What are implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws placed within the jaw bone to replace missing teeth.
To replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, a thorough examination of the bone and teeth around the missing tooth will have to be performed. An implant of the correct length and width will then be selected and surgically placed into the bone at a correct angulation. The gum and bone around the implant will then be allowed to heal for a short period of time to allow the implant to be accepted by your body.
Once the implant is firmly integrated into your bone, a crown can then be fabricated on top of the implant to replace the missing tooth.
Bone Grafting and Socket Preservation
After a tooth is extracted, the amount of bone surrounding the region where the tooth used to be will be reduced. This is because bone is naturally resorbed by the body when not in functional use.
Socket preservation is a procedure to reduce bone loss after tooth extraction. Artificial bone graft is packed into the socket immediately after extraction. This procedure has been proven to minimise bone loss and avoids the need for a bone graft surgery at a later time. It is advisable to obtain good advice before extracting your tooth.
Sometimes, the bone around teeth may have already been lost, leaving insufficient bone for implant placement. This may be due to the destruction of bone caused by gum (periodontal) disease, or a tooth that has a severe infection.
In these cases, a procedure known as bone grafting can be carried out. Artificial bone particles can be packed into the area and covered with a membrane to allow bone cells to populate the area to form bone.
The success of an implant depends on the quality and the quantity of your bone. Good bone quality allows implants to be firmly anchored for many years to come.