There are a number of ways to replace a missing tooth. A dental bridge uses two dental crowns, attached to teeth either side of the vacant space, which act as a support for an artificial tooth. It is also possible to replace missing teeth with partial dentures, but by far the most realistic method of restoring missing teeth is a dental implant.
Dental implants are the only dental substitute to replace the whole of the tooth, including the root. This gives it the extra stability that is sometimes lacking from other restorations. They come in the form of small titanium screws that are drilled directly into the jawbone. They are then left to fuse with the surrounding bone and tissue so that they are extremely firm. The implants then act as a base for a post and crown, which complete the implant procedure.
Single implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth or for patients who have suffered multiple tooth loss and face the possibility of wearing dentures, a series of mini-implants could act as a secure base for a pair of dentures. This alleviates the anxiety suffered by many denture wearers that they are going to fall out at inopportune moments.
Dental implant surgery sounds a lot more unpleasant than it actually is. Although the implant is secured directly into the jawbone, the procedure will be relatively painless. The implant will usually require between four and six weeks to fuse with the other tissue in a process called osseointegration. Once set firm, the dental implant is a permanent addition to the jaw and will last a lifetime. Therefore your West London dentist may need to examine the condition of your jaw and gums before carrying out implant surgery.