Assessing the suitability of dental implants for you
Your first step is to book a consultation us during which we will examine your mouth and discuss your dental and general health. We explain the dental implant procedure, review any medications that could affect healing after surgery, and gather your medical history giving consideration to how it could affect treatment. At all times, your safety and wellbeing remains our highest priority. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask any questions about the treatment.
The next step is to take digital dental x-rays, impressions and a cone beam CT scan. Your CT scan allows us to identify the exact location of all the important structures in your jaws and what to avoid during surgery. It will also show the quantity and quality of healthy bone available for your implant surgery. This scan is particularly important, providing 3D images of your mouth that are used to plan computer guided implant surgery.
In some circumstances it may be necessary to perform a bone graft if there is insufficient bone to support a dental implant. Our dentists perform this procedure routinely and will support you through the process if you require a bone graft.
Preparing for the implant
Using computer guided implant surgery, we will plan exactly where to place each dental implant, making sure your treatment results in teeth that look and feel natural and which are fully functional.
Once surgery is planned, a surgical stent or guide is made utilising this information. A surgical guide is a sophisticated template that will be used during surgery, ensuring your implants are inserted into their preplanned positions. This helps surgery smoother, quicker and ultimately more successful.
Placing the implant
A dental implant is commonly composed of a titanium material screw and a crown. To allow the implant to be anchored to the bone, a small-diameter hole (pilot hole) is drilled to guide the titanium screw that holds a dental implant in place.
After the initial pilot hole has been drilled into the appropriate location, it is widened to allow for placement of the implant screw. Following this placement, a protective cover screw is placed on top to allow the implant site to heal and the dental implant to anchor (osseointegration).
After several months, the protective cover is removed and a temporary crown is placed on top of the dental implant. The temporary crown serves as a template around which the gum grows and shapes itself in a natural way. The process is completed when the temporary crown is replaced with a permanent crown.