There are so many options available for restoring missing or damaged teeth nowadays, that it can be difficult to know which is the best. Dr. Sergejs Andrijevskis of Dental Art Implant Clinics tells Celebrity Angels all about the rewards of dental implants and the enhancements they bring to your smile, bite and confidence.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are widely considered the best solution available for restoring damaged or missing natural teeth. A dental implant consists of three components – a small screw like fixture usually made from titanium, an abutment and a tooth crown, which is usually made from porcelain or zirconium.
How do dental implants work?
The small screw like fixture – the implant – is surgically placed into the jawbone and serves as the base, effectively acting as a tooth root. The crown gets anchored onto an abutment connecting it to the implant, making the full implant function just like a regular tooth.
How many teeth can be restored using dental implants?
Any amount! A single tooth, multiple teeth or even full mouth restoration can be performed using implants. Using implant supported bridges and dentures, we don’t need to place an implant for each missing tooth. For example, full mouth restoration can involve a full set of dentures fixed to 6 – or even 4 – implants!
Are there any extras required with dental implant treatment?
It really depends on each patient but, yes, there is usually some additional treatment required. A lot of patients require deep cleaning or need damaged teeth to be extracted before implant placement can begin. Also, in cases where teeth have been missing for many years, bone procedures such as bone graft or sinus lift are usually needed.
See also: Looking After Dentures
Why are bone procedures required?
Bone volume naturally decreases over time in areas of the jaw where teeth are missing. The longer the period without teeth, the more likely bone procedures will be required as there will not be sufficient bone to support an implant. In fact, this is one of the many advantages and rewards of dental implants that other dental restorations do not have—by placing an implant, the jawbone surrounds it and remains strong, meaning the jawbone does not recede, and the face keeps its’ shape.
What are the advantages and the rewards of dental implants over other options like dentures?
As well as keeping the face’s shape and form, there are many other advantages. For example, dental implants:
- Function and feel like natural teeth
- Are fixed in place, therefore more comfortable
- Don’t get loose or cause difficulty eating or speaking
- Don’t need to be removed or put in a glass to clean, just brushed like regular teeth
- With the right oral care, they can last a lifetime
Are they not a very expensive form of dental restoration?
It might seem so at first, but one of the biggest rewards of dental implants is that they last much longer and require less maintenance than other restorative options. Many of the leading materials used in dental implant treatment come with a lifetime guarantee. Also, clinics such as ours that specialise in dental implant treatment will usually offer pay as you go or finance options to their patients.
See also: Oral Health
What is involved in the dental implant procedure?
Dental implant treatment consists of several phases:
- Before treatment comes the consultation and diagnosis, which should involve X-ray and/or CT scan to check bone levels and the preparation of a treatment plan.
- If bone procedures are required, these will usually be done several months before implants can be placed.
- Implant placement takes place, after which it takes several months for implants to integrate into the jaw. During this time, patients are provided with temporary crowns or dentures.
- New teeth crowns will be created in a dental laboratory to match the exact composition required by the patient (exact colour, shape, size etc.)
Is it painful?
As with other dental procedures, the use of local anaesthetics mean patients will not feel a thing during the actual implant procedure. Many clinics will also offer conscious sedation for patients who are more nervous. After surgery, there may be some pain, but standard painkillers will help ease this.
If teeth are in a really bad condition, can implants still be placed?
Most likely yes, but it should be noted that the more problematic the case is, the longer the treatment and recovery time will be. For patients who have teeth that are beyond repair, these will need to be extracted beforehand. And for patients who have had missing teeth for many years, bone procedures will almost certainly be required before implants can be successfully placed.
People might not want others to know they have dental implants. Will the smile look natural?
Definitely. This is one of the many rewards of dental implants—they look and feel just like natural teeth. Only the patient and the dentist will know about them!
How to find out more?
There is a lot of information currently available online regarding dental implant treatment. However, as every patient is unique, the best way to find out more is to attend a consultation and get an individual treatment plan from a dental implant clinic. We offer free consultations and diagnosis for this, as do several other clinics.
Our thanks to Dr. Sergejs Andrijevskis, Dental Art Implant Clinics’ principal implant surgeon, for assisting with this article. Dental Art Implant Clinics located in East Finchley and Swiss Cottage, are implants-focused dental clinics that are dedicated to restoring teeth through dental implant treatment.
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