Dental implants can make a dramatic change to people’s everyday lives, proving to be an extremely popular option for those with missing teeth but there is a lot to consider before committing to such a life-changing treatment. Below are some frequently asked questions about dental implants that our Botley implant dentist Hennie Müller provides to patients at Oakwood Dental Practice:
What are dental implants?
Dental Implants are without question the modern way to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are made from titanium ‘replacement roots’ which are used to anchor new teeth. This can be a single tooth, maybe lost through an accident or infection, several teeth, which may have been lost over a number of years for various reasons or a whole set of teeth, maybe lost through the effects of gum disease or neglect.
A crown is placed on top of the implant to create the aesthetic appearance of a real tooth. Implants can be fitted anywhere in the mouth so can be used to replace front, back or multiple teeth. Once the implant is fitted, it can last a lifetime if looked after carefully and patients can eat, chew and smile again as normal.
Are dental implants safe?
Implants are a safe, well-established treatment. It’s probably true to say that implants, much like natural teeth, will last for as long as you care for them. How well you look after your implants and whether you attend your regular maintenance appointments will have the biggest impact on how long they will last.
If you don’t look after your implants, they will develop a bacterial coating similar to what is found on neglected natural teeth. Left untreated, this can lead to gum infection, bleeding, soreness and general discomfort. You could get all these problems with natural teeth.
If your implants are well looked after, and if the bone they are fitted to is strong and healthy, you can expect them to last for many years. However, just as with other surgical implants (such as a hip replacement) there is no lifetime guarantee.
Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?
There are very few situations where implants cannot be used. If you are healthy enough to have routine dental care, then, generally you are suitable for implants. Hennie, Oakwood Dental Practice’s implant dentist, will carefully check your medical history and suitability for dental implants, and discuss your individual needs at your consultation appointment.
There is no longer any need to be embarrassed about that missing tooth or ‘wobbly denture’, dental implants can certainly help re-build your confidence and restore your smile.
Is it expensive?
Dental implants vary quite significantly in cost depending on the number you need. The typical cost of quality dental implants from a reputable practice can be anything from £2,500 to £30,000. Dental implants should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense, it’s not just about the upfront cost, but also about weighing up the continuing benefits, both health-wise and financially. They can prevent you from having to spend large amounts of money on ongoing dental maintenance caused by the impact of a missing tooth and they also significantly improve your quality of life.
Do I need to take time off work?
Whilst you might need to make time for appointments before and after the treatment, the actual placing of a titanium implant takes just a few hours. If you are having multiple implants, the process may take longer, but with proper planning, it can be done in a day.
Once the implant procedure is complete, you can return to work the very next day. After you have had time to heal following the initial procedure, you’ll be called back in a few months later to complete the final few steps and then for an aftercare appointment to review your healing progress. These appointments will ideally be fitted around your free time, causing minimal disruption to your busy work schedule.
Are there alternatives to dental implants?
Alternative dental procedures like dentures can provide a quick solution to missing teeth, but in the long term can cause more damage than good. They can actually increase deterioration in the jaw bone and the remaining healthy gum.
With a dental implant, you no longer have to worry about these factors. Implants look much more natural, and most importantly feel more comfortable and secure. It’s a bit like going from wearing daily disposable contact lenses to having an eye-correction procedure and never having to think about wearing glasses again.
Don’t let your concerns stand in the way of simply getting the right advice, come and see Hennie for an informal and informative chat. He will explain clearly and honestly how the treatment could benefit you. Contact us now for more information or to book an appointment.