Dental implants are a way of
- replacing individual teeth
- or support a denture or bridge for a larger amount of teeth.
Once they are placed, you will be unaware of them as they are effectively tooth roots providing a foundation for the crown, bridge or denture. Dental implants are made of titanium; this allows bone to integrate into them, therefore providing a strong and permanent solution to supporting supra structures. The surgery is usually much less invasive than having a tooth removed and is usually carried out under local anesthesia, but conscious sedation can be an option. At the initial consultation a detailed examination will be carried out which includes the relevant imaging and impressions.
Following this and taking into account what ideas you have as a patient, we will produce an in depth treatment plan and costing. As each patient is individual the time scale and costs will vary between patients and any questions can be answered at the initial consultation.
Bone Grafts & Sinus Augmentation
In order to place a dental implants, bone is required. Sometimes there isn’t enough bone to support a dental implant and this can be due to a variety of reasons, infection, gum disease, age or trauma. We have a variety of ways of replacing missing bone, or improving the amount of bone which is present to then allow an individual to have dental implants.
Each case is extremely individual and will be discussed with you. The information below gives a brief outline of what is potentially available to patients.
A persons top back teeth often sit close to, or indeed in the air filled space in your cheek bone – the maxillary sinus. When these teeth are lost, the bone shrinks and therefore the sinus is very close to the bone where an implant might be required. We are able to place bone grafting material under the sinus to increase the height of bone which then allows successful placement of implants. This procedure can be done under local anesthesia and takes between 30 minutes and an hour.
Before surgery commences usually you will undergo a cone beam CT scan which allows accurate 3-D planning of the surgery.
If a tooth is to be extracted and replaced with an implant, we often consider preserving the bone present and stimulating new bone to grow into the socket to allow it to support the implant.
Socket preservation is a technique used immediately after the tooth has been extracted providing that there is no evidence of infection. Bone substitute is placed in the socket and left for a period of months before the implant is placed. Not only does this aid with implant integration but it might also be necessary for a better aesthetic outcome.
If there is insufficient bone where implants are to be placed, we are able to graft the site with your own bone, this involves taking a small amount of bone from either the back of the bottom jaw where you wisdom teeth would be, or the chin area.
Once we have the bone it is then fixed to the required site and allowed to integrate before implant placement.
The donor site and the grafted site will have grafting material placed to allow healing and over time will allow better integration of the implants.