What are dental implants?
Are implants safe and how long will they last?
I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?
Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?
Do implants hurt?
How long does the treatment take?
Your dentist will be able to give you a rough timetable before the treatment starts.
Usually the permanent false teeth are fitted 3 to 4 months after the implants are put in. Some teeth can now even be fitted at the same time as the implants (these are called ‘immediate implants’) but you should check with your dentist to see whether these are suitable for you. Sometimes treatment takes longer and your dentist will be able to talk to you about your treatment time.
What about aftercare?
Your dentist will give you instructions on how to look after your implant. They may give you some painkillers after the surgery – or check whether you have them at home – to take over the next few days if you need them.
What happens next?
After your implants have been placed, the bone in your jaw needs to grow onto them and fuse to them. This usually takes a few months. Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are fitted for the false teeth to be attached sooner than this.
If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you may have a temporary denture in the meantime.
If you have full dentures, you can keep wearing these while your implants are healing. Your dentures will need altering, to fit properly after the surgery, and a ‘healing cap’ will usually be placed onto the implant site to protect it.
Are the implant teeth difficult to clean?
If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the implants?
Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?
Do the implants show?
Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?
What if I have an accident?
Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. So it is important that you wear a professionally made mouthguard if you play sports that involve contact or moving objects. If just the teeth are damaged, they can usually be removed from the implant and replaced.
However, if the titanium implant itself is damaged beyond repair, it can be safely left in the jaw if it is too difficult to remove. Another implant may be fitted alongside it to replace the damaged one.
What happens if the implant does not fuse with the bone?
Where do I get this treatment?
It is important to choose right place to get the implant treatment. Choosing an experienced clinic/doctor and a specialist for implantology would be a good idea.
Remember to ask:
• exactly what treatment is proposed
• what experience the dentist has in this work
• the total cost of the treatment; and
• what the alternatives are.
Make sure you get a treatment plan, along with an estimate, and ask if a guarantee is included for your treatment.