This may come as a surprise but dental implants are not a new phenomenon. Even in ancient times, the Mayan civilization understood the importance of replacing missing teeth. There’s evidence of a Mayan woman who had shells hammered into her jaw, in place of teeth from 600 AD.
How far their knowledge extended is unknown. For instance, did they know that they need to replace missing teeth to help them eat and speak, or did they also realise that providing tooth replacements is a great way to keep your jawbone healthy and prevent you from ageing prematurely? We just don’t know.
However, there are plenty of questions to which we do know the answer, so we’re going to attempt to answer some of your most common questions about the dental implants we provide here, from our Maidstone practice.
What are dental implants?
Consisting of two parts; a titanium root and a natural looking crown, dental implants are permanent replacement teeth that are fitted securely into the jawbone. They will restore your smile, as well as help you eat, speak and prevent your jawbone from atrophy.
Can anyone have dental implants?
In order to have a dental implant fitted, your jawbone must be of a decent enough quality. There needs to be enough bone in the mouth to avoid bone grafting preparation work before the implant is fitted. The sooner you visit us here in Maidstone after you have suffered tooth loss, the more likely it is that your treatment will be minimally invasive. When you visit us for your consultation, we’ll be able to give you a better answer about how much work needs to be done in order for a dental implant to be fitted successfully.
What is the fitting procedure?
The first stage of the procedure is placing the root of the implant into the gum. Then, not only does the gum need to heal, but the implant needs to fuse with the jawbone to provide a firm anchor. A temporary crown will be added to the top of the implant on the day you have it fitted, but you’ll have to wait until osseointegration has taken place before you can have your permanent crown.
How long will the procedure take?
How long the procedure takes will depend on whether or not bone grafting is required. If it’s not necessary, then it should only take 1 to 2 hours.
A dental implant can give you more confidence in your smile, and even be used to anchor dentures in place. To find out more, please get in touch with our dental practice here in Maidstone.