In the past the first choice for treating tooth loss was dentures. However, dentistry today presents another option, which brings certain advantages over traditional dentures. Dental implants are a modern, clinically proven solution to missing teeth. They address the problems caused by tooth loss both above and below the gum line.
At Broadway Dental in Loughton, dental implants are fitted by experienced dentists to treat a range of cases involving missing teeth.
The basics of dental implants
Dental implants are small screws made from lightweight titanium. A minor surgical procedure is required to fit them directly into the jawbone, where they act as artificial tooth roots. This is carried out under local anaesthetic, with sedation available for more anxious patients.
Dental implants provide superior stability when compared with traditional dentures, as they encourage new bone to weave in and around them. After several months of healing, dental implants provide a firm foundation for replacement teeth to be fitted on top. The end result is a complete restoration of the missing teeth, starting with the root and ending with the crown.
Dental implants also provide long-term dental health benefits that dentures alone cannot. Over the years tooth loss can cause the underlying jawbone to degenerate and the gums to recede. This can make neighbouring teeth more vulnerable to tilting and toppling out. Changes to facial structure can also occur, producing an ageing effect. This can occur even with lifelong denture use. Dental implants however, offer protection against these effects.
Can anyone have dental implants fitted?
If you have suffered from tooth loss, then dental implants may provide an ideal solution. However, before the implant procedure is carried out, it is important that your teeth and gums are in good condition. Underlying dental health problems, such as gum disease, will need to be resolved first. You will also require enough underlying bone to secure the dental implant. Years of leaving tooth loss untreated can result in diminished amounts of bone. However, there are treatments that can address this, such as bone grafts.
The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants is to talk to your dentist.