Dental implants are one way of replacing missing teeth, either single teeth or many. They are not removable but fixed into the gum and bone providing the nearest thing to your own natural tooth again. There are surgical procedures to undergo but almost all our patients report that this is no worse than having a filling under local anaesthetic. We have used a specialist Implantologist in Leeds for many years with great success. He will carry out the pre-operative investigations and x-rays and then place the implant(s). We will usually make the crown(s) to fit over them. Almost everyone can have dental implants but smokers and some chronic diseases such as diabetes or osteoporosis can complicate the procedure or reduce the otherwise excellent success rate. Thorough pre-operative assessment needs to ensure enough bone is present of sufficient quality in the right places to allow implant placement in a good position but even problems here can be dealt with by bone grafting or augmentation. All these things would be discussed with you at your consultation.
The Process – bone in the jaw is exposed where the tooth is missing. A small hole is drilled and the titanium implant inserted. This is usually done under a local anaesthetic alone but sedation can also be used. The gum is then stitched and left to heal while the bone grows around the implant, making it secure. After a suitable period of time (often 3-12 months), a second small surgical procedure and clinical impressions, the replacement tooth crown is mounted onto an individually made connecting post and screwed or cemented in place. These connecting posts and crowns are made by a specialist dental technician working on tooth moulds taken by the Dentist. The replacement tooth might be single or a group of many, possibly as a ‘bridge’ or to hold a special removable denture in place.
After the procedure, it is absolutely essential to maintain good mouth hygiene and visit your Dentist and Hygienist regularly.
- Fixed in place
- No tooth removal needed from neighbouring teeth
- Nothing to decay
- Can replace unsatisfactory partial or full dentures
- Some surgery needed
- Not suitable for every Patient
- Most expensive option initially
- Treatment planning choices can seem complicated
- Takes longest to complete treatment