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Implants

Dental implants are the closest replacement to a natural tooth – a fixed (non-removable) option to replace one or more missing teeth, that functions as a natural tooth would.

A dental implant is a medical grade titanium screw, secured into bone just as the root of a tooth is. Depending on the amount of teeth to be replaced a single implant, or multiple, can be placed to act as a foundation for either an implant retained crown, bridge or denture; restoring not just aesthetics but function as well.

WHO IS A DENTAL IMPLANT SUITABLE FOR?

Dental implants are a suitable option for most adults looking to replace missing teeth or failing teeth, with an otherwise healthy mouth. If you have decay or gum disease, this will need treatment before you can be considered. There are many reasons why you might consider dental implant treatment, such as:

 

  • Replace a tooth that is failing, or has been lost to removal, trauma or that never developed.
  • To improve your chewing ability if you have missing back teeth.
  • Additional support for a denture to make it more stable and secure, or to completely replace a removable denture with fixed teeth.
  • Replace an existing bridge that keeps coming loose.
  • To help protect your other teeth by spreading biting forces more evenly, or over more teeth.
  • To stop the teeth on either side of a gap from tilting or drifting into the gap.

TREATMENT PROCESS – FIRST APPOINTMENT

STEP 1

You’ll be given local anaesthetic to numb the area.

STEP 2

An incision is made in the gum and a small opening is prepared in the bone to place the implant in to.

STEP 3

Once the implant is in place the incision in the gum will be closed with stitches, covering everything back over to start the healing phase. If you have chosen to have a temporary restoration, such as a denture, to cover the gap during the healing phase then you will be able to wear this over the covered implant.

STEP 4

A quick x-ray will be taken to check that everything is in the perfect position and you will be given some after care instructions to help get your new dental implant off to a great start.

TREATMENT PROCESS – SECOND APPOINTMENT

STEP 1

You’ll be given local anaesthetic to numb the area.

STEP 2

A small cut in the gum will be made to access the top of the implant and to check it has settled into the bone nicely.

STEP 3

An abutment will be placed on to implant to help shape the gum in preparation for your new tooth. This will sit at, or slightly above, the gum level and will look like a small metal disc.

STEP 4

You may need some stitches to help hold the gum in place as it start to heal although this is not always necessary. Don’t worry if you have a temporary denture or bridge as this will sit neatly over the abutment meaning you can still wear it until your new tooth is ready.

STEP 5

Another small, quick x-ray will be taken to make sure everything is perfectly placed looking healthy.

TREATMENT PROCESS – THIRD APPOINTMENT

STEP 1

The healing abutment will be gently unscrewed and replaced with a small, digital scanning post. We’ll then take a digital scan of your teeth and the implant site (no messy or gloopy impressions!), match the colour to your existing natural teeth and send it to the lab so they can make your new implant retained crown, bridge or denture with absolute accuracy.

STEP 2

Once the scan has been completed the scanning post will be removed and the healing abutment put back in place, to maintain the gum whilst your new tooth is being made.

TREATMENT PROCESS – FOURTH APPOINTMENT

STEP 1

We’ll remove your healing abutment and try in your new crown, bridge or denture, which will be tested for size, fit and colour.

STEP 2

Once we’re satisfied that everything is perfect we’ll gently screw it securely it into its place on top of your implant.

STEP 3

Your bite will be checked using marking papers to ensure that everything is fitting perfectly and is comfortable before you leave the practice

HOW MUCH DOES A DENTAL IMPLANT COST?

A single dental implant restored with a single crown starts from £2600.
Guided bone regeneration, which is necessary in some cases, starts from £500.

Cases that require multiple implants, or implant retained bridges or dentures, can vary from case to case depending on the number of implants and replacement teeth needed.

We will discuss all costs, as well as provide you with a personalised treatment plan, so that you are aware of the appointment structure and the associated costs for each stage.

 

AFTERCARE

While you are still numb:

  • Avoid chewing on the numb side of your mouth as you may bite your tongue and lips without noticing
    Be careful with hot drinks, as it may be difficult to tell if the temperature is too hot
  • You will be given tailored aftercare instructions throughout your dental implant treatment dependent on the stage that you are at.

Once your implant treatment has been completed you will be able to use your new crown, bridge or denture straight away as you would your natural teeth, including brushing and interdental cleaning.

Although dental implants are not susceptible to decay they can still develop gum disease in the surrounding gum and bone, this can lead to loosening or even loss of your dental implant just as it would for a natural tooth. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you keep your dental implant, and the rest of your teeth, clean and healthy, to help your dental implant last the many decades that it can.