When a tooth is lost, there is considerable changes in the function and aesthetics of the mouth. Eating may become more difficult and the smile can be negatively affected if a front tooth is lost. A missing tooth can be replaced with dental implants which acts like an artificial root to support the new crown of the tooth. A thorough 3D examination of the jaw structures allows accurate placement of the dental implant into the jaw bone during a minimally invasive surgical procedure. This is mostly painless and healing is straightforward. The implant is then left alone to heal and integrate into the jaw bone, this normally takes around 3-4 months. Once the bone has grown and healed around the implant, a custom-made crown is then designed and fitted onto the implant to restore function and aesthetics to the smile.
In some cases where resorption of the bone has occurred after extraction, bone regeneration may be required to redevelop the site. This will increase treatment time and cost but will allow the implant to be placed optimally for good long-term success. It is also crucial that the mouth remains decay and gum-disease free to ensure the greatest chance of integration. Clinical trials have shown an exceptionally high success rate for dental implants and usually have a life long integration into the jaw bone. However, individual factors such as diet, oral health and smoking can affect their longevity.