Dental Implants are used to replace missing teeth. They may be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or entire edentulous arches (for example, where a full denture is worn.)
Single Tooth Implant
The dental implant is placed into the bone, often only under local anaesthetic. Many patients are surprised to discover how minor and ‘routine’ the procedure is. (Note: In more complex cases, especially involving multiple implants, a general anaesthetic may be used.) Usually the implant is left to ‘integrate’ for eight to twelve weeks, and then the artificial tooth is attached via a post or screw, and normal function can commence immediately.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
Several dental implants may be used, depending on the location in the mouth, and the number of missing teeth. The procedure is similar to that described for a single implant.
Full Arch (Denture) Replacement
Patients are now, in most cases, able to replace their removable dentures with a fixed alternative. For many patients, the ability to ‘anchor’ their teeth to the bone is a major step forward in confidence and function. Several options exist, with perhaps the most common being screw retention on four or five dental implants, however stabilisation of the denture can be achieved on as few as two implants.