Dental implants can only be placed once the jawbone has stopped growing, so generally can only be placed in adults. Lifestyle choices such as smoking or heavy drinking can affect the success rate of implant placement; also patients with a history of gum health problems may not be suitable for an implant. All of this will be discussed with you at your consultation appointment.
Are implants safe and how long will they last?
Implants are a safe, well-established treatment. Implants, much like natural teeth, will last for as long as you care for them.
If your implants are well looked after, and if the bone they are fitted to is strong and healthy, you can expect them to last for many years. However, just as with other surgical implants (such as a hip replacement) there is no lifetime guarantee. How well you look after your implants - and whether you go for your regular maintenance appointments - will have the biggest impact on how long they will last.
Will I have any discomfort during or after the procedure?
Whilst placing the implant into the jaw, a local anaesthetic will be used and you should not feel any discomfort. As with any surgical procedure, you may feel some discomfort for the following few days. This is usually due to having stitches and the normal healing process
Is there any age limit to implant therapy?
If is possible to insert impants as soon as the jaw has stopped growing. Therefore, in young patients, dental implants can only be placed one their jaw bones are fully developed. At the other end of the spectrum, as long as there are no other significatn risks, there is no age limit.
What will happen at my consultation appointment?
At your initial consultation you will be expected to answer detailed questions concerning your medical history and there will be a complete examination of your mouth and remaining teeth, your dentist will then assess the feasibility of providing implant treatment. Usually x-rays will be taken and models of the teeth prepared so that these can be examined after your visit, these x-rays and models will be used to determine the optimal position for an implant.
Establishing good basic dental health is a key stage in any treatment plan. At this first appointment you should be made aware of which problems are urgent, and what treatment is required to stabilise any gum- or tooth-related problems.
How long will it take to place an implant?
If you are suitable for the treatment, an appointment will be booked where the surgery will be carried out. This appointment usually takes around 2 – 3 hours, however it does depend on the individual’s treatment plan. Once the titanium screw has been placed into the jaw, it needs to left at least 2 -3 months before the next stage, as it takes time for the screw to integrate (bond) with the bone.
The next stage would be to return to the dentist for them to check that the implant has integrated and plan for the permanent restoration. An impression of your mouth may be taken at this appointment. Finally, the laboratory needs to construct the final restoration (crown), this takes around two weeks and the fitting would take one hour.
How much does an implant cost?
The cost of an implant and its supporting crown is £2000
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.