Having implants requires more than one appointment. We’ve broken down the treatment into different stages:
Your implant consultation is where we can decide how many appointments you will need, whether you need any surgery before the implants are fitted, and how many implants you may need.
We carry out a full assessment of your general health, how your teeth fit together, your oral health and the density of your jaw bone using a CT scanner within the practice.
We used a selection of equipment to get an accurate idea of how much bone density you have present. X-rays show the height of bone available for implant placement, however more advanced imaging techniques are sometimes needed to determine the equally important bone width, which can otherwise only be estimated from clinical examination.
We use our CT scanner to collate a 3D image of your jaw. Images obtained by CT scanning will normally be able to show all of the information required about your bone, including quantity and quality, but most importantly the presence of anatomical structures that must be avoided. CT scans are not required for every implant case, and will only be recommended if the additional information they provide is thought to be necessary to help us to achieve a successful clinical outcome.
Plaster models and photos will also be needed so that these can be examined after your visit.
We will give you a written summary of your treatment planning discussion(s), highlighting your current dental situation and any alternatives there are to dental implants. This summary will also include an overview of the anticipated treatment stages and give you some idea of how long treatment is likely to take, how many implants are required and what the fees are expected to be.
There may well be other issues specific to your case and these would be dealt with here accordingly.
If you have insufficient bone for an implant, we may choose to go ahead with bone grafting. The surgical process involves take bone tissue from a different source and placing it at the site which we have chosen for the implant.
Bone grafts can come from a number of different sources: hip, chin and posterior regions of the lower jaw. We also can provide treatments that stimulate bone growth but these take longer than a graft.
Find out more here.
Fitting the implant
Once we are certain you have the right amount of bone, we will fit the implant. Depending upon the complexity of your case the operation might take anything from 30 minutes for a single implant to several hours for complex bone grafting and multiple placements.
We use local anaesthetic for this procedure. If you are nervous about having this type of surgery, we can provide conscious sedation. After the fittings, you may feel slight discomfort so taking painkillers may be necessary. Rest assured that any aching will fade.
The implants will bond with the bone over a few months as titanium is very well-tolerated by the body. Once fully healed, we can fit your replacement teeth to the now firmly positioned implants.
Dental implants enhance the look and functionality of your mouth, allowing you to get on with your life without being embarrassed by missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures.
Fixing the crown or bridge
Once we are certain that your implant had fully fussed to your bone and is secure enough to support a prosthesis, we will call you in for your fitting. Your crown, bridge or full arch will be crafted at a lab and be custom-made to look as natural as possible. During your fitting, we make sure you are happy with the end result.
After the treatment, we will need to keep seeing you regularly. Implants last a long time but they will be far more effective with great dental hygiene and regular brushing.