How long is it since you bit into a crunchy apple? Or chewed meditatively for a few minutes on a toffee? If you have been wearing bridges or dentures to replace lost teeth, it could be years since you have been able to enjoy one of life’s great pleasures: eating. If you want that pleasure back, now’s the time to investigate dental implants.
Dental implants are a fully functional solution to missing teeth. Having them fitted requires a minor oral surgery procedure. This is offered by dentists throughout the UK. If you live in Hertford, one reputable clinic is Hertford Dental Implants.
Dental implant surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic, which is more than ample for pain relief as there are not that many nerve endings in the jaw. However, for many people this surgery is a daunting prospect and nervous patients can usually also receive sedation so that they can fully relax during the implant procedure, whilst still being able to communicate.
The implant procedure
A new socket is made the jawbone with the drill, and a tiny titanium post is inserted into it. This post replaces the root of the lost tooth. Usually, you will then have to wait for several weeks while healing takes place. During this time, the titanium of the post integrates with the new bone tissue, which grows around it, to hold it in place, just as if it was a natural tooth.
After the jawbone has healed, you can return to the dentist to have an abutment added onto the implants. Artificial teeth are then fitted onto the abutment. The teeth are handmade out of porcelain matched to the colour of the surrounding teeth, and shaped so that they blend into the mouth. By the time you are ready to go, no one but you and your dentist will know which of your are teeth are natural, and which are porcelain teeth on top of dental implants.
One dental implant can carry a single replacement tooth, or a bridge holding several teeth. Between 4 and 6 implants can support an entire set of teeth for each jaw. This last option is carried out using a particular type of implant procedure known as All-On-4.