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Treatments > Dental Implants in Barbican

Our Barbican Dentist, Dr Michael Fisher, understands that patients have lots of questions about Dental Implants and other treatments.

Please click on the questions below to view the answers, or call the practice on 020 7638 8200 if you would like to find out more.

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is typically a small screw shaped attachment usually made from titanium.  It is inserted within the jawbone to take the place of a missing tooth root.  Once osseointegration  (when the bone attaches firmly to the implant) has occurred, a replacement tooth can be secured to the top of the implant. This new tooth can look, feel and perform just like a natural tooth. It is also possible to use multiple implants to support a denture or bridge.

What Are The Benefits Of Implants?

  • Implant secured or stabilist replacement teeth are more comfortable than conventional dentures because there is no slipping or movement. This eliminates some of the key worries of dentures and improves self confidence.
  • Dental implants are the alternative to bridgework for permanently replacing missing teeth, eliminating the need to grind down healthy teeth.
  • When teeth are missing the surrounding bone begins to shrink.  Dental implants can help to maintain the shape and structure of the jaw bone

What Is Involved In The Implant Process?

The implant process normally involves several steps that take place overa period of time from three to nine months.  Although there are various implant treatment methods, a typical process often includes:

  • Assessment Planning – At this initial consultation, x-rays and preliminary models may be taken, and then a written plan will be produced which will detail the sequence of treatment and its cost.
  • Implant Placement – A relatively simple minor surgical procedure that is performed under sterile conditions in the dental surgery under local anaesthesia, and if indicated, supplemented by conscious sedation.
  • Integration Period – Although some implants can be loaded into function immediately or soon after surgery, it is more usual that a period of three months or more be allowed for the implant to fully integrate before loading. Your owndenture or a simple adhesive bridge can be worn during the healing process.
  • The Restorative Phase – Once integrated, the implants may need to be uncovered and can be brought into function with a variety of restorations. The replacement teeth are constructed by a specialist dental laboratory working closelywith the dentist.
  • Maintenance – To maintain the health of the soft tissue, bone levels, and the integrity of the restoration, the patient must clean thoroughly around the implants as instructed by the dentist, and should regularly attend for reviews.

Are implants safe? 

Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.

I have some of my own teeth.  Can I still have implants?

Yes.  You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

Barbican Dental PracticeIt depends on the state of the bone in your jaw.  Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there.  If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

Do implants hurt?

Placing the implants requires a small operation.  This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or with a general anaesthetic.  You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery.  This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.

Can I have the new teeth straight away?

No.  The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed.  This takes at least 3 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw.  If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime.  If you have complete dentures, then you can wear them throughout the healing period once they have been adjusted after the surgery.

How long does treatment take?

It takes about 12 months from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants.  However, if only the lower jaw is involved then it may only take around 5 months.

A lot depends on how complicated your treatment is.  Your dentist will be able to give you a timetable once the surgery has been done.

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth.  However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.

If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?

Yes, if you don’t care for them well enough.  If you keep them clean, and don’t smoke, then you should not have any problems.

Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?

Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist.  However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.

Do the implants show?

Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips.  You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.

Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?

No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced.  Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth.  For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.

What if I get hit in the face?

Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can.  However, if the false teeth are damaged and the remnants are left in the bone then they may be more difficult to remove than natural teeth would be.  After healing, new false teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.

What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?

This happens very rarely.  If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way.  Once the jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there.  Or, the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.

Is the treatment expensive?

Unfortunately, yes.  However, in many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges.

There are advantages to it, too.  An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge.  Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about.  But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem.

Where do I get this treatment?

Talk to your dentist, so you can be referred to a specialist for assessment and treatment.  Your dentist may already carry out some or all of this type of treatment and will give you the advice you need.

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.

If you are unhappy with any of the answers then do ask for a second opinion.  You will be spending a lot of time, effort and money so you must be sure that you know what you are getting at the end of treatment.

To download these details in pdf form please click here

 
Dentsply Friadent stands for technologically innovative and high-quality dental implant systems. Over the past few years Dentsply Friadent has become one of the largest suppliers of implant solutions in the world. Visit their Patient Information website.

 

 

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