Dental implants are titanium rods or screws which are fixed to the jawbone, allowing an extension to be secured and a crown put in place over it. This is a very safe and effective treatment as the implants look, feel and function like natural teeth and most will last for at least 15 years. From a single tooth to a complete set, provided you have healthy jawbones, implants can be used to effect replacements.
A small operative procedure involving local anaesthetic and sedation or sometimes a general anaesthetic is needed to fix the implants. This may result in some discomfort for a week or so afterwards due to the need for stitches and the healing process itself. The implants will then need to bond and gradually integrate with the bone over a period of at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw. You will be able to have a temporary restoration in the meantime or a complete set of dentures if all your teeth are involved. Overall, the treatment period is likely to be around a year from assessment to completion but this can vary according to individual circumstances.
We will ensure that the implants can’t be seen as a result of all normal mouth movements but you will need to keep them clean and make sure that you keep your gums healthy. Most artificial teeth can only be removed by a dentist but a full set of dentures attached to the implants can be taken out for cleaning. It is not usually necessary to have an implant for every missing tooth as most can support two teeth. Repairs are also possible in the event of accidental damage. Whilst implants are relatively expensive, they often do not cost significantly more than conventional treatment with crowns and bridges and if you are using complete dentures you will find that those attached to implants will not cause difficulties with eating or talking as can be the case with ordinary dentures which move about.
If you think that dental implants can help you, come and talk to us at The Dental Studio Colchester for advice and a comprehensive assessment.