A dental implant is a tool that is used in partial or complete reconstruction of your dentition.
They can be used in several ways:
1. To replace a SINGLE TOOTH
- using a single implant with a crown .
2. To replace SEVERAL TEETH
- using two or three implants to hold a bridge replacing several teeth.
3. To STABILISE A LOWER DENTURE
- using 2 implants to clip in a lower denture to reduce movement or four implants to hold a denture completely firm without movement.
4. To STABILISE AN UPPER DENTURE
- using 4 or 6 implants to support an upper denture.
5. To REPLACE ALL TEETH
- using 6 or more implants per jaw to support a full-arch bridge or hybrid-bridge.
They can also used temporarily in orthodontics to assist with tooth movement by providing a solid anchor point for braces.
Implants are part of the solution. When a front tooth is missing the gum and bone are often missing as well. Sometimes an implant can still be provided without grafting procedures but the aesthetic result is compromised.
Bone grafts from the mouth
If a small amount of bone is required the bone is usually taken from another part of the mouth. This can easily be carried out in the surgery. This is either the back of the mouth (wisdom tooth area) or the chin. The donor site is selected depending on the shape of the bone needed and the amount available.
Bone grafts take in the region of 2-4 months to heal. Following the healing period implants can then be placed into the grafted site in the normal way.