Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They can be used to replace single teeth, or lots of teeth.
Your natural teeth have a visible portion, the crown of the tooth, and the part of the tooth which is hidden below the gum, the root. A dental implant is a replacement for the root portion of the tooth.
Dental implants for 1-2 missing teeth
If you just have 1-2 missing teeth, chances are that you will need to have a one implant + connector + crown for each missing tooth you want to replace. This is the closest thing you can have to having your natural tooth back. The beauty is that you can floss this tooth like normal, it is strong enough to eat almost anything on, and it doesn’t feel like there is something in your mouth that shouldn’t be there.
Understanding the process can put a lot of people off – especially if you search YouTube! In short, placing the implant takes about 30 minutes, you are numbed up as if you were going to have a filling, and simple surgery is carried out to place the implant into position. This surgery is about the same level as removing a tooth, and after treatment, there is normally little to no discomfort.
There are a few ways to do the next stage, but the most common is to leave the implant in position for 3-6 months, and let the implant fully ‘integrate’ with the bone, once this has happened, its a simple case of putting the connectors and crowns in position, and this takes 2-3 short appointments.
Dental implants to replace many teeth
If you have many teeth missing, then you can have a few dental implants placed in strategic positions, and have something similar to a denture on top, and this can either be clipped or screwed into position.
The most economical way to replace all teeth, and have a really sturdy denture, is to place two implants with clip attachments and then clip the denture to these. You can use your existing denture, and this way, all you pay for is the dental implant surgery and a little for the clip attachments. The down side to this treatment is that the denture can still rock a little, and you may get food stuck under the denture.
A more secure way to do this, is to have 4-6 implants (normally 4 for the bottom teeth, and 6 for the upper), and a specially made set of new teeth can again, either be screwed into position or clipped into position.
Replacing all teeth with dental implants is done in a similar way to replacing single teeth. The implants are placed, left to heal for 3-6 months, and then the false teeth can be attached to the implants.
This kind of treatment is the best way to replace all your teeth, and have great looking teeth, which don’t fall out when your’e eating. You don’t need to worry about what you eat, and you can really have your life back!
Can it all be done in one go?
Sometimes, it can. In the right situations, its possible to remove teeth, and place the dental implants and put temporary teeth on top of the implant(s) all in one sitting. This means you leave the clinic with new teeth on the same day. I don’t do this in all cases, as I would think this way of doing things is suitable for less than half the people considering dental implants.
If you are considering tooth replacement with dental implants, you should speak to a dentist who is proficient in this treatment. Many (including myself), will offer free initial consultations, and you get an opportunity to ask anything you want, before you commit to any investigations and treatment.