Whether your tooth loss or gap is congenital (from birth), accidental, or extracted for other health reasons, a dental implant will give you the look, feel and function of an actual tooth. In order to be considered for a dental implant, it is important for you to be in good health, have healthy gums and sufficient bone density in your jaw to hold the implant. Sometimes, a bone graft is used to build up the bone prior to an implant insertion. Like all teeth, dental implants must be cared for by brushing and flossing as well as regular dental visits. In our dental practice, the success rate is very high in the 95% range, with proper care and hygiene.
Following extraction (if applicable), the dental implant procedure involves anaesthesia and surgical insertion of a tiny metal post into the jaw. This will act as a supportive anchor to affix an artificial tooth or denture and keep it in place. The bone will actually grow around and fix the post into the jaw, creating a strong support to hold it in place. A temporary transitional tooth is placed to facilitate healing. Our patients are never without a tooth. After a short healing period, the transitional tooth is removed and the final tooth is placed on the existing implant via a connector. This process allows for a solid foundation and proper gum tissue development, allowing for a completely natural, aesthetic and functional result.
The final tooth is a crown which can be fabricated by porcelain fused to metal or made of ceramic. These can be either cemented in place to provide a consistent stable firm base or removable. Implants can be individual or in a group formation to affix either individual crowns or dentures.
If you are considering having this work done, please talk to one of our dentists in our dental clinic to discuss your benefits, risks and options including permanent or removable implants. We have many photos to illustrate the procedure as well as before and after pictures.
The benefits include improved quality of life and ease of eating compared to conventional dentures. Dental implants also preserve jaw bone, are easy to clean and help to preserve side teeth, keeping them aligned. They have a very long functioning life. They preserve and improve appearance and function.
There are many innovations in implant dentistry. We use sound engineering principles, and the latest technology and techniques. This practice is research-based, long lasting and perfected over time to restore function and beauty. Contact our dental clinic for more details.
Q What are dental implants?
A A dental implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as ‘implants’.
Q Are implants safe? How long will they last?
A Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.
Q I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?
A Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.
Q Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?
A It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.
Q Do implants hurt?
A Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or with a general anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.
Q Can I have the new teeth straight away?
A No. The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw. If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then you can wear them throughout the healing period once they have been adjusted after the surgery.
Q How long does treatment take?
A It takes about 12 months from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants. However, if only the lower jaw is involved then it may only take around 5 months. A lot depends on how complicated your treatment is. Your dentist will be able to give you a timetable once the surgery has been done.
Q Are the teeth difficult to clean?
A Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.
Q If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?
A Yes, if you don’t care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and don’t smoke, then you should not have any problems.
Q Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?
A Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist. However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.
Q Do the implants show?
A Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.
Q Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?
A No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.
Q What if I get hit in the face?
A Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. However, if the false teeth are damaged and the remnants are left in the bone then they may be more difficult to remove than natural teeth would be. After healing, new false teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.
Q What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?
A This happens very rarely. If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way. Once the jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there. Or, the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.
Q Is the treatment expensive?
A Unfortunately, yes. However, in many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges. There are advantages to it, too. An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem.
Call us 01708 751 745 now and make an appointment or use our online appointment system.