Are your current dentures causing you constant pain and discomfort? Is it a hassle taking them off every night and putting them back on every morning? Do they accidentally fall out at times when you sneeze too hard? If so, then getting dental implants Teddington may be the perfect solution to all your dental problems, giving you a smile that is permanent (and one that doesn’t accidentally fall out from time to time!)
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screw-like devices that are permanently secured into the jawbone in order to act like a tooth root when there is a gap due to a missing tooth or teeth. Just like with a tooth root, your jawbone fuses with the dental implant which secures it permanently in place, making it suitable for a denture or crown to be fixed on to. Dental implant surgery is a procedure which involves replacing tooth roots with titanium metal posts in order to act as an anchor for artificial teeth that both look and function naturally.
Why should I get dental implants?
The more important question is, why wouldn’t you get dental implants? Missing teeth can impact your life negatively, from making you self-conscious about the way you look to making it difficult to chew or bite even the simplest of foods. Fortunately, dental implants can give you a new lease of life in the following ways:
- Permanent – unlike with traditional dentures, getting dental implants offer a permanent solution to your missing teeth meaning you don’t have to take them off at the end of the night or worry about them falling out. As they are fixed into your jawbone, they function like a natural tooth and can last longer than a decade if they are taken care of properly.
- Natural looking – with dental implants you needn’t worry about having a random tooth that sticks out from the rest because the false tooth that is fixed onto your implant is matched in shape, shade and size to the rest of your teeth.
- Prevent bone loss – When a tooth falls out or is extracted, the jawbone beneath that tooth is no longer stimulated and therefore begins to shrink causing the shape of your face to change over time. This can affect how you look, making you seem older than you actually are. However, worry not as movement of the dental implants stimulates the jaw like a natural tooth would, preventing any further bone loss. Additionally, if you have suffered too much bone loss then your dentist will advise having a bone graft carried out before the dental implants are fixed in.
What does the procedure involve?
The way dental implants are fitted in, is dependent on the type of implant you require and the condition of your jawbone. Dental implant surgery usually consists of several steps but ultimately provides you with a solid support for your new teeth.
A dental implant procedure usually consists of three or four stages:
- A pre-operative assessment where your dentist will carry out a thorough check of your teeth and discuss what the procedure entails
- If needed, your dentist may carry out a bone graft depending on the intensity of bone loss that you have so that there is enough bone to secure the implant into
- The implant procedure then takes place; this involves injecting your gum with an anaesthetic to numb the area so that the procedure is not painful. Once your mouth is numb, the dentist will cut into your gum and drill a hole into the jawbone which the implant will be inserted into. The gum is then stitched back shut and a temporary denture or crown will be fitted on.
After the procedure is complete and the anaesthesia wears off, it is normal to experience some pain and discomfort. In this case, your dentist can prescribe you some antibiotics to prevent any infection from occurring at the site and you can also buy over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories to treat the pain and inflammation. You may also experience some swelling and/or bruising at treatment sites, however this usually settles within 24-48 hours. Straight after the procedure there may be some bleeding, but your dentist will apply pressure to the wound using a cotton ball or gauze until the bleeding stops. It is also important to stick to eating soft foods and soups for the first couple of days post-op to ensure that the implants do not break or fall out of place.