Virtual Online Consultation
Connect with Dr. Elaine Halley and get all of your questions answered in three easy steps, without ever leaving home!
Dental Implants FAQs
Dental implants provide a permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth. In addition to improving the aesthetics of the mouth, dental implants also restore function. Review the following frequently asked questions to learn more about the dental implant procedure.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, either by themselves or to ‘fix’ on other structures such as bridges or dentures. Dental implants are made of titanium and are effectively a replacement tooth root upon which we can place a crown or cap or use other attachments to replace multiple missing teeth. They are a very well researched, very reliable treatment option.
How many visits are required for dental implants?
The entire dental implants process can take several visits spaced out over many months. This is partly because the bone must heal after the dental implant post is put in place before the dental crown can be added.
Who is a good candidate for the procedure?
The best candidates for dental implants are patients who are missing one or more teeth, have good general health, have good oral health, and have sufficient bone density to support the implant post. If there is insufficient bone density, the patient may still be considered a candidate for dental implants. However, an additional procedure is required first to address this factor.
Do dental implants look like my natural teeth?
Yes, the dentist will match the implant in shade, size, and shape to your existing teeth to create the most natural-looking, attractive results. Most people will not tell that your dental implant is not your natural tooth.
How do I care for dental implants?
Dental implants are cared for in the same way as natural teeth. Good oral hygiene, including regular flossing and brushing, will ensure that dental implants last a lifetime.
Can I whiten dental implants?
No. Only natural tooth structure can be whitened, meaning that dental implants will not respond to teeth whitening procedures.
Can dental implants go wrong?
Failure rates in implants are very low compared with many other treatments. You cannot get gum disease around implants. Implants can fail for a few reasons; if there is poor healing of the bone or if an infection takes up in the gum around the implant – known as peri-implantitis. The dental hygienist or therapist can treat this under the dentist’s direction. If you have implants placed, you must see a hygienist regularly and be meticulous with your cleaning routines.
Am I suitable?
Most people are suitable for implants, with a few exceptions. There needs to be enough infection-free bone to place an implant into. However, if teeth have been missing for a long time, there are ways of augmenting or building the bone back up, meaning there are often ways around this problem.
If you suffer from aggressive gum disease, it can sometimes be worth taking teeth out sooner rather than later to preserve the remaining bone. However, as soon as a tooth is removed, the bone starts to reshape, and it is often better to have an implant placed straight away or within six weeks of losing a tooth.
Some medications affect the healing of the implant. This means that people who take these are not good candidates. People who smoke can have implants placed but are advised that reducing consumption around the healing time will provide a more reliable outcome. Age is not a problem. We have successfully placed many implants in people aged 80 and over. At the younger end – it is best to wait until growth is complete. The early 20s are usually the safest age for young people.
Implants can sometimes be a more cost-effective alternative to complex alternatives. We often see people who have had complex dentistry performed in the past, which needs more attention—for example, failing root treatments or crown and bridge work.
Sometimes, a technique called All on 4, where four implants are used to support an acrylic bridge, can be a more cost-effective alternative to complex dentistry. Often the teeth can be removed, and the bridge fitted all in one day, without the need for a temporary denture.
If your questions haven’t been answered or you would like to book an appointment, please call us or fill out the contact form.
Spread the cost
Payment plans to suit every budget.
Start your smile journey
With us, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. We always put our patients first. Our patient-centred approach means we can deliver expert dental care tailored to your individual needs and personality.
Our goal is to ensure you feel healthy, confident, and able to enjoy the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Call 01738 624 667 to arrange an appointment.