31 January 2020
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Dental implants replace a missing tooth or teeth that have been removed due to infection, decay or an accident. They can be used as an alternative to traditional false teeth, as they can give a greater level of stability. They are also more permanent and can last for many years.
If you have a missing tooth, it can affect both your oral health and your self-confidence. Missing teeth may misalign the way your upper and lower teeth bite together, and the neighbouring teeth may start to grow at an angle into each other. This can lead to further tooth decay and gum disease.
You might also feel self-conscious about your smile if your gap is in a conspicuous place.
Implants replace a missing tooth or teeth with a titanium post which is surgically implanted into the jawbone. The jawbone will take about 8 to 12 weeks to grow around the post. After that period, a strong and stable foundation should have formed between the post and bone, and a crown will be made to fit the implant. In some cases the crown can be fitted at the same time as the implant. The aim is to create a strong and stable, natural-looking tooth.
Benefits of dental implants include improved appearance, comfort and speech, convenience and self-esteem.
Implants preserve the remaining bone by providing the stimulation previously provided by the natural tooth roots, and give a greater level of stability than conventional dentures. No adhesives are required and you should be able to enjoy a wider range of food.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having surgery can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.
You will usually be given local anaesthesia, which means you'll be awake but your mouth will be numb so you won't feel pain during the placement of the implants. Sometimes, the dentist may give you a sedative.
The procedure is usually done in stages. During the first stage, the dentist will surgically place the implant into your jawbone underneath the gum. Titanium posts will act as replacement tooth roots.
You will then have to wait for a few months while the jawbone grows around the implants.
After about three to four months when the gum has healed around the posts, your dentist will fit the prosthetic teeth to these.
As this is a day case treatment, you won't need to stay overnight in hospital. You may need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed in your own comfortable recovery pod or room, but will usually be able to go home when your consultant feels you're ready.
If your mouth is feeling sore you can take over the counter pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen.
You can usually return normal activities the next day, unless you are advised otherwise by your consultant.
You should avoid hot drinks and food until the feeling in your mouth has returned and only eat soft food the rest of the day following your surgery.
The success of your implants will depend on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist every three to four months. Also, brushing and flossing daily is necessary for long-term success.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you may arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. After having dental implants, we'll want to see you a few months after the surgery to check everything is ok. You will also be given a contact number for the hospital in case you have any questions or concerns.
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
21 October 2019
Read our latest Q and A with ENT Consultant, Mr Jonathn Hughes on head and neck cancer.