We have a special interest in implants at Waterside Dental Health and have many years of experience.
A dental implant is a titanium metal pillar which is placed into the jawbone, used to support one or more fabricated teeth. Implants are an established, well researched treatment. A high percentage of modern implants last your lifetime.
Advantages of implants are that if an implant is used to replace a single tooth, it avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean it is difficult to eat or speak properly due to the dentures moving about, however fabricated teeth attached to an implant do not cause this problem. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants, from a single tooth to a complete set.
Please contact us if you would like to book a consultation.
CAN IMPLANTS ALWAYS BE USED TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH?
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 is not healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.
DO IMPLANTS HURT?
Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with or without IV Sedation. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery which is usually due to having stitches in place and the normal healing process.
CAN I HAVE THE NEW TEETH STRAIGHT AWAY?
A degree of patience is required. The implants need to integrate with the bone after they have been placed, this takes at least 3 months. 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.
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT TAKE?
It takes about 3-9 months from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants. 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.
ARE THE TEETH DIFFICULT TO CLEAN?
Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However you will be shown methods to clean any difficult areas should they occur.
CAN I STILL GET GUM DISEASE?
Yes if you don’t care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and do not smoke, then you should not have any problems.
CAN I TAKE THE TEETH OUT IF THEY ARE FIXED TO IMPLANTS?
Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist. However, if you have a complete set of dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you will be able to take them out for cleaning.
DO THE IMPLANTS SHOW?
Your dentist will make sure that the implants will not 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.
DO I HAVE AN IMPLANT FOR EACH MISSING TOOTH?
Not unless you are only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY GET DAMAGED?
Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. However if the fabricated 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 fabricated teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE IMPLANT DOES NOT INTEGRATE WITH THE BONE?
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; alternatively the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted teeth that have ‘taken’.