What are implants?
Implants are one of the three ways to replace missing teeth. A post (usually made of titanium) is placed into the jaw bone. This is then used to support either a single crown, a bridge or dentures.
This is usually done in two stages. Firstly the implant is surgically placed in the jaw. This is left for a few months to “integrate” and, in a second stage, replacement crowns, bridges or dentures are attached to the implant.
If you have a missing tooth or missing teeth please ask your dentist about what options you have to replace it/them.
We have an arrangement with a specialist practice in Norwich (Norfolk Dental Specialists) who place the implants, return you to us, and then in most cases we “restore” the implants, by constructing the crown/bridge on top.
It is preferable if you are in good general health for implant surgery. Diabetics and smokers tend to be at higher risk of developing infections with implant surgery. Impeccable oral hygiene is crucial before surgery and after the implant has been placed because if the implant is not kept clean this can lead to gum infection around it and can lead to the treatment failing.
If you have less than ideal amounts of jawbone there are techniques which can overcome this. However having these techniques done can lengthen treatment times as healing needs to be complete before the implant is placed.
What is the procedure?
Firstly you will have a consultation appointment with the specialist so that the best option can be planned with you. Then at another appointment the implant will be placed under local anaesthetic (sometimes with sedation). The gum will be sutured so that it heals over the implant. This will be left in place for several months to allow the bone to grow around it. When this has taken place the specialist will place a small cap over it and you can be returned to the practice for us to construct the crown. An impression is taken, then, at a second appointment, we will fit the crown or bridge.