What Exactly Is A Dental Implant?
This basic question is asked a lot by potential patients visiting our surgery in Richmond so we thought that we’d take this opportunity to explain a bit more about them and more importantly how undergoing dental implants in Richmond can change your life.
A dental implant is basically used in the replacement of a missing tooth or a series of teeth to create a super-strong platform upon which to attach a porcelain crown. An implant can also be used to support a removable denture or a dental bridge.
What’s it made from?
The vast majority of dental implants are made from medical grade titanium which is an exceptionally light yet extremely strong material. In fact if you hold an implant in your hand, it feels as light as a piece of plastic. Titanium is also used for component parts on formula one car where both extreme lightness and high durability are needed.
So why titanium?
When titanium comes into contact with the air it forms an oxidised layer. As such the human body doesn’t recognise it as a foreign object and therefore doesn’t reject it. In fact the opposite occurs and natural bone tissue contained within the jaw is actually attracted to it. As a result when placed directly into the jaw, then over time, the natural bone merges and fuses with the implant to create a super strong base. This base (known as the implant) can then be used to support dentures, crowns and bridges.
So how are they placed?
Whether you opt for a dental implant in Richmond, or indeed anywhere else in the country you’ll have to undergo a surgical procedure. It generally takes a couple of hours to perform, but this varies depending upon the number of implants you have and the degree of complication. Although fairly complex, it’s a routine procedure for any experienced implant dentist and one that’s carried out in hundreds of clinics up and down the country on a daily basis. In essence a hole is drilled down into the jaw and the implant is fixed into place. It’s then left to heal as the bone fusion process takes place. While this is happening a temporary crown is placed on top. When the bone has successfully fused with the implant (normally anywhere between 3-6 months) a small ball-like abutment is fitted onto the implant and finally the permanent porcelain crown is fitted.
For the majority of people the end results are truly spectacular. They are left with a natural looking tooth or teeth, that looks, feels and to some extent functions just like your natural teeth would. In terms of longevity, then providing that proper and regular cleaning is carried out, implants have been known to last as long as 40 years.
If you want any further information on just how dental implants in Richmond can change your life, then contact us at Sheen Dental on 020 8876 5277 or visit our website at www.sheendental.co.uk to book your free, no-obligation consultation today. Dr Harmit Kalsi and the team are standing by to help.