Valley Dental Practice

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Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a fixed replacement solution for loose teeth with a poor prognosis and missing teeth. In many cases they are often a sensible alternative to other replacement options such as removable dentures or invasive irreversible bridgework. Dental implants now have good clinical research to support their high success and survival rates, provided they are well maintained.

Dental Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or to provide complete reconstruction of an entire set of teeth, either through a fixed implant retained bridge or an implant retained denture. Often multiple teeth can be replaced on a few strategically placed implants through careful planning and it is not necessary to have an implant to replace each missing tooth. For patients struggling with dentures that are loose, a few implants strategically placed can improve the retention of the denture. Dental implants can transform your mouth and rebuild confidence by providing both an improved function and aesthetics.

The process begins with an general assessment by your dentist to determine whether implants are the best form of treatment. Some patients may not be suitable for dental implants and in these cases the dentist can recommend more appropriate alternative solutions,, If you are considered to be suitable for dental implants then a more detailed assessment with an experienced implantologist/specialist can be arranged within the practice.

There are certain risk factors that can compromise the long term success and survival of dental implants and these would be highlighted to you as part of the consultation process. Oral hygiene is vital to maintain good oral health around natural teeth and equally after implants have been placed. Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to advise a suitable home care regime to ensure that good oral hygiene is maintained to improve the prognosis of your implant treatment.

Advantages of Dental Implant treatment

  • No need to prepare (drill) adjacent healthy teeth (which is required with conventional crown and bridgework)
  • Dental Implants can look, feel and function like your natural teeth.
  • Dental implants can eliminate the need of denture adhesives often used to hold loose dentures in place, and eliminate discomfort and insecurity of loose, ill-fitting dentures.
  • Dental implants offer high success rate and high level of patient satisfaction.

Why Choose SmileArt Dental for your Dental Implant treatment?

  • Treatment provided by a trained specialist/consultant in restorative dentistry
  • Use of the Straumann and ASTRA TECH Implant System™ which are one of the world's most well documented systems with over 20 years of clinical research to support the system.
  • You can rely on being given impartial and expert advice. We will only recommended treatment if appropriate to your needs.
  • You will be provided with a detailed written treatment plan following the consultation that will outline the advantages and disadvantages of the different options available and the associated costs from the outset. Time will also be taken to discuss all areas of your dental implant treatment to ensure you are completely happy before treatment
  • You will have access to your dentist and the visiting specialist/consultant before, during and after treatment to address any questions or concerns you may have.

FAQs

  • Q: What is a dental implant?
  • A: A dental implant is an artificial tooth root analogue, usually made from commercially pure titanium that is placed into the jaw. A crown or bridge is then fitted on top to replace the missing tooth. They can also be used to help secure loose dentures in place.
  • Q: Do dental implants last for life?
  • A: Once a dental implant has integrated into the jawbone, studies have shown a survival rate in excess of 90% after 15 years. However, studies have also shown that this is reliant on a high standard of daily cleaning, avoiding risk factors such as smoking and active gum disease and regular maintenance with a dental professional. It is important to highlight that nothing man-made can be guaranteed for life but with good maintenance dental implants have shown good success and survival rates.
  • Q: Can Implants always be used to replace missing teeth?
  • A: There are very few absolute contraindications to dental implant treatment however, for some patients there may be some relative contraindications that may either prevent them from having implants or may result in a lower success or survival rate. For these reasons a detailed consultation with our specialist is essential who can discuss any risk factors in detail and your suitability to dental implants
  • Q: Does it matter who places and restores the implants?
  • A: There are no formal training requirements and any competent dentist can place dental implants and restore them. It is therefore essential to ask the clinician about their training and experience in dental implants. This will allow you to make an informed choice about who is most suited to placing and restoring your implants.
  • Q: Is the process painful?
  • A: Dental implants are placed under local anesthetic for the majority of patients and is a pain free procedure. As with any surgical procedure you may experience some postoperative discomfort that can be adequately managed with a few days of painkillers. In some cases conscious sedation options can be considered If the patient is nervous about the treatment.
  • Q: How long does treatment take?
  • A: Once you have decided to proceed with implant treatment, a small amount of time is spent planning the case. This involves defining where the final teeth should go and then planning to place appropriate size and number of implants in relation to the final proposed restoration. Planning to place the implants in relation to the proposed final position of the teeth gives a more predictable outcome as oppose to placing the implants and then attempting to place a restoration based on the position of the implants. After the implants have been placed, you would be advised to wait 3-6 months for the implants to adequately integrate with the bone before they are loaded. In some cases it may be possible to load the implants a lot sooner and even immediately after placement should you wish to go down this route. Once healed, an impression is then taken of the implant fixture and given to a dental technician, who will build a bespoke replacement to the required size, shape and colour. A few weeks after the impression has been taken the final restoration can be fitted. In some cases you would be advised to have a temporary restoration fitted prior to the final restoration, This is usually the case when replacing teeth which would be visible when smiling. The temporary restoration would allow us to make any desired changes to the restoration and control the shape of the gum around the restoration. Once happy the modified temporary restoration can be copied to make the final restoration.
  • Q: Are the teeth difficult to clean after implants?
  • A: No. The teeth attached to the implants are no more difficult to clean than your normal teeth. There may be areas that are more difficult to reach, but your dentist will show you different methods for best cleaning there. Regular trips to the dental hygienist are also recommended, but again, your dentist should advise you on this. Good oral hygiene is vital after implants have been fitted. As well as avoiding decay and gum disease, this will prolong the success and life of the implant.
  • Q: Do I have to have an implant for each missing tooth?
  • A: It is not necessary and often inappropriate to have an implant placed for each missing tooth. In cases where there are multiple missing teeth a few strategically placed implants can be placed to help retain a bridge replacing multiple missing teeth. Carefully planned and placed implants can also mean that if further teeth are lost in the future, it may be possible to use the same implants to replace the additional missing teeth, by simply changing the type of restoration present.
  • Q: Am I suitable for Tooth implants?
  • A: Generally, most people are suitable for dental implants as long as your general and oral health is good. In order to place implants it is essential that there is sufficient height and width of bone available. This is usually determined through a cone beam CT scan as part of the planning stage. In some cases it may not be possible to place implants due to the lack of bone but in many cases the bone can be grafted either prior to implant placement or at the time of placement. Details of the options available will be discussed in detail as part of the planning process.

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