Dental implants are an amazing means of replacing missing teeth and are widely regarded as the next best thing to natural teeth.
Implants are titanium rods which are screwed into pre-drilled sockets in the jawbone. Once the implant has integrated into the bone, a restoration, such as a crown, denture or dental bridge, can be attached. A completed dental implant restoration will be composed of the implant, an abutment – which is used to attach the implant to the restoration – and the new tooth, which is usually a crown.
Before the procedure your dentist will carry out tests and take X-rays to make sure you are a suitable candidate for treatment. In order to fit an implant your dentist will drill a small hole in the jawbone, which will serve as the socket for the titanium screw. Your dentist will anaesthetise your gum and then make a small incision in the soft tissue to access the jawbone. Once the hole has been drilled the implant is placed and left to heal. After the implant has fully healed and integrated into the bone, the restoration can be attached.
Am I suitable?
Dental implants are not suitable for everyone, but they are an ideal treatment for many. If you smoke (this slows the healing process) or have existing dental health issues, you may be advised to consider alternative treatment or have treatment to cure current problems before you have an implant.