How Do Dental Implants Work?

Our Teddington dentist explains the process that makes implants such a great choice for replacing missing teeth.

When a tooth has been lost and needs to be replaced, traditionally the best known method for doing this is the use of dentures. Whilst these have become more natural looking and comfortable over the years; for many patients they are not an ideal solution. For some patients, dentures can become unstable and move around in the mouth, making eating certain foods more difficult.

Increasingly, our patients from the Teddington are are turning to dental implants as a more secure alternative to dentures. Unlike dentures, these are firmly held in place by the titanium implant which is placed into the jawbone; the final component being a crown that is attached to the implant, leaving it both looking and feeling natural.

Osseointegration

To the uninitiated, it may seem that implants are simply screwed into the jawbone and that is that. The reality is much more complex. Once placed into the bone, a process known as osseointegration starts. During this process, the bone in the jaw forms around the titanium implant, eventually fully bonding with it. It is this process that gives dental implants their incredible stability and strength.

This process takes around three months, although this ‘waiting period’ is less relevant when same day implants are placed. We will explain that in a future blog. It is critical, during the osseointegration period, and beyond, to keep your oral health in the best condition possible. To this end, the implant dentists at Elmfield House Dental Practice in Teddington will require patients who are having implants to commit to not smoking or heavy drinking for a period of time both before and after the treatment. Failure to do so greatly increases the risks of periodontitis and peri-implantitis, both of which may cause the implant to fail.

Longevity

Although the three months osseointegration period may seem inconvenient to some patients, it is worth remembering that healthy dental implants can last for 20 years, and very often many more. The minor inconvenience during this period should be well worth it, leaving you with a replacement tooth that will serve you very well.

Aftercare

Dental implants require no specific aftercare beyond what you should already be doing. They need brushing, including the gum-line and you should also floss. To minimise any risk of gum disease problems, we strongly recommend that you have your teeth professionally cleaned by our dental hygienist, as this is an excellent way of making sure that your mouth is as healthy as possible.

We are always happy to discuss your suitability for dental implants if you are considering these to replace a missing tooth, or teeth. To arrange an initial consultation with an implant dentist at our Teddington dentists, please call Elmfield House on 020 8614 1995.