Dental implants are extremely realistic, permanent replacements for one or more missing teeth. They look and feel very natural, and enable you to eat and speak with confidence, as well as improving the way your smile looks.
The implant itself is a small titanium rod, which is carefully and gently placed into your jawbone. Over time the bone and implant bond together, forming a strong and permanent base, very much like a false tooth root.
Implants can have crowns or bridges fitted on top, replacing one or more missing teeth. Patients with many missing teeth can be fitted with special dentures, held firmly in place by implants, thus making it much easier to eat and speak without embarrassment.
At The Harley Street Oral Reconstruction Centre, we offer a wide choice of implant treatments. These include the Teeth-in-an-Hour™ and Teeth in a Day™ and All on Four systems, all of which enable suitable patients to have their implants placed in just one appointment, and to eat with their new teeth later that same day.
We also offer guided implant surgery for more complex cases. This involves taking a CT Scan of your jaw area, with our in house Cone Beam CT scanner so we can ensure that before surgery you have adequate bone for an implant, and can plan the implant placement with incredible accuracy. Where there is inadequate bone our specialists are noted for their ability to regenerate the missing bone tissue using a variety of techniques (including bone grafting from other sites) when necessary.
In many cases it is possible to remove the tooth that is unsalvageable and, following thorough curettage and cleaning of the socket with a drill, create an osteotomy site that allows the implant to be placed directly. In some cases it is possible to allow the implant to emerge through the gum tissue on the same day in order to provide a temporary crown in a type of resin or composite material. Treatment can be carried out under local anaesthesia, sedation, or rarely under general anaesthetic depending on the complexity of the case.
Once the implant has fully integrated with the jaw bone over a few months an impression can be taken and the final crown can be constructed and fitted onto the implant.
In some instances, especially where grafting is necessary to build the jaw bone to the right shape, the implant is left beneath the gum and allowed to osseointegrate to the jawbone over a period of time. Once this is done the implant can be exposed, a healing abutment fitted, and a ceramic crown constructed and fitted onto the implant. This is either screwed or cemented down onto the implant. Sometimes it is advantageous to wear a temporary acrylic crown whilst the soft tissue moulds itself around the provisional crown.
The All On Four technique
The All On Four technique allows for the placement of four implants (but sometimes five or six are required) and for a bridge to be constructed and fitted on the same day as the implant placement.
This effectively allows the patient to leave the clinic with an implant restoration in their mouth. Cone beam CT scan imagery allows for three dimensional reconstruction of the jaw bone to be made on the computer and for virtual implants to be placed into that jaw bone. Soon after examining the patient a CT scan can be taken where it is needed for a rapid assessment to be made to allow the patient to know if they are a candidate for this technique.