Have you thought about getting an implant? Dental implants in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire dental implants have become a more common form of cosmetic and restorative dentistry. So, you might wonder with many local clinics now providing implants, what actually are they and how do they work?

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An implant is a small rigid titanium rod which acts as an artificial root that is strongly fused with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This fixes it firmly in place and allows it to support a prosthetic tooth.

Once the procedure is completed, the attached prosthetic is often indistinguishable from the patient’s natural teeth. This is partially due to colour matching of both the enamel shade and translucency in the prosthetic tooth. It is also due to its extreme firmness, which stops prosthetic teeth from moving in the same manner as a normal denture or bridge, which can affect the way you eat and talk. Implants also have similar care requirements as your natural teeth; they are cleaned by brushing alone and require check-ups every six months. Some of our patients end up forgetting which of their teeth are implants due to their ease of use!

How can dental implantation is carried out

Before any surgical intervention can take place, a thorough check-up is required. This will involve an examination, as well as a set of X-rays being taken to examine the suitability of the jawbone and likelihood of successful implantation. At this point,your general health and medical history has to be discussed, as well as any medication you may currently be prescribed.

There are several conditions which would make dental implants inappropriate or require alterations from the standard implant model we use. These include blood clotting disorders and infectious diseases, prescription medication like warfarin, chemotherapy used to treat cancers or similar medications used to alter immune responses.

If you are suitable for Hertfordshire dental implants, the procedure is carried out in two stages; the first involves the implantation of the titanium peg into the jawbone. To do this, the gum is opened and held apart exposing the jawbone. If there is a vacant socket, the titanium implant will be placed in this socket; if the tooth being replaced was lost many years ago the socket will be closed, requiring a new one to be drilled. When the titanium peg is in place, the gum is closed and stitched, which stops the titanium peg from being disturbed during the osseointegration process. As new bone grows around the peg it is fixed in place, which takes approximately 4 months based on general health. Only when the titanium peg is fully integrated will our dentist attach the prosthetic to the implant, which is known as loading.

The prosthetic tooth is held in place on top of the titanium implant by a connector. These have a semi-permanent lock which keeps the tooth firmly in place, but allows the dentist to remove a prosthetic tooth if it was to ever become damaged without performing an extraction on the titanium implant.

Any Hertfordshire dental implants fitting requires additional training beyond the standard dental degree. We have a local implant specialist who will be happy to talk you through the procedure if you have any further questions and can provide portfolio examples of previous implantations that they have performed.