Dental implants have revolutionised the dentistry world. Designed to act as a substitute for a lost tooth, dental implants look and feel just like a natural tooth. The titanium screw that is inserted into the jaw takes a while to heal and you will most likely have a temporary crown fitted over the top until fully healed.
Once in place, the implant can either be attached to a crown, denture or a bridge. Most people with just one missing tooth will have a crown fitted that looks and acts like a brand new tooth. The dentist will take great care when creating your crown to ensure it fits, is completely functional and is shaded to match the colour of your existing teeth.
Talk to your dentist about your options for dental implants. It may be that you have suffered major tooth loss or have damage to your jawbone that will make you unsuitable for dental implant treatments. Traditional implants are not suitable for absolutely everyone, so you will need to have a thorough oral examination by your dentist to assess your suitability for treatment.
While you may be able to have a bridge or denture fitted if you are not suitable for traditional dental implants, you may actually be OK with a mini-implant instead. Mini-implants are smaller versions of regular dental implants. Being smaller in size, some patients find them easier to tolerate. This could be a good option if you have suffered some bone loss or damage that prevents you from having regular implants.
Mini-implants are far less invasive because the implant is smaller. This means that you may be able to get your missing tooth replaced quicker as there will be less healing time. In some cases, new crowns can be fitted at the same time as the mini-implants, so you can benefit right away.
Who is suitable for implants?
For you to be able to receive dental implant treatment you need to have strong and stable bones in your jaw. If you have suffered an injury or a bad infection that has resulted in a substantial amount of bone loss, then the lack of dense tissues in the jaw bone makes this treatment impossible without first having a bone graft.
Dental implants are made to fill the gaps caused by missing teeth, but if you find yourself unsuitable for treatment, there are many other options open to you, such as a denture or a dental bridge.
If you are interested in having any missing teeth replaced by dental implants, then the first step for you to take is to talk to your dentist about this. Your dentist may be able to carry out your treatment themselves or they may refer you to another specialist within the surgery for treatment.
Before you can go ahead with any implant treatments you will need to have a thorough examination to make sure your jaw bone tissues are strong enough to carry an implant. Your dentist will also need to check your oral health to make sure you are not carrying anything that needs to be addressed beforehand, such as an abscess or gum infection that will need clearing up before you can go ahead.