What are dental implants?

Dental implants are titanium, cylinder like screws that are placed under the gum into the jaw bone. After a period of healing the bone adapts closely to the implant in a process known as osseointegration. Once this has happened your replacement teeth in the form of a crown, a bridge or a denture can be attached to the implant.

Dental implants have been around for many years and there are different systems on the market. We use a system called Straumann as they have over 30 years of research and are clinically proven visit the Straumann website.

What will the free consultation involve?

The free consultation is for us all to get to know one another. It allows you to get a feel of our practice to see if we are right for you. In this appointment we will assess your needs and assess your suitability for implant treatment. We will also give you an idea of the treatment process and costings, as well as show you pictures of similar cases that we have completed.

Am I suitable for dental implants?

When we assess you for dental implant treatment we will assess your general well being, your medical history, as well as your dental health.

At your first visit we will be able to tell you if you are suitable for dental implants. In general you are most suitable if you lead a healthy lifestyle, are a non smoker and are low risk to gum disease and dental decay. You must also have good quality jaw bones of adequate quantity to receive dental implants.

What is the patient journey like if I were to have dental implants?

After your free consultation once you are happy the next phase is the planning stage. The planning stage involves us taking the necessary X rays, photos and impressions to plan the best form of treatment. This will be discussed in detail with yourself and we also send you a letter fully explaining the proposed treatment including the exact costing.

Once you are happy with the treatment proposed the next stage is the treatment itself. On the day we place the implants and the following few days you will be a little tender and bruised in the area treated. Most people are surprised as they expect more discomfort and many go back to their routine daily lives the following day.

Once the implants are in we let the area heal on average between 8 to 12 weeks. Once the implant has adapted to your jaw bone we then undergo several appointments involving impressions, photos and review appointments before we fit your replacement teeth in the form of a crown, a bridge or a denture.

Throughout this journey our dedicated team will be on hand to support you.

How long does it take to complete treatment?

This depends on the complexity of your treatment but on average it takes between 3 to 6 months involving 6 to 12 appointments. Some implant treatments can take much longer over many more appointments.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental Implants offer several benefits in replacing missing teeth. They have excellent longevity as many studies show success rates in excess of 90% over a 10 year period. For this reason they offer a predictable solution that gives you the confidence to smile and chew. Dental implants are also a conservative option in replacing teeth as they do not compromise you own natural teeth unlike dentures and bridges. Finally dental implants are also versatile as they can replace single tooth or an entire arch, and support crowns, bridges and dentures.

Are there risks associated dental implant treatment?

As with any surgical procedure there are risks associated with having dental implants. If you are considering having dental implants as part of the planning stage we will do a risk assessment and discuss with yourself the potential risks to having dental implants.

Dental implants globally have a 3% failure rate. Those at greater risk are commonly those with advanced gum disease, smokers and those who have undergone previous radiotherapy.

Will I need a bone graft?

With placing dental implants you have to have enough bone for the implants to be inserted. If you do not have enough bone we can perform bone grafting to increase the amount of bone you have for the implants to be placed

During the planning stage we will have a good idea as to whether bone grafting will be needed. This will be discussed with yourself prior to any treatment commencing. We will discuss the bone grafting materials used, the costings and any associated risks.

Are there other options for replacing missing teeth?

Dental implants are not the only option for replacing missing teeth. Dentures and bridges are other options for replacing missing teeth. To find out more information please follow the link to replace your teeth section.

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