Dental implants can have a profound and lasting effect, bringing a smile back to people who have lost teeth. Dental implants can bring renewed self-confidence and peace of mind, restoring the appearance of permanent, healthy teeth and the ability to eat almost anything. In short, they can be life-changing.
But what are dental implants?
They are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as substitutes for tooth roots. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months as the implants first bond to the jawbone and then small posts are attached which act as anchors for artificial teeth. Although up to eight months sounds a long time, there is rarely much disruption to daily life. Recent advances in technology have made the process even quicker and, in select cases, it is possible to extract teeth and place implants with artificial teeth in one visit. Implants can replace one tooth, two or three teeth or all teeth in both jaws.
Why have dental implants?
Since their invention three decades ago, implants have given millions of people who have suffered the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss renewed comfort and self-confidence. Alternatives include a dental bridge, which involves sacrificing perfectly good teeth, and dentures, which can slip and may have to be taken out at night.
Who can have them?
Dental implants are only considered after a thorough examination of the mouth as well as medical and dental records. The procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic and sedation (twilight) in the comfort of Mr Belligoi’s Savile Street rooms. For those patients who wish to have a general anaesthetic Mr Belligoi can provide private treatment in Hospital.
How do you care for implants?
Once the implants are in place, they will last for many years if care is taken and the mouth is kept healthy. This means taking the time to brush and floss and keeping regular appointments with dental specialists.