What are dental implants?
When a person loses some or all of their teeth they may get dentures, also known as false teeth, fitted. This may be a full set which replaces every tooth or a partial set that replaces one or more missing teeth.
As an alternative to dentures, a patient may get implants. These are fixed and cannot be removed in the same way as dentures. In order to fit implants, titanium screws are fixed into a patient’s jawbone and these are used to anchor a single false tooth or multiple false teeth. Implants may be the only option for people whose mouths have shrunk to a point that they can no longer support dentures.
Implants are not usually available on the NHS, although they may be offered to patients who are unable to wear dentures – for example, if a patient has been affected by mouth cancer or has been involved in an accident which has damaged their mouth to such an extent that dentures are not an option.
Having implants put in is a complex procedure which will involve multiple trips to the dentist and may take several months. Patients will need to have a comprehensive exam with x-rays and moulds of their mouth made. Next, a dental cylinder is placed into the patient’s jawbone which takes several weeks or months to heal. Once this has healed an abutment is placed, followed by implant prosthesis.
What are the advantages of implants?
There are numerous advantages to getting implants, not least of which is how they look. They can look even more realistic than bridges or dentures, so other people may be completely unaware that they are not real.
Implants, such as those available from https://cathedraldentalclinic.com/dental-implant-cardiff-2/main, can save teeth surrounding the missing ones. Implants are not anchored to other teeth, so there is no additional strain on that area of the mouth.
Patients often report feeling more confident once they have implants put in. In addition to looking more natural than dentures, they also do not cause any embarrassing noise or slippage which dentures are often associated with.
Finally, implants are extremely reliable. There is no danger of losing them and they are designed to be permanent so do not need to be replaced regularly in the same way that bridges do.