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Dental Implants FAQs

Dental Implants FAQs
Can anyone have implants?
    No, not just anyone with missing teeth can have the gaps filled with implants. Patients need to be in reasonably good health, and it should be borne in mind that smoking cigarettes can impeded the healing process of the implant.
    It is also important that the rest of the patients’ teeth are in good condition and free from decay or other diseases. If there any existing conditions, these will have to be treated before the implant can take place.
    The placing of an implant also relies upon there being sufficient bone in the jaw to hold it. Your implant surgeon will check on this using a CT scan or other methods to identify the bone density and bone quantity. In the event of bone density or 3D size being too low or insufficient, a bone graft can be performed.

What advantages do implants have over other methods of replacing teeth? 

    The usual alternatives to dental implants are bridges and dentures. Fitting a bridge involves attaching false teeth to the patients existing teeth. For this to work, the existing teeth have to be filed down, a procedure which can have implications for their future well being.
    In the case of dentures, teeth which are attached to a metal or plastic plate are placed in the mouth and taken out each day. Dentures are frequently cumbersome and uncomfortable, and can limit the food which the patient is able to eat.
    Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth which, in some ways, are even better than the real thing. As well as providing an aesthetic solution, dental implants solve the problem of bone loss in the jaw, something which the alternatives don’t address.

What can I eat and drink with an implant?
    Anything. The chief advantage of a dental implant is that it behaves exactly like your original tooth, meaning that there is no food or drink that’s off limits.

Is the procedure painful?
    The implant surgeon will administer a local anaesthetic before putting the implant in place. During the actual surgery itself, therefore, you will feel virtually no pain. Following surgery, there will be some minor discomfort and swelling, but nothing that over the counter medication can’t deal with.

Are there any side effects?
    There are no side effects associated with dental implants. Occasionally, the body may reject the implant, but on these rare occasions a second implant can be fitted.

How will my teeth appear whilst the implant is healing?
    To cover the period whilst the implant is ‘growing’ into the bone, your implant surgeon will fit you with temporary ‘teeth’ in the form of an adhesive bridge or a denture. With this in place, you will be able to carry on with your social and working life exactly as before.
In the case of jaw bone density and size are sufficient to hold the implant tightly enough, an implant-supported teeth may be created in the same day of the implant place.

How long does the procedure take?
     The actual operation to fit the implant should take between an hour and two hours, after which there is a ‘healing’ period of eight to twelve weeks, at the end of which the crown can be attached to the implant.

 How long does an implant last?
    An implant is a permanent replacement for a missing tooth, and  actually requires slightly less maintenance than a natural tooth. When cared for properly, existing implants have lasted longer than 40 years.