Having dental implant treatment can be a life-changing experience. Our patients often comment about how different they feel when they look at their smiles in the mirror and many are surprised by how easy it is to bite and chew foods that they had previously avoided.
These are the stages:
1. Consultation stage
- The first step is to have a consultation and a thorough dental examination.
- Xrays will be taken and in some cases a CT scan will be arranged to determine the placement of the dental implant and to check the condition of the bone.
- Impressions and photographs may be taken.
- Advice may also be sought from other members of the dental team in order to ensure that the implants will be placed in a healthy oral environment.
- We will then provide a written treatment plan with an estimate of the costs, what to expect during the treatment and timescales.
- Any outstanding treatment should also be completed and good oral hygiene should be established before implants are placed.
2. Inserting the Impant (the titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone to form a foundation)
There are two options for placement depending on your clinical situation:
- In a one- step procedure, the dental implant is placed and then a temporary abutment is attached.
- In a two-step procedure, the dental implant is placed and then covered by the gum. The abutment is placed at a later date.
In both cases a temporary tooth or prosthesis is put in place, followed by a healing process of three to six months. In some cases the dental implant can be loaded immediately, however, this depends on the bone condition.
3. Attaching the abutments (the ceramic or titanium component that ensures a secure fit between the implant and the crown/bridge/denture)
Following the healing process during which the dental implant bonds to the bone tissue:
- In a one- step treatment, the temporary abutment is replaced by a permanent one.
- In a two- step procedure a small incision is made to open the gum and put an abutment in place.
4. Producing the teeth
When the abutment is in place, an impression is made. A dental technician then crafts the crown, bridge or denture.
5. Fitting the teeth
- When the teeth are ready they are attached to the dental implants.
- There will be some follow up visits to ensure all is well along with advice on a maintenance schedule and oral hygiene programme.
- Depending on your dentition, you may require a bone graft and /or sinus lift to prepare the implant site a few months before they can be placed.
- The surgery itself is usually done in the dental chair and you will be given the option of having sedation if you feel particularly anxious. Although you will feel some pressure on your gums during the procedure, you will not feel any pain due to local anaesthesia. Our skilled team will make every effort to make you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout.
- Once placed, you will need to take extra care of your teeth and gums to ensure they remain healthy and free of dental decay or gum diseases. It is important to understand that your implant will have to be looked after as if it was a natural tooth and that infections can arise if the proper regular hygiene is not carried out. With the help of our team you will be guided on how to best look after your implant so you can enjoy your new smile for years to come.