How do tooth implants work?



Implants for missing teeth have been around for many years.

They effectively “screw in” to the bone of the jaw so that they are firmly fixed ( unlike dentures which can become loose) and do not need the teeth either side of the gap to be “drilled” ( as is the case for some types of bridge).

The way that implants “fix” into bone is the key to their success…

The wonder of titanium

Most dental implants are made from titanium alloys which allow bone to grow actually onto the implant surface after they are placed into the jaw.

This allows for the implants to become very firmly embedded in the bone. This is called “osseointegration” and is the secret behind the success of dental implants.


How are they placed?

Sometimes the screw part of the implant is placed by one dental professional, then the “tooth” part is placed by another.

Sometimes both stages are undertaken by the same dentist, especially if only a small number of implants are being planned.

There are a number of approaches, which vary on how long is left between the two stages. The procedures are very technique-sensitive so dental professionals should have received appropriate training.

Do they always work?

Dental implants are not always the best option for everyone.

Excellent oral hygiene is essential, otherwise the implants can become infected. If there is active gum disease, this will have to be controlled before implants can be planned.

So there may be a prolonged course of hygiene treatment and support before you may be considered for an implant. Some dentists will not place implants for patients who smoke as this can cause the implants to fail.

Cost also may be a barrier for some patients. Implants are only available on the NHS in certain ( limited) situations. However a well maintained dental implant can last many years so may be a good “investment” for the long term.

For more information on dental implants

Talk your dentist if you think implants may be an option for you in the first instance. He or she will also have a good idea of which professionals in your area are suitably trained.

See also:

Oral Health Foundation

British Dental Association

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East and Teesside, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.

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