What is an Implant and are they successful?
An implant is very simply a Titanium screw, placed in the jawbone that replaces the root of one or more missing teeth. Titanium is referred to as a biocompatible material that is safe to use in the body. It has been used successfully in medicine for procedures such as hip and knee replacement. The reason dental implants are so successful is that once they are placed the bone around the implant grows on to the implant surface and the implant becomes part of the jawbone. This process, called Osseointegration, normally takes from 6 weeks to 6 months depending on a number of factors.
Over the past 40 years millions of implants have been placed. It is now considered a successful and predictable procedure. Still in approximately 5% of implants placed the bone does not grow onto the implant surface and these implants may become loose. A loose implant is normally detected within the first 3 months after implant placement. Patient’s general health may affect the success rate of implants. It has been shown that factors that such as smoking and uncontrolled medical conditions such as Diabetes may influence bone healing and implant success.
About dental implants
Dental implants and the process of osseointegration was discovered over 40 years ago by a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon. Dental implants were originally developed for patients who had lost all their teeth and as a result could not wear dentures.
Over the last 15 years the emphasis in implant treatment has been on replacement of one or more missing teeth in patients who do not wish to contemplate a partial denture and want replacement teeth that are fixed in place. Typically implants are used where conventional bridgework is inappropriate. They can look and feel like natural teeth and under proper conditions and with correct maintenance they can last a lifetime.
Long-term clinical studies continue to show improving success rates in patients who have had implants for many years.
There are over 150 companies producing dental implant systems worldwide. They are not all the same. We choose to use a limited number of systems that
- Have a long track record with good support in the scientific literature
- And are produced by large international companies that are represented worldwide – our patients travel!
Feel free to ask us about the choice of implant systems & the other materials we use in your treatment.
Am I suitable for dental implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant has good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Ideally you should attend regularly for dental treatment and have good homecare habits – keeping your teeth and implants clean, limits the risk of gum problems in the future.
At your initial consultation appointment we do a complete assessment not only of the where you are missing a tooth or teeth, but also the rest of your mouth. This ensures that the treatment option we offer you is appropriate to your needs. We write to your dentist to ensure that your treatment will be well coordinated. We also send you a written treatment plan that outlines and confirms the details relating to your treatment.
Is this treatment painful?
Most patients who have implants are surprised at how little discomfort they have after the procedure. This does depend however on the type of procedure and to a limited extent on the number of implants being placed.
We will give you written instructions on how to take care of your mouth following implant placement and we would normally see you to check healing within the first 2 weeks. We also provide you with medication to take in the first two days following surgery. You will be given the after hours contact phone numbers of Dr. Cole if you have any questions following the procedure.
Most of our dental implant placement is carried out under local anesthetic with intravenous sedation. You can, if you wish, have it done with local anaesthesia alone. This will be discussed and normally agreed upon at your initial consultation appointment.
What different situations are implants used in?
- The replacement of a single front tooth
- Replacement of a number of teeth
- Replacement of all the teeth either in the top or bottom jaws
See some case studies to see the process and some implant results for different patients.
Information in other languages
Click the links below for information in Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese.