11th March 2015
Your top nine dental implant questions
You’ve probably heard people say that dental implants are about as close to replicating the teeth Mother Nature gave you as modern dentistry can currently get. You may be considering dental implants but worried about how they work, whether they’re truly affordable or how long your treatment will take. Never fear – in this week’s blog, we’re answering the seven most common dental implant questions we hear in our Kent-based dental practice.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are essentially a titanium post that is embedded in your jaw bone to replace the missing root of a lost tooth. Once the oral implant is in place, we are able to fit a special abutment on to which we can fix a replacement tooth. Because your jaw bone grows around the dental implant to hold it in place, it should be nearly, if not as strong as your surrounding natural teeth.
Can any dentist fit dental implants?
No, dental implants should always be fitted by an experienced and highly trained Implantologist. If you currently see a dentist who can’t fit dental implants, you can ask for a referral to someone who has the right qualifications and experience.
Can anyone have dental implants?
One of the great things about dental implants is that they are tolerated by most people. You won’t know if you are a suitable candidate until you attend an initial consultation. During this, we will look at your tooth loss, possible implant solutions (e.g. single or multiple implants, or implant-retained dentures) and the health of your jaw bone. In some cases, people need a bone graft before an implant can be fitted if there has already been significant bone loss.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants have an exceptional safety record, both worldwide and here in Kent at Roseacre Dental. Of course, you have to look after your dental implants in the same way as you would care for your normal teeth, otherwise problems such as plaque, gum disease and bone loss can occur. Dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime with the right care.
The success rate of dental implants vary depending on where the implants are placed in the jaw but generally speaking 98% of all implants are placed successfully.
Do dental implants hurt?
When we fit your dental implants, we will numb your mouth using local anaesthetic. There may be some discomfort for several weeks after the procedure as the implant site heals but this can usually be managed successfully with over-the-counter pain medicines. We will talk you through what you can expect to experience at the various stages of this treatment.
How long does dental implant treatment take?
Before you can have a dental implant or implants fitted, we will need to make sure that you are otherwise orally fit. Once we have placed an implant, it typically takes between four and six months for your surrounding jaw bone to bond with the implant and make it secure. During this time, we would usually give you a temporary denture or bridgework to conceal the gap. Once we’re satisfied that the implant is secure, we will fit your permanent restoration.
Are dental implants just cosmetic?
Not at all. Although dental implants do look incredibly natural and will restore your smile, they also have a number of other benefits. Replacing your missing teeth with implants will restore the lost function, meaning that you’ll be able to bite, speak and chew as nature intended.
Dental implants can also safeguard you against the bone loss that happens if you have a missing tooth. In turn, this protects the structure and appearance of your face. Dental implants are also great for your confidence as you don’t have to worry about them moving or coming loose when you talk.
Will I always be able to feel the dental implants?
Once your dental implants are in place, you won’t be able to feel them. In fact, this is something that people often comment on – because there is no longer a nerve or organic root beneath the tooth, eating with several implants feels slightly different to eating with a mouthful of natural teeth. It’s not an unpleasant or painful sensation, just different, and you will quickly adjust.
How many dental implants can I have?
The number of implants we can fit would be decided on a case by case basis, depending on how many teeth are missing, the position of gaps in your mouth and the health of your underlying jaw bone. We would also need to consider your budget. It is possible to fit single or multiple dental implants; we can place implants on either side of a gap as the supports for a bridge or even fit implant-retained dentures to ensure that your dentures always stay in position.
If you’re considering dental implants and live in Kent, why not book an initial consultation here at Roseacre Cottage Dental Practice? We will be happy to answer your oral implant questions, whatever they are. Simply call us on 01622 730 548 or email email@example.com