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Dental Implants – Some Commonly Asked Questions

2015 January 15
by Sanjay Narda

Replacing missing teeth at the Bank House Dental Centre.

Losing a tooth, or a number of teeth, is no laughing matter. In fact, lost teeth can often result in a loss of confidence and a reluctance to smile or even hold conversations for fear of revealing the gap in the teeth.

As a smile can have a significant effect in some areas of our life, such as relationships and job interviews, to name just two, it is no surprise that people seek out methods for replacing their missing teeth by artificial means.

Although dentures have long been used for this purpose, patients from nearby Chinnor and Aylesbury are increasingly taking up the option of dental implants. Less well known than dentures, it is probably not surprising that potential dental implant patients have a number of questions that they would like answered before going ahead.

The following are just a few of the more common ones which we have answered at the Bank House Dental Centre:

So what actually are dental implants?

This could be an essay in its own right, but essentially, they are a screw like object made from titanium which is placed into the jawbone and acts as a replacement tooth root. Once integrated with the bone, a dental crown is then attached to replace the missing tooth.

It sounds painful?

Not really. In fact the jawbone contains relatively few nerves and is therefore not as sensitive to pain as might be thought.

A local anaesthetic will be used during the procedure to numb the area and no more discomfort should be felt than with other invasive dental procedures.

Am I too old for dental implants?

No, in fact older people can really benefit from them. Some dentures can make eating more difficult, and a good diet is important as we get older. The use of dental implants means that the full range of foods can be eaten.

It may be that, as with many older people, the bone density in the jaw is diminished which would make placement more difficult. In cases such as this, we are able to offer bone grafts to build the jawbone density beforehand.

Is it a lengthy procedure?

Once placed, it is necessary to leave the implant in place for a period of time – this can vary from three to six months. This is to allow osseointegration to occur. Essentially this means that the bone attaches itself to the implant (something that only happens with titanium). By doing this, the implant is held tightly in place offering a high level of security and stability.

Once this process has completed, it is ‘simply’ a case of attaching the abutment (a support collar) and then the dental crown.

Do they need special care?

No; as with your natural teeth, you should brush effectively and floss. Although the replacement tooth itself cannot decay, gum disease is a potential risk and can affect the security of the implant.

A good oral health regime and regular check ups at Bank House Dental Centre though, should ensure that this is not a problem.

If you live in Chinnor or Aylesbury and are interested in replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant and would like to know more, please call us on 01844 343381 and arrange a consultation to see our experienced implant dentist.

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