Frequently asked questions
A dental implant is nothing more than a metal screw that is placed into the jaw bone. It acts as an anchor for a false tooth or a set of false teeth. When a dental implant restoration is perfectly constructed, neither the patient nor anyone else should have any hint that an implant is there… all people should see is a perfectly natural looking tooth.
1. What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is nothing more than a metal screw that is placed into the jaw bone. It acts as an anchor for the false tooth, bridge or dentures.
2. Who is suitable for dental implants?
Anyone who has good health and wants to replace their missing teeth. You must have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to provide the anchorage for the implants. Some people are missing all of their teeth and most of those are excellent candidates for dental implants, but today, we use implants to replace small bridges, removable partial dentures and even missing single teeth.
3. What is a bone graft?
Bone Grafting is a very common procedure in dentistry and is used regularly for dental implants. Bone generally has the ability to regenerate completely, the graft works as a scaffold to encourage the bone to do so. Most bone grafts are expected to be reabsorbed and replaced as natural bone heals over a few months.
4. Why do I need to have a CT scan at the time of my consultation?
The CT scan enables the dentist to evaluate the bone available to support an implant – which is a vital component to ensure the success of the treatment. We are then able to provide a true account of cost and a time scale of treatment at the end of your consultation.
5. How long will treatment take?
On average there are a minimum of 2 stages which involve 3 to 4 visits. The Consultation is an important part; as it allows us to examine and assess the patient’s needs. Stage 1 – Implant placement, which will be left to fuse/heal for a minimum of 3 months based on the type of treatment needed. Stage 2 – Restoration, preparation for your final crown or prosthesis. You will have impressions, measurements and x-rays taken to make sure that everything fits, looks right and functions properly.
6. Will I have gaps in my teeth whilst waiting for the im- plants to heal?
In most situations, patients leave the practice wearing their provisional teeth the day the implants are placed. Every patient and procedure is evaluated separately and there might occasionally be a recommendation that a patient go without their prosthesis for a short time.
7. Does it hurt to have an implant placed?
The actual procedure to place a dental implant is done under local anaesthetic and is generally not a painful process. When the anesthetic wears off about three or four hours later, you might expect some discomfort which can easily be controlled with some light pain relief. Slight swelling and some bruising may also develop.
8. What can go wrong?
There are really not too many things that can go wrong. Implants can fail to integrate into the bone; there could also be an infection or an inflammatory condition in the soft tissue and sometimes in the bone as a result of the implant placement, damage to the nerves in the lower jaw, the maxillary sinus, the nasal cavity. All of these complications are rare and usually account for less than 5% of ALL dental implant treatments. The appropriate use and interpretation of the CT scan and the other diagnostic tools will allow the dentist to minimize this risk.
9. What is the success rate of dental implants?
This depends very much on where the implants are placed and what their function is. The Success rate at Marylebone Implant Centre is 98.5%
10. How will I recognise if my implant is failing?
This would normally be within the first few months of placement; • The implant literally falling out • The implant feeling loose and visibly moving • Extreme pain or bleeding that lasts for longer than 3 days • Visible swelling or inflammation that lasts longer than a week • Any sign of infection; pus or discharge around the implant.
11. What happens if my implant fails?
We will remove the implant, wait for a few weeks for the socket to repair and then place another implant, sometimes a slightly larger width. In the majority of cases this works perfectly. Implant failure rates are generally between 1-1, 5% and certainly not common place.
12. What is your Guarantee?
Here at the Marylebone Implant Centre we offer a 3 year guarantee on the implant. Our crowns, dentures and bridges are all guaranteed for one year which is the industry standard.
13. What do I need to do in terms of post surgical care?
• Avoid smoking • Avoid very hot beverages and very hot (and spicy) food • Change of diet. Stick to a soft, cool or a cold diet such as yoghurts, risotto or rice dishes, smoothies and ice cream or warm soups. Avoid food or drink that is hot . • Avoid brushing over the site of the implant after it is placed, until the stitches have either dissolved or have been removed. • Tasting blood in your mouth for a few days post surgery may be normal. Swelling and inflammation may be expected, as well. • Avoid heavy exercise for at least a week after the surgery. You will be given a full list of post operative instructions after your surgery and these will be explained to you in detail. You will also be given any medication.