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How Dental Implants Work: A Complete Guide

23 / 08 / 2023

When you lose one or more teeth, any noticeable gaps can spoil the appearance of your smile. As well as feeling self-conscious about your looks, the loss of teeth can also affect your speech and dental health. 

Without a full set of teeth, you may avoid some of your favourite meals. Anything too chewy or crunchy might cause problems, and some foods may get trapped in the gap. 

Although dentures are a common option for replacing lost teeth, they lack firm foundations. The ultimate solution for replacing missing teeth is dental implants. 

In this guide, we’ll look at how dental implants work and answer some of the most common questions our patients ask. 

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are small screws that fix replacement teeth to your jawbone. You can think of implants as new roots for your teeth. Just like your natural roots, implants fuse with your jaw to provide a firm anchor for your smile. 

After placing a dental implant, we can cap it off with a lifelike custom-made replacement tooth. 

What Are Dental Implants Made From?

We use titanium implants. This metal is the preferred choice for several reasons. Titanium is lightweight, biocompatible, and very durable. It’s used in many industries, including medicine, air and space flight, and construction. 

Once your titanium implant has fused to your jaw through osseointegration, it won’t corrode and should last for life. 

What Are All-on-4 Implants?

All-on-4 implants are a revolutionary technology that replaces multiple teeth in one day. While standard implants require prolonged periods of recovery, the techniques used in All-on-4 surgery give you a new smile that day. 

We use four to six implants placed strategically across your jaw. The rear implants are positioned at an angle to access more of the jaw. Once in place, we’ll fit a set of bespoke, natural-looking teeth.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

There are several reasons why so many people choose dental implants. 

  • Improve your ability to eat – When you lose teeth, biting and chewing becomes challenging, and food can easily become trapped in the gaps. Even with dentures, your bite lacks the strength of your natural teeth. Dental implants provide firm support and allow you to eat whatever you want. 
  • Improve your smile – Once we place replacement teeth onto your implant, they’ll look like the real thing, restoring both your smile and your confidence. 
  • Stop dental drift – Dental drift occurs when you lose teeth and their neighbours slide along the jaw, causing your teeth to become crooked and gappy. 
  • Stop bone resorption – Losing a tooth can cause the jaw below to deteriorate. This, in turn, affects your facial structure and causes a prematurely-aged appearance around the mouth.  Dental implants stimulate the jaw and stop bone loss. 
  • Reduce the risk of decay – Gaps left by missing teeth are hotspots for bacteria. Cleaning these hard-to-reach areas isn’t easy, putting you at an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and dental infections. 

Who Can Have Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing teeth. A single tooth can be replaced with a crown and implant, and we can replace several teeth at once using All-on-4 implants. Dental implants are ideal for anyone who:

  • Has lost one or more teeth to trauma, decay, or infection
  • Has damaged teeth needing extraction
  • Has dentures or a bridge but wants a fixed alternative

Before we can place dental implants, we’ll need to check they are right for you. We’ll take scans of your jaw to assess your bone density. If bone resorption has already occurred, you may need a bone graft procedure to help rebuild lost density before you can have dental implants.

You need to be in good general health to get implants. We need to know your bone will heal fully and certain health conditions could impede your recovery.

How Are Dental Implants Placed?

We’ll place traditional dental implants in several stages. This is because your jaw needs time to heal and accept the implant. It can take several months for the bone and titanium implant to integrate. Between stages, we’ll give you a temporary restoration so your smile can remain complete. All-on-4s are placed in a single appointment. 

Is Getting Dental Implants Painful?

Although dental implant surgery is complex, we manage any pain and discomfort with anaesthetic. If you’re nervous about receiving this life-changing treatment, we can provide sedation. This helps you relax fully by putting you into a dreamlike state. 

Dental Implants at GM Dental

At GM Dental and Implant Centre, we place high-quality, smile-enhancing implants using the latest clinically-tested techniques. 

Get in touch with us today to schedule your initial consultation. 

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