Thinking about dental implants? Below is a selection of frequently asked questions to help you decide whether dental implants might be the right option for you. Our friendly team is always on hand to help if you’d like to speak in person; and if you decide you’d like to find out more, we offer free of charge dental implant consultations with our in-house implantologist Dr Neel Kothari. Enquire at reception or give us a call on 01223 835845.
1. What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a "root" device, made of titanium, used in dentistry to replace missing teeth by supporting restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. Implants are placed into the jaw bone underneath the gum. When replacing a single tooth, a crown is fitted upon it, which will emerge from the gum line as the natural tooth would have done. Implants can also be used to replace multiple teeth by securely fixing a bridge or denture to them. In this case, one or more implants may need to be used.
2. What is the benefit of having dental implants?
Dental implants allow patients to eat and smile with confidence, as they provide a long term and predictable way to replace missing teeth. Because they are rigidly fixed to the jaw they provide excellent strength for chewing and do not damage other teeth in the way that conventional bridges do.
3. Am I a suitable candidate for a dental implant?
If you are missing one or more teeth, then you may be a candidate for dental implantology. At High Street Dental Practice we look at your overall health rather than your age before deciding your suitability for the procedure. In order to successfully place an implant we also need to assess your jaw, especially in the area the implant would be positioned. In the initial consultation, which we provide free of charge, preliminary checks of the jaw’s bone structure, the surrounding teeth and the health of your gums are undertaken. During the initial consultation we will also discuss with you all of the available options and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages they hold.
4. How do dental implants compare to dentures?
Dental implants are fixed firmly in place and unlike dentures do not need to be removed at night-time or for cleaning purposes. They will not move when eating and they function just like your natural teeth. This means that it is easier to eat and to speak clearly. ‘Dentures’ and ‘implants’ are both valid options and the decision on whether to have dental implants will be different for each patient. In many cases implants can be used in combination with dentures in order to help secure loose dentures from moving.
5. How long does the treatment take? Does it hurt?
Typically treatments take between 3 to 6 months, but this varies from patient to patient. Due to the high quality of modern day dental anaesthetics the treatment itself is generally regarded by most patients as ‘reasonably comfortable’. Following dental implant surgery, common analgesics such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are usually recommended for the first few days following surgery.
6. What does the process involve?
Treatments involving dental implantology usually require around 9 visits. This involves a number of appointments needed for accurately assessing each patient, planning the treatment, carrying out the surgery, ensuring that the implants are satisfactory and fit for purpose, as well as reviewing the treatment a few months after it has been completed.
7. Are implants safe? How long will they last?
Dental Implants have been tried-and-tested for well over 35 years. They are backed by a well-established scientific evidence base and studies show that over 90% of implants placed last for more than 15 years. With good oral health, as with your natural teeth, implants may last even longer.
8. Do you offer any guarantee for implant treatments?
For most patients we offer a 2 year guarantee for implants carried out at our practice. However there are certain things outside of our control that can affect the success rate of your treatment, such as smoking, trauma or undiagnosed medical conditions, for which we may not be able to offer our standard guarantee.
9. What can be done if a dental implant ‘fails’?
On rare occasions implants fail to ‘integrate’ with the jaw bone. Certain medical conditions and social habits such as smoking can affect the success rate of this integration, so it is important that these are discussed with your dentist in advance. If an implant fails to integrate it can take up to 6 months before the jaw is ready for another attempt at placing a dental implant.
10. Would I feel any discomfort when the implants are put to use?
No. Once the implants have bonded with the jaw bone they should function very much like your natural teeth.
11. How should I look after my new tooth?
You should look after your implant in exactly the same way that you look after your other teeth. This should include brushing twice a day and cleaning in between the teeth daily. Your dentist can advise you of the most appropriate cleaning techniques for this, such as using dental floss, tape or brushes to clean in between your implants and teeth.
12. How much does it cost?
The usual cost for a single dental implant is £2,200. Each patient is given an individual cost estimate and fee guide prior to treatment. In many cases where more than one implant is required a reduction in fees is offered in order to reflect a reduction in our overall costs.
13. I’m interested. How do I find out more?
Simply call in or ask at reception to be booked in for a free of charge dental implant consultation with our in-house implantologist, Dr Neel Kothari.