Why Are Dental Implants So Popular?

When it comes to getting treatment for dental implants in Belfast, or anywhere else in the UK then there are certainly a wide variety of clinics to choose from. According to the British Dental Health Foundation, in the UK alone over 10,000 dental implants were fitted last year (2013) and this figure is on the rise. So despite the cost, why are dental implants so popular?

Dental Implants BelfastIn order to explain this, we need to compare it directly with other forms of teeth replacement, namely dentures and bridges. Although standard dentures and bridges are considerably cheaper than dental implants and don’t require surgical processes to fit them, they do have their down sides.

Non-permanent
One of the major downsides of dentures is that because they sit on the gum line, they don’t prevent bone degeneration. This is a natural process and a side effect of missing teeth that gradually occurs over time. In essence, the natural bone tissue that once supported the tooth root is no longer stimulated and just like a muscle that’s no longer used, it gradually diminishes. As a result the jawbone will change shape, making a once-snug fitting denture become loose. At first, adjustments can be made to the denture to accommodate this but eventually it will have to be replaced with a new one. Generally the lifespan of a denture is 10-15 years but this depends upon the individual.

Alternatively if you’re being fitted with dental implants in Northern Ireland for example, then they are placed directly into the jaw bone. As a result bone tissue is attracted to the titanium implant and over time, starts to merge and fuse with it to create one super-strong platform. Therefore not only can an implant halt the bone degeneration process, but it can also regenerate new bone growth. What this means is that dental implants are the closest thing in modern dentistry to a permanent fixture and in many cases can last 30-40 years.

What about bridges?
When it comes to restoration, dentistry bridges are commonly used to plug a gap where a tooth is missing. In essence the two adjacent teeth located on either side of the gap are used as support for the crown which sits in the middle. The issue with this is that in order to fit the bridge, the two adjacent teeth have to be ground down and re-shaped to take the bridgework for the prosthetic tooth. This weakens them and can make them more prone to gum disease. An implant on the other hand is self-supporting and can fit perfectly into the gap anchoring itself into the jaw bone, therefore preserving surrounding teeth.

If you’re looking for a permanent, hassle-free solution to your missing teeth then you really should consider implant dentistry. At Blue Sky Dentistry we’ve been fitting implants for many years and have the skills and the expertise to restore your smile once and for all. Contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com  to see just how we can help you.

Just How Natural Looking Are Dental Implants

If you’re seriously thinking about undergoing treatment for dental implants in Northern Ireland you’ll probably have already done some research. One of the questions that tend to come up time and time again is “just how natural looking are dental implants?”

Dental Implants Northern IrelandFor many people, changes in the mouth and teeth can have a noticeable effect on their appearance. This can impact their social interactions as well as their overall confidence. Yes we all know that you’ll be able to eat normally again without having to worry, and as they’re fitted directly into the jaw line they feel just like normal teeth. However, they also have to look natural. How do implant dentists do this?

Let’s face it, not everyone has a ‘Hollywood smile’ and when you visit a dentist in Belfast for a consultation they’ll suggest that it’s far better for your newly placed implants to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth. Artificial teeth with a ‘realistic’ shade look far better than those with a gleaming white finish and this is why your dentist fitting an implant will place much emphasis on getting the colour-match right. The results can be astonishing. So much so that it can be very hard for the layperson to even tell the difference.

So how do they do this?
Firstly, the majority of crowns are made from dental porcelain and are custom-made. Therefore it’s very important to select the right colour as this can’t be changed once it’s been fitted onto the implant. A good dentist well-versed in fitting implants will use their expertise to guide your colour choices and not leave it entirely up to you. In addition to this, they may advise you to have your natural teeth whitened before making a choice to ensure that they are the brightest they can be. Unfortunately there is no ‘one standard’ for measuring tooth colour and as a result your dentist will use one of several colour scales or charts. Colour swatches from these charts can be held against your natural teeth in order to get the shading just right.

Bring on the technology
In addition to colour charts, computerised technology allows the dentist to measure every colour spectrum in a person’s smile, as well as the brightness. This means that both colour and shade can be accurately predicted allowing a trained dentist fitting implants to perfectly match them to the adjacent natural teeth.

If you want to find out more about colour matching, or any other aspect regarding implant dentistry, then contact Blue Sky Dentistry. We’ve been fitting implants in Belfast with great success for many years and as such have the experience to help you regain your smile and give you back your confidence. Call us on 028 9068 7722 or alternatively visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com

Why Choose Dental Implants In Northern Ireland Over Standard Dentures?

Let’s face it, dental implants aren’t particularly cheap and to fit them involves invasive surgery, not to mention time spent recovering. Dentures on the other hand don’t require any form of surgery, can be fitted in a day, and more importantly they are initially good value for money. With this in mind, just why would you choose dental implants in Northern Ireland over standard dentures?

Dental Implants Northern IrelandLong-term solution
One of the main benefits you may or may not know regarding dental implants is that they are the only real long-term solution to missing teeth replacement. Dentures have to be continually adjusted because of the changing shape of the jaw bone which occurs naturally after losing teeth. After a few years (around 5-10) your dentures can no longer be adjusted and will have to be replaced.

On the other hand dental implants in Belfast are a permanent fixture. They look, feel, and to some extent act just like your natural teeth. As such, provided that they’re looked after properly then they won’t need replacing for many years (in some cases 30-40 years). When you weigh up the costs of a one off payment for an implant, against the spiralling cost of denture replacement, plus the ongoing costs of fixatives, cleaning agents and glues needed to keep them in place and to maintain them, then it’s easy to see why more and more people are opting for dental implants.

Saving embarrassment
Another reason that many people opt for implants over standard dentures is because loose dentures can lead to embarrassing moments, especially when eating or speaking. As such, many denture wearers tend to shy away from social situations. As already stated a dental implant doesn’t require any special fixatives or glues to hold it in place as it’s secured straight into the jawbone, rather than sitting on top of the gum line as a denture would. When the titanium implant is fastened into the jaw line, the bone tissue surrounding it starts to merge and fuse with the implant in a process known as ossoeintegration. As a result it creates a super-strong platform. This means the wearer can feel safe in the knowledge that their replacement tooth/teeth aren’t going to fall out or slide around. Many implant converts have said after having been fitted for these it’s given them a new lease of life and one that they didn’t have with other forms of tooth replacement.

If you want to know more about dental implants and how they can improve your life then contact your local dentist. Blue Sky Dentistry in Belfast have been fitting dental implants successfully for many years, so contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com to see how we can help.

Dental Implants In Belfast – Why So Expensive?

If you’re seeking dental implants in Northern Ireland, particularly Belfast, then you might have already heard that they are expensive. In fact costing upwards of £1000 per tooth. They’re two or three times as much as other forms of restorative dentistry and you might wonder why! Let’s take a look…

Dental Implants Northern IrelandMaterials
One of the first things to note is that whether you visit a dentist in Belfast or a dentist in London, the implants that they use are likely to be made from the same material and that’s titanium. Yes that’s the same titanium used on Formula 1 racing cars and precision tools and instruments! It’s used for a number of reasons including the fact that it’s incredibly lightweight yet extremely strong; it’s non-allergenic which means the body won’t reject it; and most importantly, it has the ability to fuse with natural bone tissue. This is an important part of the implant process and is known as osseointegration. It occurs over time after the rod-like titanium implant is secured down into the jawbone. As a result the surrounding bone tissue starts to merge and fuse with it to create a super-strong platform upon which a crown can then be fixed. Finally another expensive material, dental porcelain, is often used for the crown as it can be easily moulded into shape, it’s stain-resistant, crack-resistant and can be easily coloured to match the natural shade of your teeth.

Implant design
Just like a formula 1 car, dental implants are precision instruments and are manufactured using expensive processes. At the last count there are over 150 different designs of implant on the market and each one takes months of tweaking to get it to the stage where it can be the best that it can be. If you remember that it’s replacing a tooth and therefore has to do everything a tooth does and more (because it’s not a natural one), you can easily see why it’s an expensive object.

The implant dentist
Most reputable dentists who deal with implants have gone though years of training to be able to fit them properly and because of this, many qualified implantologists also teach others. Clearly this comes at a price.

In essence, yes this process is an expensive one, but reassuringly so! The good news is that many clinics offering implant treatment will have a variety of payment options which allow the patient to spread payments over a number of months/years. So if you’re curious about how having implant surgery can help you, then come and talk to us here at Blue Sky Dentistry. Contact us on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com

Just Who Is Eligible For Dental Implant Surgery?

There are many myths surrounding dental implants and one of these is that elderly patients can’t be fitted for dental implants in Belfast, or indeed anywhere else in the UK. The fact is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. What’s more, elderly people can (and indeed do) benefit greatly from implant surgery. So if being elderly isn’t a barrier to dental implant treatment, then what is?

Dental Implants BelfastHealth Vs Age
Contrary to popular belief a dental implantologist is likely to be more concerned with the overall health of a patient rather than their age as this has a greater impact on the success of the implantation process. Therefore a person seeking dental implants is thoroughly assessed before any treatment is carried out. One of the first things that dentists look for is the state of the mouth. You might think that the whole reason you’re visiting an implant dentist is because your mouth is in poor shape and that implants will put it right. On the contrary, for implants to work you need to have a healthy mouth. By healthy this means no signs of gum disease and a good healthy bone mass. Even if your mouth isn’t as healthy as it should be, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be excluded from having implant surgery. However the issues need to be treated first before any implants can be placed.

What about other health issues?
There are certain other health issues that can be problematic to dental implants and one is diabetes. This is again not to say that a diabetic patient can’t have implants, it’s just that because of the high levels of glucose in the blood, it’s well-documented that the rate of bone tissue regeneration which is a vital part of the implant process is considerably slowed in diabetics. Moreover, those with uncontrollable diabetes, might not be able to regenerate bone at all. This is why it’s important for a patient to tell their dentist that they are diabetic so that the dentist can tailor a treatment program designed specifically for them.

Other health problems which may affect dental implants are certain cancers, especially those in and around the face and jaw area, as these again will impact on healthy bone mass. Also those who have had radiation around the jaw area may also prove difficult to fit with implants. That said, each case is different so if you’re unsure then visit your local dentist dealing in dental implants in Northern Ireland.

What about lifestyle choices?
There are also certain lifestyle choices that will have an impact on the success of dental implants, some of which are smoking and drinking. With alcohol it isn’t so much of a problem if it’s taken in moderation, but heavy drinkers (and your dentist will probably define the meaning of the word heavy) will have the same issue of a slowed bone growth, similar to diabetics. With smokers on the other hand, it’s imperative that they quit before implants are placed. Or alternatively at the very least before implantation and during the recovery phase (up to 9 months). The reason for this is that smoking breeds bacteria and for newly fitted implants this could spell disaster. So if you’re a smoker and you are considering dental implants, then be prepared to quit.

If you’re seeking surgery for a dental implant in Northern Ireland then it pays to book yourself a consultation. During this time the dentist will ask lots of questions about your overall health and lifestyle, give you a thorough examination, and from this they’ll make a decision. Contact Blue Sky Dentistry to book yours today on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com

Dental Implant History – How and Why They Have Become Successful

If you’re thinking about undergoing treatment for dental implants in Belfast, then you’ll probably be aware that they’re considered by many dentists and patients alike to be the most successful form of tooth replacement that modern-day dentistry allows. Decades of clinical use coupled with extensive research has paved the way to the most natural looking form of tooth replacement that we have available. But where did it all start?

Dental Implants Belfast600 AD
Even back in the day, early civilisations recognised the need for teeth replacement and archaeological findings have discovered skulls in which teeth had been replaced with other materials such as sea shells, carved stones or jade. The earliest finding of which is the skull of a Mayan woman that dates back to around 600 AD.

1952
It wasn’t until 1952 when a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon called Per Ingvar Branemark stumbled across a remarkable process that he named ‘osseointegration’. This process is vital to the success of every dental implant and is where natural bone tissue fuses and merges with non-bodily materials (in this case titanium). After placing titanium splints in the bones of rabbits to study the effects on bone healing, he found that when the time came, he couldn’t remove them. The reason was because the titanium splint or ocular had become fused with the rabbit’s natural bone tissue. After a ‘eureka’ moment he abandoned his research and started to look into, and develop the possible use of titanium in dental implants. As early as 1954 Branemark was ready to test out his newfangled dental implant on a real live person and it proved to be successful. As a result, and with many modifications, anyone who’s about to experience a implant dentistry is going to have a treatment that wasn’t at all possible before Branemark made his amazing discovery.

Present day
Nowadays if you visit a dental specialist for implants you’ll notice that they can be used in a number of ways. From acting as supports for dentures and bridges, through to singular or multiple teeth replacement, dental implant designs are constantly modified to make them more patient friendly and thus heighten the chance of success. Today’s dental implants are lightweight, less prone to infections and cross contamination, and use technologies such as acid etching and sand blasting to encourage the osseointegration process. All of which leads to a high success rate.

If you want to find out more about just how undergoing treatment for dental implants in Northern Ireland can really benefit you then speak to Blue Sky Dentistry. We’re an experienced team who have been fitting dental implants for many years and as such provide a first class standard of treatment with high levels of success. Why not contact us today on 028 9068 7722 or visit our website at www.blueskydentist.com and take the first steps towards getting your smile back.