What are implants?
Where it is possible to place a dental implant, this is one of the most effective ways of replacing a missing tooth. Whereas the up-front cost for a dental implant is significant, when the cost is considered over the life-span of the implant, it is one of the most cost-effective solutions for replacing a missing tooth.
A titanium cylinder is placed surgically within the jaw bone and allowed to heal for 2-3 months. Initially the implant is held in bone by mechanical fixation. Over several weeks this mechanical fixation becomes a chemico-mechanical union. This is known as osseointegration. At this juncture, the implant cannot simply unscrew and tremendous force is needed to break the connection with bone. At this point the implant is ready to receive a prosthetic connection.
Some implant systems have surfaces that promote faster bone healing, and some implants can be restored within 6 weeks. Indeed, with careful planning, and suitable case selection and biological control, it is possible to place an implant and a crown on the same day.
The titanium cylinder that is placed within the jaw bone acts like the root of a natural tooth. The surgeon can also place multiple implant ‘roots’ so as to be able to support a single crown, a short or long span bridge.
After ‘osseointegration’, the implant can receive the prosthetic connection. The prosthetic connection to an implant is a post that is screwed into the implant and a crown. Very often, the post and the crown are manufactured as one unit, and the implant ‘post-crown’ is screwed in as one piece through the top of the implant. This hole is then filled with a tooth coloured resin to seal the hole.
From time to time, it is necessary to clear a whole jaw of teeth and complete a full mouth reconstruction. Dr. Raj Wadhwani, the Clinical Director of Antwerp Dental Group has undertaken extensive research in full mouth reconstruction, and this topic was the subject of a written Master’s thesis when defend his Master’s degree in Implantology.
However, are implants right for you ?
Please do contact us to arrange an implant consultation and discussion and we will let you know the various possibilities and if dental implant treatment is the correct choice for you. Before implant are placed the following must be accomplished:
- gum disease must be under control
- you must be free from decay and abscesses
- your bite must be mechanically stable
- you must be medically risk assessed
Our team will be only too happy to help you with any questions you may have. If you wish to have a free consultation with one of our Treatment Coordinators before having a full implant assessment, please do mention this when phoning.