Dental implants look, feel and work just like the real thing. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be looking for a way of replacing them that gives you the most natural appearance, as well as the best possible function and comfort.
Dental implants from Mckenzies Dental Surgery in Sevenoaks, Kent are a long-lasting solution to tooth loss, and you may be surprised by the choices that are open to you. You can have a single dental implant to replace a missing tooth, or several implants to provide a secure anchor for bridges or implant-retained dentures. Each solution will allow you to smile, eat and chew with confidence.
If you’re seeking a safe, natural looking solution to missing teeth that will put a big smile back on your face, then our dental implants could be just the answer. They offer an effective and long lasting way to restore tooth functionality and supporting bone structure.
Tooth loss can significantly affect your self-confidence, how you speak, or the foods you choose to eat and it can make smiling a real problem. It can also cause bone degeneration, leading to a prematurely aged look and any remaining teeth may start to move encouraging trapped food and associated nasties including bad breath, cavities or gum disease.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant replaces your original tooth root with a tough titanium cylinder to support an artificial crown or bridge that will blend with your natural teeth. This implant is carefully inserted into your jawbone and then, over a matter of months, it fuses with the bone to ensure a tight fit.
How is it fitted?
We assess your teeth, gums and the condition of your jaw bone during an initial consultation so we can create a tailor-made treatment plan. If your jaw bone is not able to support implants, we will ascertain if you need bone grafting to ensure that it can.
A small cut is made in the gum and the implant is carefully inserted, then you will have to wait for the metal post to fuse with your jaw bone – a process known as ‘osseointegration’. This will normally take 3-9 months, but be patient, because after successful bonding, the crown or bridge can be attached.
How long will my implants last?
If you pay good attention to your oral health, there really is no reason why your implants shouldn’t go on and on. There have been very rare cases of patients having an allergy to titanium or implants that have not lasted well, but this is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and not attending regular check-ups.
What if my dental implant does not fuse with my jawbone?
This is very rare and if the implant becomes loose during or just after the healing period, it can be removed. This means your jaw will heal normally and another implant can be inserted or the dentist can make a bridge, fitting it to any implanted false teeth that did manage to fuse properly.
Will my implants need special care?
Treat your dental implants just like your natural teeth – that means lots of brushing and flossing and keeping up to date with your dental check-ups.
Does it hurt?
An anaesthetic during surgery will help keep the placement process as pain free as possible. You will usually experience a little discomfort after implant placement, but this can be eased with Ibuprofen or Paracetamol. If you have had more extensive treatments, such as bone grafts, you may need a little more post-operative care and pain relief.
Can I have a dental implant placed immediately after tooth extractions?
This will depend on the amount of bone available to support the implant and whether there is any infection. If the bone has been damaged by infection or periodontal disease it may be necessary to postpone the implant insertion to allow for healing.
Would an implant be a better option if I am unsure about my natural teeth being ground down for a bridge?
Filing down healthy teeth can cause problems for the gums or root canals, leading to further decay. While a bridge can be a good solution, an implant is easier to clean and it does not need an attachment that can damage neighbouring teeth.
Are implants a good alternative to dentures?
Yes – denture wearers are ideal candidates as implants eliminate lots of irritating issues associated with ill-fitting dentures such as problems with eating or speaking and gum soreness.