Dental implants can be used to replace one, some, or even all of your natural teeth. In the case of multiple teeth, your dentist may use a bridge, a denture, or separate crowns in conjunction with dental implants, depending on your clinical need, the number and location of teeth that need replacing.
Our teeth comprise roots and crowns, and most tooth replacement options – such as a traditional bridge – only replace the crown part. Dental implants are different. Made from titanium, implants are artificial tooth roots, which are placed directly in your jaw bone in a small operation here at our Cleckheaton practice.
Once in position, the implants integrate with your jaw bone, providing a firm anchor on to which your replacement teeth can be attached, as well as helping to prevent the problem of bone loss, which is a common side-effect of having missing teeth.
The good news is, in the case of multiple missing teeth, you often won't need as many implants as new teeth. One implant can usually support several teeth, in the form of a bridge or denture, and careful planning will be undertaken prior to surgery to ensure your implants can withstand the forces generated by biting and chewing food.
Every patient's requirements will be unique, so when you come for your initial implant consultation with our implant surgeon, Dr Chris Woods, he will carefully examine you, taking scans and x-rays as necessary to aid with planning and placement, and will then provide you with a personalised treatment plan.
In most cases, your implants will be left to heal for a couple of months before your permanent new teeth are attached. Your dentist may fit temporary teeth during this time, so you don't have to worry that you will be left toothless.
To find out about how long dental implant treatment takes, click here.