents any bone loss that occurs if a tooth is missing as the bone integrates with the implant to hold it firmly and permanently in place.
A porcelain crown is then fitted on top of the implant so that the space is filled by a fixed and permanent prosthetic that looks just like a natural tooth. Patients with multiple tooth loss can also benefit from a fixed solution through the placing of dental implants.
The procedure is usually quite straightforward and pain-free. Following an initial consultation, study models of your teeth are taken to help the planning phase of your treatment. The first stage of treatment commences with the placing of the implant and this is usually followed by a period of some weeks to allow the implant to integrate into the bone surrounding it, a process known as osseointegration.
Following this, the top of the implant is exposed and the restoration is fitted permanently into place.
Implants can either be placed to support one single crown to replace a tooth or a series of implants can be placed that will support a denture. This means the denture is permanently fixed onto the implants so avoiding the embarrassment of poorly fitted dentures that impede talking, laughing and eating.
The success of dental implant treatment is very high with a positive and predictable outcome being as high as 95%. Very occasionally, a dental implant can fail to integrate into the bone. If this happens, a new implant will be placed free of charge. We do always recommend that patients who smoke stop smoking during treatment at least and permanently if at all possible.
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