Dental Implants in Northern Ireland | OHagan and Murray | Newry
Whatever the reason for losing your teeth, they need to be replaced, for aesthetic and functional reasons. The most common treatments for missing teeth are either a denture or a fixed bridge.
However, dental implants are now becoming a more popular alternative to replace missing teeth, as they provide a long-term solution, slow down bone loss and preserve nearby healthy tooth tissue.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial replacement for the root portion of your natural tooth and is anchored into a pre-drilled socket in your jaw-bone. Implants are made from titanium, a material that is well tolerated by bone and integrates easily with bone tissue.
During the placement of a dental implant, the aim is to achieve a close contact between the outer surface of the implant and the surrounding bone tissue so they can "fuse" together (osseointegration), creating a stable support for the new teeth.
How is a dental implant fitted?
Before any implants are placed, it is important to assess the health of your teeth and gums. If there are any signs of gum disease or decay, these must first be treated.
Your treatment will be planned following several x-rays and, in some cases, a CT scan to assess the bone quality.
The gum where the implant is to be placed is cut, lifted and a small hole is drilled in the jawbone at the precise location of the intended implant. The titanium implant is tightly fitted into this socket and the gum is stitched back over.
Once the implant has been placed, it is left to heal and integrate with the jawbone for between six weeks to six months. The bone tissue will grow and anchor itself into the microscopic rough surface of the implant.
How many teeth can a dental implant support?
An implant placed into your bone supports a single crown and this is know as a "single tooth implant".
However, if you have several missing teeth, you do not necessarily need an implant for every missing tooth.
One implant can support several teeth via a bridge or denture. The number of implants required depends on the volume and density of bone tissue available at each implant site.