How Do Dental Implants Work?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod, which is carefully and gently placed into your jawbone. Over time, the bone and implant bond together and form a very strong anchor. An artificial tooth, usually a crown or bridge, is then fitted on top of this that looks and functions exactly the same as a real tooth.
Dental implants are a popular option for those who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Whether it’s one tooth or several, dental implants can be used to enhance your smile, creating an aesthetic you can feel proud to show off.
Once your mouth has fully healed, we will then attach the crown to your implant, which will be tailor-made to blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
Dental implants are such a common go-to solution for those with missing teeth because they have an extremely high success rate, with between 80-95% of implants integrating with the jawbone without issue. In order to be eligible for traditional dental implants, you typically need to have healthy gums, and enough jawbone for the implants to go into. In some cases, where there are health issues or a lack of available bone, alternative options may be available to you.
Dental implant surgery is performed under anaesthetic, so there’s no risk of pain or discomfort during the procedure. The surgery itself can differ depending on your specific needs, for instance, you may need bone grafting if you have lost bone density as a result of missing teeth.
Dental implants essentially work as the tooth’s root and so are implanted deep into the bone to offer a strong anchor for your new teeth. In order for the process to work, you will need to allow healing time which can take several months, but once the bone has grown around the titanium implant, you can benefit from a super-strong, long-lasting new smile.
All our dental implants are made to measure, ensuring the shape, size and colour are made bespoke to you.
What Are The Advantages/Benefits of Implants?
Choosing dental implants as a treatment option can offer you a number of significant advantages:
What Dental Implant Treatment Options Are Available?
At the Harley Street Oral Reconstruction Centre, we offer a wide choice of implant treatments. It is imperative to have proper planning of dental implant treatment and that frequently involves a multi-disciplinary approach between a Prosthodontist and an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist. The following options enable patients to have their dental implants placed in a single appointment, and to eat with their new teeth later that same day:
Teeth-in-an-Hour™ & Teeth in a Day™
These sophisticated techniques use our in-house CT scanner to take a scan of the jawbone. This then allows us to create a 3D model of the jaw. With this model we can plan out the placement of the implants ahead of the appointment, without the need for the patient to be there.
Using this technology, the dental implants are designed to fit quickly and accurately into the implant site. The implanting technique is minimally invasive and significantly reduces healing time for patients. This means that you can have implants and the new artificial teeth all fitted within one appointment.
The main benefits of this technique are that incisions and sutures may not be necessary, pain and discomfort is reduced and there is less patient investment required regarding time. Individuals must have a healthy jawbone with enough bone quantity to be suitable for this procedure.
A cost-effective solution that allows for the permanent replacement of an entire section of missing teeth, using just four dental implants. Using CT scan imagery we create a 3D reconstruction of the jawbone to assess suitability for the procedure.
If suitable, the implants and the artificial teeth can be fitted on the same day enabling you to leave the clinic with a full implant restoration and have immediate function of the teeth. Other benefits of this technique are that cost is reduced and recovery time is less as no bone grafts are required.
This technique is advised for patients with limited bone available for implant placement and when bone grafting is not an option.
Alternatively, for more complex cases, we offer:
Guided Implant Surgery
This involves removing the tooth, cleaning the site and placing the implant directly in the hole and through the use of a CT scan of your jaw, we are able to plan the implant placement with incredible accuracy for optimum success.
The surgery is most commonly carried out under local anaesthesia or sedation and once completed, we wait for the implant to fully integrate with the jawbone. The length of time required depends on the bone density at the implant site: the denser the bone the quicker it heals.
Following this period of restoration, an impression can be taken and the final crown can be constructed and fitted onto the implant. In some instances, especially where grafting is necessary to build the jawbone to the right shape, the implant is left beneath the gum and allowed to osseointegrate to the jawbone over a period of time.
Once this is done, the implant can be exposed, a healing abutment fitted, and a ceramic crown constructed and fitted onto the implant. This is either screwed or cemented down onto the implant. Sometimes it is advantageous to wear a temporary acrylic crown whilst the soft tissue moulds itself around the provisional crown.
See Our Treatments
Implants, Prosthodontics & Restorative Dentistry
Replacement of missing and broken down upper and lower teeth with fixed implant bridges. A 67 year-old patient had a history of neglected oral hygiene and loss of many teeth. She insisted on having fixed bridges for reconstruction. Function and aesthetics were finally restored with a fixed bridges on 4 dental implants in the lower jaw and 6 implants on the upper jaw.
By Lambis Petridis
Implant Bridge & Denture
Replacement of missing lower teeth with a fixed implant bridge and of upper teeth with a removable denture. A 66 year-old patient had a history of neglected oral hygiene and loss of many teeth. He could not tolerate any lower removable denture. Function and aesthetics were finally restored with a fixed bridge on 4 dental implants in the lower jaw and a removable denture on the upper jaw. Images below show (in descending order): patient before treatment; dental implants ready to receive the bridge; implants bridge screw-retained on the implant; final result.
By Lambis Petridis
Replacement of missing tooth with an implant crown. A 35 year-old patient had a bike accident and lost his upper front tooth. It was successfully replaced with a dental implant crown, restoring an aesthetics appearance.
By Lambis Petridis
What If There Is Not Enough Bone for A Dental Implant?
Where there is inadequate bone, our specialists at the Harley Street Oral Reconstruction Centre are noted for their ability to regenerate the missing bone tissue using a variety of techniques when necessary. These include:
This involves adding bone, or bonelike materials, to the jaw. Often your own bone is the best choice for this and common places it can be taken from include the chin, back part of the lower jaw, hip or shin.
Part of the maxillary sinus is filled with bone in order to increase the upper jaw height. This technique may be selected if the back part of the upper jaw doesn’t have enough bone for implants to be fitted.
A type of bone graft that is used when the jaw isn’t wide enough for implants and involves expanding the bony ridge of the jaw in order to restore the lost bone dimension.
This is used if the height of a bone is too short and involves separating a piece of the bone from the rest of the jaw in order to insert a small device. This device holds the piece of bone separately from the rest of the jawbone and can be slightly unscrewed on a daily basis to create a gap that encourages new growth.
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To learn more about how we can work together to achieve your goals please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best age for dental implants?
One of the best things about dental implants is that almost anyone who is suffering from tooth loss can benefit. Typically, it is not advised that dental implants are used in those under the age of 18, however, there is no upper age limit for this type of procedure.
In fact, dental implants have become a more popular option with older individuals who don’t want ill-fitting removable dentures.
Who is not suitable for dental implants?
Those suffering from gum disease in any form will not be able to receive dental implant treatment. This is because periodontitis destroys the teeth, gums and bone structure, so implants would not be able to attach properly.
That being said, we know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, and so if this is something you’re suffering from, there is still a solution. We can work with you to treat your gum disease first, leaving behind a healthy mouth and a safe canvas for us to work with to design and fit your new dental implants.
Do teeth implants feel natural?
Yes, but it does take some time! The process of getting dental implants fitted should be a pain-free, comfortable experience – but it will then take up to 12 weeks for the gums to heal and for your new teeth to really feel like your own.
For those first few weeks after you’ve had your implants fitted, your mouth will need to heal and adjust, and during this time you won’t have the freedom to eat and drink whatever you like whilst you give your implants a chance to settle. However, initial discomfort should be short-lived and will be easily treatable with over-the-counter medication.
How do I look after my new dental implants?
Perhaps one of the most appealing things about getting dental implants is that they are incredibly easy to look after once they’ve settled into your mouth. In fact, you can treat them pretty much just as you would your natural teeth, as long as you’re keeping up a great oral hygiene routine.
It is advised that you floss daily, particularly at the end of the day after eating to avoid any build-up of plaque from gathering under the gum line. You should also brush your teeth twice a day and be careful to avoid things such as smoking.
It is also important to keep up with your routine dental appointments, as it is during these that your dentist will have a chance to identify any issues before they become worse.