Single Dental Implants

Teeth are lost for a number of reasons, whether it’s accidental, due to aging or because proper oral hygiene hasn’t been maintained over the years. Whatever the reason, here at our Edinburgh practice, our highly skilled dentists and friendly team are on hand to provide you with replacement teeth and a brand new smile.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is comprised of a small, titanium rod, with an abutment attached to the end in order for the restoration to be securely fixed. Simply put, a dental implant is a permanent restoration, which is designed to replace any missing teeth and improve the mouth’s overall functionality.

The rods are directly inserted into the jawbone through the gums and left to heal for a period of around 6 months. During this time the implant is left to merge with the jawbone in a process known as ‘osseointegration’.

Implants are great as only one may be required to hold a bridge or denture in place, therefore replacing several teeth at once. Generally, single dental implants are used to replace one missing tooth, with a crown used as the typical restoration.

What is the process?

Typically, the whole process takes around 5-6 months but this is entirely dependent upon the patient’s health status. Some cases have been known to take around a year.

The dental implant process is as follows:

  • During the first procedure, the patient is provided with a general anaesthetic in order to completely numb the area and ensure discomfort is kept to a minimum.
  • A small incision is placed into the gums, in which the titanium rod is directly inserted into the jawbone.
  • A temporary crown or denture is fitted.
  • The area is then stitched up and left to heal for around 4-6 months.
  • Following this, the abutment is attached to the rod, following another small incision.
  • The permanent restoration is finally fitted.

Am I suitable for a single dental implant?

Dental implants are typically suited to those with one or more missing teeth, denture wearers and for those with good tissue and bone quality. The procedure can be carried out on any age, providing that the jawbone is fully developed. Overall, most healthy patients are suitable candidates.

Dental implants are typically unsuitable for:

  • Heavy smokers
  • Periodontal disease sufferers
  • Bruxism sufferers
  • Regular alcohol consumers

It is essential that whoever opts for dental implants are fully aware of the potential risks and maintain a good oral care regime, particularly during the healing process. It is important to note that those with limited bone structure will either be referred to a bone grafting specialist or recommended another form of treatment altogether.

Our dentists will advise you on your suitability for our single dental implants. Unsuitable candidates will be recommended another form of treatment such as a dental bridge or dentures.

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