Specialist Periodontal & Dental Implant Treatment

Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are small titanium screws which are placed into the jaw bones to act as artificial tooth roots. They can be used to replace one, several or a whole set of missing teeth. They can also be used to stabilise and secure dentures.

The majority of dental implants are made from pure titanium, a material that is “biocompatible”. This means that the implant is not seen as a foreign body and so is not rejected. In fact, once the implant has been carefully and gently inserted into the jaw, bone grows right onto the implant securing it firmly within the bone. The bond between the bone and the titanium implant is very strong and this is what allows the implant to successfully stand up to the forces of chewing and biting.

If one tooth is missing then just one implant is used to support a crown. If several teeth are missing then individual implants can be placed to replace each missing tooth or alternatively a small number of implants can be placed and a row of crowns (known as a bridge) can be fitted over the top.

Implant and Crown

Single missing tooth replaced by a single dental implant

Three missing teeth replaced by three dental implants

Three missing teeth replaced by two implants and a bridge

If all the teeth are missing from one or both of the jaws then implants can be used to support full sets of fixed teeth or to help stabilise or secure dentures. The most natural feeling results are achieved with teeth fixed permanently to implants. However, many denture wearers find their quality of life is much improved by having their dentures stabilised by dental implants. Whether to use the implants to support fixed teeth or to stabilise dentures depends on many factors such as the amount of available bone in the jaws, the number of implants which can be placed and whether there is any need for lip support to achieve the best possible appearance.

Six dental implants used to support a full set of upper teeth

Two dental implants used to stabilise and secure a full lower denture

Four dental implants used to stabilise and secure a full lower denture

Dental implants are not new and have been used to replace teeth since the mid 1960’s.

Initially implants were only used in patients with no teeth (edentulous) to support a new set of fixed teeth or to secure and stabilise dentures. However, due to the success of these techniques implants were soon being used to replace single teeth and larger gaps anywhere in the mouth.

More recently techniques have evolved allowing implants and temporary teeth to sometimes be placed together on the same day. For example, with the All-on-4 technique just four implants are used to support a bridge of teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The implants are inserted in the morning and a temporary bridge is fitted later the same day. Not everyone is suitable for these newer techniques but even traditional treatments now take place much more rapidly than before, cutting down overall treatment times significantly.

Four dental implants used to support an upper bridge using the All-on-4 technique

All-on-4 case where four implants are used to support a lower bridge

Originally implants could only be placed into patients with lots of available bone but luckily bone grafting techniques have improved dramatically over the past few years allowing many more patients to enjoy the benefits of dental implant treatment.

The Testimonial section of our website contains many letters from real patients describing the benefits of dental implants and their experiences of treatment with us. Please take time to read some of these letters from people we have helped with dental implant treatment.

Advantages of dental implants:

  • Feel and look like natural teeth
  • Long-term, permanent solution for missing teeth
  • No need to damage adjacent healthy teeth (unlike with bridgework)
  • Maintain healthy bone which helps support gum and other facial structures leading to a natural appearance
  • No need for adhesives or fixatives to hold the new teeth in place
  • Eliminate the discomfort of loose, poorly-fitting conventional dentures
  • Allow normal eating and chewing
  • Safety – Implants have been used successfully for decades

If you want to find out whether you could benefit from dental implant treatment please ask your Dentist to refer you to Dr Roberts or refer yourself directly by clicking here


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© Dr Paul Roberts 2016

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