Dental implants are replacements for roots of missing tooth/ teeth. They help restore either a single tooth or teeth or as a support for dentures. As a person loses teeth, the bone supporting the tooth starts to reduce in size leading to loss of support for a replacement as well as supporting muscles. Teeth on either side of space resulting from loss of tooth can start to move and become crooked this affects the bite as well as appearance. Implants are screws made from medical grade titanium which are threaded in bone. The bone integrates into the threads of the implant and implant behaves like a replacement of root of the tooth. This implant is then used to put a cap or crown on top of it or as an attachment for dentures. Planning for treatment involves a thorough assessment of the health of gums and jawbone to ensure that they are able to support implants. Usually, specialized detailed radiographs are needed to examine the bone so that a tailored treatment plan can be developed. Treatment is usually under simple local anaesthesia in the dental chair. During the placement procedure, a very small incision is made in gum and implant is carefully guided into the most suitable position as determined by the previously taken x-rays and examination. After about three- six months, the restorations can be placed upon the implants. Whilst waiting for the bone to integrate with the implant, a temporary denture, bridge or bonded resin tooth is worn. You may be required to Periodic checkup appointments are required to monitor healing progress. For larger cases requiring more complex surgical procedures, be referral to specialist surgeons may be required, who have general anaesthetic, and intravenous sedation facilities available to them. Once implant has bonded with jawbone, impressions are taken so that final restorations can be fabricated at a dental laboratory experienced in the fabrication of such prosthesis. These final restorations are generally placed about two weeks later. Continual oral health examinations and preventative maintenance appointments usually every six months are very important, in addition to at home care.
Please note any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion by a suitably qualified health care professional.