Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

Dental implants are titanium devices which are surgically implanted into the upper or lower jaws by the dental surgeon. Although this sounds like it might be an unpleasant experience, most cases require a small dose of local anaethetic and the patient will be able to leave the surgery with minimal discomfort. However, the larger cases might require general anaesthetic and a few days of recovery. Guidance will be given by your BridgePoint team. An appropriate treatment plan will be given to each patient as amounts of implants used and the type of surgery require practically vary with every case.

Dental implants are strong and stable and should provide a sturdy base for any prosthetic teeth which will last for many years. Maintenance involves good hygiene from the patient’s side and a 6 monthly check-up and cleaning at the dental surgery. Occasionally, due to wear and tear on certain parts of the system, certain items might need to be replaced, or in the case of screws, tightened.

We make use of Straumann implant systems and more recently the technically acclaimed Ospol implant system from Sweden.

Reasons for dental implants:

Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patientís confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.

What does getting dental implants involve?

The process starts with an initial visit where the patient puts forward his or her wishes or requirements. Usually, even from a quick examination, an initial treatment plan can be made and an approximate indication of treatment cost is given to the patient. Further investigations include study moulds of the top and lower jaws and an OPG X-Ray. The situation can then be studied while the patient is away from the surgery.

After the initial process, a more complete treatment plan is prepared and an accurate indication of costs is given to the patient. Occasionally a CT scan is required which will give a better indication of the distribution of bone availability to the dental surgeon.

Implants can be placed under local or general anaesthetic, as required by the situation or at times it might be just following a patient’s wishes as not everyone has the same preferences. The time required depends on the amount of work necessary. A single implant can take just 20 minutes from start to finish.

Following a few weeks of healing, further impressions are taken and the technical process commences. This can be completed in a short amount of time.

Certain implants can be loaded immediately, however BridgePoint always recommend that waiting for proper healing is always preferable and safer. This does not mean that patients remain toothless during the healing period. Usually either an existing denture is altered to sit on the new implants or a new denture is made to provide necessary appearance and function to the patient. These are usually cushioned with a soft liner for more comfort.

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.