Losing a tooth through accident or decay is a real misfortune and finding a solution which does not affect chewing or that looks acceptable was not always easy in the past. Fortunately dental implants Herefordshire can deliver a solution that is not only practical, but also provides an aesthetically pleasing result. People are living longer and along with that comes the fact that teeth need to be preserved for longer. This is not always the case for a variety of reasons so an alternative that will last is essential. Dentists always try to put tooth retention first, however if that is not possible a comfortable, practical and visually acceptable alternative will be adopted.

What is a dental implant?

In simple terms an artificial root is inserted into a patient’s jawbone where the original tooth was located. An abutment is then placed onto the artificial root as a base for the crown which is the artificial tooth. The materials used are of the highest quality and the artificial root is made of a biocompatible material from commercially pure titanium or zirconium oxide. The materials used must demonstrate an elasticity which is comparable to the jawbone, because over time it is intended that the two will fuse together ensuring no movement. Teeth exert enormous force when we chew and the artificial tooth must be hard enough to remain intact and must be able to resist becoming brittle over time.

dentist with a patient

Why should a patient consider a dental implant?

There are a number of advantages to having dental implants, not the least of which is the ability to chew better and to enhance an individual’s looks. If there is one thing that we have all heard numerous times during this Covid pandemic it is that we should be guided by science and that is no less true when it comes to caring for teeth. An implant provides a more stable base than removable dentures for improved chewing and better digestion. As an alternative to a bridge, an implant does not require that the neighbouring teeth have to be ground down or affected at all. Because of their stability implants are far more comfortable and last longer. Implants also help the jawbone by reducing the amount of bone loss caused by extraction of teeth. An implant is actually a replacement in the exact place where the original tooth was located and because of this the patient’s facial features remain the same as if the original tooth was in place. Implants are not restricted to replacing only one tooth but can be used for a single tooth, a few teeth or all the teeth.

What is the process?

Initially a dental assessment must be carried out to determine a patient’s suitability for this particular type of treatment. Some bone graft surgery and /or gum disease treatment may first be required. On the day of the treatment a local anaesthetic is administered and a hole is drilled into the jawbone where the implant will be inserted. There is then a healing period and as each patient is different this period will vary from a few weeks to as long as six months. Once the healing process is complete  a replacement tooth which is designed to match the surrounding teeth will be inserted. The treatment is then complete and the patient will be required to be cautious for about a week while the tooth settles, after that it’s back to normal. Brushing twice a day with a soft bristled brush and regular flossing are recommended.

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