Over the last decade, dental implants have become one of the most popular dental solutions for replacing a missing tooth. The development of technology in recent years, means that implants are more effective than ever: improving the quality of life for thousands of patients every year!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are made of a titanium screw and an abutment which holds a false tooth on the end. The screw is inserted into your jawbone, which gradually grows around the implant and holds the tooth firmly in place. There are various implant designs and we will choose one that is suitable for you. A single dental implant can support one tooth or several replacement teeth, so luckily you won’t need to have an implant per tooth!
What is the dental implant process?
The dental implant process can vary considerably depending on your set of needs. The process is very effective and durable, but they also take a long time to complete (usually between three and nine months). For the sake of your patience, it is important to bear in mind that this process will give you a tooth which can last a lifetime! The treatment is usually broken into several main stages:
- The ‘problem’ tooth being extracted (if it remains in the mouth)
- Bone grafting (if additional supportive bone is needed in the jawline)
- Placement of the titanium screw into your jaw
- Attachment of the abutment to your implant
- Fusion of your fitted implant with the surrounding bone
- Construction and fitting of your new false tooth onto the implants
These stages will not be required for every patient and they can sometimes overlap into one procedure – it all depends on what is suitable for you. This process may seem a bit daunting, and it might be a cliché, but modern anaesthetics and technology mean that you won’t feel a thing!
What are the after-effects?
After your dental implant has been fitted you will need to rest until the anaesthetics have worn off. This can take a few hours and it’s important to not consume any hot food or drink during this time, as it will be hard to tell just how hot it really is!
Once the anaesthetics have worn off, you may need to get some painkillers from the pharmacy to relieve the discomfort of the treatment. Pain levels vary from patient to patient, and we will recommend a number of medicines to you. You may also experience some swelling around the implant area, in which case we will prescribe antibiotics and mouthwash to deal with this.
You will need to wait a week before returning to hard food, and a diet of softer foods will be recommended to you before you leave the surgery. Once this has passed, your implant will function as perfectly as natural teeth and you will notice a huge difference from your previous tooth loss!
Tooth loss can lead to several nasty and painful problems. Dental implants are one of the best ways to solve this issue. The sooner you discuss your implant options with us, the easier the treatment will be.