Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth and restore a natural looking smile.
The way in which dental implants are fitted makes them become an integrated part of your mouth, sitting naturally alongside your own teeth.
This subtle finish is down to the way that dental implants are fitted into the mouth.
When you lose a tooth, either through decay, an accident or as a result of dental improvement work the gap left in your smile can make you feel self-conscious.
Feeling good about your smile is important to your social interactions as well as your self-confidence so it makes sense to replace the lost tooth wherever possible.
Your dentist will advise you on the best solution suited to you – or a number of solutions that you can choose from, which will usually include dental implants.
Many of these solutions involve the replacement tooth or teeth being fitted above the gum, such as a bridge or dentures.
A dental implant, however, is surgically connected to the jawbone.
When having a dental implant fitted your dentist will begin the process by taking an x-ray of your mouth and discussing your dental history.
This will inform them of any potential issues, but crucially will flag up if there appears to be insufficient bone to support an implant.
If this is the case you will be asked to go for a scan that will look at the area in depth and pinpoint exactly how much bone there is. If it is decided that the jawbone is not deep enough to support an implant you may need a bone graft.
To insert the dental implant your dentist will initially place a titanium screw into the jawbone, which will become an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
Over time the screw will actually fuse with the surrounding bone to increase stability. This is known as osseointegration and usually takes between three to six months.
An abutment is then placed onto the screw, which will be used to hold the crown in place.
Your dentist will work closely with the laboratory to ensure that the crown that is fitted onto the abutment closely matches the colour of your natural teeth to allow for a seamless finish.
When the crown is in place over the supporting base of the dental implant it will have the appearance and function of a normal tooth.
Once fitted, dental implants can last as long as 25 years and will retain their natural appearance.
For more information on having dental implants fitted get in touch with Stoke Orthodontic.