The discovery that titanium, under certain conditions, will fuse and bond to living bone has revolutionised dentistry. We can now predictably replace missing single teeth, just a few teeth or an entire set of teeth with dental implants and implant supported crowns and bridges.
I became involved in implant dentistry in 1984 and I have now placed and restored thousands and thousands of implants over the past twenty-five years. This vast depth of experience allows me to give you a very accurate indication of what can (or cannot) be done for you and what sort of outcome you can expect.
Implant dentistry was pioneered in Sweden where the protocol was for an oral surgeon or periodontist to place the dental implant(s) and later, a restorative dentist would restore the implant(s). This always struck me as unnecessarily complicated because the patient needs to see two dentists to have their treatment completed! So from the outset, I have mostly carried out both the surgery and the final prosthetic phases of treatment.
As implant dentistry has become more common place, some restorative dentists have undertaken training in the prosthetic phase of implant treatment (making the teeth) and so I am happy to carry out just the surgical phase of treatment, should you and your dentist prefer this option.
The placement of the dental implant(s) is mostly done under intravenous sedation which takes all the anxiety out of the surgery. A few quiet days are required to recover and the implant(s) are then allowed to heal and bond to the bone for a few months. Once the healing period is over, the prosthetic phase of treatment can be completed.
This is not really the forum to give you a detailed account of exactly what is involved in replacing a tooth or teeth – all of that is covered at your initial consultation, during which I will discuss all of your treatment options. The consultation is followed up by a very detailed letter which gives information about the proposed treatment plan, complications and benefits, costs and on-going maintenance requirements.
An OPG X-ray will be required at the initial consultation to give me a general overview of your mouth.