The biggest development in dentistry in the last 20 years has been in dental implants. There has been an explosion in the number of implants fitted, and in the number of dentists who are providing them.
Implants are quite simply screws made out of titanium which can be inserted into the bone where a tooth is missing. Once it heals in, after about 2 months, a post is inserted into the implant, then a false tooth – a crown – on top of this. Its almost like having your own tooth back!
For larger gaps, 2 or more implants can be inserted. Single tooth implants and multiple implants supporting bridges have made the type of bridges we used to make – supported on 2 or more teeth which had to be ground down – more or less obsolete.
If you wear false teeth, implants allow you to have a fixed bridge permanently cemented in place if you have enough bone: no more taking your plate out to clean it!
Some denture wearers prefer to keep the denture, but have 2 or 4 implants inserted, fitted with anchors to hold the denture firmly in place. False teeth fixed with implants make eating a pleasure again – with 4 implants the roof of the mouth can be left free!
Almost everyone can benefit from implants, inserted in as little as 20 minutes with a simple local anaesthetic injection.