What is a Dental Implant?

By September 25, 2016 No Comments

This basic question is asked a lot in our dental practice in Thamesmead, so what precisely is a dental implant and how can they help?

Implants are used for the replacement of missing teeth, they are either used to support the new teeth themselves which are permanently secured in your mouth, or the implants are used to support a removable denture.

Let’s first look at an implant itself to see what it is.

What is a dental implant made from?

The implants are normally made from medical grade titanium. This is an exceptionally strong metal and also extremely light, in fact if you hold an implant in your hand they often feel so light that they feel like plastic! Titanium is used for things like skid plates on formula one cars and other area where high strength and extreme lightness is required.

The amazing thing with titanium is that when it comes in to contact with air it forms a light oxide layer on the surface, the human body does not recognise this oxide layer as a foreign object and so does not reject it as you normally would expect.

In fact the opposite happens, the bone actually integrates with the titanium oxide in a process known as osseo-integration. This is one of the marvels of the human body and modern technology and shows how the 2 can work together in total harmony.

Most dental practices will X-ray the dental implant london after it has been placed to ensure that full osseo-integration has occured prior to the new teeth being fitted on top.

How is a dental implant made?

Implants are made on high tech CNC machines, they are milled from a solid bar of titanium to the most precise tolerances and measurements, literally down to 1000ths of a millimetre, here is a video of dental implants being produced, it starts in Swedish but then goes to English.

When you have seen the video above and see how intricate the manufacturing process is you can see why these dental implants are not cheap! Each implant is carefully checked to ensure that it meets the most exacting standards.

Each individual implant is also marked with a unique number that can be tracked throughout the process, a good dentist and dental technician will note this lot number during the manufacturing process to ensure that everything is traceable and recorded.

How do implants support new teeth?

A single tooth dental implant is fairly easy to grasp. The implant simply acts as a replacement root to support one single tooth, here is a diagram that shows a single tooth dental implant.

When dental implants london are used to support multiple teeth, for example 3 missing teeth in a row, then often they are used in a bridge formation with a dental implant at each end of the bridge.

This has the advantage that the cost is kept proportionately lower as there are only 2 implants that would need to be replaced.

How do implants support dentures?

When we are replacing more than a few teeth it does get a little more complicated to decide exactly how many dental implants are going to be required. If you would like a full set of permanantely fixed teeth then probably upwards of 4 dental implants would be required. There are techniques known as ‘All-on-4′ london where the full bridge is secured to just 4 implants. This technique takes lots of planning and not all dental practices offer this service for this reason.

If you only want to secure your existing or new denture then sometimes only 2 dental implants are required although the following image does show 4 being used.

This technique is also often known as denture stabilisation and can be done for new or existing dentures….read more

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London SmileCare

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The London Smile Care Dental Clinic
2 Upper Wimpole Street,
London W1G 6LD

Tel: 020 7486 4861
Fax: 020 7486 4862
Mob: 07950 784 855

About London Smile Care

We are proud to provide the widest possible choice of private dentistry to our clients including: General Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening, Dental Implants, Hygienist services / treating gum disease, Root Canal Treatments (Endodontics), Conventional and invisible Braces (Orthodontics), Occlusion / TMJ disorders, Sedation for the anxious patients

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