Frequently Asked Questions
Are implants safe?
Yes. Implants are a well established, tried and tested treatment. 90% 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 a single tooth to a complete set.
Can implants always replace missing teeth?
It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. Simon will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone available. If there is not a sufficient amount or not healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.
Do they hurt?
Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic, with sedation or under 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?
In some cases this is possible. Generally, it takes about 3 months (lower jaw) and 6 months (upper jaw). If you are having 1, 2 or 3 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 the treatment take?
It takes from 4-14 months, depending on the complexity, from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants. Jo will give you a time frame once the surgery has been done.
Are the teeth difficult to clean?
Cleaning the teeth attached to the implants is no harder than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be some areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.
If I had gum disease before, 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, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Can I take the teeth out if they are attached to the implants?
Most artificial teeth can only be placed and removed by a dentist. However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you will be able to remove them for cleaning.
Do the implants show?
Jo will make sure that the implants won’t show during all of the normal movements of the mouth and lips. However, 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. Typically 5 or 6 implants are used to replace all the teeth in 1 jaw, as each implant can usually support 2 teeth. For a few missing teeth, 2 or 3 implants may be used.
Is the treatment expensive?
In many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than conventional treatments with crowns and bridges. There are also advantages: a single implant will avoid the need to cut down teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge and normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well due to movement.