In simple terms, a dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically fitted into the jaw bone. This fuses with the bone to act as an artificial root on to which a crown or denture is then secured.
At Bellevue Dental our oral surgeon, Dr Eric Battista, has a special interest in placing implants (as well as all other types of oral surgery).
Dr Leigh Hunt, our restorative dentist then attaches custom designed ceramic crowns on to connectors at the top of the implants.
Dental implants can be fitted under local anaesthetic or under sedation – either way the process should be painless.
If you have lost a tooth (or teeth) dental implants may be an option if you are a healthy adult with a healthy and mouth and jaw bone. They offer a much more robust, long term solution than bridges or dentures.
However, they aren’t suitable for children under 18 as their bones are still growing. Also, if you’re a smoker you may not be eligible because of the much higher risk of implant failure, gum disease and loss of jaw bone caused by smoking.
Before recommending an implant, we will assess you carefully (we may X-ray your teeth/jaw) and give you full details so you can decide if this treatment is right for you. This will include:
- A Treatment plan with timescales and costs
- Details of alternative treatments and costs, for comparison
- Answering any questions or concerns you may have.
In many cases, fitting an implant can be easier than removing a tooth. It is usually done using a simple local anaesthetic in the gum.
The procedures are quite quick, but the overall process may take 3-4 months or longer, depending on the number of implants and complexity of the treatment (eg one implant to a whole mouth).
- Any extractions needed are done first and given time to heal.
- Then the implant is fitted, together with a healing cap and any temporary dental devices you may need such as temporary crowns
- 3-4 months later your custom-made crowns are fitted on to the implant’s connector.
Any existing dentures (if you have any/still need them) may require alteration once the implant treatment is complete. If you have removable dentures attached to the implant, you can still remove them for cleaning.