Dental Implants

Here at Gentle Dental Care we are delighted to offer a unique Dental Implant service.  We are dedicated to making the treatment process for dental implants as personal and comprehensive as possible, working in close conjunction with Edinburgh Dental Specialists.  This enables us to utilise the services of one of their Specialist Oral Surgeons who visits the practice on a regular basis for both consultatations and the placement of implants.

Please feel free to book a free no obligation consultation with Dr Chris Pritchard to discuss implant treatment and find out if dental implants are suitable for you.

Dental Implant FAQs

What are Dental Implants?

A Dental Implant is essentially an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. An Implant could be described as being the nearest substitute to having your own tooth.  They provide a reliable alternative to uncomfortable dentures or bridgework, or can simply replace one missing tooth.  Dental Implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

Do you always need a Specialist to place Dental Implants?

Although Dental Implants can be placed by any Dentist, we prefer our patients to be treated by a Specialist Oral Surgeon who places Implants on a daily basis. Utilising a Specialist ensures that our patients receive the very best clinical care available. The placement and positioning of the implant is key to ensuring the best possible outcome.

Are implants safe?  How long will they last?

Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. Latest research indicates success rates of 98% over 25 years.

I have some of my own teeth.  Can I still have implants?

Yes.  You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants –from one single tooth to a complete set.

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

It depends on the condition and the amount of the bone in the area where your teeth are missing. X-rays will always be required and in some circumstances a CT scan will be arranged to give a 3D image of the bone where the implants are proposed.  If there is a lack of bone then the specialist may recommend using artificial bone to bulk out the area.  This is known as a bone graft.

Do implants hurt?

Placing the implants requires a small operation.  This is usually carried out under local anaesthetic but if you are particularly anxious then sedation or even a general anaesthetic can be organised. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you will have some discomfort, bruising and swelling  during the week following the surgery.  This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.

Can I have the new teeth straight away?

There are exceptions but in most circumstances the implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been placed. This process can take between 3 and 6 months.  For this reason you will usually be provided with some kind of temporary solution like a small denture.   If you already wear dentures then you can wear them throughout the healing period once they have been adjusted after the surgery.

How long does treatment take?

It usually takes between 6 and 12 months from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants. Much depends on how complicated your treatment is but your dentist or specialist will keep you fully informed with regard to timescales.

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth.  There may be areas that give you problems but with regular visits to the hygienist you should quickly learn to maintain things to a good standard.

If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?

You will not get gum disease but if you don’t keep the area around the implant clean there is a risk that the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed. Bone can be lost when this happens and sometimes on rare occasions implants may need to be removed  If you keep them clean, and attend the dental hygienist regularly then you should avoid any problems.

Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?

Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist.  However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.

Do the implants show?

Every attempt will be made to make sure that the implant won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. Any potential problems will be picked up during the planning phase of the treatment and you will be fully informed of any limitations that your case may present.

Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?

Not usually unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced.  Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth.  For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.

What if I get hit in the face?

Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. It is usually recommended that you refrain from playing contact sports like Rugby once you have had implants placed.

What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?

This happens very rarely.  If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way.  Once the jaw has healed another implant can then be placed.

Is the treatment expensive?

Implant treatment is certainly one of the most costly dental procedures. It is however one of the most predictable forms of treatment available and is considered by many patients as an investment for life. In many situations, the cost of alternative treatment such as bridgework will only be slightly less expensive.

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