Dental implants are an effective, long-lasting treatment option that can be used to replace one or more missing or un-restorable teeth.
Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone and act just like tooth roots. These titanium posts eventually fuse with the bone (like a hip replacement), providing a firm foundation to support a single crown or, if more teeth are missing, a longer spanned bridge.
They have been used as a treatment option in dental patients for over 50 years. In experienced hands, dental implants offer a very reliable and predictable alternative to conventional bridges (which rely on utilising remaining teeth) or dentures (which have to be removed at night).
Why have they become so popular as a treatment option for missing teeth?
- Remaining or adjacent teeth don’t need to be involved (Less destructive).
- Implants help maintain the remaining bone contour, preventing shrinkage of the jawbone to existing adjacent teeth.
- They are incredibly strong and provide excellent support for natural remaining teeth
- They look like natural teeth.
- They aren’t susceptible to tooth decay
- They can last as long as a healthy tooth (Potentially a lifetime if you look after them)
- They can improve how you eat and speak.
Implants at 42
At 42 we have designed a pathway to make sure that we achieve the very best outcome for all patients who have chosen to have their implant treatment carried out with us.
This pathway was designed to ensure that each patient is seen by only who we consider to be the most appropriate Specialist – having the specific training and skill set that is appropriate to each case.
We are able to place anything from a single tooth to a full arch if required (multi-unit or “All on four”) and have solutions for all situations including mini implants which can be used to anchor loose and unstable dentures.
Meet Our Implant Dentistry team at 42
Dr Sonia Alam, Specialist in Prosthodontics
Mr Mo Shorafa, Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
Dr Omar Patel, Consultant & Specialist in Periodontics
Our Specialists will look very carefully at each patients presenting situation and help them understand all aspects of this. They will also explain all options that are appropriate and available to them so they can make informed positive decisions.
The decision to place an implant will be informed with the "pros and cons" of the alternative options available, which are also explained as well as costs of each .
Alternative methods of "filling a gap".
If appropriate, a gap can sometimes be left but often, over time, unwanted tooth movement of adjacent or opposing teeth can occur with unfavourable results long term.
A conventional bridge. These are very strong but their construction involves significant drilling of the adjacent support teeth and can thus be very destructive of sound tooth structure (particularly if the potential support teeth are un-restored). The average lifespan for conventional bridges is about 10 years. The consequence of bridge failure may be the loss of one or both support teeth.
A partial denture, which you would remove at night, can be a reasonable temporary solution but, as a long-term solution, can lead to gum problems and socially can be a challenge.
Adhesive bridgework is a false tooth which is stuck to the adjacent tooth with a metal wing. Minimal drilling of the support tooth may be required. The bridge can come unstuck after a number of years in "active service". While a relatively straightforward solution, it relies heavily on the support tooth being in sound condition and the strength of the "glue" to hold it in. It works best to replace 1 front tooth and tends to be unsuccessful towards the back of the mouth. Importantly, bone exists to support any tooth and, once the tooth is lost, the bone slowly shrinks in this area. If patients opt for an adhesive bridge initially, with a view to an implant later, so much bone loss may have occurred by that time, that an implant is not feasible. An implant placed when there is sufficient bone tends to stimulate the bone thus preventing further bone loss.
Steps to getting a dental implant
Assessment - We carry out a full assessment of your general health, how your teeth fit together, your oral health and the density of your jaw bone. At the end of your visit, you will have a better understanding of implants and we will make sure you understand the following:
- Exactly what treatment is proposed
- The total cost of the treatment.
- What the alternatives are and their costs.
This stage is usually carried out by our Specialist in Prosthdontics Dr Sonia Alam.
If we discover that you have insufficient bone volume for implants, you may need a grafting procedure to allow for successful placement of the implants.
If any regenerative or bone grafting is necessary this is normally carried out as an extra stage under local anaesthetic.
At 42, Mr Mo Shorafa (Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon) has extensive experience in facial reconstruction and bone regenerative techniques. He carries these procedures out regularly with extremely positive outcomes.
- Placement - If you are a suitable candidate and you have sufficient volume of bone, the titanium posts are gently placed into the jaw under local anaesthetic.
- Integration - Over the next few months, the implants will bond with the Jawbone, as titanium is very well-tolerated by the body. This biological process is called osseointegration.
- Restoration - Once settled in and fully healed, we can fit replacement teeth to the now firmly positioned implants. This restorative phase of the treatment is carried out by Dr Sonia Alam.
It's important to maintain good oral hygiene following treatment to ensure your implants remain trouble-free. If well looked after, with a regular brushing and flossing routine, they can last as long as a healthy tooth. If you feel any of this information could be relevant or useful to you or you would just like to know more please get in touch to book a consultation.