• Dental Implants


  • What is a dental implant?

    A dental implant is an artificial tooth root analogue, usually made from commercially pure titanium that is placed into the jaw. A crown or bridge is then fitted on top to replace the missing tooth. They can also be used to help secure loose dentures in place.

  • Do dental implants last for life?

    Once a dental implant has integrated into the jawbone, studies have shown a survival rate in excess of 90% after 15 years. However, studies have also shown that this is reliant on a high standard of daily cleaning, avoiding risk factors such as smoking and active gum disease and regular maintenance with a dental professional. It is important to highlight that nothing man-made can be guaranteed for life but with good maintenance dental implants have shown good success and survival rates.

  • Can Implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

    There are very few absolute contraindications to dental implant treatment however, for some patients there may be some relative contraindications that may either prevent them from having implants or may result in a lower success or survival rate. For these reasons a detailed consultation with our specialist is essential who can discuss any risk factors in detail and your suitability to dental implants

  • Does it matter who places and restores the implants?

    There are no formal training requirements and any competent dentist can place dental implants and restore them. It is therefore essential to ask the clinician about their training and experience in dental implants. This will allow you to make an informed choice about who is most suited to placing and restoring your implants.

  • Is the process painful?

    Dental implants are placed under local anesthetic for the majority of patients and is a pain free procedure. As with any surgical procedure you may experience some postoperative discomfort that can be adequately managed with a few days of painkillers. In some cases conscious sedation options can be considered If the patient is nervous about the treatment.

  • How long does treatment take?

    Once you have decided to proceed with implant treatment, a small amount of time is spent planning the case. This involves defining where the final teeth should go and then planning to place appropriate size and number of implants in relation to the final proposed restoration. Planning to place the implants in relation to the proposed final position of the teeth gives a more predictable outcome as oppose to placing the implants and then attempting to place a restoration based on the position of the implants. After the implants have been placed, you would be advised to wait 3-6 months for the implants to adequately integrate with the bone before they are loaded. In some cases it may be possible to load the implants a lot sooner and even immediately after placement should you wish to go down this route. Once healed, an impression is then taken of the implant fixture and given to a dental technician, who will build a bespoke replacement to the required size, shape and colour. A few weeks after the impression has been taken the final restoration can be fitted. In some cases you would be advised to have a temporary restoration fitted prior to the final restoration, This is usually the case when replacing teeth which would be visible when smiling. The temporary restoration would allow us to make any desired changes to the restoration and control the shape of the gum around the restoration. Once happy the modified temporary restoration can be copied to make the final restoration.

  • Are the teeth difficult to clean after implants?

    No. The teeth attached to the implants are no more difficult to clean than your normal teeth. There may be areas that are more difficult to reach, but your dentist will show you different methods for best cleaning there. Regular trips to the dental hygienist are also recommended, but again, your dentist should advise you on this. Good oral hygiene is vital after implants have been fitted. As well as avoiding decay and gum disease, this will prolong the success and life of the implant.

  • Do I have to have an implant for each missing tooth?

    It is not necessary and often inappropriate to have an implant placed for each missing tooth. In cases where there are multiple missing teeth a few strategically placed implants can be placed to help retain a bridge replacing multiple missing teeth. Carefully planned and placed implants can also mean that if further teeth are lost in the future, it may be possible to use the same implants to replace the additional missing teeth, by simply changing the type of restoration present.

  • Am I suitable for Tooth implants?

    Generally, most people are suitable for dental implants as long as your general and oral health is good. In order to place implants it is essential that there is sufficient height and width of bone available. This is usually determined through a cone beam CT scan as part of the planning stage. In some cases it may not be possible to place implants due to the lack of bone but in many cases the bone can be grafted either prior to implant placement or at the time of placement. Details of the options available will be discussed in detail as part of the planning process.

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