A dental implant essentially does the same job as a tooth root and is used to fill the space of a root that has to be removed. It is a screw, made of titanium, that is placed into the jawbone and used to support false teeth or a false tooth. Implants are a widely accepted piece of dental technology, completely safe and tried and tested by many satisfied patients. They are easy to care for and very efficient when it comes to providing support for a tooth or teeth that need to be replaced.
Looking after implants
Looking after implants is key – they tend to last longer the better they are cared for – and so regular cleaning and maintenance appointments are required to ensure that the implant remains in good condition and continues to be effective. Just like natural teeth, if implants are not cared for then they may be more likely to fail – they will develop a coating that can eventually lead to gum infection with symptoms of discomfort, soreness and bleeding. However, there’s no increased risk with implants as these problems are exactly the kind likely to be faced if natural teeth are not properly cared for. Although there’s no lifetime guarantee for your implants, taking good care of them will ensure they last for many years.
Implants are fitted to the bone in your jaw and once this has been done then time needs to be allowed for the bone in the jaw to grow onto the implants and fuse to them. This usually takes a couple of months but in some cases, where the implants are stable sooner, this may happen more quickly. After the implants are stable then permanent false teeth can be fitted around three or four months after the implants were first put in. This may vary but your dentist will be able to confirm the table when you have the initial appointment.
Whilst the implants are healing temporary dentures are usually provided, which are worn over the top. A healing cap is usually placed over the implant and any permanent dentures may need altering to take account of the new implant underneath.
There are some implants that can take false teeth fitting at the same time as the implants themselves are fitted – these are called immediate implants. If you’re looking for a quick solution then these can be ideal but they are not suitable for everyone so ask your dentist to see if they’re right for you.
If you’d like more information about dental implants then contact your local Smile Pad and we would be happy to help.