Tooth loss, at whatever age and for whatever reason can be a traumatic experience, but at Sarum Dental in Salisbury we offer dental implants as a long-term and reliable solution to the problem of missing teeth.
A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a natural tooth root when the tooth and its root are missing. The implant itself is a small but strong post made of biocompatible material, which is surgically inserted into the jawbone. This is then finished off with a restoration, for example a crown or a denture, to replace the visible tooth.
Usually, but it depends on the condition of your jawbone. We will assess the quality and quantity of your bone using digital x-rays and images. If the bone is unsuitable, it may be possible to graft bone into the area to enable treatment.
Placing an implant is usually a simple procedure for skilled dentists. A local anaesthetic will numb the area so you should not feel any pain. Post-surgery you may have some residual pain and a little discomfort and swelling, but this can be treated at home with over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol.
Dental implants are a very well-established treatment, supported by over 30 years of clinical evidence. You may have heard of peri-implantitis, which is an infection in the gum surrounding the implant site, but this can be avoided by a good dental hygiene regimen and follow-ups with a hygienist experienced in treating implant patients.
As mentioned above, the life of the implant will be largely determined by the quality of at-home care and follow-up at regular clinical reviews. Well-maintained implants can be expected to last many years and often a whole lifetime.
Implants are generally not placed for children until their late teens, when their jaw will have finished developing. There is, however, no upper age limit for dental implants and they are successfully used by many older patients as an anchor for dentures.
The dental implant itself is a small titanium post, which replaces the root part of a missing tooth. During treatment the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone, usually under local anaesthetic, and once the implant has fully integrated with the bone tissue, it provides a secure, stable foundation onto which a crown, bridge or denture can be attached, providing a long-term, aesthetic solution.
Dental implants are placed and restored at our Salisbury practice by Neel Shukla, who has many years’ experience in these procedures.
DENTAL IMPLANT OPTIONS
Single tooth replacement
If a single tooth has been lost due to an accident a dental implant can provide a reliable long-term solution in many cases. This treatment does not require any cutting of the adjacent teeth – such as would be the case with a traditional bridge.
Dental implants can also be used to support multiple teeth. This usually involves the placement of two implants, which are used to support a fixed bridge.
As an alternative to a denture it is possible to replace all the teeth in an arch, anchored by several implants. The number of implants required is dependent on the clinical assessment of each individual case.
A loose fitting denture is a common problem for thousands of people. Securing dentures using dental implants restores chewing function and reduces irritation of the gums, leading to an enhanced quality of life. The additional support and stability gives the wearer confidence to eat what they want and smile and laugh without being self-conscious.