Tags – What Are Dental Implants

Even though there have been vast improvements in dental care, many people will still suffer tooth loss.

Often, this is caused by either tooth decay, diseases or injuries.

Historically, the only treatment that was available for missing teeth was to fit in bridges or dentures.

Today, dental implants are a favourable alternative, and usually offered as the best solution.

The reason being, dental implants are the most natural replacement for your teeth, unlike traditional dentures that can fit quite loose and not provide the same function of your natural teeth.

But, with dental implants, you’ll be able to bite, chew, smile, laugh and speak just how you normally do.

Let’s take a closer look at what dental implants are, who they are suitable for and the general process of getting them.


What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are made from a titanium alloy, which is then integrated into the bone of the jaw.

What’s great, is that dental implants can either be used to replace a single tooth, or be a part of a bridge to replace multiple teeth.

Simply, the way it works is the implant is placed via a surgical procedure underneath the gum surface.

Then once it’s fitted, the bone surrounding your implant will gradually fuse to it, holding it firmly in place.


Who Are Dental Implants Suitable For?

More and more people are enquiring about dental implants to replace missing teeth.

And one of the most common questions that pops up is whether anyone can have dental implants.

Generally, any adult who has lost a tooth, or multiple teeth, can be considered for a dental implant.

However, there are a few factors which make it an unsuitable option, hence why you must attend an initial consultation.

Typically, a thorough oral examination will be carried out, medical history explored and x-rays taken; this will also be the opportunity to ask any questions.

In order to be considered, a patient must have:


i) A Sufficient Jawbone

As a dental implant needs to fuse with the jawbone, it’s important that there’s a good supply of healthy bone in that area. 

Otherwise, the bond with the jaw will fail, known as osseointegration; the leading cause for implant failure.

So, if you have lost a tooth, it’s essential to try and replace this as quickly as possible because the jawbone will gradually begin to deteriorate from losing a tooth.


ii) No Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss.

But, it can also pose a high threat to dental implants too and can result in implant failure.

As such, if a patient has gum disease, they will be asked to treat this first, before dental implant surgery can be considered.


iii) Good General Health

If you live a fit and healthy lifestyle, your dentist will feel reassured that you can handle the treatment as well as any complications that may occur.

However, if you have a chronic illness, like diabetes or leukaemia, or if you have undergone any radiation treatment around the jaw area, you may not be considered suitable.

Plus if you’re a smoker, you may be asked to quit a few weeks prior to your surgery and throughout your healing time; smoking can interfere with the healing process.


Dental Implant Process

As a brief explanation, the first step in the dental implant process is to devise a personalised treatment plan, where your specific needs will be addressed.

Once you’re ready for treatment, the tooth root implant is placed into the bone socket where the missing tooth is, and as the jawbone heals, it will grow around the implanted metal post.

Typically, the healing process can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months.

Then, once the implant has bonded with the jawbone, a small connector post (abutment) is attached to securely hold the new tooth.

To make this new tooth, the dentist will make impressions of your teeth, creating a model of your bite and capturing all your teeth, their type and arrangement.

And the colour of your new tooth or teeth will be matched to your natural teeth, making them look, feel and function as normal.


The Bottom Line

Most dental implants are successful and rarely will bones fail to fuse sufficiently.

To avoid this from happening, make sure to follow the instructions regarding cleaning and aftercare properly to avoid any risks of infection – but your dentist will advise how regularly you will need to go for a check up.


If you’d like to know more, please get in touch today.

In the meantime, take a look at our Dental Implant service in Leicester.