Dental implants; an alternative to dentures
Some people just can’t wear dentures and a bridge is often the answer. However there is an even better way of having artificial teeth. If you would prefer to have a permanent fixed tooth that looks, acts and performs like a natural molar then a dental implant may be just for you. Your dentist will start off the long process by taking digital photos and x-rays of the tooth to be replaced, and the jaw bone below it. Patients need to have certain traits to be able to have a dental implant, with a strong and wide jaw bone being essential. All being well the first step is to cut into the gum and expose the jaw bone, then a titanium plate is screwed into the bone, this will have an abutment fitted onto it later on, to take the tooth or in the case of a few teeth, more abutments. The abutments are poles that the teeth will eventually be fixed to. The gum is then stitched up and the patient will have to wait 3-6 months for the plate to fuse with the bone, this is called Osseointergration. It is essential that the this process takes place, you will be getting a treatments that nature devised when it gave you your first teeth, your mouth is about to do the same thing, and you know how long it took to grow your first set of teeth. When the process is complete and the fusion is done, the tooth or in some cases a set of teeth, are ready to be fitted. They are made from a material that is as hard wearing as your natural enamel and the shade is coded to fit in with the teeth either side. They are pressed down on the abutment and fixed in place, it will take a few weeks for your mouth to get used to chewing with them, but for all intents they can be treated just like real natural teeth. You clean them and floss in between just like your other teeth, they will attract tartar as this is the nature of oral activity, but your dentist will remove this when you have your six monthly visits. Dental implants aren’t cheap, but they are permanent and virtually infection free. Once fitted they will last you the last the rest of your life and in time as they too wear, they can be easily replaced without too much fuss.