Dental Implants In Ipswich
A dental implant is essentially a substitute for a natural tooth root, commonly screw or cylinder shaped. This ‘foundation’ forms the support for an oral prosthetic e.g. a dental crown. The implant is carefully placed into a socket drilled in the jaw bone at the exact location of the intended tooth replacement. The initial stability is further enhanced as the bone grows over time to fill the micro roughness on the implant surface. The result is a stable foundation for the placement of various oral prosthetics e.g. crowns, bridges or dentures.
Use of implants
Implants can be used to support single teeth or form a foundation for the support of dentures or bridge work. Large spaces left by two or three teeth may not require implants for each missing tooth but this will depend on the quality and depth of bone at each implant site. In the upper jaw where bone density is generally poorer than the lower, 6 or more implants may be needed to support a full arch of 10 or more replacement teeth. Conversely in the lower jaw, similar treatment might be achieved with 4 or 5 implants but each case will be judged by your dentist.
Use of implants to support over dentures
If a patient is not ready for multiple implant replacements, conventional dentures can be significantly improved by the provision of two or more implants to act as ‘anchors’ for the denture – this is called an ‘over denture’. Implant supported dentures are still removed for daily cleaning but once back in the mouth the implants make them much more stable than conventional dentures.
Suitability for dental implants
If you are in good general health, implants will almost certainly work for you. However, heavy drinking and/or smoking can compromise the initial healing process following the placement of the implant and adversely affect the long-term health of the gum and bone around the implant. Consequently it is possible that your dentist may insist on ceasing or reducing smoking/drinking before treatment begins.
Length of treatment
Implant treatment time can vary considerably and is typically between 6 weeks and 6 months. This is often dependent on the availability of better bone structure which acts as the foundation for the implant – poorer bone structure can lead to longer treatment times.
How long will my implants last?
The average durability of implants is generally very good with more than 90% of them being functional after 10 years. There are many factors influencing the longevity of a dental implant but if they are well maintained, they will last for many years, sometimes a lifetime. However, you must be prepared to look after your implants and present for regular inspections at your dentist. As with conventional crowns, dentures and fillings, implants may require occasional maintenance or replacement of the supported crown during their lifetime.
Please call our Ipswich team today for more information.