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Dental Implants

What can I do about a missing tooth?

If you have a missing tooth or loose ill-fitting dentures then dental implants could provide you with a viable and permanent solution to the personal and practical issues that this can cause.

Eating, speaking and even general self-esteem can be greatly affected due to a missing tooth and dental implants can significantly help to improve quality of life and self-confidence- helping you to feel happy about smiling again.

Depending on your overall health, implants are generally suitable for people of all ages and no matter what the condition of your teeth, there are a number of treatments available at Teviot Dental to help restore your smile and improve your quality of life. For many people, dental implants are a safe, long-term solution offering strong and natural looking replacements which feel just as secure as their existing teeth.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

There are a number of benefits to replacing missing teeth with dental implants;

The risks of a missing tooth

The loss of one or more teeth can have a considerable impact not just on your everyday life but on your dental health too. When chewing food, your healthy teeth naturally strengthen your jawbone, however in those places where teeth are missing the jawbone can start to shrink because it is no longer being stimulated. In time, this can cause sagging- leading to premature ageing of the skin on your face- particularly if you have a number of teeth missing.

As well as this, your teeth all form part of an intricate structure with each sitting alongside the other ensuring they all stay in line- gaps can mean that other teeth start to move or twist. Food can also get trapped in the spaces potentially causing tooth decay and gum disease.

How does a Dental Implant work?

Dental implants replace the roots of your natural teeth and support a manufactured crown or bridge.

Your natural tooth consists of two parts- the crown, which is what you see in your mouth and the root which is under the gum and holds the tooth in place. Dental implants are designed to best replicate this natural tooth structure – with the crown being made of porcelain to look like a natural tooth and the dental implant made of strong titanium acting as the root. Titanium is well tolerated by the body and once implanted in the jaw, bone grows onto the surfaces of the implant effectively fusing it to the surrounding bone- creating a solid and strong base.

General Health

Good general health is important if you want dental implant surgery. Patients with diabetes or who are heavy smokers have a greater risk of developing gum disease or infections following implant surgery. It is also important to remember to maintain a good oral hygiene routine after the procedure. If you don’t clean your implants properly, they will develop a coat of residue, like plaque forms on natural teeth. This can lead to gum infection, bleeding, soreness and discomfort.

Overall, healthy gums and jawbone are the main factors taken into consideration when deciding if dental implants are suitable for a particular patient. For those with less bone volume as a result of previous gum disease there is the option of bone grafting. A sinus lift can also be used to help rebuild any missing bone on the back of the upper jaw. In both cases, this would add significantly to treatment time as healing needs to take place before implants can be fitted.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as ‘implants’.

Are implants safe? How long will they last?

Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. Ninety per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.

I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?

Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

Do implants hurt?

Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or with a general anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.

Can I have the new teeth straight away?

No. The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw. If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then you can wear them throughout the healing period once they have been adjusted after the surgery.

How long does treatment take?

It takes about 12 months from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants. However, if only the lower jaw is involved then it may only take around 5 months.

A lot depends on how complicated your treatment is. Your dentist will be able to give you a timetable once the surgery has been done.

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.

If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?

Yes, if you don’t care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and don’t smoke, then you should not have any problems.

Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?

Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist. However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.

Do the implants show?

Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.

Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?

No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.

What if I get hit in the face?

Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. However, if the false teeth are damaged and the remnants are left in the bone then they may be more difficult to remove than natural teeth would be. After healing, new false teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.

What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?

This happens very rarely. If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way.

Once the jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there. Or, the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.

Is the treatment expensive?

In many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges. We advise patients to consider the cost of your implants as an investment in health, comfort and aesthetics.

There are advantages to it, too. An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. Teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem and you can eat what you like as well as smile with confidence.

Where do I get this treatment?

Talk to your dentist who will give you the advice you need.

  • General Dentistry

    The modern dental practice is customer-focused. That means it offers a welcoming, relaxing environment that puts its customers – not patients – at ease.

  • Restorative Dentistry

    Restorative dentistry is the study, examination and treatment of diseases of the oral cavity, the teeth and their supporting structures.

  • Dental Implants

    If you have a missing tooth or loose ill-fitting dentures then dental implants could provide you with a viable and permanent solution to the personal and practical issues that this can cause.

  • Tooth Alignment

    Before placing braces on your teeth you will need a check-up for decay or gum problems. Do visit your dentist or the School Dental Clinic regularly, even when you are on braces.

  • Visit our Hygienist

    Our Hygienist Perio Therapy treatment aims to help you achieve your own healthiest possible oral health. This is done by helping you understand the processes of Dental disease, especially gum disease which still accounts for 3 out of 4 teeth ultimately lost. Your teeth will be cleaned using thorough but gentle techniques leaving your mouth clean and potentiality healthier.

  • Wrinkle Reduction

    I believe in a holistic rejuvenation approach to treatments and tend to aim towards subtle results that make you look younger and fresher rather than a fake and over filled appearance.
    - Dr. Med. Dent. Christiane Wassmuth-Gibbs

  • Tooth Whitening

    Whitening is a process where the tooth discolouration is ‘whitened’ to a lighter shade. It removes the staining agent through chemical means.

  • Meet Our Team

    We have a wonderful team here at Teviot Dental, please click on the link below to find out more about them.

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