Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jaw bone, then restored with a crown or bridge.
Dental implant treatment is usually carried out by an oral surgeon, although many practitioners have undergone extensive implant training and some even limit their practices to only implants. Implant treatment can take several months depending on your situation and there are a few different phases. Treatment can be done under sedation if required.
The usual process is:
- Examination/X-rays of your head, jaw and teeth/possible CT scan
- Impressions of the teeth
- Occasionally blood tests and medical examination
- Small incision made in gum
- Implant placed – then gum tissue is stitched
- Following surgery there may be some swelling & discomfort
- 2-6 months later the second stage of surgery is performed – the area is made numb locally, the implants are then exposed, then a temporary restoration is placed.
- Impressions are then taken to make the crown(s)/bridge to restore the teeth
- Around 3/4 weeks later, the new teeth are fitted
- Over the following year you will need to be seen regularly by your dentist and hygienist to ensure the implants are functioning properly and need regular maintenance thereafter.
Sadly implants aren’t for everyone.
Many factors can mean that you may not be the ideal candidate. These include:
- Insufficient bone
- Medical conditions
- Lack of commitment
- Osteoperosis treated with bisphosphonates
- Gum disease