Four dental implant facts to get you started

Getting an extensive treatment like dental implants in Essex can be a big step for some people. You may feel a bit excited about the prospect of getting new teeth but also a little nervous about the procedure. At Crofts Dental Practice, we like to break things down for our patients in a way that makes the information flow manageable, non-technical and accessible to everyone. We can tailor the way we offer you the facts so that you feel comfortable going ahead and making decisions about your treatment.

Dental Implants in EssexWe share some of these facts with patients when they come to see us for dental implants because they highlight the benefits and offer some technical information to support your understanding of the treatment:

  • Dental implants are usually made from titanium – a complete dental implant consist of a prosthetic tooth, an abutment and a shaped metal post that sits in the jawbone. The latter is typically made from titanium because this metal has been shown to have unusual properties that allow it to integrate with the bone. This quality was discovered in 1941 by scientists called Bothe, Beaton and Davenport and later exploited to develop dental implants;
  • Dental implants can support more than one tooth – depending on the location of your missing teeth, you may only need a single implant to support multiple replacements. Teeth can be mounted on a bridge or denture which is then affixed to the implant. Some people have an entire set of teeth supported on just a few implants;
  • Dental implants do not stain or decay in the same way as natural teeth – this is great for the appearance of your smile but it does not mean you can be lax about dental hygiene! Dental implants rely on the surrounding gums and jawbone. If they are damaged or infected in any way, it can compromise the integrity of your dental implants;
  • Dental implants are quick to fit – the actual process of fitting implants is quicker than many people think. You can be in and out of our clinic in just a few hours. We talk to you about how long the healing process takes during your initial consultations with us.

The choices between replacement teeth

If you have lost most or all of your teeth, you are now faced with a choice.  You can opt for dentures, a tried and trusted and relatively inexpensive replacement method. Or you can go for something that is probably a complete unknown to you, dental implants.

In Essex, at Crofts Dental Practice, we know that it can take time to decide which is the right restoration method for you. There are important factors to weigh up, and we understand that you may wish to talk them over with us several times.

Dental Implants in EssexWe are happy to discuss the pros and cons of both treatments with you, with no pressure either way, so to get the ball rolling let’s look at what dental implants are and what they can offer.

Replacing the roots

The difference between dental implants and dentures hangs on the fact that dental implants replace the root of the tooth as well as the crown, whereas dentures rely on a good fit to the gum and jawbone for their stability.

Eating

Dental implants mesh with the bone over a period of weeks and become as firmly anchored as a natural tooth. This means you can eat whatever you like, including crunchy, chewy and sticky foods that are off the menu for denture wearers, which, at their best, only give about 25% of the chewing power of natural teeth.

Wobble

Dental implants, if well looked after, can last for the rest of your life and will never wobble around. Dentures can’t help but start to slide around because the gum recedes and the jawbone shrinks when there are no roots in it to stimulate cell renewal. This means having to use dental adhesives and getting the dentures relined every little while.

Jawbone shrinkage

As mentioned above, with no roots in it the jawbone starts to shrink. It doesn’t take long for people with no tooth roots to develop that pointy-chinned, sunken look characteristic of tooth loss and premature old age.

Cost benefit

Dental implants usually last for decades. Dentures need to be replaced every 7–10 years. Over time, they can end up costing about the same.

Solutions for missing teeth

If you have one or more missing teeth, you will know how this is detrimental to your appearance as well as making it harder to eat and speak. You may also have had to restrict yourself to a soft food diet. Not only do you miss out on your favourite foods but having a limited diet also affects your nutrition, gradually undermining your health over the years. Dentures can be unreliable or uncomfortable but there is a great alternative to removeable replacements. At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, dental implants have helped many of our patients improve their smile and enhance their quality of life.

Dental Implants in EssexHow do dental implants work?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots in the form of titanium screws which are set into the jaw during a minor operation. Titanium is well tolerated by the body and the bones and soft tissues of the jaw mesh around the implants, stabilising them into position. Dentures, crowns or replacement teeth are fixed to the implants, ensuring a secure, long-term restoration. Some people have been told that they cannot have dental implants due to lack of bone strength in the jaw but we can offer bone augmentation, sinus lifts or mini-implants so that dental implants can once again be an option. In straightforward cases, we can even fit your implants and replacement teeth in the same day.

Improving your health and looks in the future

With dental implant treatment you will be able to eat normally which improves your diet. Implant also strengthen the structure of your jaw. When you have missing teeth, the jawbone gradually deteriorates. This leads to weakness which destabilises your remaining teeth, as well as an aged appearance. Dental implants stimulate the jaw when you eat in the same way as a natural tooth root. This keeps the bones and blood vessels healthy, ensuring long-term strength. A further benefit of having dental implants is that they support the lips and cheeks, avoiding the sag and droop which can occur when there are gaps.

Dental implants are a long-term investment in your health and appearance. To find out how we can help and why we are so proud of our service, do get in touch with our experienced team today.

Once they’re in, they’re in

If you have reached an age where you are thinking about replacing some of your teeth, you may be wondering which dental restoration avenue to go down. Or, you may have had teeth extracted or knocked out in an accident, and be facing the same choice, only at a younger age.

You may not know it, but over the last 30 years there has been a revolution under way in terms of ways to replace teeth. Up until the 1980s, dentistry generally offered 2 options: you could go for the full or partial denture, or you could opt for the fixed bridge. Then, dental implants started to be offered by dentists. At first, they were prohibitively expensive for most people, and others didn’t have strong enough jawbones for them.

Dental Implants in EssexBut, in the last 10 years or so, dental implants in Essex have moved from being something hard to find that you’d probably have to be referred for to something that many dentists offer and is also most people’s first choice when it comes to replacing lost teeth.

Why choose dental implants?

The great thing about dental implants is that no one can tell you’ve got them. Unlike most other tooth restoration methods, these little gems of modern dentistry integrate with the rest of your mouth. They don’t start wobbling around after a few years. They don’t have to be taken out at night and soaked in a glass of water, and they don’t require adhesive to hold them in place. And best of all, they don’t ever need replacing. Once they’re in, they’re in.

At Crofts Dental Practice, we offer a free consultation so that you can find out if dental implants with us and our implant surgeons is the right course of treatment for you.

If they are, all it takes is half a day of oral surgery under local anaesthetic to insert the implants into artificial sockets drilled into the jawbone. After several weeks of healing, during which the titanium posts mesh with the jawbone, the artificial crowns, custom-made to blend with your natural teeth, are fitted. One implant can support up to 3 teeth. Or a whole arch of teeth on a denture can be supported by just a few strategically placed implants.

Understanding the health benefits of dental implants

If you have lost one or several teeth due to injury or disease but you’d rather not replace them with a bridge or dentures, you may consider asking your dentist whether you would be eligible for dental implants. Dental implants, our treatment of choice for tooth replacement at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, can replace your natural tooth roots permanently without causing any damage to your healthy teeth.

Unlike dentures (full or partial), dental implants provide a more natural tooth replacement option since they are integrated into the jawbone through surgery and become an organic part of the mouth. Dentures, on the other hand, simply sit on the gums and do not prevent gum recession, which is a side effect of tooth loss. As a result, dentures tend to become loose over time and require replacement.

Dental Implants in EssexBridges, another popular tooth replacement method, are also inferior to dental implants. While in the past, a bridge was the only choice available for a few missing teeth, nowadays, dental implants are stronger and permanent. Unlike bridges that require the removal of the enamel of adjacent teeth in order to remain stable, dental implants are integrated into the bone tissue, protecting the rest of your teeth.

Another important health benefit of dental implants is that they protect your oral health. If you have already lost one or more teeth, you probably don’t want to lose anymore. By integrating into the jawbone, dental implants help to keep the rest of your natural teeth in good shape. This because they prevent your natural teeth from shifting into the gaps created by your missing teeth.

Ultimately, dental implants are very important because unlike any other tooth replacement method, they help prevent bone loss. Missing teeth can cause the deterioration of the jawbone in the long run, resulting in bone loss and a ‘sunken’ look. Reduced jawbone density from gaps in your teeth will also leave you susceptible to other health problems, including infections and gum disease. Dental implants replace your natural tooth roots and help preserve your bone tissue facial structure. Surprisingly, dental implants will even encourage the growth of new bone tissue, which will help keep your teeth properly aligned and healthy.

A guide to dental implants

Dental implants are an increasingly popular way of replacing missing teeth. At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex we offer a range of implant treatment options, designed to replace anything from one to all of your natural teeth. We can also offer additional procedures to help people who have already experienced bone loss, with the help of a sinus lift or bone graft.

dental-implant-essexHow dental implants work

Dental implants are the only way to replace the root portions of missing teeth. Whilst not visible in everyday life, the roots of the teeth are just as important as the crowns. As well as keeping the teeth in the mouth, they are vital to preserving the health and vitality of the jaw bone.

When several or all of the tooth roots are missing in one or both jaws, the bone will start to resorb or degenerate. This not only makes dentures loose and means dental implant treatment in the future will be more complex (although still possible) but can also alter the structure of your face and make you look old before your time.

A dental implant is a titanium tooth root that is placed directly in your jaw bone during minor oral surgery, which most people at our Essex dental clinic only require local anaesthetic for. As soon as the implants are in place, a process called osseointegration begins, which sees the implants integrate with the jaw bone.

Osseointegration takes a few months to complete, and ensures that your jaw bone is kept healthy and strong as well as making sure your new teeth stay where they should. During this healing period, your dentist may fit temporary teeth; alternatively, you might be able to continue wearing your old denture after adjustment.

Once integration is complete, you will be called back to our Essex dental clinic to have your permanent new teeth fitted. This may be a single crown to replace one missing tooth, a bridge or a denture to replace several of all of your teeth.

Whichever option is used, you will soon be enjoying all the benefits and functionality of a second set of healthy adult teeth. This includes being able to eat what you like, and speaking and smiling with renewed confidence – and no danger of loose dentures putting a dampener on things.

Could dental implants be the ideal solution to your tooth loss?

Dental implants are the only permanent way a dentist can replace missing natural teeth. Replacing teeth is important for both your dental and general health; even one lost tooth can make dental hygiene harder to maintain as other teeth move into the gap, getting twisted or crooked in the process. Several or all teeth missing will negatively affect your diet, your speech, and your confidence.

Crofts Dental Practice in Essex offers a number of implant solutions, designed to replace one, some, or all of your natural teeth. We believe that dental implants are, more often than not, the perfect solution to tooth loss, because as well as keeping your new teeth secure in your jaw, they also prevent the problem of bone loss.

dental-implants-essexBone loss is a common side-effect of losing several teeth. It happens because when the tooth roots are missing the jaw bone starts to resorb. This is the primary reason traditional dentures become loose, because the changing structure of the jaw bone alters the fit of your dentures.

Badly-fitting dentures can affect your diet, often restricting you to soft foods or liquids, can alter your speech and make it difficult to speak clearly, and can shatter your confidence.

Dental implants replace the root portions of lost teeth and prevent all of these problems. They are small titanium screws that are placed in the jaw bone during minor oral surgery, which most people at our Essex dental clinic only require local anaesthetic for, as it is generally considered more bearable than having a tooth extracted.

As soon as they are in place, dental implants start to integrate with the jaw bone. This takes a few months and will provide support for a crown, bridge, or denture that is akin to that of a natural tooth root, meaning your new teeth will both look and act just like the real thing.

Bone loss

Dental implants prevent bone loss, but at our Essex clinic we are able to help people who have already experienced a loss of bone density. An additional procedure – either a bone graft or a sinus lift –can be carried out prior to implant placement.