Dental implants are an innovative treatment designed to replace missing or damaged teeth. They are a long-lasting and natural-looking option that can restore your smile and improve your overall oral health. If you’re considering getting dental implants, here’s what you need to know to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you.
Before We Delve Into the Benefits of Dental Implants, What Are They?
Dental implants are small biocompatible titanium posts that we anchor into the jawbone. These posts substitute the roots of a missing tooth. A custom-made crown is then secured to the implant, which looks and feels like a natural tooth.
This restoration not only fills in the gap left by missing teeth but also help preserve the jawbone’s integrity by stimulating it with the same pressure and movement as a real tooth.
At Cliftonville dental, we can replace a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or even an entire arch of missing teeth. Suppose you are missing multiple teeth in one area. We can secure multiple dental implants alongside a bridge to support an entire arch of artificial teeth. This is called an implant-supported bridge.
Furthermore, we also offer implant-supported dentures as powerful hybrids of both restoration options. This type of denture is attached to several dental implants rather than relying on the support of the surrounding teeth or soft tissue. This can provide a more stable and secure fit to traditional dentures.
Benefits of Dental Implants:
One of the most significant advantages of dental implants is that they look and feel just like the rest of your natural teeth. The crowns are custom-made to perfectly match the colour and shape of your existing teeth, so they blend in seamlessly with your smile. These fixtures also allow you to eat, speak and smile confidently without worrying about the embarrassment or discomfort of traditional dentures or bridges.
Another benefit is that they are long-lasting restorations. Dental implants can last many years, even a lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. In fact, studies show that the long-term success rate of dental implants is over 95%. For this reason, dental implants are much more cost-effective than other tooth replacement methods, which typically need replacing every few years.
It’s important to note that the long-term success of the implants is dependent on aftercare and your lifestyle habits. If you smoke, stopping a few months before and after treatment is best to avoid healing difficulties.
Dental implants can also help preserve the integrity of your jawbone, which is vital for your bite, teeth alignment and appearance. After missing a tooth, the surrounding bone can begin to deteriorate. It deteriorates because the pressure and movement of your natural tooth no longer stimulate the bone. Dental implants provide the necessary stimulation to keep your jawbone strong, which can help prevent further tooth loss and improve your oral health.
Without implants, your bite and teeth can become misaligned as your teeth move to fill the empty space. This may require more costly orthodontics to fix. Jawbone deterioration can also cause a sunken facial appearance.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
Before getting dental implants, we’ll need to ensure that you are a good candidate. At your consultation, our dentists will conduct a thorough dental examination to determine the condition of your gums and jawbone. This is to check for any potential issues that could impact the procedure.
Good candidates for dental implants have a healthy jawbone and gums. They also practise good oral hygiene to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
If you have active gum disease, we’ll need to treat this before considering implants, as gum recession and bone loss can cause implant failure.
Patients with diabetes or an immune disorder may not be suitable for this procedure, as impaired healing can lead to a higher risk of infection. Likewise, those taking specific medications, such as steroids and certain types of chemotherapy, can also increase the risk of implant failure.
We also advise against smoking during treatment, as nicotine can constrict the blood vessels in the gums, delaying healing and increasing the risk of infection after surgery. Smoking can also stain crown fixtures, meaning they won’t blend in as naturally with your other teeth.
The actual procedure for dental implants is relatively straightforward. It usually takes 2-3 dental visits over 6-8 months to allow ample healing time. After your consultation, we’ll book you in for all the necessary appointments, including surgery.
During surgery, we will numb the subject area with local anaesthetic and make a small incision into your gum. We’ll then secure the implant post into the bone and seal the gum. After this, you’ll have to wait for the post to fuse with the bone (osseointegration), which can take anywhere between 3-6 months.
Once the implant has fused with the bone, an abutment, or connector post, is secured to the implant fixture. The abutment serves as a sturdy base for the custom-made crown, which we’ll attach at the very end of your treatment.
Aftercare: Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing or damaged teeth, but they require a commitment to good oral hygiene. Just like your natural teeth, the crown and abutment must be brushed and flossed regularly to remove plaque and keep them healthy. You’ll also need to visit us for regular dental check-ups and cleanings to ensure your implants remain in great shape.
Dental implants are a highly effective way to restore your smile and improve oral health. If you are considering this restoration to boost your confidence, it’s important to consult with an experienced dentist to determine the best options for you. Practising good oral hygiene is also vital for keeping your fixtures healthy. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can give you a beautiful and functional smile that lasts a lifetime.
Commence the year with a new you by restoring your smile. Contact our friendly reception team online or at 01604 604545 for enquiries.