Implants - Q&A

Some popular questions about dental implants

With more and more people opting to have dental implants placed instead of dentures, the same questions come up time and again from  patients who are keen to have more information before making the decision to go ahead with the procedure. The following are some of the most often asked along with answers from a well respected Derby implant dentist:

Dental Implants ... I've never heard of them.

Although a growing number of people are choosing to have dental implants, there are still a great many people in the UK who have not heard of them. This may well be because although the procedure has been common in the USA for some time, it really only started to make an appearance in the UK in the 90s and then only in a select few dental practices. Now, with an  increasing number of cosmetic dentists, you don't have to go far now to have dental implants placed.

Don't I need to be young to have them?

Not at all, in fact they can't be placed into those who have not fully yet developed as their future growth would cause problems. There can be issues with having less bone to place them into in older people, especially smokers, but this can be corrected with a bone graft.

Why not just have dentures?

Dentures, although cheaper are less comfortable and usually become loose and cause irritation and soreness of the gums, not to mention their tendency to move around or even fall out. Dental implants on the other hand, once placed, offer a very strong replacement tooth that should last for between 20 and 30 years provided good care is taken of them.

It must be painful?

This is one of the most common misunderstandings amongst patients and whilst it would not be true to say it is actually enjoyable, nothing more than mild discomfort should be felt during the procedure. Local anaesthetics are now very powerful and also a little known fact is that the jaw is actually not that sensitive to pain at all.

How long will it take

A standard dental implant procedure can take a few months as it is necessary to allow the first implant to fully heal before the crown is placed on top of it. For those having a full arch replaced with a fixed brace held in by dental implants however, they will be able to leave the surgery the same day although they will need to eat softer foods for a while.

Do I need to do anything?

Because of increased risk of infections it is important to ensure that any gum disease is dealt with before the procedure. You will also be asked to refrain from smoking or heavy drinking for a period either side of the procedure as this significantly increases the risk of infection by slowing the healing process. In fact, ignoring this is one of the main reasons for dental implant failures.

I'm a nervous patient

Most dentists are now much more aware and prepared to deal with nervous patients and many now offer conscious sedation so if you suffer from dental phobia, do ask your dentist about this.

And afterwards?

It is very important to keep follow up dental appointments to ensure that your implants are healthy. Other than this though you should simply brush and floss your dental implants as you would your natural teeth.