Dental implants — much more than a stopgap

Dental implants — much more than a stopgap

Shade, function and bone preservation are just some of the considerations to be taken into account ahead of dental implant surgery.

Implant surgery has come a long way in recent years with dental surgeons now more focused than ever on achieving the patient’s optimal outcome. The advancement of technology in this area means positioning the screw that holds the dental implant in place is easier than ever before, while industry wide there has been a greater emphasis on preserving the jaw bone which supports the implant, rather than just the teeth themselves.

From a surgeon’s perspective, there is little difference in the procedure used to replace a missing front tooth than a back tooth. However the same cannot be said for the patient—who, for obvious reasons, is far more sensitive as to the appearance of an implanted tooth at the front of the mouth. For this reason we go to great lengths to ensure the implant not only looks great from an aesthetic point of view, but is also colour matched to surrounding teeth to ensure it does not look out of place.

When implanting teeth at the rear of the mouth, we place a greater emphasis on the functionality of the implanted tooth as this can have a significant impact on the positioning of the jaw and may result in altered biting habits, potentially requiring future repair.

The loss of a single tooth can prove overwhelming for most of us, however active sports men and women are particularly vulnerable to multiple tooth loss. Fortunately, providing there is no structural damage to the jaw, there are also no limitations as to how many implants a patient can have at any given time.

We find when we talk to patients that many of them have been put off undertaking dental implant surgery because of anxiety about the procedure. While the fear is very real to them, the honest truth of the matter is that the surgery itself is a very simple procedure, much less invasive than whole surgical extraction. We find talking them through the surgery point by point, responding to any questions they may have and encouraging them to visual their smile once the procedure is complete usually helps allay any fears.

The cost of dental implant surgery can sometimes prove a little eye watering. However that initial outlay seems less daunting when you take into account the fact that the average life span of an implant is 15 to 20 years—time and money that you may otherwise be spending making repeated visits to your dentist to get your broken plate mended, jaw bone fortified or rotten tooth extracted.

Spending money on your teeth offers so much more than merely filling a gap in your mouth. It is an investment in your confidence and self worth, not to mention your future oral health.

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