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The Ultimate FAQ Guide to Dental Implants

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17-05-2021

The Ultimate FAQ for Dental Implants!

If you are interested in dental implants, then let these frequently asked questions fill in your knowledge gap!

What is a dental implant?

Dental Implants are a long-term solution for fitting prosthetic dental pieces into the mouth. They look like a screw and sit directly in the jaw, much like the root of your teeth. They bond to the bone, making them just as, if not stronger than a natural tooth.

Actual implant size compared to a natural tooth
Actual implant size compared to a natural tooth
How much should I pay for a dental implant?

The cost of dental implants can vary from practice to practice, but ours start from £2650 for a single implant retained crown, and includes a 1 year warranty

Who is not suitable for dental implants?

The dentist will be able to tell you if you are suitable for implants, but as a guide, if your gums are pink and healthy, and you have a good amount of bone to place an implant in, then implants are available to most. Some medical conditions may affect suitability, so a full mouth assessment is required before we can give you a difinitive answer.

Do gums grow around implants?

When an implant is placed, it is put deep into the maxilla or mandible (your upper and lower jaws). With proper care, the gum will stay put around the implant and crown for a very long time. However, like with normal teeth, if the gum has receded, it will not grow back. You may then be looking at gum grafts to cover any tooth/implant on show.

Does food get under denture implants?

If you are wearing a denture retained by implants, then we advise removing it daily for thorough cleaning. Food trapping can cause the gums around the implants to become inflamed and can cause bone and gum loss, just like a real tooth.

How does food not get under dental implants?

The abutment and crown are made to fit snug to the gum, to give a nice apperance. A good oral health regime is needed just like for your natural teeth,

What to avoid after dental implants?

A well healed dental implant will be just as good as a normal tooth. You should, in theory, be able to eat and drink anything you want. It will never stain, since it is made of a non-porous material. However, the crown can break, and the porcelain can sheer off if put under excessive force. As with your own teeth, just be sensible!

What are the disadvantages of having dental implants?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. These include infection, damage to other teeth, delayed bone healing, nerve damage, prolonged bleeding, jaw fractures and more. However, these are all exceedingly rare issues, and if you visit a reputable and experienced dentist, then your treatment should go smoothly.

Generally, what is better than your own tooth? Not much, but a dental implant would be a close second! It acts just as your natural tooth would, so there is not anything better to replace your natural tooth.

Is it ok not to replace a missing tooth?

Absolutely. If you are happy with a gap, and it’s not affecting your eating, then it’s perfectly ok to leave. However, bear in mind that if bone doesn’t have anything to latch onto, it will absorb and disappear. This may affect the suitability for an implant in the future, especially if you have more than one missing tooth in one area. If you are worried, then please feel free to ask a dentist.

Bone will shrink over time with nothing to hold onto
Bone will shrink over time with nothing to hold onto
Can you get a dental implant on the NHS?

Dental implants are not available on the NHS, since they are considered cosmetic, and that there are cheaper, and easier ways to fill a gap left from a missing tooth. NHS dentistry exists to make your mouth and teeth functional, and work must be clinically necessary. As a dental implant is considered more of a luxury way to replace a tooth, then it is usually only available on a private basis.

How do you clean under dental implants?

Dental implants fuse to the bone in your jaw or maxilla. So long as they are properly cared for, you should never actually see the implant again! We recommend cleaning your implant as you would any other tooth and using floss or an interdental aid around it once a day.

Can dental implants be done in one day?

A dental implant can be placed within just a few hours. In fact, the actual placement of the implant itself only takes a few minutes. The setup, the drilling into the implant site, and the suturing afterwards is what takes all the time! We usually look at popping the crown on top within 6 to 8 weeks. This makes sure the implant has securely healed into the bone and can take the forces of a crown.

Do teeth implants hurt?

We always use local anaesthetic when placing an implant. The procedure itself is painless and comfortable. However, the recovery can be a little uncomfortable due to the nature of the surgery. The good news is that your mouth is the fastest healing place on your body, so any tenderness should only last a few days.

What if you cannot afford dental implants?

There are many other options to replace missing teeth, such as dentures and bridges.

Is a dental implant worth it?

If the gap in your teeth bothers you, or makes eating difficult, then an implant could make the world of difference.

Do I need anaesthesia for dental implant?

You will need a local anaesthetic for implant placement, but the procedure itself is no worse than having a filling. If you are a nervous patient, then we do offer sedation.

Anatomy of healthy teeth and tooth dental implant in human dentura
Can you be awake for dental implants?

Generally, a patient will only need a local anaesthetic for implant placement. There is no need to go under a general anaesthetic to have an implant placed. However, if you are nervous, we can offer sedation.

What is the best alternative to dental implants?

If you do not like the idea of a dental implant, then you can always look at having a denture, or a bridge. Your dentist will be able to advise you on what is best.

How long does a dental implant procedure take?

We will book a 2-and-a-half-hour appointment, but don’t worry. A lot of that time will not be spent in your mouth. We need time to set up the surgery, gown up, gown you up, prepare the implant site, place the implant, then suture up the area afterwards, and clean down time.

What is the recovery time for dental implants?

Usually, we advise that it can take up to a few weeks for the area to fully heal. By this time, you will have been seen by the dentist again to review how the site is healing, and to remove any remaining sutures from the area.

Can I get a dental implant years after extraction?

You can, as long as there is enough bone left to support an implant. Usually, if you just have one tooth missing between 2 other teeth, the bone level should be enough. However, bone shrinks over time if it has nothing holding it in place, so this is not always possible, and even less so if you have had many missing teeth for many years.

All is not lost though! We will send you for a CT Scan, which will give us a 3D view of your bone levels. If we find the bone levels are low, then we can, in some cases, look at doing a bone graft to give us the amount of bone that is needed. Your dentist will be the best to advise you on this as it is not available for all patients and you need to meet specific criteria for this.

Can you get a temporary tooth while waiting for an implant?

We will never leave you without a tooth. If you have had a tooth extracted and are awaiting an implant crown, then we will, most often, provide you with a temporary denture to fill the gap. However, if you are happy to wait, then the implant will heal perfectly fine with nothing over it.

A dental implant in situ, compared to it's natural counterparts.
A dental implant in situ, compared to it’s natural counterparts.
Can an implant tooth come loose?

An implant is much like a real tooth. Without good oral hygiene, your teeth will become loose. This is because the bone around the tooth becomes infected, and slowly resorbs, making your tooth loose. The same thing can happen with a dental implant, as the implant acts as the tooth root, and the bone can drop away from it if it is not properly cared for. But the good news is that it is super easy to care for! Brushing twice a day, and using an interdental aid such as floss, will keep your implant nice and clean. We also recommend regular visits to your dentist, so they can keep an eye on your bone levels and clean your teeth as and when required.

How do you fix a failed dental implant?

Hopefully, you will never get to this stage. However, occasionally, an implant will fail.  Not all is lost, though! There are several ways to save an implant and its placement site. We can sometimes perform a bone graft to save a failing implant, giving it new bone to latch on to. Occasionally, we may need to remove the existing implant, let the area heal, and replace a new implant a few months down the line. The dentist will be best to advise you on this.

What do I do if my implant has become loose?

First off, do not panic. 9 times out of 10, it is just the crown that has become loose. Implant crowns are fit in one of 2 ways. You have screw retained crowns and cement retained crowns. Screw retained crowns are just that, they have been screwed into the implant that sits in the gum, and the screw has been covered up with some composite material. Over time, that screw can become loose, so just needs a little tightening up to make the crown fixed again. Cement retained crowns are stuck on with a dental cement. Like mortar between bricks, it can chip away, making the crown wobble and move. In this case, we just pop the crown off and replace the cement. Very rarely is it the implant itself that has become loose.

Can 1 Implant replace 2 teeth?

In some circumstances, yes. But we try not to overload the implant with too much on top, so two implants may be required. Your dentist will be able to advise you as to how many implants and crowns you need.

Is there a cheaper alternative to dental implants?

A dental implant is unique. Apart from your own tooth, there is nothing that comes close. However, there are other options to replace missing teeth, such as dentures or a bridge. Your dentist will be able to advise you on this. There are also options for a single tooth replacement.

What is the failure rate of dental implants?

Dental implants have a high success rate, but some people experience dental implant failure. It is estimated that about 5 percent of dental implants fail, either shortly after a procedure or months or years later.

Are dental implants suitable to replace back teeth?

Yes! Dental implants can replace any missing tooth in your mouth.

If you still have a question about dental implants that this super FAQ has not covered, then please do not hesitate to contact us!

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