Principal dentist at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, Andrew Murphy, explains this critical process.
Dental implant placement has been evolving since they were first discovered by Swedish scientist, Per Ingvar Branemark, in the mid 1960s.
One part of the process that has not really changed though, and is the main reason for their success, is the osseointegration period. Simply put, this is the part of the process, following placement, where the body naturally chooses to surround the titanium implant with new bone, gradually bonding to it and providing it with its strength and stability.
Although this natural occurrence hasn’t really changed at all, what has changed is our understanding of it, and specifically, what we need to do, as both dentist and patient, to make sure that this takes place successfully.
Placing the implant
When our experienced Epsom implant dentists place your implant, they will, first of all, have checked to make sure that there is sufficient bone available. They will also have examined your general oral health to make sure that there are no problems, such as gum disease, which could compromise the outcome. Using the latest technology, they will ensure that your implant is placed precisely and safely and will also provide detailed aftercare advice.
Naturally, we will also continue to monitor your progress regularly as you heal and start to use your new replacement tooth.
The patient’s responsibility
Having successfully placed the implant, and provided you with aftercare advice, much of the success of the implant placement will come down to personal responsibility for its health.
General oral care advice such as no smoking and no significant alcohol consumption during the osseointegration period, which lasts around 3 months, should be adhered to, as well as diligent cleaning. Failure to care for your implant correctly may increase the risks of periodontitis or peri-implantitis, both serious threats to the survival of your new implant.
Providing that you look after your oral health well and avoid placing stress upon the implant, the bone will gradually bond to the new titanium root, eventually securing it tightly in place. Once this process has completed, you will find that your new artificial tooth both feels and looks almost like a natural tooth, offering the strength and security that no other tooth replacement method can.
You will need to keep up a good oral health regimen even after the three month period, although this should be no different to your usual diligent care routine if you wish to keep your mouth healthy.
If you have any questions about dental implants that you would like to discuss with us, or are simply curious to find out more about this popular alternative to dentures, why not call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic today on 01372 720136 to book an initial consultation with myself or one of my team. We’ll be pleased to answer your questions and address and concerns you may have.
Andrew Murphy is the Principal Dentist at our Epsom practice (GDC 65986).