If you’re looking for the most enduring solution to tooth loss, you won’t find a better tooth replacement treatment than dental implants.
Below, we’re exploring the characteristics that place implants in a league of their own, and discussing whether or not they can be a permanent solution to tooth loss.
Are dental implants really considered to be permanent?
Like real teeth, dental implants are still vulnerable, most notably to a condition called peri-implantitis. This condition is characterised as an infection around the gum area. This is when plaque and bacteria coat the implant’s surface and find their way under the gum line.
If treatment is not given, bone loss can occur, causing the implant to fail.
The good news is that by practicing good oral hygiene, you can avoid the risk of implant failure. Committing to healthy dietary and lifestyle habits are also necessary for ensuring your implant stands the test of time. If you’re a smoker, this can significantly increase the possibility of implant failure, since it inhibits the blood flow to the gums. Even if you don’t suffer implant failure during the healing process, inflammation and infection can occur post-treatment as a result of smoking.
If you’re a smoker and you would like to quit, we can support you with this.
How are implants so durable?
Implants are pretty amazing – they offer patients a solution for missing teeth, without the need for repeat surgery in the future, as long as they are well cared for.
Whilst the restoration that fits over an implant is likely to need replacing after 10-15 years, the implant itself can remain healthy for much longer.
But how is this possible?
Implants are made of titanium, that was first discovered as being incredibly biocompatible back in the 1950s. When the titanium implant is surgically inserted into the jaw, the jaw believes it to be a real body part and begins to grow around it. The presence of the implant induces the body’s healing response and over the course of 3-6 months, the implant becomes like a natural part of the body.
Unlike sharks, which can produce up to 100,000 teeth in their lifetimes, humans do not have the restorative powers to replace failing teeth with new teeth organically. Dental implants provide the best answer to tooth loss in humans, as they act in an identical way to real teeth.
Why are implants favourable to removable restorations?
As we’ve explained, implants become a permanent entity in the body once the healing process has taken place. The advantage of having a treatment that marries together a replacement tooth root and your jawbone is that your jawbone no longer believes itself to be obsolete.
When you lose a tooth and you replace it with a set of dentures, a bridge or crown, (which do not replace the root of a lost tooth), the jawbone shrinks away, causing problems such as jaw pain, increased susceptibility to fractures and physical changes to your cheeks and jaw line.
Implants provide the stimulation that the jaw bone needs to stay healthy, which can be likened to how muscles become less robust when you stop doing strength and conditioning-based exercise.
Should I get implant treatment abroad?
We strongly advise against having a treatment as involved as dental implants abroad for multiple reasons. These include:
Increased chance of implant failure
In countries including Turkey, Poland and Hungary (where dental treatment is cheaper than here in the U.K, cheaper and lower-quality materials are used) there’s an increased likelihood that your implant treatment will lead to implant failure. Poorly-fitting implants and the use of substandard materials could result in you needing to have treatment repeated once you get back to the U.K.
A dental infection could cause complications
The lower hygiene standards abroad could leave you suffering from a dental infection during the healing period.
Individuals who are living with cancer, diabetes or periodontitis (advanced gum disease) are more vulnerable to dental infections. Unfortunately, there have been reports of dental surgeons abroad proceeding with implant surgery in cases where vulnerable patients are not fit for treatment, increasing the likelihood of an infection occurring during the healing period.
Here at The Bristol Dental Practice, we will carry out an extensive investigation into your medical background, to ensure your immune response is fit enough to support the implant healing process. In healthy patients, the risk of infection is extremely low and as practices in the U.K are subject to the stringent rules set out by the GDC, hygiene standards within dental practices are impeccable.
Poor treatment planning
Meticulous planning is what underpins successful dental implant treatment. The use of state-of-the-art technology is required to identify the optimal site at which to place the implant in your jaw. Abroad, your dentist may not take the time to calculate the most favourable position for your implant, rushing your treatment and making it more likely for the implant to fail in the long-term.
Choosing a reputable implant dentist in the U.K will ensure your implant has the potential to be a permanent entity in your body.
Contact The Bristol Dental Practice for safe and high-quality solutions for tooth loss
No one should have to live with the struggles that accompany missing teeth. The earlier you address the issue of tooth loss, the sooner you can enjoy everyday freedoms like eating and speaking normally, which it’s easy to take for granted before you start to lose teeth.
Contact us to find out more to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced implant dentists here in Bristol, and get your smile back to 100%.