Eating is one of life’s fundamental pleasures, and so to have to steer clear of various foods because your teeth can’t cope with them can be terribly sad. That can be the case with some methods of tooth replacement, such as dentures, which do not have the chewing power of natural teeth. There is one method of tooth replacement that allows people to continue to have complete freedom in their food choices and that is dental implants.
At Orpington Dental Practice, we can fit dental implants in Orpington to replace one, a few or an entire arch of lost teeth. The reason that they are so great at their job is because dental implants are embedded into the jawbone rather than adhering to the gum as dentures do or relying on neighbouring teeth to be used as buttresses as bridges do. Dental implants give 100% of the chewing power of natural teeth.
The science bit: how dental implants work
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are tapered to resemble tooth roots and also often screw shaped. The dentist puts them into the bone after opening up the gum and carefully drilling a channel into which to put them. Once they are in place, the gum is replaced and the implants left to integrate with the bone, which takes 2–6 months. During this time, the titanium catalyses new bone growth over its surface and this is what holds the implant in place so well. Once this process has completed, you come back to us and we fit a connecting piece into the implant and attach the replacement crown on top.
The crowns are handmade by skilled technicians to blend in with your natural teeth. Or, if you are having all your teeth replaced, to resemble the ones you have lost.
Looking after dental implants is easy. All it takes is a diligent oral health routine of twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, plus careful flossing. Gum disease is the enemy of implants and it is important to keep it at bay because if gum disease gets as far as attacking the bone, it can loosen the implants and cause them to fall out.