What is a dental implant? A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a tooth root, usually made from titanium. There are many different implant systems available and when competently used they all deliver a highly reliable form of treatment. The main aim during the placement of any implant is to achieve immediate close contact with the surrounding bone. Over time further growth of bone onto the implant surface enhances the stability of the implant. In order to support replacement teeth, dental implants normally have some form of internal screw thread or post space that allows a variety of components to be fitted. Once fitted, these components provide the foundation for long-term support of crowns, bridges or dentures. Who is suitable for dental implants? Dental implants are suitable for most adults with good general health. They can only be used once the jawbone has stopped growing and so generally are not used with younger patients. Habits such as heavy drinking or smoking can increase the number of problems associated with initial healing and thereafter may be bad for the long-term health of gum and bone surrounding each implant. Some dentists will decline to place implants if smoking cannot be reduced or given up altogether. However, each case is different and if you do have any medical problems then speak to your doctor or dentist prior to starting any treatment – it is only in some circumstances that health problems prevent the use of dental implants altogether.
Implant treatment normally involves several stages that take place over a period of time from three to nine months. Although there are various implant treatment methods, a typical process often includes:
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