It is always upsetting to lose a tooth, and in the past the only options were to wear a partial denture, or to have a bridge. While both of these solutions are still workable, a far better solution is to have a dental implant. More and more people are choosing this option as the advantages can be considerable. Dental implants are used to replace single teeth, to support a bridge, or multiple implants can support a full denture.
Dental implants in Leeds are the most natural and permanent way to replace missing teeth, and create the best aesthetic results. They are long-lasting, and the technology behind them is tried and tested. The success rates for dental implant surgery can be as high as 95%, provided the patient is in good health, isn’t a smoker, and looks after their implant properly. Lots of people have had implants in place for decades without any problems.
The Major Advantages of Having a Dental Implant
While most of the benefits of having dental implants are aesthetic, there are a couple of very important health benefits. Your jawbone is being constantly stimulated by biting forces transmitted through the roots of your teeth. If these teeth are removed then the jawbone no longer receives the stimulation and is gradually reabsorbed. This can make it very tricky to keep dentures in place, especially lower dentures, and can lead to unsightly gaps developing around bridges. Dental implants are wonderful because the titanium post replicates the tooth root, helping to provide stimulation to the jawbone, preventing this reabsorption.
Dental implants also help preserve healthy teeth adjacent to the gap, as the teeth can be damaged by partial dentures, while if you opt for a bridge then the teeth adjacent to the gap, the anchor teeth, will need to be ground down to create sufficient room for the bridge.
The Procedure for Having a Dental Implant
The procedure for having a dental implant is relatively straightforward. You’ll need to book a consultation with Dr David Brown or one of our other dentists in Leeds. We’ll need to take x-rays and a CT scan to see if you are a suitable candidate for having dental implants. The CT scan is necessary to make sure you have sufficient bone to support a dental implant. In addition the CT scan helps us plan the implant surgery more accurately, as it shows the position of other important structures like nerves.
The actual implant surgery doesn’t take very long, and can be performed under local anesthetic, although nervous patients may opt for a little extra sedation. It simply involves the dentist opening up the gum to insert a titanium post into the jawbone. Titanium is used because it’s a very inert metal that doesn’t react with the body, but does integrate with bone extremely well. Afterwards the implant will need to heal, and this process allows new bone to form around the implant, creating a strong bond to support the final restoration. You won’t be left without teeth after the surgery, as we’ll provide you with some form of temporary tooth or bridge. You may have a little discomfort after the surgery, but most people find it isn’t too bad and is easily controlled with over-the-counter painkillers. We will give you precise instructions on how to look after your implant, and how to clean around it.
Once the implant has healed we’ll take impressions of your mouth to send to our dental laboratory. These impressions are cast up in dental plaster to create an accurate model of your mouth so the crown, bridge or denture can be accurately fabricated. The final step is for your new tooth or dental restoration to be fitted.