A Dental Implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as ‘implants’. Dental Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 percent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.
Patients with a few of their own teeth can still have the other missing teeth gaps replaced with dental implants. The condition of the bone in the jaw can dictate the number of implants the patient can have.
X-rays and CT scans are all but a few of the special tests a dentist can carry out to assess the quality and quantity of bone present in the jaw. Occasionally a bone graft may be necessary to allow the dentist to place the dental implant.
If you do not want to be aware of the small procedure required to place implants, general anaesthetic can be used. Otherwise light conscious sedation with local anaesthetic is the other alternative to ensure that the procedure is comfortable. You may feel some discomfort after the procedure and it is normal to have sutures (stitches) present after the process.
During the healing phase a complete or partial denture can be used. Alternatively a temporary crown or bridge may be used over the healing titanium implants. Healing time varies for the upper and lower jaw but generally is 6 months for the upper jaw and up to 3 months in the lower jaw. You must wait before the dental implants are restored and they must not be restored straight away.
The total time from start to finish is approximately 12 months after which the dental implants are finished. The complexity of the treatment dictates the length of time and occasionally it may only take 5 months. Your implant dentist can provide a more accurate schedule after the surgery procedure.