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Whether from decay, infection or simply since birth, there are many reasons why you might experience the loss of a tooth or missing teeth.
Dental implants are fast becoming the most popular way to replace missing teeth. Studies for the last 30 years have shown their longevity and functionality to be superior to some of the alternatives including bridges and dentures.
Single implants aim to replace a single tooth which is missing in order to improve function and restore aesthetic appearance. Another additional benefit of implants, is that they do not need extra support from the teeth either side like bridges and dentures. Thus the existing teeth do not need to be adjusted or altered to accommodate for the tooth replacement.
Furthermore, in some instances, dental implants can be placed at the same time as the removal of the teeth, these are known as immediate implants. This enables the placement of a temporary crown on the implant so that upon finishing the appointment you will leave with a tooth replacement on the same day. Following a period of time allowing for integration this temporary crown can then be replaced with a permanent one.
Before your treatment begins, careful assessment will establish the suitability of your jawbone for holding the implants in place. This is usually done using a cone beam CT scan to assess bone density and quality. Where there is insufficient bone, we are able to utilize special bone grafting procedures to promote and encourage bone regeneration. For upper jawbones, sinus augmentation surgery can be performed if the sinus is found to be restricting the space available for the implant.
Dental implants sit securely alongside your real teeth and generally consist of two components, the implant itself and the part of the tooth which sits above the gum called the crown. The titanium based implant is placed directly into the jaw bone and has specialized surface features to encourage integration into the jaw bone. During this period of integration, a temporary tooth can be placed in this area to ensure aesthetics are maintained where necessary. Once adequate integration has been achieved, a crown can then be placed onto the implant to restore the function of a real tooth.
Implant maintenance is crucial in order to ensure that the implant is maintained for as long as possible. This involves visiting the hygienist and dentist regularly to make sure the implant has integrated and is functioning properly and that the oral hygiene is being maintained around the implant.
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