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Dental Implants

A dental implant is a small man-made titanium fixture that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth in your mouth. The implant is placed in the bone of your upper or lower jaw into a precisely drilled hole. Your bone then heals tightly around this implant and the implant then serves as an anchor for your replacement tooth. The procedure to insert dental implants typically involve three steps: the implant insertion stage, osseointegration (the period of healing for the jawbone), and the attachment of the restoration or new tooth.

Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth. Implant supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants are a proven restorative option with a long clinical history. Dental implants preserve the integrity of your facial structure and reduce the inconvenience associated with tooth loss.

Complications of dental implant surgery

As with any cosmetic surgery, complications are rare, but can include infection, damage to nerves, and mild discomfort. Although very unlikely, infection of the gums or jawbone is a possibility and is treated through medication and/or antibiotics. Surgery to the upper or lower jawbone can result in mild nerve damage. Nerve damage typically subsides in several weeks, but can persist for longer periods of time. As the jawbone heals, patients may experience some discomfort, which can be tempered through medication. Discomfort usually subsides within 7 to 10 days.

How to take care of your dental implants

Although patients should always practice proper dental hygiene, this is especially true once a dental implant has been put into place. When teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, bacteria can attack sensitive areas, causing the gums to swell and the jawbone to gradually recede. Enough recession of the jawbone can weaken dental implants and eventually necessitate their removal. Patients should visit their dentist's office at least twice a year in order to insure the health of your teeth and your implant. Following an implant operation, smoking should be avoided, as it impairs the gum and jawbone's ability to heal. Given the proper care, dental implants should last 25 years or longer.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants varies between clinics and surgeons and the country in which you have the treatments. In the Uk a complete implant with abutment and crown would typically cost in the region of £2000 per implant.