Dental implants are a form of restorative dentistry that strives to restore not only the function, but also the aesthetic appearance of one, several, or even whole rows of teeth within the mouth. Dental implants work by replacing the natural tooth (the root and crown) allowing patients to eat, drink, and maintain dental hygiene correctly. Dental implants strive to mimic the natural tooth, the porcelain crowns are consequently matched perfectly to the shape and shade of the surrounding teeth, ensuring they blend in.
Dental implants are not only used for tooth replacement
Despite common misconception, dental implants are not only used for replacing missing teeth within the mouth, but can also be used for denture stabilisation. Denture stabilisation may be a recommended option for older individuals who no longer wish for their dentures to be removable. The dental implants are inserted within the jaw, the dentures are then attached to ensure a sturdy base is formed.
The implant treatment process
The dental implant treatment process is much more simple than many patients believe. The first step taken in preparation for any dental treatment is an initial consultation. During this consultation patients will determine, with their dentist, the correct treatment process for them, such as the amount of dental implants required. Once a patient has decided that implants are right for them, the treatment can begin!
The first step
After the treatment details have been discussed (such as financial costs) the restorative dentistry can be administered. The dental implant itself is a small titanium screw, usually less than one centimetre long, which is placed in the jaw, to support both the abutment, and the crown. After the implant screw itself has been inserted, the area must heal before the treatment commences, this may take several months.
Allowing time for the area to heal
During the healing process, the titanium implant must fuse with the gums correctly, while the healing process takes place, a temporary porcelain crown is always administered. A temporary cosmetic crown allows patients to feel more confident about their smiles, as well as allowing them to eat, drink, and chew correctly before the long term crown is administered.
The final stage
Once the area has healed, the porcelain crown can be attached to the abutment (also commonly referred to as the connector). The porcelain crown is uniquely customised for each individual patient, ensuring that the teeth are perfectly matched to the patient’s natural crowns within the mouth.
Before patients leave the dental chair, they may be educated on the correct way to care for their implants, although they may be surprised to hear that the routine does not differ greatly from their usual regime.
How long does this form of restorative dentistry last?
Many individuals may wonder how long this particular form of restorative dentistry lasts, however this depends on the way the implants are cared for. Dental implants with the correct after care, such as a good dental hygiene routine, can last ten years, or very possibly more.