There are many different cosmetic treatments available these days if you have a missing tooth or gap between teeth. It’s important to have a smile you feel confident with, but finding the right treatment to make your teeth aesthetically pleasing and function well can be difficult.
A dental implant is a good option as it provides a long term solution and can slow down bone loss. Unlike dentures, a dental implant stays in your mouth and can be kept clean through traditional methods, such as brushing and flossing.
If you lose a tooth in an accident or through decay, you can replace the tooth by having a dental implant fitted. Dental implants will replace the root portion of the bone and be fixed directly into the jawbone. Small titanium screws will act as the root for the tooth in the jawbone, once they are in place they can be used to attach a dental crown, bridge or dentures.
Before going through with treatment, your dentist will ensure that there is sufficient bone to support the implants, and make sure that your mouth is healthy enough for the procedure. You will be placed under a local anesthetic or sedation throughout the treatment so you don’t need to worry about pain when the titanium is put in.
If there is not an adequate amount of bone in your jaw, having a bone graft is an option. This involves taking bone from elsewhere in the body, or using artificial bone, to make the jaw more stable for implants. Your dentist will talk you through the procedure should you need this before having dental implants.
How long does treatment take for dental implants?
Once the titanium screw has been drilled into the mouth, it will be left to heal and settle for approximately 3 to 6 months. A temporary tooth will be attached during this period. Once the healing process has finished, a crown, bridge or dentures can be attached.
The length of time that you are in the dentist’s chair will vary, but can take up to 2 hours for each implant. Before treatment your dentist will outline approximately how long it will take for you.
What are the benefits?
Dental implants are a very safe and long-lasting treatment, offering both stability and comfort. As the implant is integrated into your jaw, mouth function can resume as normal with day to day activities such as eating and speaking, which some patients may find difficult with removable dentures.
You can have one implant or a whole set, making them suitable for any situation. Dental implants are usually indistinguishable from the other teeth in your mouth, making you feel less self-conscious about having them.
As they are permanently fixed in, they can be treated with the same care as normal teeth. Brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist to maintain a good oral hygiene are all recommended. In the unlikely event that you experience any problem with your dental implant, getting advice from your dentist is the best step.