What are they?
In simple terms, they are small titanium posts that provide a secure stable base for a new or replenished tooth. These small pillars of stability not only help rejuvenate the surrounding jawbone by stimulating bone growth where the original tooth loss occurred but offer a sense of security to both the younger and older generations. No one wants to have large gaps in their smile or to lose their false teeth whilst eating or talking.
How does the process work?
As with all dental treatments and procedures the first thing that your dental team will look into is whether or not the procedure is best suited to your individual case. Whilst a dental implant may be at the top of your list for replacing your tooth, there are many factors to be considered so as to ensure it would be the most practical solution. After all, the solution wants to be a long term fix rather than holding out for mere days or weeks.
To get started a consultation will take place, this is where a thorough examination of the area will take place and a series of digital photographs and x-rays may be taken. This in depth process ensures that the solution offered is the most practical for your individual case and helps understand what extra measures may need to be put in place beforehand to enable the implant to be fitted. Extra measures means things like bone grafts.
Providing no extra measures are to be carried out, once the consultation has taken place the area of the gum will be injected with a local anaesthetic to numb the area. A small dental drill will then insert the titanium post into the jawbone and a temporary crown or bridge will be applied. In most cases, the patient will then be sent home whilst the area heals and in several weeks be booked in for an appointment to not only check up on the healing of the area but to also fit the permanent crown or bridge.
If you have lost multiple teeth do you need a post per tooth.
Losing multiple teeth, although not something anyone wants to face, is something that can be fixed using implants. The surrounding jawbone needs to have a certain amount of depth and therefore one post can secure a few teeth in place at once, rather than having a post for each tooth. This will be discussed with you by your dental team so that all options are understood and explained in full before undergoing the process.
Are they available on the NHS?
At the moment a dental implant is still considered to be a more cosmetic procedure as there are other tooth replacement options available. For this reason, except in exceptional circumstances, this particular procedure is available privately rather than via the NHS. Please always discuss your options including payment possibilities with your dental practice before deciding on a particular treatment plan.
All patients are advised to seek further information and advice on any treatments or procedures mentioned within this article so as to fully understand the processes. This is of the utmost importance as potential risks can be apparent when following a plan.