If you’re thinking about dental implants to replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth, you may have some questions. Here at Lion Dental Centre in Stourbridge, these are ten dental implant questions we hear every day:
- What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a titanium post that we place into your jaw bone to replace the missing root of a lost tooth. Once the oral implant is in place, we fit something called an abutment on to it before attaching a prosthetic tooth on the abutment. Over a period of months, before the prosthetic tooth is fitted, your jaw bone will grow or ossify around the titanium implant to hold it in place.
- Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants have an excellent safety record and are widely tolerated by the majority of people, although outcomes can vary depending on where the implant is placed in your jaw. That being said 98% of implants are successful.
- Can anyone have dental implants?
As mentioned above, most people are suitable candidates for dental implants. One barrier to having implants can be if you have experienced bone loss, which would make it hard to place the implant. However, even this can be resolved in most cases with a bone graft.
We review every case on its own merits. When you come in for a consultation, we will be able to discuss your dental implant options and assess whether you’re a good candidate for this treatment.
- Do dental implants hurt?
When we fit your dental implants, we will numb your mouth using local anaesthetic. There may be some discomfort for several weeks after the procedure as the implant site heals but this can usually be managed successfully with over-the-counter pain medicines. We will talk you through what you can expect to experience at the various stages of this treatment.
- How long does dental implant treatment take?
The first step in dental implant treatment is making sure that you are orally fit and healthy. After having an implant fitted, it usually takes between four and six months for your surrounding jaw bone to bond with the implant and make it secure. Once we’re satisfied that your jaw bone as ossified around the implant, we will fit the permanent prosthetic.
- Can any dentist fit dental implants?
No, dental implants should always be fitted by an experienced and highly trained Implantologist. If you currently see a dentist who can’t fit dental implants, you can ask for a referral to someone who has the right qualifications and experience.
- Are dental implants really as good as natural teeth?
Realistically, nothing is as good as your natural teeth when it comes to strength and function, and we will always work hard to preserve your natural teeth if at all possible. However, if you have already lost one or more teeth, then dental implants really are the ‘Gold Standard’ for replacing them.
Dental implants are strong, fixed and potentially permanent with the right care. They can help maintain your facial structure and restore the bite and function of your mouth. They also look completely natural.
- Will I always be able to feel the dental implants?
Once your dental implants are in place and the implant site has healed, you won’t be able to feel them. Eating with several implants feels slightly different to eating with a mouthful of natural teeth because you no longer have an organic root and nerves beneath these teeth but it not an unpleasant or painful sensation, just different. You will quickly adjust.
- How many dental implants can I have?
There is no limit to the number of implants you can have, although this will be influenced by factors such as your budget, where you have missing teeth and how many, and the health of your jaw bone. As well as single implants, it may be a solution for you to have an implant-retained bridge or implant-retained dentures. We would discuss this with you at your initial consultation.
- Are dental implants easy to look after?
Yes. Once your dental implants are fitted, you need to care for them in the same way as you would your natural teeth. If you have an implant-retained bridge you may need to use a special interdental brush in addition to your toothbrush but we will advise you about this. Dental implants are just like your natural teeth in that you should attend regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments.
If you’re considering dental implants and live in Stourbridge, why not book an initial consultation here at Lion Dental Centre? We will be happy to answer your dental implant questions, whatever they are. Simply call us on 01384 376336 or 01384 37929.