As an experienced face, mouth and jaw surgeon and a dental surgeon, Mr Cascarini is able to provide dental implants to replace missing or broken teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are small titanium screws that are fitted directly into the bone on your jaw. They serve to replace lost tooth roots and act as a foundation for artificial teeth or bridges.
Dental implants initially screw into the jawbone, but over time, the jawbone will heal and fuse with the implant, fixing it strongly and permanently in place. This is called osseointegration.
Why have dental implants?
Dental implants give you far more options when it comes to replacing decayed or broken teeth. They are much stronger than bridges that are secured to the surrounding teeth, for example.
Dental implants can support a single crown to replace one tooth, a bridge to replace two or more teeth, or even be used to secure removable dentures.
How are dental implants fitted?
In most cases, implants are fitted into a bespoke hole that is drilled into the jawbone. Occasionally, the implant can be fitted directly into the hole left by extracted roots, but a precision-drilled hole is by far the more common procedure.
The operation is usually conducted under local anaesthetic, with sedation if required, and involves several stages:
- Cutting the soft tissue – the gums are cut in such a way as to leave a thick band of tissue around the new implant after the surgery.
- Low speed drilling – a pilot hole is drilled with a low speed drill.
- High speed drilling – a series of high speed drills are then used to create the larger hole needed for the implant.
- Placement – the implant is then screwed into the bone and the wound is stitched up.
It is important that the drilling is done carefully, over as many as seven progressive stages, to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the cells of the bone. Excess heat or pressure from the drilling can cause the surrounding bone cells to die, significantly increasing the chances that the implant will fail.
Mr Cascarini will insert the implant and then leave it for three to six months to allow the bone to grow around the implant and fix it securely in place. A temporary bridge or denture may be fitted to cover the gap while osseointegration takes place. You will then return for further dental surgery to fix the new tooth in place on the dental implant.
Dental implant risks and recovery
Again Mr Cascarini will explain the risks in detail and we provide detailed information for all patients having mouth surgery. The biggest risk with dental implants is that the jawbone does not fuse with the implant, leaving it weak and unsupported. If this occurs, you will need further surgery to remove the implant and either replace it or find a new method of fitting the crown or bridge.
There are also risks of nerve damage when drilling into the jawbone, especially the lower jaw, as this contains essential nerves for the tongue, chin and lips. Any damage may compromise the feeling in these areas, either temporarily or permanently.