Dental implants are anchors that are placed in the jawbone. They are made of pure titanium, which is so well accepted by the human body that it becomes locked solidly into the bone. In time they become fixed firmly and can support crowns, bridges and dentures to replace missing teeth.
Dental implant treatment can provide the solution to missing or failing teeth and the problems that this causes:
- Cosmetic concerns
- Problems eating
- Loose or uncomfortable dentures
- Confidence in your current dental situation
Dental implants now provide a trusted and predictable solution to these problems.
Implants can support crowns and bridges to replace missing teeth. The significant advantages are that it is not necessary to grind down adjacent healthy teeth and the presence of the implant prevents the bone from shrinking away. Implants can also be used to secure and stabilise dentures, which makes them much more tolerated and gives the patient confidence.
Implant treatment is often no more uncomfortable than conventional dentistry, and for patients who are anxious about the procedure we offer sedation to help make the whole process as easy as possible.
Dental Implants can also help to provide a more youthful appearance by tackling signs of ageing in the face that are of dental origin.
Joanna Sutcliffe, Associate BDS Brist 1995 MFGDP(UK) 2002
Joanna qualified from Bristol with Honours in 1995. She completed her NHS training in the Lake District and then came to Devon as a Senior House Officer in Oral Surgery at The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. She then spent a year working in New Zealand before returning to Devon to establish a new practice in Exeter where she worked as a partner for 12 years. During that time, she has achieved Diplomas from the Royal College of Surgeons and the University of Bristol in General Dental Practice and General dentistry; including root canal treatment, dental sedation and periodontal care.
Her passion for dentistry encouraged her to make life changes and leave practice ownership to continue her studies at the Eastman Dental Institute, Peninsula Dental School and Bristol University. She achieved Diplomas in Dental implants and Restorative dentistry with distinction. She is a clinical supervisor for the dental students at Peninsula Dental School and is finishing her MSc this year.
Joanna strives for excellence in her field and believes in working with you and the whole dental team to achieve a healthy mouth that will last for many years helping to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. She can provide you with comprehensive care for all your needs, in particular sedation for anxious patients, complex ‘mouth rebuilds’, cosmetic treatments and implants. Her key message is about building a relationship centred around mutual trust and respect to ensure you receive individually tailored treatment of the highest calibre.
Diagnosis and treatment planning
Your dentist will first examine your dental situation carefully to decide if you meet the pre-requisites for dental implant treatment. It is essential that your gums and jaw bone are free from inflammation. If necessary, these conditions are treated prior to surgery.
During diagnosis, the dentist also evaluates what type of jaw bone you have and how much of it is left. After years of living with missing teeth, your jaw bone can sometimes be severely reduced. In this case, your dentist will discuss alternative procedures with you to make dental implant treatment possible.
Your dentist may opt to use digital tools to plan your treatment by generating an exact 3D image of your mouth. This will help the dental team immensely during surgery because it helps them find the best angle and depth for your implant.
Placing the implant
Implant placement usually is an outpatient procedure and, thanks to local anesthesia, you will hardly feel anything. Depending on the individual situation in your mouth, implants are placed in a one or multiple-step procedure.
After surgery, your dentist usually places a temporary crown, bridge or just a small plastic cap on top of your implant while the implant integrates with the jaw bone. The integration of implant and bone is called osseointegration (from Greek osteon, bone). Depending on your individual situation, it can take from a few weeks to a few months. In the meantime, your dentist will work with a dental laboratory to design and manufacture your final restoration. Your customized crown, bridge or bar is then attached to the implant with a tiny screw or cement.
Nobel Biocare implants are designed to maximise the opportunity for immediate function. This means that your dentist will often be able to place a temporary restoration on the day of surgery, so that you can leave with a provisional set of fixed teeth and reduce the number of visits to your dentist.
“Staff are always so welcoming and put you at ease!
The dentist can be such a scary place but a El-Nashar I always made to feel like an individual and treatment is always personal!”