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Dental Implants have revolutionised dental rehabilitation and aesthetics. The fundamental concept is the placement of osseointegrated metal fixtures into the jaw bones. When these integrate with the jaw bone after a period of time, a prosthetic fixture is placed onto the implant so as to make it, if possible, indistinguishable from a normal tooth.
There are several ways to replace teeth, ranging from dentures to crowns and bridges or, alternatively, implants. The circumstances vary according to patients' individual needs and we would need to assess these in a consultation.
Who needs Dental Implants?
Functional Rehabilitation of the mouth, teeth and bite
Teeth can be lost from disease processes or trauma. The major advantages of osseointegrated implants are many. They are part of the patient's jaws because the implant integrates to the bone solidly. When teeth are lost, with time, the supporting bone in the jaws is also lost. Therefore if a bridge is made to 'bridge' the gap with a dummy tooth, or a denture, the underlying bone is lost in time. This loss of bone leads to weakening of the jaw bones with possible future easy fracturing. The placement of implants retards and even halts this process. Often in order to be able to place implants we need to augment the amount of bone you have previously lost and this is done with state of the art bone grafting and sinus lift techniques that would be discussed with you.
Cosmetic Dental and Facial Rejuvenation
The loss of facial bone volume as a result of tooth loss, leads to a poor muscle and skin support of the face resulting in sagging and premature ageing of the face. Placement of implants on the other hand allows the body to maintain the bone volume and retard these ageing processes to their physiologically normal rates. We can in addition rejuvenate the face further after dental implant treatment by removing some of the signs of ageing with botulinum (Botox) and collagen injections in appropriate places, or carry out surgery such as rhytidectomy (face lift), blepharoplasty (skin around the eyes) or other facial surgical procedures to enhance the face, if this is requested.
Is there an age limit to Dental Implants?
There is no upper age limit. It is unusual to place them in people that are still growing in height, but there may be exceptions and these have to be individually evaluated by us.
What is the patient journey with Dental Implants?
A consultation is needed to discuss your needs. If after our discussion, and a preliminary examination, you feel you would like to proceed, we would need to see you again to take records: Dental impressions, photographs, X-Rays and measurements. You will then be sent a formal Treatment Plan detailing what is ideally required to rehabilitate you, but also informing you of alternatives. We would, unless you object, send the plan to your general dental and general medical practitioner to keep them informed of developments. The Treatment Plan will also detail step by step prices for what you may undergo. If you agree with the treatment plan, you confirm your acceptance and post it back to us. An appointment is then made at one of the listed hospitals in North or Central London to proceed with treatment. The number of appointments varies depending upon what is done, but the individual treatment plan will usually detail this.
We do not offer dental services per se and we do not take on patients for dental treatment other than that which is directly related to the implants. All patients are returned to their family dentist.