Implants are now a routine and predictable option for the replacement of a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. They can also be used to support a denture.
The implants used in this practice are titanium rods, which are surgically placed in the jawbone under local anaesthetic and are biocompatible with the body. They are positioned usually where the root of your tooth once was. The length and diameter of the implant used is dependent upon your anatomy. They integrate with the bone, a process called osseointegration. They do not require preparation of any other teeth.
Who can have implants?
There are very few absolute contra-indications to having implant treatment. However, many factors will need to be assessed in order to consider implant treatment. This includes your general health status, how much space you have to accommodate an implant and the quality and quantity of bone you have. Implants should also be placed in a healthy mouth and therefore we will advise you if there is any other treatment you require prior to having the implants placed. We will look at all these factors at your initial implant consultation and take radiographs (x-rays) and other special tests where required.
How successful are implants?
Over 90 percent of implants are successful for at least 15 years.
Who may benefit from treatment with implants?
- Patients who struggle wearing dentures
- Where teeth are lost accidently due to trauma
- Where some teeth have failed to develop
- Where conventional bridgework has failed
Can I have the new teeth straight away?
No. The implants need to 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 these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the implant placement.
How long does treatment take?
The time from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants, is about 12 months. However, if only the lower jaw is involved then the whole process may be completed in around 5 months.
A lot depends on how complicated your treatment is. Your treatment will be discussed with you fully at your initial consultation and a treatment plan and detailed cost breakdown will be sent to you once it is clear that implants are viable. We will also be able to give you a definitive timetable once the surgery has been completed.
What maintenance is required?
Long-term care of an implant restoration is vital. It is important to maintain the highest level of oral hygiene and to attend for regular check-ups and radiographs (x-rays). We will show you how to take care of your implant and will arrange appropriate, regular maintenance with one of our hygienists.