Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular dental solution for patients with one or multiple missing teeth.
Some patients are told that they cannot have an implant because they do not have enough bone in their jaw.
However, there are many options for you, so that implants can be a perfect solution whatever your oral condition.
Here at Calm and Gentle Dental, we believe in being completely honest and transparent with our patients, so they are fully informed about their treatment and their options.
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What are implants?
A dental implant is comprised of a titanium rod which is placed into the jawbone, and a prosthetic tooth which is screwed onto the rod.
They are fixed and permanent solutions to missing teeth – once placed they do not need to be removed and can last up to a lifetime with maintained oral care.
Can anyone have implants?
If you have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant, then you will be able to have implants.
Implants are a perfect option for those with one or multiple missing teeth, who want a natural and long-term solution that can restore their smile.
Do I need treatment before I get implants?
If a tooth is severely cracked, or decayed, and cannot be saved, then it is often advised to have the tooth extraction and replace it with a dental implant.
Atraumatic extraction, also known as surgical extraction is a simple surgical procedure where one or multiple teeth are taken out under a local anaesthetic.
You will not feel any pain during the procedure, but you may feel some pressure as the dentist loosens and extracts the tooth.
This is a treatment that often follows tooth extraction.
An extraction will leave a small hole where your tooth once was, and this can be very sensitive while it heals.
Because we believe in the comfort and care of our customers, we sometimes advise socket preservation as part of your extraction procedure.
The process involves placing a small bone graft into the socket, which is covered with a collagen membrane and stitched up to protect your socket.
The aim of this small procedure is to make the placement of dental implants less complex.
Not every patient will need socket preservation, however, if you do need it, then it will help prepare your mouth for implant placement.
Guided bone regeneration
Also known as bone grafts, this treatment is undertaken to increase the width and height of the bone in your jaw where your implant is to be placed.
Because dental implants need to osseointegrate with bone, there needs to be enough bone for this to happen.
A bone graft uses bone graft tissue and attaches it onto the areas where there is insufficient bone.
This then encourages bone growth so that the implant can be placed successfully.
There are 4 main types of bone graft:
- Autogenous – the bone is taken from elsewhere in your body, to decrease the risk of the body rejecting the bone.
- Allograft – the bone is donated from another human.
- Xenograft – the bone is taken from an animal (either equine or bovine).
- Alloplast – A synthetic bone substitute, which is similar to the chemical makeup of the human bone.
Maxillary sinus lift
If you need dental implants in your upper jaw, then you may need a sinus lift before implant placement.
A sinus lift is a surgery which adds bone to your upper jaw, into the space between your molars and premolars, which is also the space between your jaw and your maxillary sinuses either side of your nose.
If you do not have enough bone height in your upper jaw, or your sinuses are too close to your upper jawbone, then you will probably need a sinus lift.
A sinus lift is essentially the same as a bone graft, but it is specific to the upper jaw.
Osteotome Summer’s technique
This is a form of sinus lift surgery, which intends to increase the height of bone in the space near your maxillary sinus.
This procedure requires the patient to have a minimum of 5-7mm of residual bone at the implant site.
How soon after a tooth extraction can I have an implant?
The time between tooth extraction and implant placement will vary depending on the individual patient.
In some cases, an implant can be directly placed the same day a tooth is taken out if there is enough healthy jawbone.
In most cases, however, it is recommended by our dentists that there should be a healing period of between 3 and 6 months before an implant is placed in the extraction site.
Once you are ready for your implants, the whole procedure can be split up into 5 steps:
Step 1: Consultation and treatment plan
Before your implant treatment begins, you will meet with one of our dental consultants to discuss your medical and dental history, your smile preferences and oral needs, along with any anxieties you have about the treatment.
At this stage, any pre-implant procedures will be outlined, and the mouth will be prepped for implant placement. More about your first visit.
Step 2: Implant placement
At this stage, your implant or implants will be fitted.
Our dentist will make a small incision in your gum in order to reveal the jawbone. The implant is placed into the small hole, and then the gum is stitched back up.
Step 3: Healing and recovery
Once the titanium implants have been placed, osseointegration needs to happen before your abutments are screwed on top.
Your dentist will advise you on cleaning the site, and nutritional advice to encourage effective and safe recovery.
Step 4: Abutment and temporary crowns
Once your implants have been given time to merge with the existing bone in your jaw, you will return to the clinic to have an abutment fitted.
An abutment is a connection between the tooth and the implant itself, and acts as a shock absorber, to allow safe and secure use of the implant.
In some cases, you may have temporary crowns placed before your final prosthetic fitting. This will give time for the gum to develop around the implant, and test the load capacity of the implant too.
Step 5: Final fitting
Your final fitting can occur anywhere between 3 and 9 months after the initial implant placement.
In this appointment, your final prosthetic crown will be attached to the implant, fully restoring a natural-looking smile!
Get in touch today
Get your new smile today. Call us on 01732 678 414.