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8 Common Questions About Dental Implants Answered


Dental implants changed the way we look at tooth loss. They give smiles a second chance, providing long lasting solutions to missing teeth. Whether the problem is just one tooth that needs to be replaced or several, implants will restore the smile back to its former glory. Here are the most common questions that we get asked about treatment


What are dental implants?

Dental implants act as replacement teeth and are placed in the jawbone (mandible) or upper jaw (maxilla) to support a crown, bridge or full arch. The implants themselves are made from biocompatible materials, including titanium, which fuses to the bone during a process called osseointegration. As a result, implants become solid support structures for replacement teeth, making them the best solution for missing teeth and gaps in your smile. 


As implants are fitted directly into the jaw, they are a permanent treatment option and are fixed. Secure and reliable, implants are easy to maintain and act just like natural teeth. They are also susceptible to failing if they aren’t maintained with as much care as your natural teeth. Regular brushing and trips to the dentist will ensure implants last a lifetime. 


Who can have dental implants?

Not everyone can have dental implants as there needs to be sufficient jawbone density in order for the implant to fuse properly and with success. If the jawbone is too thin or needs more density, there are bone grafting treatments as well as sinus lifts to provide more space for the implants to fuse. These treatments do add to the overall time of the treatment. 


Before having implant treatment, patients need to have decent oral health. Issues like gum disease will need to be cleared up so that there is a reduced chance of bacteria impacting the recovery time when the implants need to fuse and heal. Certain medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or conditions that affect the immune system may affect the healing process after implant surgery. Smoking also impacts recovery so we highly recommend that while having implant treatment, you consider giving up smoking to give your implants the best chance of success. 


We mainly only treat adults with dental implants as adolescents and young jawbones are still developing. Most adults will be suitable for implant treatment. If you’d like to find out if you are suitable, we can arrange a free consultation so we can assess whether or not we believe implant treatment is for you. 


How long do dental implants last?

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime if everything is looked after. Implants can last over twenty years given that they are well maintained. To give implants the best chance of a long life, you’ll need to ensure you keep up a good standard of oral hygiene. Just like natural teeth, implants rely on healthy gums to stay stable and secure. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups help prevent gum disease and peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant).


Certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, can increase the risk of complications and implant failure. Smoking, in particular, is known to impair healing and increase the likelihood of implant-related problems.


What is the dental implant procedure like?

Dental implant treatment can take several months as there are a few steps and different appointments before achieving a complete smile. 


Initial consultation:

During this first step, we address how many implants you need and talk through the treatment, including your expectation, how long the treatment will take and provide quotes for the treatment. 


Treatment plan:

Every patient is different so we put together an itemised plan with each appointment and step of the treatment. The plan will include CBCT scans and x-rays, digital impressions, surgery, restoration work and post-treatment check-ups. 


Bone grafting:

If you have insufficient jawbone for the implant, our first step is to make sure that your jaw is ready for the treatment. We will replenish the jaw bone and encourage bone tissue to develop ready for the treatment. 


Implant placement:

Once we are ready for the implants, we book you in with our implant surgeon who will talk you through the process. Each implant only takes up to twenty minutes to place. We always use local anaesthetic and well make sure you are comfortable every step of the way. Once the implants are placed, we will provide you with temporary bridges to keep the area covered up and safe. 


Osseointegration:

After implant placement, we have to wait for the implants to fuse. This can take weeks or months depending on your healing factors. There are treatments like PGRF that can speed up the healing process. 


Abutment Placement:

Once the implants have fused successfully, we place abutments on the top of the implant. These are foundations for each artificial tooth. We then take scans and digital impressions of your mouth with these abutments in place. These scans are used to digitally design your replacement teeth, whether a crown for an individual tooth or even a full arch if you are replacing your full smile. 


Fitting the replacement teeth:

Once we have the new teeth, we arrange for a fitting. We make sure everything is secure and that you are happy with the end result. 


Are dental implants painful?

There can be some discomfort after implants have been placed as is the case for any surgery. However, pain killers can manage the initial discomfort as the implants heal and the area recovers from the treatment. Most patients remark on how painless the treatment itself is as we use local anaesthetic. 


While we expect there to be some aching after the surgery, if you experience any prolonged discomfort, you should contact your dentist right away. 


What are the benefits of dental implants compared to other restorative options?

Implants are widely regarded as the best solution to replacing missing teeth. Here’s why.


Improve general oral health: 

Unlike with bridges and dentures, dental implants help preserve bone in the jaw by stimulating bone growth and preventing bone loss, which can occur after tooth loss. 


Enhanced Functionality: 

Unlike dentures, implants are secure so you feel more comfortable when chewing, biting and speaking. There will be no embarrassing slippages or loose dentures as they are fixed in place. Dental implants function and feel like natural teeth, allowing for comfortable chewing, 


Long-term treatment:

Implants are designed to last a lifetime. If looked after well, you won’t need any replacements and maintenance is straightforward. No need to remove and soak as is the case with dentures. 


How do I care for dental implants?

Proper care and maintenance are essential for ensuring the long-term success of dental implants. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Use a nylon-coated interdental brush or dental floss to clean between the teeth and around the implant-supported restoration. Avoid using abrasive toothpaste or dental products, as they can scratch the surface of the implant restoration and promote bacterial growth. If you smoke, consider quitting to improve the long-term success of your dental implants.


Schedule regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings to monitor the health of your implants and surrounding tissues. Your dentist can detect any issues early and provide appropriate treatment to prevent complications.


Avoid chewing on hard foods, ice, or non-food items that can exert excessive pressure on the implant-supported restoration and potentially damage it. Stick to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to support overall oral and systemic health.


Can implants replace a whole set of teeth?

With dental implants, it’s possible to restore a full set of teeth. There are different methods depending on patient preference. One method is ‘All-on-4’ where there are fewer implants placed in the upper and lower jaw bones. These implants are strategically positioned to support the prosthesis as the full arch is crafted as a whole piece. This treatment ensures that the patient receives a set of teeth without too much time spent on recovery. You will need to check with your dentist and ask if they provide this method of implant treatment. 


For patients wearing full dentures, these can be modified to fit upon implants. Implant-retained dentures offer a great solution, giving all the benefits of implants while saving time and money making a replacement set of teeth. 


Find out more about implants

At De-ientes Dental, we have restored thousands of teeth with implants. Our gentle approach to care makes us a popular choice when it comes to helping patients regain their confidence and completing their smiles. Choosing to have implant treatment is a big decision and there’s no escaping the price tag that it comes with. We offer 0% finance options for patients who would prefer to spread the cost over monthly increments. We also offer free consultations to give you the chance to ask questions and get the answers directly about the treatment. You can find out costs along with what to expect during treatment. 


You can book a free consultation here. Similarly, if you have any questions, you can call a member of our team on 020 8731 9020.

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