Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Dental Implants Your Questions Answered

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1 Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Dental Implants Your Questions Answered

2 Frequently asked Questions 1. What is a dental implant? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root which is used as a replacement for a missing tooth. Unlike dentures, it is a permanent replacement for a missing tooth as it is a sturdy post that is fixed into position in the jawbone so that it can fuse with the natural bone. It will become a strong foundation for replacement teeth. A replacement tooth is fixed permanently on to the post. 2. What are dental implants made of? A dental implant is made from medical quality titanium. Its properties ensure that it will not erode when in the mouth. Its exceptional strength means that the biting, chewing and crunching that takes place in the mouth can be done without damage. 3. Why choose dental implants? Implants are great for patients who are unable to wear dentures or find that dentures are too uncomfortable and can cause soreness in the mouth. They also do not need the same degree of maintenance as dentures. They are very strong, so that normal biting and chewing can take place. They also help to maintain the face s shape as they allow bone to grow normally as with natural teeth. Best of all they ensure that your smile looks natural as they look just like natural teeth. No one will notice their presence in your mouth. 4. Can I have a dental implant fitted? Virtually anyone who has lost one or more teeth will be a suitable candidate for dental implants. The main requisite is being in good health and having sufficient bone in the jaw to support the foundation of the implant. Even those

3 patients who do not have enough bone can undergo a bone graft in order to build up the jawbone. An assessment by your dentist will determine if you will make a good candidate for dental implants. age of 18 years. 5. Who can have dental implants? Anyone whose health status permits them to have any other type of dental treatment such as a tooth extraction will be suitable for a dental implant. Sometimes young people who have not yet grown sufficient bone may be asked to wait until they are more mature. For a girl, this is over the age of 16 years and for a boy, it is over the 6. Does it hurt? There is not usually much discomfort in implant surgery throughout and following the procedure. With almost pain free dentistry available you will not notice any significant pain. A mild pain killer will normally solve any temporary discomfort after the treatment. If it is necessary to have a bone graft to build up the jawbone, then an anaesthesia used during the surgical procedure will ensure the experience is pain free. You must ask your dentist what pain free methods are used before you commence an implant procedure. 7. How long does the procedure take? Once an evaluation of your teeth has been made then the next stage of treatment is usually the actual placement of the implants. Most implants will be covered, beneath the gums, for up to 6 months. This is to allow osseointegration, or put more simply, biological bonding of the jawbone to the implant to take place. Throughout this period, you will probably need to wear a temporary denture or bridge to allow normal eating to take place. As soon as the implant has firmly bonded to the bone your dentist will uncover the implant and attach a small post which is called an abutment. This acts as an anchoring point for the artificial tooth and once created the artificial tooth or crown is fixed permanently in place.

4 Sometimes, the period can be shortened and implants with crowns can be done in one visit, which overall saves time and greatly simplifies the surgical process. 8. What happens if the implant does not fuse with the bone? This does not happen very often but if, during the healing period, the implant becomes loose, it can be removed easily allowing your jaw to heal naturally. Another implant can be screwed into place as soon as your jaw has healed. An alternative is for your dentist to fix a bridge to an adjacent implanted tooth that has been successful and then put an artificial tooth or crown in place. 9. How long will an implant last? Implants generally have a minimum life span of 20 years, but there are factors that can affect this time frame. These include the prevalence of diabetes, smoking and long term oral care. 10. What type of oral hygiene routine will I have to adopt? Dental implants should be treated like natural teeth, so that means normal brushing and flossing twice a day. Care should be taken to ensure that the gums are thoroughly cleaned too, to avoid gum disease. 11. Will people notice I have implants? As long as the whole procedure has been done well, implants will not only feel just like your natural teeth, but they will look like them, too. Your chosen dentist will fit the dental implant into exactly the right place into your mouth so that it looks natural and is comfortable and secure. The colour of the artificial tooth or crown fixed to the implant will match the colour of any adjacent teeth and its shape will match them too. If a number of implants are fitted next to each other they will all be the same colour. You can rest assured that your implant should look and feel like as if it had always been there. Dental

5 procedures are so advanced today that you do not need to worry about the final appearance of your artificial teeth. 12. Who benefits from dental Implants? Dental implant recipients are possible for are all ages, and can be the best choice for someone who is missing one or more teeth. They could have been lost as a result of an accident or sports injury, decay or disease. They are also an option for adolescents after puberty when the jaw has stopped growing, which for girls is 16 years and for boys 18 years approximately. 13. Why would I have implants rather than dentures? A dental implant is far stronger and much more dependable than the usual bridges that are cemented to natural teeth, or partial or fully removable dentures. However, implants can be used as a support for a bridge or dentures as they offer superior stability and support. They also help to maintain the quality of the jaw bone which is fundamental for ensuring face shape is maintained and a more youthful appearance. 14. Can implants fix my dentures properly? If you have a denture, you can have 4-6 implants fixed in place which can support the denture and at the same time reduce the denture s size. It will be necessary to have a new denture made once the implants have been fixed into place. Dental implants aren t usually necessary for upper dentures as they are more stable. Dental implants are a good option, especially if your dentures aren t giving you the support you require and the confidence to eat, chew and smile effectively.

6 15. What are mini-implants? Mini-implants are specially designed, small titanium posts which offer more stability and a securer fit for a denture. The system is made up of miniature titanium implants that function in the same way as the tooth s roots and the denture is fixed to the implant with a fitting that is found at the bottom of the denture. The implant s head is ball-shaped and the fitting acts like a socket. It fits tightly into the ball once the denture has been seated and therefore holds the ball securely in place. This technology is particularly useful for lower dentures. Additionally, the denture will no longer slide on the gums and the shape of the jaw bone will be maintained. 16. How is a dental implant fixed in place? A dental implant is screwed into the jaw once the dentist has drilled a hole in the space left by the lost tooth. The hole is then widened to allow for the implant. As soon as the implant has been screwed into place the tissue that surrounds the gum is repositioned on top of the implant where a cover is placed, which helps speed up the healing process. After approximately six months, or once healing is complete, the dentist will uncover the implant to allow for attaching an abutment. This will hold the artificial tooth or crown to the implant. Once the abutment has been fitted, a crown can be temporarily provided to enhance the healing process. 17. What type of anaesthesia may be used for implants? For simple implant surgery, such as the placement of one or two implants, the use of a local anaesthetic, alone, is probably all that's needed. For more complex cases, and those requiring longer surgical times, both the patient and the surgeon may benefit from the use of one of the types of conscious sedation or even a general anaesthesia. These options should be discussed with your dentist before treatment commences. 18. How much does a single dental implant cost? A single implant will cost between 1,500 and 2,000. This is with no help from the NHS. 19. Can I get an Implant My Dental Insurance?

7 Dental implants are not normally covered by regular insurance as many insurance companies consider them to be a cosmetic procedure, even if you ve had an accident and been inflicted with painful or irreparable damage. Often, damage to dentures is covered because of their lower price tag. If your insurance company is not willing to cover your implant, your dentist may be able to recommend a reputable insurer to you. You can then be certain that the money you have invested in an implant is not lost if you are involved in an accident which damages your teeth. 20. Can I get help with the cost of dental implants from the NHS? The cost of implants may be available on the NHS for those people who can prove they have a medical need. This may be applicable to people who have had damage to their teeth in an accident or as a result of oral cancer. Also, NHS treatment for implants may be available to patients who for some reason or another are unable to wear dentures. Other patients who could qualify for the implant treatment are those who were born with teeth missing. A child who was born with a cleft palate and lip, for example, may have an obvious medical reason for dental implants. Someone who has lost all of their teeth and is under forty years of age may be eligible for NHS treatment too. 21. What happens if I don t replace a missing tooth? If you fail to replace a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth can be damaged. The damage is caused by bone loss and gum recession around those teeth. Your other teeth will start to wear prematurely. You may have more difficulty in speaking and eating, jaw pain, shifting teeth and headaches. Also, when a tooth is lost along with the root, bone loss might be experienced in your jaw. A dental implant plays the role of giving the bone a purpose, by providing it with something to grab hold of. If a gap is left in the mouth for too long, a lot of bone in the jaw will have been lost, so grafting might be necessary so that the bone mass can be increased to allow for a foundation for the dental

8 implant. 22. What is the success rate for a dental implant? Generally, the success rate for patients is high, reaching 98%. Patients over the age of 72; those who smoke, have diabetes or have had neck radiation or who are on hormone replacement treatment could have a higher chance of failure when compared with healthier patients. If you are seeking dental implants then you should discuss your concerns and your health status with your dentist before a dental implant procedure has commenced. Friars Walk Dental Practice, 1a Friars Walk, Dunstable, Beds, LU6 3JA Tel

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