SINGLE DENTAL IMPLANTS
A missing tooth might be the result of trauma, dental disease or congenital absence of the adult tooth. The position in the mouth is not relevant as a dental implant can be placed to replace any tooth at all.
Different types of implant suit different locations and the implant team will recommend the most appropriate choices.
A titanium dental implant is inserted into the jawbone under local anaesthetic, with or without sedation. The adjacent teeth are not involved (unlike bridgework where they are cut down and thus damaged). Modern local anaesthetic is very effective indeed so the procedure is not painful and does not differ from any normal dental procedure. The “Wand” device from Milestone Scientific is used to deliver the anaesthetic in such a way that most people do not even notice.
The top of the implant is exposed under local anaesthesia so that we can test whether it is firm within the bone. This is a brief procedure and the mouth is normally fine afterwards. A small post is attached to the implant which comes through the gum. It is usual to allow a period of about two weeks for the gum to model around the post and the surgical part of the procedure is now complete.
Often it is possible for the post (abutment) to be connected at the same time the implant is placed, thus this second minor surgical procedure is not needed. Sometimes a temporary crown can be attached to the implant at the start or after this exposure stage where the bone density allows. Less dense bone just requires a longer period, that’s all.
(Not always required)
Impressions are made to be sent to the dental laboratory and two weeks later the final post and crown arrive back. These are attached to the implant and the new tooth is complete. It can be virtually impossible to see the difference between the existing teeth and the new tooth. However occasional differences do occur in the contour of the gum. Surgery time is dependent on how many dental implants are being inserted and whether any bone grafting is required. A small amount of discomfort and swelling is normal in the first week after surgery. After a week the stitches are removed and the gum returns to normal within a day or two
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