A dental implant is a substitute for a natural root. It is usually screw- or cylinder-shaped.
Each implant is placed into a socket meticulously drilled at the location of the intended tooth. If an implant has a screw-thread on its outer surface it can be screwed into position. If it does not, it is usually tapped into place. The main aim during installation of any implant is to achieve immediate close contact with the surrounding bone. This creates an initial stability, which over time is steadily enhanced by further growth of bone into microscopic roughnesses on the implant surface. 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.
Almost all dental implants used today are made from titanium or titanium alloy. These materials have been shown over many years to be well tolerated by bone. The terms ‘osseointegrated implants’ or ‘endosseous implants’ are widely used to describe dental implants that can develop and maintain a close union with bone in order to support replacement teeth. As with other dental treatments at our clinic, we use only the highest quality of dental materials. All materials we use for dental implants are made by a specialist company called BioHorizons
Overdentures are supported by and attached to dental implants or roots. If you have a slack denture, we can fit some dental implants that the denture can clip onto. This makes an enormous difference when chewing and talking, and generally makes you feel better about yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you wish to have your bottom or top denture attached this way. Overdentures cost a bit more than a conventional denture but are worth it! If you wish to have an implant-supported overdenture, your dentist will need to ensure there is enough bone left to install dental implants, which are commonly provided in areas where traditional fixtures are less stable. On the other hand, if you wish to have a root-supported overdenture, we need to check that you have the necessary number of good-quality roots, that these roots are free of infection and have had good root-canal treatment.
Depending on their needs, patients will be offered one of two types of implant-supported overdenture: either ball-retained or bar-retained. These are manufactured from an acrylic base that is designed to look like gum, and porcelain or acrylic teeth that have a natural tooth appearance. Both types of implant-retained overdenture need at least two dental implants to be installed in the jawbone as support for the overdenture. Ball-retained overdentures have a socket which is attached to up to five implants in the mouth. Bar-retained overdentures include a thin metal bar that follows the curve of the jaw, with the dentures held in place by fitted clips. The dental implants for overdentures are usually placed in the anterior region of the mouth because there is more bone in this area, even if teeth have been missing for a long period. A lack of vital structures such as nerves in the front of the mouth means that there is less likelihood of the dental implants impinging on any vital structures.
Fitting usually takes between three and six months, which includes implant surgeries and installation of the overdenture. Before the start of the treatment, patients will be asked to attend a consultation to ensure they qualify to receive overdentures. During this appointment, the implant specialist at Falkirk Dental Care - Dr Zanner Ossi - will review medical and dental records. He will then take X-rays and impressions of teeth to allow the laboratory to create models. Following this, he may carry out a cone beam CT scan to make sure there is enough bone available to install the dental implants, and to establish the exact location of the sinuses and nerves so they can be avoided during the procedure.
The entire process takes around four visits, but a temporary denture can be worn until it is complete. This is ideal for people who are worried about their appearance. The first surgery involves placing implants in the jawbone, where an incision is made in the gum in order to place the implants. Immediately after the initial procedure, it is important to avoid putting pressure on the newly installed implants. This speeds up healing and limits discomfort. After the healing process is complete and the implants have fused with the jawbone, the second surgery is carried out by our implant specialist. During this simple procedure, the tops of the implants are revealed by making a small incision into the gums, where a healing collar is placed. This allows the gum to heal in the correct manner, making room for the fixture of the overdentures. In the final months of the process, the teeth are secured into the overdenture framework, creating a new smile for the patient. Overdentures should be removed at night and cleaned to keep them in good condition and to maintain hygiene.
An implant-supported bridge is like a regular dental bridge, but it is supported by implants rather than by natural teeth. In most cases, when an implant-supported bridge is used, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each missing tooth. The crowns are then connected to each other to form one piece. An implant-supported bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing. It may also be used when your dentist is concerned that you might put too much pressure on individual implants that are not connected to each other.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can put a lot of pressure on individual implants, increasing the chances that they will loosen from the bone and fail. An implant-supported bridge reduces the pressure on the individual implants in the bone by spreading it across the entire bridge. If the implants are to be placed next to natural teeth, those teeth and surrounding gums must be in good health. If you don’t have enough bone to place and support the dental implants, the supporting bone can be built up using bone augmentation or grafting before the actual implant procedure begins.
Talk to us for advice on dental implants. We’re friendly folk who are happy to help!