Priory Dental Practice
38 Bromham Road, Bedford,
Bedfordshire, MK40 2QD
Dental Implants at Priory Dental Practice
A permanent solution for your missing teeth
If you have one or more missing teeth and you do not wish or are not suitable to have a conventional restoration (bridge or denture) then dental implants could be a solution.
Implants provide a very effective and aesthetically pleasing solution which will improve your smile and self-confidence. A space resulting from a missing tooth could cause your remaining teeth to shift position to close the gap.
It could also result in shrinkage of the jawbone, which tends to make one appear older than one is.
Dental Implants: Information and Considerations
Before being considered for implant treatment four important factors will be discussed and assessed:
- Your general health and the medications that you may be taking. Certain medical conditions and medications may reduce the success rate of implant treatment
- Your oral hygiene status. Poor oral hygiene reduces the long term success rate of implant treatment
- Your Nicotine consumption. Long term smokers have an increased chance of implant failures due to their reduced mouth vascularity
- The height, width and quality of the bone you have. This can be assessed using radiographs and CT scans
What is a dental implant?
While numerous textbooks have been written concerning the history, types, shapes, insertion techniques and efficacy of all sorts of dental implants; and as interesting as this may (or may not) be, for our purposes we will limit our information to a single, tapered and threaded, titanium "root" implant that is placed into a missing tooth site.
The crown or "tooth" part of the procedure will be placed at a later time when the bone has healed to the titanium man-made "root".
Why a dental implant?
There are three basic ways a tooth may be "replaced" to keep the dental arch intact.
A removable partial denture (RPD), a non-removable partial denture (NRPD) or "bridge" where usually the two or more teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site must be ‘prepared’ to some degree, and lastly the dental implant(s) that stand alone to replace the missing tooth or teeth and do not depend on adjacent teeth for support.
What is insufficient bone?
When a tooth has been missing for some time the healing of the socket usually includes a “shrinking” of the bone.
This shrinkage may be of a magnitude that won’t allow a titanium root to be placed and still have enough bone around it to secure healing.
However, now we can have types of bone added to the bone site to give us the necessary bulk needed. This is called augmentation.
Sometimes vital structures may be too close to the proposed implant site to allow for placement.
The density of the bone may be insufficient to allow for good healing.
All of these factors will be taken into consideration when your dentist evaluates you for sufficient site bone.
Are there risks associated with a dental implant?
Yes. Implants will fail when the surrounding bone will not heal to the titanium “root”.
When this happens the root is removed allowing the “socket” to heal. This is why following placement of an implant root, a period of at least three months is allowed to pass before it is assessed for suitability to be used to support a crown.
Furthermore, Dental articles report cases of nerve damage mostly in the lower jaw. This risk is minimised by using a CT scan at the treatment planning stage.
This allows detailed dimensional measurement to be taken, avoiding vital areas and structures such as nerves.
How long will implants last?
It all comes down to case selection. In healthy individuals who do not smoke and have good oral hygiene, with the right quantity and quality of bone, the success rate with implants is very high.
Some of the original implants placed more than twenty years ago are still in place and functioning.
Just as our natural teeth can loosen and fall out due to poor oral hygiene, gum disease or even some systemic diseases, so can implants.
Other frequently asked questions include...
Is age a deterrent?
No. Many people in their seventies or eighties are better candidates than younger people with medical problems and poor oral hygiene
Can implants cause Cancer?
There have been no instances reported in dental or medical literature indicating a dental implant as being the cause of cancer.
Will insurance pay for implants?
No. At this time, unless specifically covered in your policy, most insurance companies will not cover implants. You will need to check with them prior to start of any treatment.
Is this going to hurt?
As with any procedure where tissue is entered, there is potential for discomfort. But utilising local anaesthetic, the discomfort is usually minimal, if any at all.
Most of our patients are very surprised by the comfort of the placement.
How much time does it take?
This varies of course as to the conditions, but usually less time than it would take to prepare the teeth for a bridge.
Since with our technique there is only one placement procedure, including the impression for the crown, no follow-up surgery is usually indicated.
Several months must pass, however, while bone is healing to the implant (osseointegration) before the crown is placed and the "tooth" becomes fully functional.
Will l miss any work?
Generally we recommend on the day of placement, you can expect to sense some feeling of slight pressure in the bone and to the surrounding teeth for a day or two, but this should not affect going to work.
If the pressure continues for more than 24 hours then just let us know.
If you have decided that you want to be considered as an implant candidate, then please contact our reception team who would be able to arrange an assessment appointment for you.