Below are some common questions and answers to help guide you though what dental implants are and how they can restore your smile and confidence. If you feel that dental implants are a solution to your individual dental needs, then please contact a member of staff who would be happy to speak to you today.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
A dental implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. Both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as ‘implants’.
Implants can replace a missing tooth or teeth. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set. By replacing your missing teeth you will restore your smile and overall confidence.
It depends on the condition of the bone in your jaw. Your dentist at Bridge Dental Practice will arrange for a number of special tests to find out the amount of bone still there. This will let us know if your bone is healthy enough for an implant to be an option for you.
Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. With the correct aftercare they should last for many years.
Placing the implants means a small operation. This can be done using a simple local anaesthetic, and sometimes with sedation if you are very nervous. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week after the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches, and the normal healing process.
Your dentist at Bridge Dental Practice will give you a treatment plan, indicating the different stages of the treatment. In general the permanent teeth are fitted six to nine months after the implants are put in, but many implant systems now allow the time to be as short as three months.
Your dentist at Bridge Dental Practice will give you recommended guidance after the surgery has taken place. You may need some pain relief after the surgery which your dentist at Bridge Dental Practice will provide. In general we ask that you do not smoke, exercise or drive for the rest of the day. It is important that you follow the instructions, and in general for the long term, look after your implants by brushing regularly – but do not poke at the implant site.
The implants need to bond with the bone after they have been put in. This usually takes at least three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw. Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are fitted for the artificial teeth to be attached much sooner than this. If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you may have a temporary denture in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then you can keep wearing these throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the surgery. A healing cap will usually be placed onto the implant site to protect the area during healing.
Your teeth should be no more difficult to clean than normal, however, good after-care is important if you are going to have a long-lasting, successful implant. Your dentist at Bridge Dental Practice will give you detailed advice on how to look after your implants. Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning around natural teeth. However, there may be areas that are difficult to reach and you’ll be shown methods to help you. You may need to visit your hygienist more often but your dentist will be able to talk to you about this.
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.
Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by a dentist. However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.
Your dentist at Bridge Dental Practice will make sure that the implants wont show during normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.
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.
Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. It is therefore important that you wear a professionally made mouthguard if you play sports that involve contact or moving objects. If there is damage, the teeth can be dismantled from the implant and then replaced. However, if the titanium rod is damaged beyond repair, this part may be safely left in the jaw if it is too difficult to remove. Another implant may be placed alongside it to replace the damaged implant.
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, your dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.
In many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges. Over the longer term, implants are usually a more cost-effective and satisfactory option.
Treatment is available from Bridge Dental Practice, please speak to us for advice. We will be happy to talk through the treatment with you, providing you with a treatment plan and estimate to consider.