About dental implants

A dental implant is a small metal screw which is placed in the upper or lower jawbone where natural teeth have been lost. Implants are made from commercially pure titanium which integrates with the surrounding bone to provide a firm foundation for the replacement of the missing teeth. This process is called “osseointegration”. Implants can be used:

  • To replace a single tooth
  • To support a bridge replacing several missing teeth
  • To support a fixed bridge when all the teeth have been lost
  • To provide a secure fixation for a removable denture

Osseointegration

During the 1970′s, scientists discovered that under the right circumstances, living bone will bond permanently to titanium and that this phenomenon can be used to replace missing teeth. An enormous amount of scientific research has confirmed that titanium is one of the biologically safest materials which can be used for medical applications

The procedure

  • Step one A careful assessment is made of the jawbone using x-rays. Models are made to determine the ideal position of for the implants
  • Step two A minor operation is carried out using special instruments to place the implants into the bone. The gum is then stitched around the implant which is at this stage is level with the surface of the gum.
  • Step three After a healing period of between six and twelve weeks, a titanium abutment is screwed into each implant. Surgery is not normally required at this stage. An impression is taken for the final replacement teeth and a temporary tooth or bridge may be fitted
  • Step four The completed teeth are connected to the implants providing a secure, stable and natural looking replacement for what has been lost