Does this type of treatment hurt?
We believe that all dentistry should be painless (including injections). Implant dentistry is no different. The surgical procedure of implant placement in the jawbone is carried out under local anaesthetic. The procedure is generally easier than having a tooth extracted as it is a controlled procedure with all aspects planned thoroughly beforehand.
Most people experience minor bruising which is relieved with simple painkillers for the first 24-48 hrs. Many patients find that painkillers are not required. Following successful implant integration the restorative phase of treatment for the patient is very easy and painless.
How long does treatment take?
Our goal is to carry out treatment as quickly as is practical for you with as few surgical procedures as possible. Research over the last 5 - 10yrs means that in some situations we can predictably place implants and the final teeth on the same day. If your situation dictates otherwise you will be informed at the earliest opportunity - usually the first visit. In challenging cases it can be prudent to allow the implants 3-4months to join with the bone before we use them.
How do I manage during the implant healing period, how will I look?
If your treatment involves the front teeth then the appearance will generally be improved long before treatment finishes.
The nature of implant treatment is such that a tremendous amount of planning is required before any treatment progresses. In this way the final appearance is known before treatment starts, it is this final result which is used as a template for provisional restorations (temporary dentures or bridges).
It is the remit of the controlling restorative dentist that at no time from the initiation of your treatment should your appearance be compromised. Often it is necessary to reduce functional performance for a period prior to improving it to the ideal.
It is the aim of the implant team that patients are made fully aware of the stages in their treatment and how they will look/ function during the treatment period before committing to any treatment.
How long do implants last?
Current research on NobelBiocare Branemark implants suggests that a successfully integrated implant will last at least 25 years - making this the most successful form of restorative dental treatment available.
As a result most implant companies guarantee the implants for 10 years from the time of placement against failure.
Should an implant fail to integrate (approximately 3 out of every 100) then it can be replaced at no further cost other than the extra time require for healing. If an implant fails to integrate then this is generally found out before the final restoration is made. It is very rare for an implant to fail after the final restoration has been made (less than 1%).
What if I do not like the final appearance?
Prior to initiation and throughout your treatment the Prosthodontists will seek your opinion on the appearance being achieved such that the final result is predicted and fully discussed before completion.
Do I need one implant for every tooth that is missing?
No, other than for a missing single tooth it often not necessary to use one implant for each missing tooth. Two or three implants can be used to support bridgework for upto five teeth. A whole arch can be supported on four implants.
Can I have the implants placed and then go back to my own dentist for the final restoration?
Of course, this is a service we are happy to provide to dentists trained in the restoration of implants. It is essential however that your dentist is involved at the beginning of treatment in order to prescribe where the implants should be placed. A restorative dentist should lead all implant treatment, implants should only be placed where they can be correctly restored to both the dentist and patients satisfaction.