Dental implants replace the root parts of missing teeth, providing a permanent solution to tooth loss. This creates a much more stable solution than standard dentures or bridges, which only replace natural tooth crowns. As well as keeping those new teeth securely in place, it also means that the health of your jaw bone is preserved.
Sheen Dental Implants in Richmond offers several options for replacing missing teeth this way. The beauty of dental implants is that they can be used in almost any tooth loss scenario – from a single missing tooth restored with one implant and one crown to a complex procedure to replace all of your natural teeth.
Your dental implants journey begins with an in-depth consultation, including dental x-rays and CT scans to assess your level of bone density. The jaw bone has a tendency of shrinking after tooth loss and while it is true that good levels of bone density are required for successful implant treatment, it is not impossible to have implants following bone loss – you may just need an additional procedure first.
Bone grafts and sinus lifts can be used to rebuild levels of bone density, using either bone from your own body, from the bone bank, or from synthetic sources. Depending on how many teeth need to be replaced, full dentures or a full-arch dental bridge will then be attached on top.
Implant placement involves minor oral surgery, which can be carried out under either local anaesthetic or conscious sedation in most dental practices. For extremely nervous or phobic patients who require general anaesthetic, this will have to be carried out on an outpatient basis at a hospital, and may involve significant extra costs.
As soon as your implants are in position, a process called osseointegration begins, which sees the implants mesh firmly with the bone to create a bond similar to that of a natural tooth root. This means that your new teeth will have all the functionality of a second set of natural teeth, meaning that you won’t be faced by any of the dietary or lifestyle restrictions placed on patients who wear traditional dentures.
In some circumstances, particularly in the case of full-mouth restorations, new teeth can be attached straight away. In other cases it is best to let healing take place first.