A dental implant is the best known solution to a missing tooth; often feeling and looking indistinguishable from the real thing. An implant replaces the entire tooth root with a titanium screw, and some time later the “tooth” is attached.
The implant is placed into bone and over time further growth of bone onto the implant surface improves the stability of the implant, until it is ready to support a crown.
For routine cases, from the time of implant placement to the time of placing the replacement tooth, treatment times can vary between three to six months. One factor affecting the speed of completion is the quality of bone the implant is embedded into; more time and care must be taken with poorer bone. In certain cases we can place a temporary crown on the implant on the same day that the implant is placed.
Before treatment begins you will receive a written treatment plan, highlighting your current dental situation and any alternatives to a dental implant.
Once the implant and surrounding soft tissues are healthy and the new tooth is comfortable, it is the quality of your personal attention to oral hygiene and willingness to attend regular maintenance reviews that will have most influence on how long it will last. Implants can last as long as natural teeth if they are cared for properly, and we will advise you as to any special brushing and flossing instructions.
Stages of treatment
Following a discussion of possible alternatives, we will assess the feasibility of providing implant treatment. Scans will be taken where required and a written treatment plan will be created detailing the sequence of treatment and associated costs.
Implant placement is a minor surgical procedure. The treatment is performed under local anaesthesia with sedation where required. If, during assessment, the underlying bone is found to be insufficient to support an implant, bone regeneration may be an option. Bone regeneration is carried out prior to or at the same time as implant placement.
Implants can take from three to six months to fuse with the bone.
Once integrated, your implant can be restored with a crown.
Our team will advise on care and maintenance of your artificial teeth and natural teeth. Specific assessments are required, usually every year or so following completion of treatment.