8th May 2015
Dental implants 101: A quick guide to dental implants
If you have one or missing teeth, you may have been advised – or discovered through your own research – that dental implants are an option for filling the gap and restoring your smile.
The chances are you have questions. Most people do when they’re looking for advice about dental implants in Croydon, London, where Crescent Lodge Dental Practice is located. To help you understand how dental implants work and why they’re seen as the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to tooth replacement, we’ve put together this quick guide.
What dental implants are and how they work
A dental implant is a titanium post that is fitted into the jaw bone where the root of your lost tooth would once have been. Once the implant is fitted, it stimulates the jaw bone to grow and solidify around it, holding it in place. This is a process called ossification.
In some cases, if you’ve had missing teeth for a while or you experienced some facial trauma which caused you to lose your teeth, you may need a bone graft to support the dental implant. This is something that we would identify and discuss with you during the initial assessment phase.
Once the dental implant is secure – a process that can take several months – we fit an attachment called an abutment to the top of the implant. Once the abutment is in place, we can fit this with a prosthetic tooth that is perfectly colour matched and shaped to complement your surrounding natural teeth.
You can have a single dental implant or many. You can even have dental implants to secure a dental bridge or you can have implant-retained dentures. You may even be suitable for fast dental implant treatments.
Dental implant safety and suitability
Dental implants are widely tolerated by most people and have an excellent safety record. Figures show that 98% of implants are successful, although the outcomes can depend on where the implant is placed in the jaw.
One of the many benefits of dental implants is that they’re a suitable treatment option for most people. Of course, when people seek dental implants in Croydon, London, we always advise them that we will need to look at their individual case and make our recommendations based on a detailed assessment.
Dental implant treatment
Although some fast dental implant treatments exist and are available through Crescent Lodge Dental Practice, having dental implants can often take upwards of six months. This is because we will first need to ensure that you are dental fit.
As we mentioned above, in some cases people need to have a bone graft before they can have dental implants, in which case the graft needs time to take effect.
Once a dental implant is fitted, it typically takes between four and six months before the surrounding jaw bone to bond with the implant and make it secure. Once we are confident that the implants are strong enough, your final restorations can be fitted.
Dental implants should only ever be carried out by an experienced and suitably trained dentist.
When compared to other dental restorations such as dental crowns, bridges or dentures, only dental implants come close to natural teeth. Because a dental implant is anchored in your jaw, it gives exceptional strength, restoring the bite and function of your teeth. Dental implants can also protect you from bone loss, protecting the structure of your face, and they look so natural no-one will be able to spot the restoration.
You will need to look after your dental implants in the same way as you look after your natural teeth. You should continue to attend regular dental check-ups, visits with the hygienist, and brush and floss at least twice a day. With the right care, your dental implants could last the rest of your life.
If you’re considering dental implants in Croydon, London, why not book an initial consultation here at Crescent Lodge Dental Practice? Simply call us on 020 7622 5333.