Teeth have a visible part (crown) and an invisible part (root). If a tooth needs to be removed, we can place a substitute crown or bridge. If, however, you are missing a tooth, root and all, we cannot a place a crown. A bridge is a feasible option in that case, but only if there is a sufficient number of healthy adjacent teeth to attach it to.
Fortunately, we can nowadays use implants (artificial roots) in such a case, which provide a comfortable and durable solution. Implants are less expensive than generally believed.
What is an implant?
An implant looks like a screw and is made of body-friendly titanium, which fuses well to the jaw bone. This provides the basis for a crown or bridge. Implants can be inserted to replace one or more teeth or even all your teeth. Depending on the chosen solution, one or more implants are placed.
When are implants indicated?
Implants are indicated if your jaw bone is sufficiently thick to accommodate the implants. And your gums need to be healthy. Before we decide to place implants, we check your teeth thoroughly and also make X-rays of your jaw bone.
If there is insufficient jaw bone for proper support, we can create extra bone using artificial bone, possibly in combination with bone graft harvested from other parts of the body. In some cases it will be necessary to perform a sinus lift (bone construction in nasal sinus). If such a treatment is required, we discuss it extensively with you at our practice.
How are implants inserted?
Implants are inserted under local anaesthetics, after which the surrounding gum tissue is stitched. Once the tissue has healed, a crown or bridge can be placed. An implant can be placed in such a way that it is either totally covered by the gum or protrudes through the gum. We will, of course, first consult with you to determine the best solution for you.
Most people do not experience much inconvenience after an implant has been placed. You can take ordinary painkillers if you feel any pain or if your gums are sensitive. It takes about two to three months for the implant to fuse with your bone. During this period you must make sure you do not exert too much pressure on it. You may therefore be required to change your diet temporarily. We will, of course, give you the necessary advice.
Once the crown, bridge or prosthesis has been placed, you need to take good care of your teeth. We will discuss this with you. We will do regular check-ups to closely monitor the condition of your gums and jaw bone. If necessary we will take some more X-rays.
Implants for people with dentures
If you wear partial or full prosthesis, implants may be a welcome solution, particularly if your dentures no longer fit properly due to the shrinkage of your jaw. An implant-retained prosthesis is fixed securely in your mouth, but you can also easily remove it and place it back in yourself. Furthermore, normal dental function will be restored (as if you have your own teeth back again) and you will again be able to eat whatever you want.
Do you want to know more? We will be more than happy to give you the information you need!