Continuing on from our first blog on Dental Implants, Dr Monder Zbaeda discusses how dental implants are becoming a more regular solution to replacing missing teeth.
In days gone by we may have cut down teeth either side of a missing tooth to provide a bridge but we know that there is a tooth cost to this type of treatment and we know that the more work we do to a tooth the shorten it’s lifespan will be so we tend to be conservation and practise Minimal Intervention Dentistry.
Patients are also understanding that dental implants can be a cost effective treatment when compared to a lifetime of costs with regard to replacement bridges or dentures. Of course, our dental team will discuss costs in full with you so you are aware of treatments costs and any ongoing future maintenance costs.
I have had my dental implants fitted, what next?
So you’ve just left the practice after having your surgery, what’s next? Over the next few weeks you will heal and the stitches will either dissolve or be removed by us when we review you a couple of weeks later. Healing is usually uneventful and there is little discomfort, we will give you a full range of post-operative advice so you know exactly what to do. We then wait… specifically for the bone to grow and mesh into the implant under the gum. This process is called osseo-integration and is essential for the implant to “fuse” into the bone and be accepted into your body. This process usually takes around 8 weeks and we will see you at this point to assess the osseo-integration. When we are happy the dental implant has fused with your bone and is firm then the next stage can proceed.
How are the implants restored?
Restoration of the implants or building up of them depends on what we are trying to achieve.
If we have a single implant to place one missing tooth, this is a simple matter of building up the implant to restore as we would a dental crown. If a longer span or several teeth are missing it may be that we have multiple implants and these are used in much the same way we would use a dental bridge. Lastly we may be replacing a full dental arch with multiple bridges or even with a denture that will “click” into place into two or four well placed implants to hold it into position.
Whichever is your scenario you will require:
- Uncovering of the dental implant with a nick in the gum
- Attachment of a screw to the dental implant
- Attachment of the supra-structure to the dental implant
- Construction of the rest of the supra-structure by our very skilled dental technicians in their dental laboratory.
This is the stage when the massive transformation occurs, where gaps are filled, teeth restored to form and function and smiles regenerated.
What next, can I fit and forget?
Unfortunately no! There is a need to maintain your dental implants in just the same way you would maintain your own teeth and gums to keep them healthy. We want the gum to grow around the dental implant to form a gum attachment and this needs to be kept free of dental plaque and all the toxins the bacteria in it can produce.
Your dental hygienist will already have seen you pre-operatively and then once the dental implants are fitted she will show you how to care for them and keep them clean. She will then see you regularly every 3 or 6 months depending on your gum history. She will also encourage you to eliminate smoking completely and discuss diet with you.
If you would like to discuss how we could help restore form, function, your smile and your confidence by replacing missing teeth with dental implants at our Dental Implant Clinic in Altrincham, South Manchester, why not get in touch, call 0161 928 0014 and arrange a consultation?