Dental implants are an excellent method of tooth restoration. They are the only way to replace the root as well as the crown.
But how does the process work? Here is a guide to receiving dental implants in Birmingham, which are available at several dental practices in the city, such as Sutton Implant Clinic.
First the implant dentist must assess whether or not the patient is suitable for implants. Most people in good general and oral health will be able to have dental implants in Birmingham. Low bone density in the jaw may rule someone out, though there are ways around that:
- they could have a bone graft or sinus lift
- or it may be possible to use zygomatic implants if a replacement is needed in the upper arch, as these longer implants fix into the cheekbone.
Any underlying dental issues such as gum disease must be treated first. Some implant surgeons will refuse to treat smokers or those with uncontrolled diabetes, as these both affect the body’s ability to heal, making it more likely that the implant will fail.
This all-important stage gives the implant surgeon the opportunity to get a full picture of the state of the patient’s mouth, teeth and jaws, so they can place the implant in exactly the right position. It includes detailed x-rays and photographs and may include a CT scan.
This takes around an hour to 90 minutes. The implant surgeon drills a hole in the jaw before fixing in a small, titanium post, the root of the implant-supported tooth. Local anaesthetic is used, and many patients say it’s less uncomfortable than having a filling. This is because there are fewer nerve endings in the jaw than the teeth.
A period of 4-12 weeks is needed to allow the implant to integrate with the jawbone. The body grows blood vessels and bone around the implant, securing it in place.
After healing, the replacement crown can be fitted onto the implant, via a connecting fixture called an abutment.
Dental implants in Birmingham must be taken care of in the same way as natural teeth: twice daily brushing and flossing and bi-annual check-ups.