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Once teeth are lost, the bone in which they are embedded gradually disappears because it is no longer required to support the teeth. The teeth and lost bone are usually replaced by removeable dentures or fixed bridges to restore appearance, speech and mastication. As with all man made substitutes for nature's living tissues, there are drawbacks to artificial apppliances. Dentures reduce masticatory efficiency and can suffer poor retention. On the other hand, bridges involve cutting away healthy teeth in order to provide support.
An alternative method of tooth replacement is to insert implants into the jawbone to support the false tooth or teeth. Such implants may become firmly attatched or intergrated with the bone and act in a similar manner to a tooth root.
The condition of the jaws is assessed for suitability and the treatment is planned by using clinical assessment and measurement, X-rays, photographs, and models of the teeth are taken. It may be necessary to take a special x-ray (CT scan) to check the amount and position of the available bone.
Implants can be inserted in one of two ways:
Immediate insertion is when the dental implant is placed at the same time that the tooth or teeth are removed. The advantages of this approach are a reduction in treatment time and bone preservation. Whether or not this is possible will depend on the condition of your bone at the time of extraction. If infection is present it may be neccessary to defer the implant procedure for three months while new healthy bone reforms in the area.
Post immediate dental implant placement is insertion of the implant into a region of the mouth where the tooth or teeth have previously been removed or have been missing for some time.
The implant placement and bone grafting are surgical procedures, and as such they may affect your social life for a few days. The implants will be left undosturned for at least three months to attach to the jawbone.
Fortunately, this occurs rarely and the success rate for dental implants is 95%. However, failures are still a possibility and an understanding of this is a prerequisite for proceeding with your treatment. Any potential problems specific to your implant treatment will have been anticipated and discussed with you before treatment starts. Should an implant fail to take then it is often possible to replace it with a second implant at the same time as the first is removed.
It has been shown that alcohol and tobacco consumption can reduce the rate of success. These habits also have an effect on the rate of healing and may increase the chances of post-operative infection.
Once the implants have been uncovered and are firm, a post or abutment will be connected which will be used to support either a provisional denture or bridge.
The total treatment time required will vary with the degree of difficulty and the amount of work needed. It is important to bear in mind that the teeth have to be made individually to suit your specific requirements and mouth.
Every effort will be made to ensure your final teeth look natural and just the way you want them to appear.
Call our reception team today to book a free consultation for more information