You can get an implant if you want to replace a lost tooth. A dental implant is a titanium screw, placed into the jawbone. Above the gum line, the titanium screw will have a false tooth made of ceramic. It is possible for one implant to carry 1 or 2 false teeth. This means, you can have for example 2 or 3 implants in one quadrant of your mouth, that support a whole row of false teeth to replace the missing ones.
How long will dental implants last?
Longevity of implants depends greatly on how well you are taking care of them. This means cleaning the implants, your gums, as well of the rest of your mouth. And having regular (in most cases every 3 months) professional cleanings by the dentist/hygienist. If your implants are well looked after, and if the bone around them, is strong and healthy, you can expect them to last for many years. However, just as with other surgical implants (e.g. hip replacements), there is no lifetime guarantee.
Can you have dental implants if you still have some of your own teeth?
You can replace all your teeth or have a single implant amongst your own teeth. You can also have 4 or more implants placed in each arch and have a denture clipped onto the implants. This will give you more stability than an ordinary set of dentures that have very little to hold onto.
Can anyone get dental implants?
No, not everyone is a candidate for implants. One of the considerations is the amount of bone and the quality of bone you have in the site where the implant needs to be. If you are a smoker or have underlying systemic conditions, there will be an increased risk for implant failure. If you have periodontal disease, or lost your teeth because of periodontal disease, you are not a good candidate for implants.
Is getting dental implants a painful process?
Placing an implant is a routine dental procedure for an experience clinician and can be done under local anaesthetic, conscious sedation (a drug-induced depression of consciousness) or in hospital under general anaesthetic. Just like for an extraction or a filling, you will be given local anaesthetic to numb the area where the implant is getting placed. You might feel some discomfort, just like after an extraction, during the week after the procedure was done when healing is taking place.
What about aftercare?
Your dentist/dental hygienist will give you detailed aftercare instructions. Just like after an extraction, you will be advised not to eat on the side where the implant is placed. If you had implants placed in more than one side of the mouth, you will be instructed to have a very soft and bland diet. A special mouth rinse might be given to you to be used for the next couple of days. You still need to brush the rest of your teeth (if you have some of your own teeth) and make sure your mouth is clean to assist in the healing process.
To book a consultation with one of our Implantologists, call our patient care team on 0818 211 211.