Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs: Dental Implants
Can I have teeth which attach to the jawbone?
Yes, by having implants. The success of this technique means you may be able to replace missing teeth without crowning other teeth and you can have any number of teeth replaced– from one single tooth to a complete set.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium metal supporting rod which is placed into the jawbone and which supports one or more false teeth. At the Dental Lounge we use the Straumann implant system. Please click here for more information regarding these (external link will open in a new window).
Are they safe and how long will they last?
These are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment and over 95 per cent of modern implants should last for many years with the right care.
Can they always be used to replace missing teeth?
It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. We will arrange for a number of special tests to find out the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.
Do they hurt?
Placing the implants needs a small operation. This can be done using a simple local anaesthetic, or with sedation if you are very nervous. You will not feel any pain at the time, but may feel some discomfort during the week after the surgery, although this is almost always very minimal.
How long does treatment take?
We will be able to give you a rough timetable before the treatment starts. Usually the permanent teeth are fitted anywhere between 10 weeks and 9 months after the implants are put in. 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.
Are the teeth difficult to clean?
No, but aftercare is important if you are going to have a long-lasting, successful implant. You will be given detailed advice on how to look after them. Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning 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 our hygienist more often but we would talk to you about this. Remember that it is as important to care for your remaining teeth as it is to replace the missing ones.
If I had gum disease with my own teeth, will I get it with the implants?
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.
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 complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you can take them out for cleaning.
Do the implants show?
Your dentist will make sure that they won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them however, so that you can clean them properly.
Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?
No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced. Each implant can usually support two teeth so two or three may be used for a few missing teeth, and five or six to replace all the teeth in one jaw.
What happens if the implant does not bond 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 we can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.
Is the treatment expensive?
Implants are a high end treatment and are priced accordingly and we will be able to provide you with a written quotation of cost. However, over the longer term, they are often a more cost-effective and satisfactory option. There are other advantages too, as replacing a single tooth with one avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem as they are more firmly anchored to the bone than the natural teeth.