Dental implants are titanium rods that are secured into a drilled hole in the jaw bone- this then acts as a root replacement. Once this is in place a false tooth can be attached to it.
What is the surgical process of having a dental implant?
A small hole is drilled into the bone where the implant will be placed. A titanium rod is either tapped or screwed into the hole. Next the gum will be stitched over the implant. Local anaesthetic is usually used for the procedure. When the implant is in place it will be left alone to completely heal and fuse with the bone. This process can take 6 weeks to 6 months.
Advantages of dental implants:
- Less loss of bone- the presence a tooth or implant prevents further loss of bone
- Improved function- implants are very stable and don't move so you can eat whatever you like and your speech is not affected in any way.
- Dental hygiene is improved- implants function as natural teeth so there is no need to remove them to clean them as you would with dentures.
- Better aesthetics- when a dental implant is done correctly it should blend in with your remaining teeth.
Disadvantages of dental implants:
- Dental implants can take time to heal.
- Dental implants can sometimes be rejected by the body.
In certain circumstances dental implants might not be suitable for all people and these include:
- Heavy smokers
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Periodontal gum disease
- Teeth grinding
- People with diabetes
- People with osteoporosis