David Vivian works part time at Appletree Dental Practice providing implant services. His implant expertise stretches back over 20 years. He has a keen interest in full arch rehabilitation with immediate function.
David has extensive experience of the Novum, All On 4 and Nobel Guide Systems. He is experienced with intravenous sedation, block grafting, platelet rich plasma, sinus augmentation and guided tissue augmentation techniques.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small precision engineered screw which serves as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and a specially modified surface allows a bond (osseointegration) to form with the bone. This gives the same stable foundation as a natural tooth. After the implant is placed, usually some time elapses during healing. New teeth can now be connected to them, and the gum shaped to encourage the best desired cosmetic outcome.
What are the benefits?
Some people have difficulties with removable dentures. Implants can overcome the difficulties, in particular for eating and speaking properly and they may improve appearance. If a denture is necessary, implants can greatly improve stability. People will not be able to see that your teeth are supported by implants.
Implants can be used in place of bridges, for example when adjacent teeth are intact or may not be strong enough to support a bridge.
Are implants for me?
We will discuss with you whether implants would be right for you, and explain any associated risks.
Patients need to have healthy gums and enough jaw bone to take the implant, although techniques are available to add (graft) additional bone if needed.
Patients must be also prepared to maintain very good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly. Implants, like teeth may be lost if oral hygiene is poor.
Implant patients need to be in good general health. Some chronic disease, such as diabetes, osteoporosis or chronic sinus problems, could interfere with healing and make implants more likely to fail. Smoking may also shorten the lie of your implant.
Implants involve the treatment over a period of several months. Since they are a complicated for of treatment, implants can be expensive and are not generally available on the NHS.
Are implants painful?
Placing implants requires a small operation. This is carried out under local anaesthetic. Sedation is also available. The placement is therefore painless. After the operation some patients do experience minor discomfort. Pre and post operative medication and advice is given to aid a more comfortable recovery
What are the stages of having an implant?
- Initial consultation appointment will include diagnosis and treatment planning. This will involve looking at your whole mouth, and may include clinical pictures, radiographs and some study casts. A written assessment is then produced for you, a follow up appointment is then arranged, where this is discussed in more detail.
- After the implant(s) are placed they are allowed to heal from several weeks up to 6 months. Sometimes the teeth are connected onto them at this visit. Additionally there will be follow up appointments to remove sutures and check on progress
- After the implants have been left and a bond has formed with the bone, they are now uncovered and transitional restorations or a denture may be connected to them. This then allows aesthetics to be assessed before the final restorations are fitted onto them. It also allows the fit to be checked to alleviate any overloading or interferences between them.
- The final stage. Teeth are fitted 3-9 months after placement of the implants.
- Regular check up appointments and good oral hygiene ensure that your whole mouth will remain healthy