A dental implant is a small titanium screw which is gently placed into the jawbone, to act as a replacement root . The implant serves as a base for a custom made tooth crown that will be attached to it, and used to support either one or more false teeth. Dental implants are now replacing dentures and bridges for treatment of missing teeth- allowing everyone to have their smile back.
Are Implants safe? How long will they last?
Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. Well maintained implants should last for many years if correctly maintained. However just as you would expect conventional crowns, bridges, and fillings to need occasional repairs, the same is true of implants. In the rare instances that implants do not function properly, we can usually perform procedures to correct the problem.
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. Dr Puri 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 carried out under local anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.
Can I have the new teeth straight away?
No. The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed. This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw. 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 you can wear them throughout the healing period once they have been adjusted after the surgery.
What should I expect?
Treatment with implants can be broken down into 4 stages: the treatment planning, implant placement, the abutment( post) placement, and the crown placement.
X- rays will be taken, and models of your existing teeth created, to assess how the implant should be placed.
On occasions bone grafts can be necessary to provide an adequate site for placement. The implant is then placed into the bone and allowed to heal ( osseointegrate) before the abutment and crown are placed. The final crown is usually placed 3-6 months after the implant placement.
Are the teeth difficult to clean?
Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.
If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to 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’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.
Do the Implants show?
Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.
What happens if the Implant does not bond (integrate) 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. Or, the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.
How much do Implants cost?
This will vary depending on the complexity of your treatment. Dr Puri will give you a bespoke treatment plan with costings before your treatment is started.
It may be possible for your payments to be made on an interest free payment plan. While implants can have a higher initial cost, the long term financial outlay is normally less than that of other conventional options.