A dental implant is a small titanium screw that replaces the root of a missing original tooth before being covered with a crown. The implant fuses with the bone and acts as a firm anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace either single teeth or a number of teeth in both the upper and lower jaw. Titanium is suitable as it is both light weight and is usually accepted easily by the body. The implant has three main sections the section that can be seen is known as the crown: the connective portion and structure is called the abutment, while the screw-like end is known as the implant.
Dental implants represent a revolutionary development in restorative dentistry. They are the most advanced technological treatment option available. They offer permanent replacement to broken, loose and missing teeth, and they are a potential alternative to wearing dentures.
WHAT TO EXPECT
An incision is made in the gums, or a puncture-like wound. This is followed by low speed and high speed drilling. The prosthetic tooth is implanted carefully at the correct torque so as not to overload the surrounding bone. Various techniques are used to cover the tooth with the surrounding gums. The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic and carries with it the risks attached to this. The risk of infection is addressed with pre- and post-surgery antibiotics.
Long-lasting hassle-free permanent dentures. One tooth may be replaced or as many as required. This is the closest thing to having your real teeth back and can significantly rebuild confidence.
There may be excessive bleeding, nerve injury or infection. Long term there may be mechanical failures or a failure for the implant to integrate. Success can depend very much on the skill of the dentist and the amount and quality of bone in the jaw.