What is a Dental Implant?
Here at The Lytham Dental Clinic we provide securely fixed teeth that feel like your own. Life changing dental implants are now regarded as the most successful and trusted tooth replacement procedure available. They are made of titanium and have a tapered shape, and a specially treated surface: this allows them to be positioned with initial stability. Over a period of approximately three months the bone of the jaw forms an intimate bond with the specially treated surface of the implant, which secures the implant in place. This is called osseointegration and is the basis of all dental implant therapy. Once integrated, the implant can then form a stable and long-lasting foundation for the restoration of missing teeth in a variety of ways.
Why would dental implants be suitable for me?
They are a perfect option if you are suffering from:
- Gaps or missing teeth;
- Loose dentures which are driving you mad
Case Studies by © Dr Timothy Williams:
Q. Do I need a referral for my implants to be placed?
A. No. All our dental implants are placed in-house by our renowned specialist periodontist, and implantologist, Dr Jose Zurdo. Dr Zurdo, whose dental training is formally recognised by The General Dental Council, has successfully placed thousands of dental implants and has vast experience in this area. Indeed, Dr Zurdo is currently the Course Leader of the MSc in Clinical Periodontology, and Senior Lecturer in the MSc in Dental Implantology at the Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, University of Central Lancashire. So relax, you are in good hands. We firmly believe that the field of dental implantology is not one to be undertaken by a general dentist with minimal training, and with this in mind, we strongly feel that patients should not have dental implants placed by a dentist who only provides this important treatment on an occasional basis.
Q. What happens next?
A. All dental implants placed at The Lytham Dental Clinic are restored with teeth by Dr Williams, using a special attachment called an abutment, on to which is placed a conventional crown or bridge. The result is a beautiful looking fixed tooth (or teeth), akin to having a natural tooth put back in to the space where it was previously missing or lost.
Dental implants can be used to replace single or multiple teeth, and also have a fabulous use in the stabilisation of dentures: if you have full dentures that are troublesome and feel loose, implants placed to stabilise and enable amazing retention of your denture will literally change your life. The days of being able to eat anything that you always longed to will once again return!
Q. What kind of implants do you use?
A. Here at The Lytham Dental Clinic, we offer you AstraTech® Dental implants, one of the best documented implant systems in the world. There are cheaper implants available, often manufactured in the Far East that are used by a number of other dentists, but after the recent PIP breast implant scandal, we feel that the quality of fixtures is all important.
Q. Does it hurt?
A. Dental implants are performed painlessly under a simple local anaesthetic. Most dental implants are a very routine procedure. We provide you with a post treatment advice sheet where the dentist suggests painkillers for a few days in the unlikely event you have some discomfort, but generally healing is quick and painless.
Q. Will I have a gap whilst waiting for my implant to heal?
A. If the teeth being replaced by dental implants are in a clearly visible part of your mouth, we can arrange for you to have a temporary bridge or temporary denture. This will also assist us in maintaining a space for the restoration phase where we attach a crown or a bridge to the implant.
Q. How long do dental implants last?
A. Once the implants and surrounding soft tissues are seen to be healthy and the new teeth comfortable and correctly adjusted, it is the quality of your home care and willingness to present for regular maintenance reviews with your dentist and hygienist that will assist in the longevity of your dental implants. Just like your natural teeth, implants require regular care and attention.
Well maintained implants placed into adequate bone can be expected to last for many years and possibly for your lifetime. However, just as you would expect conventional crowns, bridges and fillings to need occasional repairs or replacements during their lifetime, your implant-supported teeth may also have similar maintenance requirements over theirs.
Q. Are there any alternatives to dental implants?
A. Other options for replacing your missing or damaged teeth are partial or full dentures, or bridges. Partial dentures or a bridge can be easily anchored to your natural teeth. Full dentures can also be worn long-term by replacing and relining the dentures for healthy wear. All the options will be fully explained and offered to you at the initial consultation as we believe that communication is the key to a successful partnership.
Q. What is better, a bridge or a dental implant?
A. They each have advantages and disadvantages. Since any cosmetic or functional situation that involves a missing tooth presents its own challenges and circumstances, careful and well thought out treatment plans will give the best outcome. The advantage of an implant is that it will permanently replace a tooth since it is anchored in the bone, with a crown placed on top of it. A disadvantage of implants is that it can take up to 6 months to complete. Bridges are not anchored into the bone like implants are, instead they are anchored to adjacent teeth. This requires preparation of teeth for crowns. If you have teeth that do not have any fillings in them or they are minimally restored you might not want to put crowns on them for a bridge. In this case it would be better to have an implant. Conversely, if the anchor teeth are heavily filled or broken-down, a bridge may be the better option. Another advantage of having a bridge as opposed to an implant is that it is fairly quick and can be completed in a few short weeks. Bridges can be provided with an all porcelain system so that they can look beautiful. If the adjacent teeth are getting weak from poor bone support or excessively large fillings, having a bridge in place will give the teeth more support. Another disadvantage of having a bridge is that the teeth that are anchoring the bridge can no longer be flossed. An implant supported crown is a separate unit and is flossed like your own teeth.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. The cost of dental implants really depends on your individual needs, the type of treatments needed, and the materials used. At your initial appointment, we will discuss this with you and also provide you with a fully itemised treatment plan and estimate of costs. Whilst our fees reflect the quality and value of our work, you can rest assured that we are extremely competitive, and indeed our charges are considerably below comparable quality dentistry provided in larger cities. We will also provide you with payment plan options that can make dental implants affordable for you.