Dental implant treatments
Do you have one missing tooth or perhaps a few and feel self-conscious about your smile?
For many patients, dental implants can be an effective way of filling those gaps, giving you back a natural looking smile that you’ll want to show off.
Implants for a single missing tooth
A dental implant works by embedding a titanium device (like a small metal post or plug) where your root would previously have sat below the gum line. From here, an artificial tooth can be attached/added/fixed, which I ensure looks the same as your surrounding natural teeth.
Dental implants are ideal for replacing a single missing tooth because unlike a dental bridge, dentists do not need to damage the neighbouring teeth to anchor the restoration.
Implants for multiple missing teeth
Dental implants can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth. This can be achieved by fitting a number of single implants or creating a dental bridge, featuring a number of teeth and fixing this to two or more implants. As with implants for a single missing tooth, implants for multiple missing teeth look natural and will fully restore your bite, function and the aesthetics of your smile.
If you are a denture wearer or you’ve been told you need dentures, you may be interested in implant-retained dentures. With implant-retained dentures a number of dental implants are fitted at strategic points in your jaw to give the best strength and stability. Natural-looking bespoke dentures can then be created that clip to these implants.
Implant-retained dentures are transforming the denture-wearing experience because they remove any worries about the dentures moving. They also help to reduce bone loss, support your facial structure better, improve your bite and let you eat a wider range of food. They can also minimise the speech issues that are sometimes associated with dentures.
Dental Implant FAQs
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small part - usually made of titanium, titanium alloy or ceramics - that we can insert into your jaw bone below the gum line to replace the root of your missing tooth. We are then able to attach a prosthetic tooth to this implant.
Yes. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth or even all your teeth. We can also use implants to fix your implant-retained dentures in place.
Dental implants offer the most successful option for replicating your natural teeth. They have comparable strength and, because we can match their colour and shape to your existing teeth, they look 100% real.
Another benefit of dental implants is that, because they sit in your jaw bone, they can help to prevent the bone degradation that usually occurs once a root has been lost. Bone loss can otherwise cause long-term difficulties, such as problems with your bite, facial definition and even with your speech. By putting an implant into your jaw, new bone tends to grow, preventing these problems.
Other restorations undoubtedly have their place and we use them to create outstanding results but dental implants offer a gold standard. For example, if you wear dentures, you may find yourself worrying about the fit and comfort. It may be difficult to eat what you want or to laugh with confidence. Dental implants take away this worry.
Finally, we can fit a dental implant without having to damage your surrounding healthy teeth in order to create a supporting structure. This offers a clear benefit over a dental bridge.
Dental implants have long-term success rates of 93% to 98%, and are well tolerated by the majority of patients. In more complex cases, especially where there has been some bone loss or facial damage, we may need to carry out bone augmentation before we can fit your implant. We would need to assess your individual case to see whether you’re a suitable candidate for implants.
Dental implants can only be fitted once the jaw bone has fully developed and finished growing, which means they are not suitable for children.
Not at all. As long as you’re dentally fit, there’s no upwards age limit for dental implants.
We’ll need to see you for an initial consultation, so that we can examine your teeth, talk to you about your individual case and take a detailed medical history. At this stage, we will also take X-Ray images and computer tomographs for three-dimensional imaging. This will enable us to build up a clear picture of your mouth and see whether there is any bone loss of which we need to be aware.
Before your implant(s) can be fitted, we will need to make sure you are otherwise dentally fit.
When we come to fit your implant(s), we’ll give you a local anaesthetic to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. A temporary restoration may be placed on the implant during the healing stage or, if your wear dentures, you may need to wear these while your mouth heals. We will, of course, discuss all of this with you in advance.
Approximately one week after your operation, we’ll need to see you to remove the stitches at the implant site. It then takes between six and sixteen weeks for you to heal. We will give you detailed aftercare instructions to follow because it’s essential that you look after your teeth and the implant site to prevent infection.
Once the dental implant has healed, we will fit a custom-made crown, bridge or denture (depending on your case) to the implant(s). This will be perfectly matched in shape and colour to your surrounding natural teeth.
Dental implants have an excellent safety record, although they should only ever be fitted by an experienced dental professional. We use leading implant systems that are supported by years of research and successful case studies.
Although your implant(s) can be fitted under local anaesthetic, this is still a surgical procedure. This means that, as with any surgery, risk factors may vary depending on any pre-existing medical conditions you have, such as diabetes or osteoporosis. We will always take a detailed medical history to properly assess your case and make you aware of the potential risks. We will ensure that your overall oral health is good before we go ahead with fitting your implant.
Your dental implant(s) will generally be inserted under a local anaesthetic to minimise the discomfort of the operation. We won’t lie though - you will experience some pain in the days after the procedure but this can usually be managed well with over-the-counter painkillers and following our recommendations for your post-op care.
For a dental implant to be successful, it has to have enough bone to support it. Unfortunately, tooth loss can lead to bone loss.
Bone augmentation is the term used to describe a range of procedures designed to ‘build’ bone in your jaw. These procedures usually involve grafting bone or bone-like materials to your jaw to make the potential implant site stronger and more stable.
After a bone augmentation procedure, we would usually wait four to nine months to give the bone time to grow and strengthen before placing your implant.
Bone augmentation is not necessary in every case. We will look at issues such as bone loss and bone density during your initial assessment and discuss this with you.
The success rate for bone grafts in the jaws for the purpose of placing dental implants is very high. There is a risk that your body will reject the graft, and this risk is higher if you smoke or have certain medical conditions. Again, we would discuss this with you.
Once your dental implants are fitted, you need to look after them in the same way as you would your natural teeth. If you have a bridge fitted to two or more implants, we may need to give you special flossing tools to clean your teeth properly. We will explain all your short- and long-term after-care in detail. As well as brushing and flossing after meals, you will still need to attend your regular check-ups and hygienist appointments.
Every case is different but we would normally expect to place your final restoration about 18 weeks after the implant is inserted in your jaw. In more complex cases, treatment can take up to 18 months.
With the right care and attention, your implants have the potential to last as long as your natural teeth. Factors such as smoking and certain medical conditions can reduce the lifespan.
If you neglect your teeth, your implants can still get plaque and tartar, which can lead to gum infections, bleeding, bone loss and eventual tooth loss.
Simply request a consultation using the form below and a member of our team will contact you to arrange an initial appointment.