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Frequently asked questions to a Dentist York

What options are there to replace a missing tooth?

There are many options for replacing a missing tooth-

  • Leave a gap. It may be that the tooth doesn't need replacing
  • A denture
  • A bridge
  • An implant

Your dentist can advise you which options are available to you and the pros and cons of each of them.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are one way of replacing missing teeth. They are sometimes referred to as screw in teeth. Although there are many advantages to having implants, they are not suitable for everyone. You need to have healthy gums and be in good general health. You also need enough jaw bone to take the screw and support the replacement teeth. Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, osteoporosis or chronic sinus problems could interfere with healing and make implants more likely to fail.

Because they are a complicated form of treatment, implants can also be expensive.

Your dentist (if trained to place implants) will go through each stage of the treatment with you before it begins and also give you a timetable for completing treatment. Or you might be referred to a specialist.

The dentist or specialist will expose the bone in the jaw where the tooth is missing. Then they will drill a hole and insert a screw into the bone. This is usually done under a local anaesthetic, but sometimes sedation or, if you are in hospital, a general anaesthetic is used. The gum is then stitched over the screw and it is left to heal for several months, while the bone grows around the post, making it secure. After this period, there will be a second operation in which replacement teeth are mounted onto the metal screw. This requires a small cut in the gum above the implant. The replacement teeth might be single or in a group, and possibly as a 'bridge', attached to neighbouring natural teeth. They may be fixed permanently or attached in a way that lets you remove them for cleaning.

After surgery, it's absolutely essential to maintain good mouth hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.  

Smoking reduces the chances of success of the implant.

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