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Across the UK there has been a significant rise in recent years in the number of new patients from all age demographics, seeking out dental treatments. These treatments are carried out to improve overall dental well-being and address a number of problems patients may have with their teeth. Some of the most positively beneficial forms of cosmetic dentistry which are steadily gaining interest are dental implants in Richmond. These are sought after to restore the fullness of a patient’s smile and prevent any seriously detrimental effects from ensuing when someone is left with gaps in the mouth.
The problem with missing teeth
Although the number of those seeking out dental treatments is on the rise across the board, it is still estimated that a staggering 27 million adults across the UK are currently living each day with an untreated missing tooth. While a great many of those who have an untreated missing tooth – or teeth – may find they can simply ‘grin and bear it’, they are perhaps unaware of the seriously negative effect that it can have on both their overall dental well-being and their social health.
One of the most serious and difficult to reverse the side effects of having an untreated missing tooth is bone loss. This happens when the surrounding bone tissue around a patient’s missing tooth is reabsorbed by the body over time and can result in the patient’s entire facial structure changing. It is estimated that within the first year of having an untreated missing tooth, the bone density of the patient’s jaw can decrease by up to 25% – which is far more difficult and expensive to reverse than simply seeking out the necessary treatment. Another, and perhaps more obvious side effect of having a missing tooth, is speech impairment. This often worsens over time and can lead to both the social well-being and self-confidence of patient suffering.
Filling in the gaps
However, thankfully, due to the wonders of contemporary dental science, the problems of missing teeth are now fully reversible and a patient’s teeth can now be fully restored in a way which is far more sturdy and permanent than any crown or denture. The procedure involved when receiving dental implants begins with a consultation. This is carried out to assess the patient’s eligibility for treatment, in addition to detailing the positive effects that the treatment could have on the patient’s oral health. Thereafter, providing the patient is happy to start with carrying out the procedure, the actual installation process will begin. Firstly, a surgical hole is made in the jawbone of the patient, in the gap where their missing tooth should be. From then, a titanium-alloy false root socket is put inside the hole and left to fuse with the jawbone. The titanium-alloy metal is used for its unique qualities of biocompatibility, and its ability to permanently bond itself with bone tissue. After following a short resting period, during which time the bone fusion is carried out, a new replacement tooth is then attached to the false root. Implants are as sturdy as a natural tooth, as they are fused with the jawbone of the patient, unlike other methods such as crowns or bridges which merely cover up the gap. Additionally, the replica tooth is colour matched to the surrounding teeth, so it becomes virtually indistinguishable from the others within the patient’s mouth and can keep the patient smiling freely for many years to come.