When are dental implants used?
If you have missing teeth then there are essentially three options to help you replace them:
- Option one is to have a denture, this is usually used if you have more than one tooth missing.
- Option two is to have a dental bridge.
- Option three is to have a dental implant.
Why are dental implants often the preferred choice?
When a tooth is extracted it leaves a socket, or hole,where it was removed. The surrounding bone and gum then collapsed into this whole to fill it, overall this means there is a loss of volume of bone and soft tissue (gum). This loss of bone can continue for a significant period of time.
The results of this loss of bone means that placing a dental implant at a later stage might be difficult as there is not enough bone to place it. It can also mean that if a new falls to is suspended over the gap, it may start off touching the gum nicely, but over time the gum can pull away and there can be a space underneath. This can then become a trap for food, which has a tendency to create halitosis.
The other reason implants are the preferred choice, is that when a tooth is removed the teeth either side will tend to collapse into that space. The opposing teeth on the opposite jaw will also have a tendency to move into this space. Therefore whilst it is often tempting to leave the space and do nothing, in the long run your dental health can be compromised. This movement of surrounding teeth means your jaw and bite will change over time.
Generally speaking, the preferred option if you have to have a tooth removed, is to have the dental implant placed at the same time-this is known as an immediate placement dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is made of high-grade medical Titanium, this is then gently placed into the space where the tooth came from. The amazing thing is that your bone will not recognise the titanium as anything other than part of itself. This means the surrounding bone totally and fully integrates with the titanium.
Once this has happened, a dental crown can then be placed on the implant, and this is the part that you will see.
This gives the impression that the new tooth is growing naturally out of the gum.
What are other uses for dental implants?
If you have a denture that is loose, wobbly or unstable then dental implants can be used to fix them in solidly and rigidly. The implant is placed in the usual way, and a clip is then inserted on the inside of your existing denture (or new denture if you wish). This clip then fixes to the top of the implant with an audible click, allowing you to remove your denture whenever you like to clean it. We often use 2 dental implants in our practice in Bristol to do this, and patients find this stabilisation of dentures a truly life transformational treatment.
Evolve dentistry in Bristol provides dental implants for the local people in the Portishead and Cleveland areas. Please call us to discuss your specific dental implant needs.