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Dental Implants

Following the loss of one or more natural teeth, dental implants should be considered. Dental implants are small titanium metal screws which are surgically placed in the jaw bone. Once the implant has integrated into the bone, it can then be used like a natural tooth root to support either a fixed crown or fixed bridge (as above) or used to stabilise a removable overdenture very securely. This treatment has revolutionised the treatment of missing teeth and avoids the need to drill into adjacent natural teeth as is the case for conventional dental bridges. Implants may also help prevent the bone of the jaws shrinking away after tooth loss.

Implants are now considered highly successful and long lasting if carried out with the proper care and expertise.

In many patients there just isn’t enough bone remaining to allow the simple placement of dental implants. In mild to moderate cases the bone may be built up at the same time as implant placement using artificial bone substitute and a membrane (from animal sources), as well as some local bone chips from the patient. Although the healing time is a little longer, this technique (called guided bone regeneration or GBR) works very well in experienced hands. Once the bone has healed, the implants may be used to replace the missing teeth successfully.

Where the bone loss is more severe, a block of bone may be taken from another part of the patient’s jaw (or even the hip in extreme cases) in order to build up the bone prior to implant placement some months later (this is called a block onlay graft). Although this is a more invasive, time consuming and more complex process, the specialist can achieve excellent results with careful planning and expert treatment.

When the upper back teeth have been lost, there may not be much bone height remaining between the mouth and the maxillary sinus in the cheek bone. In these circumstances it may be possible to carry out a sinus graft or lift to build up the bone height and allow the placement of dental implants, either at the same time or some months later. The sinus is usually grafted using artificial bone substitute and a membrane (from animal sources). This technique is very successful when carried out in the right patients by appropriately trained specialists.

Dental implants for single tooth crown

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Dental Implants for full fixed bridges

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Dental implants for full removable overdentures

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