6 facts about dental implants

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Ian Hallam is a cosmetic dentist and a comparethetreatment.com expert, specialising in smile makeovers

 

  • Why are dental implants better than dentures?


  • Dentures are removable and rely on surrounding teeth and the roof of the mouth for support, whereas implants feel like real teeth that are permanent with no involvement of other teeth or surrounding soft tissues.

     

  • How long does it take to place one? The whole procedure usually takes about three months from start to finish, provided there is adequate bone. If a tooth needs to be removed, this is usually done first and a period of 8-10 weeks allowed for any infection to discharge and the gum to heal. If there is not adequate bone, such as in the upper posterior area where the sinus floor may be low, it may be necessary to carry out a bone augmentation procedure, which would then delay placing the implant for six to nine months to allow the bone to mature. Sometimes the implant can be placed at the same visit as carrying out the bone augmentation.


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  • Does it hurt?


  • No. The surgical procedure is usually carried out under sedation and local anaesthetic and there is normally only a little aching for a few days afterwards.

     

  • Does it look natural, even close up?


  • It will look as natural as any dental ceramic work. With modern porcelain, it is possible to match the shade to the surrounding natural teeth as closely as possible

     

  • What if I also want teeth whitening — ill it match?


  • Any tooth whitening should be done before any restorative work because, once fitted, the porcelain shade cannot be changed.

     

  • What do patients say?


  • Patients are delighted with the treatment. It’s not painful, settles down really quickly and often they forget that the implant tooth is not a natural tooth.

    One patient writes: ‘I just wanted to write a quick thank you for the fantastic work that you have done on remodelling my teeth. Those last few implants were the key to gaining what I have been missing for some 45 years. Your meticulous work and attention to detail have given me what nature failed to deliver when so many of my adult teeth refused to appear. Now I am able to chew with an efficiency that rivals that of a car-crushing machine and it’s left me feeling exultant. A job well done by all involved —and worth every penny, thank you.’

    Visit Ian's practice page or ask him a question here.

     

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