What are dental implants?
Dental implants are often the best thing to replace missing teeth. They take the place of the tooth roots and support crowns and bridges and may be used to stabilise loose dentures.
Dental implants are generally made from titanium and are placed into your jaw bone.
Are implants safe? How long will they last?
Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 95 per cent of modern implants should last for many years with the right care.
I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?
Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.
Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?
It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess 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 implants hurt?
Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be done using a simple local anaesthetic, and sometimes with sedation if you are very nervous. Sometimes the dentist needs to use a general anaesthetic for complex cases. 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.
How soon can I have the new teeth?
Usually it is 6 to 12 weeks before the final teeth can be placed on the implants. The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been put in. Sometimes implants may be stable enough when they are fitted for the artificial teeth to be attached immediately. If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the surgery.