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Dental implants are small rod-like posts that act as a base for replacement teeth. They are placed into the jawbone and act like roots in that they support the tooth, denture or bridge.
In all surgical dentistry treatments, such as dental implants, you will need to have a consultation with the dentist to determine the best option for your particular circumstance.
The dental implant screw fits into the bone and has an clip (abutment) that the tooth (crown) fits on to. Titanium is the usual material that implants are made of, this is because Titanium has no ill effect on the human body and bonds readily with the new bone, which penetrates into the titanium surface. The implants should last a lifetime if you look after them and maintain good oral hygiene.
The dental implant is inserted with a surgical procedure, after this is may take several months for the bone to fuse with the titanium rod. The versatility of the implant means that not only a single crown can be attached to it bur also bridges or dentures, replacing multiple teeth. You can even replace all the teeth in the upper jaw with at least six implants. The lower jaw requires between four and six implants.
At least one operation will be needed to place the implant, or implants. Healthy gums and bone are essential to hold the implants Certain patient habits and conditions may affect the successful taking root of the dental implant. These include, smoking, radiotherapy treatment, teeth grinding, diabetes and osteoporosis. Your dentist will take all this into consideration before agreeing to proceed with the operation.
Dentists performing implant operations need to have completed training in placing implants. They have to have been approved by the General Dental Council (GDC) and you should ask your dentist what experience he has prior to going ahead. All Zeta Dental's dentists are fully trained and experienced implantologists.
Your dentist will let you know what to do to prepare for the operation. X-rays can be required to determine your jawbone's shape and thickness. Other structures in the mouth are also highlighted, such as the nerves. You may also need to undergo a CT scan, which shows more depth of detail that the X-ray.
The dentist will usually do the dental implant surgery under local anaesthetic. You will remain awake during the procedure but feel no pain.
Your dentist will discuss with you what will happen before, during and after your procedure, and any pain you might have. Take the opportunity to understand as much as possible about the procedure. Including the risks, benefits and alternatives available.
Depending on how many implants you intend to have, and how complicated the procedure is, will determine how long the operation will be. Several implants can be fitted in the same operation, but it will obviously take longer.
After applying the local anaesthetic via injection, the dentist opens the gum to gain access to the jaw, into which the implant is fitted.
For those who have to have teeth removed before receiving dental implants, the dentist may insert the implant immediately after extraction. Alternatively, if the jaw needs to heal, the dentist may fit the implant a few weeks, or months, later if not possible in the same operation. The surgical part of the dental implant operation will require at least two visits, the implant is inserted into the bone and time is allowed for the bone to heal and grow around the implant. The implant exposure will occur a few months later to fit a healing cap/abutment.
Whilst you are waiting for the implant to fuse to your jawbone, your dentist may fit a temporary bridge or part denture to hide the gap between your teeth. For full denture wearers, they can be amended to allow them to be worn through this time.
After the fusing process is complete, and the implant is firmly rooted, your dentist will fit your crown (artificial tooth) onto the implant. The tooth may be fixed permanently or be able to be removed for cleaning. The dentist will see that they fit properly, match the rest of your teeth and feel comfortable.
The approximate time from start to finish for the whole procedure is four months. The exception to this process is when a patient's gum and bone health is considered strong enough to proceed with the Smile in a Day procedure. In this case the patient will have the all the teeth replaced with several implants and a bridge (one for the top jaw and one for the lower) all in the same day. This follows an initial consultation to assess suitability and the necessary scans.
Our dentists only use premium trusted dental implants which have been researched and tested to ensure the quality and safety of your treatment. We only work with approved dentists who are members of the GDC and CQC approved, giving you the highest quality treatment.
To discuss the Dental Implants we have available, and to talk about your specific treatment requirements, please call us now on 0845 222 1212. We’ll be happy to do everything we can in order to assist you over the telephone.