Losing a tooth, or multiple teeth, can significantly impact a person’s daily life, affecting confidence and basic functions such as biting, chewing, and speaking. However, there is a long-term solution available in the form of dental implants, which can restore both functionality and self-esteem. Dental implant surgery involves placing a titanium root into the jaw and attaching an artificial tooth cap securely.
Dental implants offer a more permanent solution compared to removable dentures and involve fewer adjacent teeth compared to bridges. But what about the safety of dental implant surgery? If you’re considering this treatment, it’s essential to understand the safety and benefits it offers.
Dental implant surgery is a well-established procedure that has been successfully performed by qualified dental surgeons for many years. Approved dental implant patients have a high success rate with minimal risk of complications. Dentists carefully evaluate patients to ensure their suitability for the procedure. If a patient requires additional treatments to improve oral health or if another option is more suitable, dentists will recommend alternatives to maximise the chances of success.
When approved for dental implants, patients can be confident that their dentist is highly trained in performing the surgery, and that the methods and materials used comply with rigorous standardised tests to ensure safety. Titanium is commonly used for dental implants because it is highly biocompatible, allowing for integration with the jawbone (osseointegration). The prosthetic tooth attached to the titanium root is typically made of non-toxic, dental-grade porcelain.
Dental implant surgery is safe and offers numerous advantages over allowing oral health to deteriorate. Uneven pressure distribution while biting and chewing can cause other teeth to shift or break while missing tooth roots can lead to jawbone density loss due to lack of stimulation. Dental implants redistribute bite pressure and stimulate the jawbone, strengthening it and reducing the sunken-in appearance associated with receding jawbones.
The dental implant procedure involves several stages to ensure a healthy and suitable treatment:
- Consultation: A comprehensive examination of teeth, gums, and mouth, along with a review of medical history.
- Treatment plan: If there are no risk factors, a personalised treatment plan is created.
- Explanation and preparation: The dentist provides information about the procedure, and aftercare, and assists in arranging a payment plan.
- Additional treatments: If necessary, other treatments such as tooth extraction or bone grafting are performed before implant placement.
- Surgery: Local anaesthesia is administered, and the titanium post is inserted into the jaw through a gum incision. In some cases, a temporary crown may be fitted on the same day.
- Healing period: Over the next 3-6 months, the implant root integrates with the jawbone.
- Final restoration: Once the jaw is fully healed, a custom-moulded prosthetic tooth is fitted onto the fully integrated implant.
There are various types of dental implants available, including implant-supported bridges, single-tooth implants, and fully retained dentures. The type of implant recommended will depend on the individual’s specific condition and the dentist’s professional judgement.
If you’re interested in dental implants, you’re likely eligible as long as your overall health is good, and you don’t have gum disease or significant jawbone loss. Following the dentist’s aftercare instructions and maintaining good oral hygiene will help ensure the longevity and comfort of your dental implants for up to 20 years.
To begin your journey towards replacing missing teeth and overcoming discomfort and embarrassment, consider scheduling a consultation at a trusted dentistry practice such as London City Smiles. Their highly experienced dentists will conduct an initial consultation to discuss your needs and determine the most suitable treatment for you.