What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium replacement tooth roots, which are inserted gently into the jaw bone and support a replacement ceramic implant crown or implant bridge. Unlike dentures they don't move around, and they are more popular today than tooth-supported bridgework, because they do not rely on adjacent teeth for support.
Implants have been around for a number of decades and millions of implants have been placed successfully world wide. It takes years of experience for a dentist to become highly proficient at placing dental implants. Increasingly sophisticated technology has allowed dental implants to be placed faster, more comfortably and more precisiely than ever before using technology such as CT scans, navigated surgery and guided surgery technqiues.
Our implant dentists will plan the position of your dental implants virtually before surgery using sophisticated 3D modelling software and the data from CT scans and optical scans of your teeth and gums.
When one tooth is missing this is replaced with a single-tooth dental implant. One dental implant body supports a dental implant crown made from ceramic which mimics the appearance of the natural tooth.
When several teeth are missing together, these can be replaced using two or more dental implant bodies supporting an implant bridge which has three or more ceramic implant teeth joined together in a bridge. The numebr of implant needed to support a bridge depends on the position in the mouth and the amount of biting force expected to load the impalnts. Higher bite forces are found at the back of the mouth than at the front, so more implants may be needed to replace the larger back molar teeth than the smaller front incisor teeth.
Full Mouth Implants
A full set of implant teeth can be placed for someone who already has dentures, or if the remaining natural teeth are failing. A full arch dental implant bridge supported by between four and seven implants is often used in these cases. The implants if strategically positioned are capable of supporting a full upper or lower implant bridge with between twelve to fourteen teeth.
What is Guided Surgery?
Guided surgery uses 3D imaging techniques such as a CT scan and mouth scan to produce a virtual model of a patients mouth on a computer. Sophisticated 3D implant planning software is then used to virtually place dental implants on the computer model, and then a 3D printed surgical template is produced and used during the implant placement procedure to very precisly position the dental implants in the planned positions. This allows surgeons to achieve accuracies of within fractions of a millimetre.