The loss of a tooth could be caused from many different reasons; tooth decay, infection, gum disease, trauma, or removal of an impacted tooth.
A single titanium implant is placed into the jaw, as the replacement root. It’s a straightforward process which can be completed under local anaesthetic. The implant will need three to six months to heal and integrate with your jaw bone to provide a solid support for your replacement tooth.
A temporary crown is usually fitted at the same time as your implant placement, which will stay in place until the final restoration appointment.
Once your jaw has healed, an abutment will be fixed to the implant to hold your replacement tooth (crown) in place. Abutments are produced in titanium, gold or porcelain, and can come as a standard fit or crafted specifically for you. These options offer a range of aesthetics results, depending on your requirements.
How is an implant fitted?
Assessment: Every treatment begins with an assessment from your local Thorpe Bay dentist who will be performing your implant treatment. They will discuss all the options with you, make an assessment of the best solution for you, and ensure you understand every step of your treatment. You will have an x-ray and, in some cases, a CT scan to help visualise your jaw, ensure your gums are healthy and that there is enough jaw bone to place the implant.
The treatment: This is when the implant is placed into your jaw. It’s a straightforward process which can be completed under local anaesthetic. If you are particularly nervous or have a dental phobia, your dentist will make sure you feel absolutely comfortable with the treatment, and can provide sedation if needed.
The implants will need three to six months to heal and integrate with your jaw bone to provide a solid support for the crown or bridge.
Depending on your treatment and your dentist’s diagnosis, a temporary crown can be fitted at the same time as your initial appointment. Same day teeth is a modern procedure which enables you to walk out of the clinic with brand new teeth in just one day. These will stay in place until the final restoration appointment.
Once your jaw has healed, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth. This enables a dental technician to build your bespoke crown or bridge, which will be colour matched to blend seamlessly with your other teeth.
Restoration:It may be necessary to have a separate appointment between six weeks and six months after your initial treatment, to allow the implant to fully integrate. This ensures that your jaw has completely healed before the crown or bridge is permanently fitted.
Your smile is now complete.
What are the associated risks?
An important nerve runs in the lower jaw that supplies sensation to the lower lip and skin of the chin. The X-ray assessment is important in determining the position of this nerve avoiding the slight possibility of injury which could result in altered sensation and neuropathic pain which can be acutely debilitating.
In the upper jaw it is important to ascertain the size and position of the sinuses and nasal cavities prior to implant insertion. Occasionally the implants may have to be placed slightly into the sinus but not the nasal cavity. It is also important to identify blood vessels that pass through the bone to reduce the risk of bleeding during surgery.
If the implants are being placed between existing teeth then there is always the slight risk that the tooth, its roots or supporting bone may be damaged during the placement procedure. This is more likely to occur if the teeth are very close together or their roots angled, reducing the amount of space required to accommodate the implant. If this is the case it will have been identified during your assessment and discussed with you prior to implant treatment. Orthodontic tooth movement is rarely required prior to implant placement.
The most serious complication following implant placement results from bleeding into the floor of the mouth following implant placement in the lower jaw. This can result in the floor of the mouth swelling which makes swallowing and eventually breathing difficult. Though this is a serious complication it is very unusual. I have personally placed thousands of implants for over the last 25 years and have never seen this happen.
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