In the old days if you lost a tooth you were stuck with a gap or you would need a bridge or a denture. The only problem is the bridge often caused adjacent healthy teeth to be cut down, and a denture took up much of the space in your mouth and made chewing difficult and talking uncomfortable.
In the early 1950's a Swedish scientist realized that Titanium could bond with bone. This process of OSSEOINTEGRATION has been refined over the last sixty years. Implants can be used for people who have full dentures who want to be able to function as well as they did with their own teeth, or for young people who have lost a tooth to trauma and wish to smile again.
Implants can be used in almost any dental situation to replace missing teeth and provide aesthetics and function. Under the right conditions implants have a 97% success rate.
What are implants?
Dental implants are used as a means of replacing a missing tooth or missing teeth. They are synthetic metal posts or screws, made of Titanium, which are surgically placed inside the jaw bone to mimic the root of a tooth. They come in different lengths and widths to fit individual situations. Once they have been placed in the bone they provide the foundation for further dental work. (crowns bridges, precision dentures).
We place them in the dental chair requiring only local anaesthetic. (no hospital stays). The implants are left in place for 2 to 4 months so that the bone can chemically and mechanically bond to the titanium. Then an attachment is placed that allows us to prepare a crown or bridge to complete your restoration. The end result is a new tooth independent of the teeth around it. Solid and often more stable than the tooth it has replaced.
Why not a bridge or a denture?
Replacing missing teeth by bridging often involves reducing healthy teeth so that they may support the bridge that will fill the gap. This condemns an untouched tooth to a lifetime of dentistry that otherwise it would not need. Dentures can also fill the space of missing teeth. They do not require the removal of sound tooth structure. They do however, due to the space they take up in your mouth, change the way you speak, look, eat your food, and reduce your ability to taste. They are often not as stable as your natural teeth and therefore subject to movement when you speak or eat. In some cases they are the treatment of choice, but they are now generally a temporary fix.
How do I know if it's the right treatment for me?
- If you have lost teeth and are unsatisfied with their replacement.
- If you can see the dentistry that replaces your missing teeth.
- If you have a healthy mouth and have lost a single tooth due to trauma.
- If you have trouble speaking with your denture or are uncomfortable in social situations.
- If you have had crowns and bridges and they have failed necessitating the removal of their supporting teeth.