The Implant Process
Every patient is an individual, so although the implant process is a relatively straightforward procedure, what follows is only a general guide to the stepping stones of the treatment. Some cases will not require all of them and of course others, rarely, may be much more complex.
You are welcome to come to see us without first being referred by a dentist. If you do, then our dental implant co-ordinator will be happy to answer any questions you may have about implants and discuss whether or not a dental implant might be right for you. We make no charge for this informal discussion and all it takes is a phone call to arrange an appointment.
For the majority of patients, the initial consultation will be with one of our highly qualified dental surgeons and includes a detailed oral examination accompanied by x-rays and if necessary a CT scan. Equipped with this information and after a thorough discussion of the options available, a full, written treatment plan is prepared and sent to the patient and to the referring dentist where appropriate. This comprehensive plan includes an explanation of all the costs involved in the treatment. Once it has been accepted, the next stage is for us to prepare study models and photographs, together with a working template which help us determine precisely the ideal positioning of the implants. This is a vitally important aspect of the process because very high standards of accuracy are required if the implants are to work perfectly and look great.
Although the placement of implants is a surgical procedure, it is a relatively simple and painless process for the patient. Of course it requires an expert surgeon to undertake the placement, but the operation to place a single implant should only take half an hour or so. The procedure, uses a fully sterile technique and is performed under a local anaesthetic, although intravenous sedation is also available for nervous patients.
In some cases we can place a temporary restoration on the implant immediately, however in the majority of cases it is important to allow around three months to let the implant integrate with the surrounding bone structure. Your own denture if you have one, or in some cases a simple adhesive bridge, can be worn during this healing phase.
When the implant has properly integrated, the tops of the implants are uncovered and firmly connected to the permanently secured replacement teeth. These can be single crowns; small bridges; large full arch restorations, or even removable overdentures clipped to the now rock solid implants. The replacement teeth are prepared by our specialist dental laboratory to match perfectly with your natural teeth. You can even visit the lab to ensure this perfect shade matching and to discuss any cosmetic aspect of the final result.