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25 August 2016

Dental implants can be an amazing way to replace missing teeth and we are finding this service is increasingly popular with our patients. However, we also know deciding to opt for this treatment can be a big decision, which is why we decided to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in this blog.

Dental implants consist of an implant post that is placed into the jawbone, an abutment that is attached to the post, as well as the final restoration which is attached to the abutment. This restoration may be a crown, bridge or denture.

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Not surprisingly, this question is top of most people’s list, but it is impossible to give an exact answer as prices can vary according to the treatment required, the type of restoration used to complete treatment (crown, bridge or denture), as well as the need for any additional treatments such as bone grafts or sinus lifts.

The basic cost for implant placement starts from £1,000, while an implant abutment costs from £500 and an implant crown from £350. CT scans and x-rays are also required prior to treatment. Although the initial outlay may be larger, implants can be more cost effective in the longer term due to the potential longevity of treatment. With the proper care, your new implant should last for many years.

All of our implant dentists here at Confidental Clinic are extremely skilled and we only ever recommend dental implants if we feel they are the most suitable long-term treatment.

Does Implant Treatment Hurt?

All of our dental team are extremely gentle and we go out of our way to ensure treatment is pain-free, using plenty of anaesthetic so you cannot feel a thing. You might feel some minimal discomfort afterwards, but it is not uncommon to feel no discomfort at all once the anaesthesia has worn off.

How Long Does Treatment Take?

A single dental implant can be placed in as little as an hour, while inserting multiple dental implants does take a bit longer. The actual treatment will normally take at least three months to complete. The implant surgery needs to be planned using diagnostic tests that include a CT scan and x-rays, and once the implants are inserted they must heal for several months before being restored with your new teeth. During this time you will have temporary teeth so you can still smile and eat.

What Can Go Wrong?

Like any surgery, there is a risk of things going wrong. Potential risks include infections and problems caused by dental implants being placed too close to nerves, blood vessels or sinus cavities. We take every precaution to minimise these risks by using CT scans to avoid essential structures during surgery. We may use special surgical guides, or templates that are made based on your CT scan, showing our implant surgeon exactly where to place each implant. We will also show you exactly how to care for your implants to avoid infections, and of course regular dental check-ups are vital!

What if My Bone is Not Good Quality?

The jawbone can deteriorate due to disease or trauma and it naturally reabsorbs once teeth are extracted, and all these factors can affect dental implant surgery. If your bone isn’t strong enough, or lacks sufficient width or depth to support dental implants, we can use bone grafts to build it up.

How Many Implants Will I Need?

If you are missing multiple teeth in the same area of your mouth then you won’t necessarily need to replace every single tooth with an implant. Instead we can use dental implants to support a bridge of teeth. If you have suffered complete tooth loss in your lower jaw, it might be possible to use as few as four or five dental implants to support a complete arch of teeth, using a technique called All-on-Four.

What is a Bone Graft and a Sinus Lift?

Both are bone grafts and are used to build up bone in areas where it is too thin or not strong enough to support dental implants. A bone graft can be used in any area of your mouth to create a thicker and wider jawbone, so there is enough bone to hold your implant securely in place. You might need a sinus lift if you are replacing your upper back teeth, as these are nearest to your sinus cavities. Your sinus cavities are located on either side of your nose and are air filled spaces. These can enlarge with age or quite often the bone here will be naturally thinner. A sinus lift is where the membrane in between your sinus cavity and your jawbone is ‘lifted’ or pushed gently upwards, creating a space that is packed with bone grafting material. Sometimes, if only a small graft is required, it is possible to place the bone grafting material at the same time as an implant.

How Do I Look After Dental Implants?

Dental implants are easy to look after as they can be brushed and flossed to keep them free from plaque and food debris. This is vital, as are regular check-ups and cleanings as this will help to ensure they remain strong and free from infections. Please don’t worry, as we will show you exactly how to clean your implants when you have finished treatment.

What Implants Do You Use?

Here at ConfiDental, we only use the very best and most well-known dental implant systems including StraumannBio Horizons and Astra dental implants. All these systems have been produced after years of research and are extremely high quality, providing long-lasting and reliable results. Your initial consultation will determine which implant system is best for your needs, as certain dental implants are better suited for particular treatments.

Can I Be Put to Sleep?

We realise some people find the thought of implant surgery daunting which is where sedation dentistry can help. Options include oral and intravenous sedation, and levels can be adjusted for your personal comfort. Oral sedation can be relatively light, allowing you to feel comfortable and relaxed during this procedure, but with intravenous sedation you can expect to remember very little, if anything about treatment.

Do I Have to Take Time Off Work?

Straight after implant surgery, you will need to take things easy for the rest of the day, particularly if you opted for intravenous sedation. Many people will feel well enough to return to work the next day, but you might want to take another day off if you had particularly complex implant treatment. We can discuss any additional time needed with you during your initial appointment.

We imagine you probably have other questions about this treatment, so why not book an initial evaluation to find out more? Our aim is to make sure you have all the information you need about dental implants so you can make an informed decision.

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