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Dental Implants

Dental Implants – a safe way of replacing missing teeth.

The use of dental implants (osseointegrated implants) is now widely regarded as a safe and predictable way of replacing missing teeth. The implants themselves can be considered substitutes for the roots of natural teeth. They are made from titanium, or titanium alloys.

At North Berwick Dental Centre dental implants are placed by Keith Thomson and Crawford Elrick. They have both undertaken training in both the surgical and restorative aspects of dental implant treatments..

Ways in which dental implants can help you

  • They can be used to provide an artificial root to support a new crown for a single missing tooth.
  • Where more teeth are missing and there is a larger space to fill implants can be used to provide the necessary support for a bridge. In some circumstances implant-supported bridgework can be used to replace all of the missing teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. This provides the closest replacement to having natural teeth when all of the patients own teeth have been lost.
  • When all the teeth are absent implants can be placed to help anchor the dentures, making them more secure. This can be especially advantageous for lower dentures which are generally less stable than upper dentures.

Market leading implants

At North Berwick Dental Centre we use market leading Nobel Biocare implants and components. This system is backed up by many years or successful placement and clinical trials.

Before an implant can be considered, investigations will be carried out primarily with dental radiographs, to determine if enough bone is present to allow an implant to be placed. A thorough medical history would also be recorded to exclude any conditions which would mean implant treatments may not be suitable.

Once it has been established that an implant is possible the next stage is implant surgery. This is a minor operation where a hole is carefully drilled in the bone, matching to the size of the implant to be placed. This is carried out under local anaesthetic.

Healing and recovery

A period of healing then follows – generally four months in the upper jaw and three months in the lower jaw. This time allows for the gums and bone to heal and for new bone to grow around the implant locking it securely in place. This is termed “osseointegration” meaning the implant integrating with the bone.

Following healing the new restorations can be secured to the implant(s), be it a single crown, full arch bridgework, or providing support for single crown, bridge full arch restoration providing support for full dentures.

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