What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium which replaces the missing tooth. The dentist inserts the implant into the jaw bone where the titanium integrates with the bone. In a similar way to how your tooth root did before. The implant then builds a stable foundation for the crown, which will become the visible part of the new tooth.

Dental implants are very small, normally 10-15mm long and 3-5mm wide at the top.

What options do I have?

There are often different ways to restore your teeth and sometimes one way is the better for you but we will always discuss the options with you and then you can make an informed decision.

Normally you will have the options of having a:

Gap or a broken tooth – i.e. do nothing

Dentures come in a variety of shapes and materials – usually made from hard acrylic but can be made from metal or flexible acrylic.

Crowns and bridges
Dental crowns and bridges can replace part of a broken tooth or a complete tooth. They can be made of different materials and can replace any tooth that is missing or beyond repair. They are designed by a dental laboratory individually so that it matches the bite look and feel of your other teeth.

A crown is used to rebuild a damaged tooth or above the metal titanium on an implant

A bridge can restore gaps between teeth. The end parts of the bridge are placed onto existing teeth while the middle part replaces the lost tooth. Bridges can also be used on implants usually when two or more teeth are missing.

There are different types of bridges.

A fixed bridge is anchored to one or more neighbouring teeth to keep it in place. It does mean that these teeth will need to be reduced in size first.

A Maryland bridge, also called a resin bonded bridge or an adhesive bridge is glued into place with little reduction of the adjacent teeth but are not suitable for everyone.

Always remember it is best to replace a missing tooth, as when you lose a tooth it disturbs the interplay between teeth and bone. The gum and bone are no longer stimulated well enough due to the missing tooth so both your jaw bone and gum starts shrinking away. You will also tend to find that the teeth either side and above tip and fall into the missing tooth gap

Dental Implants

Dental implants are widely considered to be the most successful method of tooth replacement used today, because they give a number of benefits to patients.

A natural smile

A restored dental implant (with crown) looks and feels more like your natural tooth than any other option. The colour shape and contour of your new tooth is made to match your existing teeth. The result is a natural smile, that can bring back confidence and quality of life.

Neighbouring teeth stay intact

Other restorations often require neighbouring teeth to be ground down to anchor the restoration in your mouth. Dental implants do not harm neighbouring teeth.

Stable and comfortable fit

Since dental implants are fixed to your jaw bone, they are usually more stable, comfortable and long lasting than other restorations. On top of that, dental implants are made from biocompatible material which means they are well tolerated by your body.

A long lasting and proven solution

Dental implants are very durable. With proper care and good oral hygiene, implants will last for many years. Decades of research have gone into the functionality, stability and aesthetics, since the first patient received the first modern dental implant in 1965.

Cost effectiveness

Implant treatment can be considered a long term investment into your health and wellbeing – in short, an investment into your life. Compared to other restorations, costs can seem higher at first glance. However higher maintenance costs, the potential increase in lost jaw bone and ultimately the loss of more teeth can make other restorations more expensive in the long run.

Eat what you like

Did you have to give up some of your favourite dishes since you lost your tooth? Dental Implants bring back the function of natural teeth so you can put crunchy sticky food back on the menu.

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

We will always examine your dental situation carefully to decide if you meet the prerequisites for implant treatment. It is essential the your gums and jaw bone are free from inflammation and infection. If necessary these conditions are treated prior to surgery.

During diagnosis we evaluate what type of jaw bone you have and how much of it is left. After years of living with missing teeth, your jaw bone can sometimes be severely reduced. If this is the case, we will discuss alternative procedures such as bone grafts, all on 4 bridges and zygomatic implants.

We will usually take radiographs and scans to create a 3D image of your mouth. This will allow us to find the best angle and depth for the implant.

Placing the implant

Implant placement is usually undertaken in our surgical suite using local anaesthesia and it will usually take 30 to 60 minutes for 1- 2 implants depending on complexity and the individual situation of your mouth.

After the surgery you will normally have a temporary restoration to replace the missing tooth while the area heals and the bone integrates with the titanium implant. The integration of the implant and bone is called osseointegration (from the Greek osteon, bone). This usually takes approximately 3 months to occur.

Final restoration

The final restoration is usually made after the 3 months of osseointegration. We will take impressions or digital scans which are sent to our dental laboratory to be made. The final restoration is usually screwed down and fitted onto the implant 2 weeks after the impressions or scans.

Which implant system do we use?

The main implant system that we use is Nobel Biocare. There are cheaper systems available but they do not have the research, quality, backup and reliability that we require.  We are also aware of clinics in the UK using copy implants.  Just like any other fake goods they rarely live up to expectations and we will NEVER risk our patients’ care, security and the longevity of their results with fake implant components.We use the Nobel Biocare implant system because it is one of the best implant systems for your patient and the reason we have done this is purely on clinical grounds.