How long do dental implants last?

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Dental implants are now the most popular treatment to replace a missing teeth and are the closest possible restoration to having your natural teeth back.

Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution to tooth loss and they can last between 20 and 30 years. However, their lifespan depends entirely on how well you look after your teeth and your oral hygiene.

In this month’s blog we have some top tips to keep your dental implants looking their best

1. Good oral hygiene

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_05Although the titanium screw and the ceramic crown on top are resistant to decay, the teeth and gums surrounding the dental implant are not. This is why very good oral hygiene is essential.

To ensure your dental implants functionality and longevity, they need to be looked after just as a natural tooth would, which means daily cleaning and flossing. You should brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes and clean interdentally daily.

2. Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices such as excessive smoking and heavy drinking can have a dramatic effect on how long your dental implants last.

3. Injury or Damage

Sometimes, dental implants have a limited lifespan due to circumstances that are beyond your control. While dental implants are a permanent treatment option, the ceramic crowns are not indestructible. If you use your teeth as tools to open things like bottles or plastic packaging, you are not only risking damage to your dental implant but also your gums and your natural teeth as well.

4. Medical Conditions

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_06Certain pre-existing medical conditions can also affect how long dental implants last. For example, conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system can impact on the effectiveness of your treatment and also how long your dental implants will last before they need to be replaced. Both diabetes and a compromised immune system can make you more susceptible to infections and can cause your body to take longer to recover and heal.

5. Regular dental appointments

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_07It is important that you attend for your routine dental and hygiene appointments to keep your dental implant looking its best. Just because your teeth are artificial does not mean that you shouldn’t attend regular dental check-ups. During these appointments, not only will your dentist assess your oral health, but they will also be able to check for any issues with your dental implants. Cracks or damage to the crown can be identified quickly, and your dentist will discuss with you the best way to fix any issues.

Regular hygiene appointments will also help to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, ensuring that your dental implants last as long as possible. During your hygiene appointments, you will be shown how to properly care for and clean your natural teeth and your dental implants.

3 benefits of interdental cleaning

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While brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is absolutely essential for good oral health, there are certain areas that a toothbrush cannot reach. This is why interdental cleaning has a big part to play when it comes to keeping our teeth and gums healthy, removing plaque and trapped food that if left may lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

1. Reduce the risk of bleeding gums.

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_02Many people who suffer with sensitive or bleeding gums may be tempted to avoid interdental cleaning for fear of making their bleeding gums worse. But in fact, interdental cleaning can improve the health of your gums, thereby helping to prevent them from bleeding. The fact that your gums are bleeding is the first sign for gum disease developing (which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK), making it even more important that you continue with your interdental cleaning.

2. Reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Food particles can become caught in between teeth in areas that brushing alone will not reach. If left this food will begin to be broken down by the bacteria in you mouth leading to gum disease, bad breath and tooth decay. Interdental cleaning helps to remove any food trapped between teeth, keeping your teeth looking their best.

3. Other Health Benefits

2021_07_05_Blog_Img_03Daily flossing does not just keep your teeth healthy – practicing good oral hygiene contributes to your health in other ways, too. In fact, there is an increasing amount of evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia. Looking after the health of your gums through a good oral hygiene routine is even more important than ever.

What should I do first?

Brushing may come before flossing in the dictionary, but it should not when it comes to our oral hygiene routine. Interdental cleaning loosens bacteria and food debris from between the teeth, which allows brushing to be much more successful at removing plaque. The fluoride in your toothpaste is also better able to do its job in protecting your teeth if the plaque particles are removed first.

If you would like to find out more about how interdental cleaning can help to improve your oral health, do not hesitate to contact Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 to book an appointment with our hygienist today!

How long do dental crowns last?

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Alongside our Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Straightening, and Dental Implant services the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre also offer a full range of General Dentistry treatments including regular check-ups, fillings, and Dental Crowns. If you are considering having a crown fitted, repaired, or replaced it is likely that you’ll have lots of questions about the treatment process and caring for your teeth afterwards. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is how long do dental crowns last?

Dental Crowns sit over teeth like small caps and are used for a wide variety of reasons. Much like fillings, they are one of the options we use to repair and protect damaged or decaying teeth from further harm.

Dental Crowns can also be used to fix cosmetic dentistry issues by covering crooked teeth helping to give you a whiter, brighter smile. Broken, chipped or visibly damaged teeth can also be improved with the use of dental crowns, and our expert team can talk through all the options available to you in your initial consultation session.

  • How should you look after your Dental Crowns?

Blog_Img_2021_06_01_005Crowns are used as a treatment to protect damaged teeth or improve your smile, and we often get asked if they are permanent. On average dental crowns can last for up to 15 years or more with the right aftercare. You do not actually need any specialist treatments to look after your crown, unless it becomes damaged, and you can usually treat it just as you would a natural tooth.

Regular teeth brushing twice a day and daily flossing will help to maintain the condition of the crown as well as benefiting your overall oral health. You should also continue to attend regular dental check-ups with your general dentist and hygienist. Your dentist will be able to advise you on how best to look after your teeth and how to keep your crown clean.

Even though crowns can last up to 15 years, this does not mean that they are indestructible within that time frame. Like your regular teeth, dental crowns are susceptible to chipping, cracking or increased wear and tear if they are not looked after properly.

  • When should you replace a Dental Crown?

Blog_Img_2021_06_01_006Dental Crowns are a long term solution it’s important that you attend regular dental check-ups so your dentist can check the signs and symptoms that indicate when your crown is coming to the end of its natural lifespan. If you have chipped, cracked, damaged or dislodged your crown, then it will need to be repaired or replaced .This is to ensure that the tooth underneath continues to be protected and does not sustain any further damage or decay.

While crowns cannot decay because they are made of ceramic, the tooth underneath can. If your dental crown was created and fitted to protect a damaged or decayed tooth, then you need to make sure that you follow all your dentist’s advice to keep the crown, tooth and gum line clean and healthy. A build-up of plaque could cause the tooth underneath to start, or continue, to decay. If you notice any tenderness or swelling from your crown or the tooth it is covering, please arrange to see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid the problem becoming more severe.

  • Find out more!

As you can see, Dental Crowns are an excellent treatment option to strengthen and protect any damaged teeth and give you back your smile confidence. There really is no straight forward answer to the question of how long dental crowns last because it varies so greatly from person to person. But by following the guidance of your dental team and practising great oral care at home you can make sure your crown and your natural teeth stay healthy and secure.

If you would like to discuss our dental crown treatments please get in touch today on 01622 682 029 to book a consultation and find out how our expert team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre can help you reclaim your smile.

5 Dental Myths Busted!!

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When it comes to taking care of your smile, there are a number of misconceptions that can cause damage to your oral health. In this month’s blog the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre look to dispel some of these myths.

Myth 1 – The harder you brush the cleaner your teeth will be.

Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can damage your oral health by eroding the enamel that protects teeth and causing the gums to start to recede. Here at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre we advise that you always use either a soft or medium bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush to help protect your teeth and gums from toothbrush abrasion.

Blog_Img_2021_06_01_002Myth 2 – Interdental cleaning is not necessary.

Brushing alone only reaches around 60% of tooth surfaces. Using interdental cleaning aids such as floss, floss picks or interdental brushes, help to reach those surfaces in between teeth that brushing alone misses. Food and bacteria left between teeth, can give off a bad odour, causing bad breath and if the bacteria are left to multiply can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Make sure you use interdental cleaning aids daily to keep your smile looking its best.

Myth 3 – If your gums bleed, stay clear

The reason that your gums bleed when brushing is inflammation, caused by a build-up of plaque or bacteria. If you notice any bleeding when you brush or floss it is important that you are even more thorough with your oral hygiene routine to help remove the build-up of plaque or bacteria. Over time with careful cleaning the gums will become healthier, and the bleeding will stop.

Blog_Img_2021_06_01_003Myth 4 – It is important to rinse your mouth after brushing.

It is important to spit, not rinse after brushing. This enables the fluoride in your toothpaste to continue working on your teeth promoting enamel mineralisation. Fluoride promotes the formation of a compound called fluorapatite, which is very close to compounds that occur naturally in your teeth. Fluorapatite incorporates itself into the enamel, strengthening your teeth against cavities. Rinsing your mouth immediately can remove helpful fluoride.

Myth 5 – You do not need a dental check-up if you are not in pain.

With many dental issues, you do not necessarily feel pain right away. If you leave going to the dentist until you start to notice symptoms it will require much more complex treatment to rectify them. If you wait until a cavity hurts, you could end up needing a root canal or extraction but with regular check-ups the problem could be fixed with a simple filling. By attending for regular routine dental appointments the dentist is able to find problems up to 7 years before they cause you pain.

If you would like to find out more about how common misconceptions could be damaging your dental health, do not hesitate to contact Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029to book a consultation appointment today!

What does a dental hygienist do?

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A dental hygienist is a specially trained member of the dental team who focuses on the treatment of gum disease and on oral hygiene instruction.

The hygienist will perform thorough scaling of your teeth to remove any plaque or calculus present which is left can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. They will also advise you on the best way to care for your teeth in between your appointments. They will give you focused advice to help care for dental implants, teeth straightening appliances and may also suggest that you try to give up smoking. Smoking will have a detrimental effect on your teeth increasing the risk of gum disease and staining.

  • How often should I see the hygienist?

How often you should see the hygienist will depend on the health of your teeth and gums. It may be necessary for you to attend for appointments every three months to begin with while the hygienist gets any gum disease under control. Provided you are maintaining a good oral hygiene routine in between appointments visits should then drop to every four months and eventually every six months.
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  • Benefits of seeing the hygienist.

There are several benefits to seeing the hygienist and they include:

  • Demonstrations on effective tooth brushing techniques to remove plaque without causing tooth wear and receding gums.
  • Discussions on the latest oral hygiene products.
  • Advice on the best aid to clean in-between teeth.
  • Detailed explanation of the causes of gum disease.
  • Removal of plaque and hard calculus deposits.
  • Discussion on the secondary factors that cause gum disease, for example smoking and diabetes.
  • Discussion on how gum disease could affect or complicate other health problems, for example heart disease.
  • Prevention of tooth decay and erosion
  • Diet advice on how to reduce sugary and acidic food and drink.
  • Advice on fluoride and apply fluoride varnishes to help remineralise early signs of tooth caries.
  • The removal of food and drink stains.
  • Changing red and inflamed gums to a healthy pink.
  • Stopping gums from bleeding when brushing.
  • Preventing teeth from becoming mobile and drifting.
  • Preventing unpleasant tastes and bad breath caused by the damaging bacteria in the mouth.

 

  • Do I need to see the dentist first?

New regulation has recently come into effect which means that you no longer need to see the dentist prior to booking an appointment with the hygienist. It must however be noted that a visit to the hygienist is not an alternative to seeing the dentist. You will still need to see the dentist for your routine appointments and the hygienist will refer you to the dentist if they notice any problems or if you require treatment which is outside of their training.
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  • What should I do in between hygienist visits to improve the health of my teeth and gums?

In between visits to see the hygienist you should maintain a good oral hygiene routine. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Be sure to change your toothbrush every three months or sooner if it becomes worn.
  • Clean in between your teeth using interdental aids such as floss, interdental brushes or woodsticks.
  • Aim to cut down the number of sugary foods and drinks you have throughout the day and where possible limit them to mealtimes.

So why wait call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book an appointment with the hygienist today!

Is dental bonding good for your teeth?

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Composite bonding or cosmetic bonding is a procedure where the dentist adds a tooth-coloured resin to your teeth to improve their appearance. It is absolutely pain free, no anaesthesia is needed and there is no permanent alteration to the natural tooth structure, as no drilling is necessary.

Composite bonding is a very good option for fixing chipped, fractured, or discoloured teeth, to close small gaps or to improve the general appearance of your smile.

Using modern materials and simple techniques, composite bonding is an affordable and faster alternative to dental crowns or veneers, as it can be done in one single visit to the dentist, which saves you time and money.

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  • Composite Bonding for Crooked Teeth

Composite bonding can help to improve the appearance of slightly crooked teeth. By adding some resin in strategic places, your dentist can disguise misaligned teeth, improving the appearance of your smile.

It is, however, only possible to correct minor position problems with composite bonding. When teeth are more severely misaligned, we would recommend a teeth straightening treatment prior to bonding.

  • Composite Bonding for Bottom Teeth

Composite bonding can be used to improve the aesthetic of the bottom teeth as well, but there are some factors that need to be considered before doing it, like the patient’s bite and how the top and bottom teeth meet.

If the patient has bruxism or suffers from teeth grinding, dental bonding is not a good option because the composite resin is not strong enough to resist to the forces and may fracture.

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  • Can Composite Bonding Close Gaps in My Front Teeth?

Composite bonding is a very good option for closing small gaps between teeth. Either for a single gap or multiple small gaps between all the teeth, you can achieve amazing results with bonding.

The dentist places the composite resin on the teeth, closing the gaps between them or making them more discrete if it is not possible to close them completely. However, if the gap is too big, the dentist might consider a quick teeth straightening treatment before going with the bonding, to avoid extremely big or disproportional teeth.

If you would like to find out more about whether composite bonding is for you, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre today on 01622 682 029 and book a consultation.

Benefits of Fluoride

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Have you ever thought about what the fluoride in our toothpaste does?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in many foods and in all drinking water. Most toothpastes also now contain fluoride, and it is the main way that most people get their fluoride.

Many reports have been published throughout the world about fluoride. After many years, the scientific conclusion is that fluoride toothpaste and correctly fluoridated water are of great benefit to dental health, help to reduce decay, and cause no harmful side effects to general health.

Tooth decay is a major health concern worldwide and is still a big problem in the UK. Despite being preventable, it is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission in children.

Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay.

Fluoride Benefits

Fluoride is beneficial to teeth because it helps to:

  • Rebuild weakened tooth enamel.
  • Slow down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel.
  • Reverse early signs of tooth decay
  • Prevent the growth of certain harmful oral bacteria.

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Fluoride Levels

A range of toothpastes are available containing different levels of fluoride.

  • All children up to three years old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million).
  • After three years old they should use a toothpaste that contains more than 1,000ppm fluoride.
  • Adults should use a toothpaste containing 1350ppm to 1500ppm fluoride.

Oral hygiene advice

It is important that although over the past year all our routines have changed, that we make sure not to forget our oral hygiene.

  • Brush at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes.
  • Use interdental cleaning aids to clean between teeth in those areas that brushing alone misses. There are a wide range of interdental products available so there is bound to be one for you: floss, tape, interdental brushes, floss picks or an air flosser.
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  • Parents should supervise their children’s brushing, starting brushing as soon as their first tooth appears and using only a pea-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste until they are about 7 years old.
  • Spit your toothpaste out after brushing and do not rinse. This will help to ensure that the fluoride stays on your teeth longer.
  • If you use a mouthwash use this at different times to brushing to ensure that you do not wash away the beneficial fluoride from your toothpaste.
  • Aim to limit sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes to reduce the number of acid attacks your teeth must contend with each day.

If you would like more oral hygiene advice, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 to book an appointment with our hygienist today.

The Dangers of DIY Braces

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Over the past few years there has been a large increase in the number of people looking to improve the appearance of their teeth with options such as clear braces and clear aligner therapy. DIY braces and at home teeth straightening options are popping up everywhere, promising dentist quality results at a fraction of the price. The convenience of mail order teeth straightening seems unbeatable, allowing you to straighten your teeth without the need for regular dental appointments. Unfortunately, things that sound too good to be true most often are!

With this in mind there are some things the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centrewant to make you aware of regarding your choice of teeth straightening.

What is mail order teeth straightening?

Companies have started to offer cheaper alternatives to attending the dentist for teeth straightening. These companies will send you an at home impression kit to take impressions of your teeth. Once these are sent back, they will be reviewed by one of their technicians, who determines if you are suitable for these aligners. If so, aligners are sent back to be worn for a prescribed period.

This may seem very similar to the process of teeth straightening through the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre, but there are some very big differences.

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Teeth straightening requires supervision.

Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by a dentist. The dentist can monitor how your teeth are moving and if necessary, they will adjust your treatment plan to ensure your teeth move at the most safe and efficient rate.  Moving teeth without a thorough assessment of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the loss of teeth, which can cause expensive and lifelong dental problems.

Training

Dentists have years of training and they will identify and treat serious oral health concerns before they even consider offering their patients’ teeth straightening treatments. Serious oral health problems, like gum disease and cavities can be overlooked with home kits because there is not a lot that can be seen from photos or impressions. Mail order teeth straightening  do not use x-rays to see the structure below the gum line and with mail order teeth straightening there is no way of knowing what level of training the people assessing your photos and impressions have.

More expensive in the long run

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Moving teeth too fast or with poorly fitting aligners can result in serious problems. A dentist adjusts treatment along the way to correct any orthodontic errors that crop up. Mail order aligners instead operate along the lines of wear it and hope for the best. This can mean that having paid for your mail order teeth straightening, you will then have to pay even more to see a dentist to repair the damage caused.

Teeth straightening is a medical treatment. Straightening your teeth and aligning your bite is a considerable commitment, that requires an experienced dentist. Why trust your smile to anyone else?

If you would like to find out more about teeth straightening, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre today on 01622 682 029 and book a consultation.

Manual Vs Electric. Which is best?

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We are all advised that good oral hygiene is essential to keep our teeth healthy. It is important to ensure that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste. Using a toothbrush regularly helps to remove plaque and bacteria which if left can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Over the past few years, the number of toothbrushes available has increased dramatically and it is very easy to become overwhelmed by the vast array now available in the supermarkets and pharmacies. So which toothbrush is best?

In this blog, we will look at some key characteristics you should consider when next buying a toothbrush.

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Size

Choose a toothbrush with a head small enough to reach all areas of your mouth and that will be able to clean hard to reach areas such as the sides and backs of your molars. The toothbrush should have a long enough handle so you can hold it comfortably in your hand.

Bristle Variety

Look for a toothbrush with soft to medium bristles. If you pick a brush with hard bristles it is very easy to cause damage to your teeth and gums by over brushing. In the long term, this could lead to toothbrush abrasion, this is where the enamel becomes worn away over time due to over vigorous brushing. Once the enamel is worn away it cannot be replaced.

Effectiveness

There have been a large number of studies that have look at the effectiveness of electric verses manual toothbrushes and no difference has been found. It does not matter whether you use an electric or a manual toothbrush the key is to use an effective brushing technique to remove plaque.

Usability

The most important factor when choosing a toothbrush is whether you are going to use it and use it well. Some people prefer the clean from a manual toothbrush, others feel that an electric toothbrush cleans better. If you are comfortable and enjoy using your toothbrush you are more likely to use it for the recommended length of time

No matter what type of toothbrush you choose you should ensure that you change it every three months or sooner if the bristles become worn or splayed to ensure that you can brush your teeth effectively.

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If you are still unsure do not hesitate to ask the dentist or hygienist when you next attend for an appointment and they will be able to advise you on the best toothbrush to meet your needs. Call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 to book an appointment today. 

Restore your smile to its former glory!

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Dental implants are one of the most poplar was to replace missing teeth. A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw to act as an anchor for a crown, bridge or denture depending on the number of teeth to be replaced.

In this month’s blog we are going to look at the benefits of choosing dental implants to replace your natural teeth and the procedure involved to restore your teeth.

Benefits of dental implants.

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Dental implants are currently the closest possible replacement to having your natural teeth back and if they are cared for properly could last for over 10 years.

Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implantation treatment. However, as with all implants there is no 100% guarantee of success.

Dental implants can be used to support crowns, bridges or dentures. This means you may not have to have individual dental implants to replace each missing tooth, as they can support several false teeth.

Dental implants can help to stabilise your jaw, promoting the growth of new bone and reducing the risk of bone loss which can cause sagging and premature ageing to the face.

Dental implants will match seamlessly with your natural teeth so you should be unable to tell the restorations from your original teeth.

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Over the long term, dental implants can provide a cost-effective solution to replace your missing teeth. Dentures or bridges need to be replaced every 5-7 years so overtime the cost of these tooth replacement methods can easily exceed the high initial cost of a dental implant.

Dental implants can be used to securely anchor a denture. This removes the worry of your teeth moving when you talk eat and smile, which can be a concern for some patients with traditional dentures.

Dental implant Treatment

Prior to any treatment the dentist will complete a full assessment of your teeth and gums. They will also take x-rays to determine the level and health of the bone in your aw. If the bone is not healthy enough or there is not enough it may be necessary to perform a bone graft prior to dental implant placement.

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Dental implants are placed under local anaesthetic. You may experience some discomfort in the week following surgery as the bone begins to fuse to the implant, but this should be easily managed with over-the-counter pain killers. This will then be left for 3-5 months to form a secure foundation and to allow the bone to grow around the dental implant securing it in place. 

Once the dental implant has fully healed an abutment is fitted over the top. This will support the crown, bridge or denture.

Prior to starting any treatment, the dentist will provide you with a full written treatment plan explaining exactly what treatment will be carried out and the estimated cost.

Once in place a dental implant should be no more difficult to look after than your natural teeth and can be cared for with a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental and hygienist appointments.

If you would like to find out more and see if dental implants are the right treatment for you, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book a consultation today.