Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a dental implant?
- Why should I consider dental implants?
- What is the success rate?
- How much do dental implants cost?
- Will implants work for me?
- What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?
- How will dental implants affect my life?
- Will my new teeth look natural?
- Will I be able to chew normally?
- How long does it take to get dental implants?
- Is it painful?
- How will I feel after the treatment?
- How do I care for my dental implants?
- Why is "Teeth in a Day" becoming such a popular treatment alternative?
- How will I clean my new teeth if I can't remove them?
- Could I be "too old" for dental implants?
- Can I get dental implants if I smoke?
- Will I be comfortable?
- Are there any likely complications?
- Can implants come out?
- What if there is a problem with an implant?
Q. What is a dental implant?
A. A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is fitted carefully and precisely within the available jaw bone. This then acts like a tooth root to support a post and crown. Dental implants can be placed in both the upper and lower jaws and is the most successful form of dentistry available. Implants can replace a single missing tooth and are strong enough to replace a whole set!
Q. Why should I consider dental implants?
A. There are several reasons to consider dental implants, but 2 of the most important are:
- Jawbone shrinks when a tooth is removed. Shrinkage of the jawbone can make your face prematurely age. Dental implants can stop jawbone shrinking.
- Dental implants are fixed in place and can last a lifetime.
Q. What is the success rate?
A. Dental research has more than three decades of clinical experience and more than a million patients treated. Studies show a success rate of nearly 95% for individual implants. However, at Crossbank we have a very high success rate. In almost 1000 implants placed, only 5 have ever failed. In each and every case, we worked out why the implant failed and replaced it in the original position or very close to it. Each replacement implant was successful.
Q. How much do dental implants cost?
A. The cost depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Approximately £2500 per implant excluding augmentations bearing in mind that you would not normally replace each missing tooth with a single implant. We will be happy to provide a bespoke estimate on the day of your assessment followed by a written treatment quotation.
Q. Will implants work for me?
A. Teeth can be lost through injury, disease or decay and anyone who is missing one or more teeth can be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is often the amount of available bone. Your consultation is used to help ascertain if implants will work for you. Even if there is insufficient bone to support an implant, bone can nearly always be rebuilt with appropriate skill and technique.
Q. What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?
A. Here is a list of the benefits of dental implants:
- Improved appearance: When a tooth is removed, the jawbone shrinks as it heals and can cause your face to look (and feel) older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge does not.
- Preserved natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down and used as supports for the bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to drill healthy teeth.
- Permanently fixed solution: There are no loose parts. Dental implants are stable, comfortable and can last a lifetime.
Q. How will dental implants affect my life?
A. Dental implants are the closest replacement to the look, feel and function of natural teeth. No more pain caused by dentures when chewing, no more avoiding particular menu choices or foods. No more worrying if your dentures will fall out when you go swimming. No more teeth in a glass at the end of the day. People who have been embarrassed and anxious because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what a difference having permanently fixed teeth can make.
Q. Will my new teeth look natural?
A. When dental implants are used in combination with modern high quality dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Q. Will I be able to chew normally?
A. Yes. Within weeks patents can forget that their implant are there.
Q. How long does the treatment take?
A. Sometimes, you can have dental implants placed in a single session. The procedure chosen depends on several factors, such as your dental health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are being replaced. These factors also determine the total number of required visits to the dentist throughout the treatment process.
Q. Does it hurt?
A. Rarely. There can be some mild discomfort but much less than having a tooth removed. Most patients report they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had expected. Often placing a single implant is completely pain-free. We use sedation and local anaesthesia to ensure you are comfortable during the process. We will provide appropriate medicines to prevent pain, swelling and infection.
Q. How will I feel after the treatment?
A. If you have been sedated you will feel a little 'woozy' for the rest of the day. It is normal to have a little tenderness and swelling in the gum. However this can be controlled with an ordinary painkiller.
Q. How do I look after my dental implants?
A. Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like natural teeth. We recommend regular visits to a dental hygienist. Brush and/or floss daily. Following your treatment, you will be invited for your review appointments approximately 3 times in the year following your treatment. There is no charge for these appointments and they ensure that your implant is working well and you understand how to take care of it.
Q. Why is 'Teeth in a Day' becoming such a popular treatment?
A. Having Teeth in a Day is the easiest, most economical way that you can have a full set of fixed replacement teeth in just one day. They look and feel like natural teeth, and they will not slip or fall out. You can fully taste and enjoy your food, because the roof of your mouth is not covered. The teeth do not need to be taken out at night, nor do they need special cleaning -- just regular brushing and flossing! Best of all, you can smile naturally, knowing your teeth look real.
Q. How will I clean my new teeth if I can't remove them?
A. Your teeth can be cleaned with a toothbrush and floss, although a Water-pik is recommended as well. Don't worry, we will show you how!
Q. Am I "too old" for dental implants?
A. The state of your health is more important than your age. We have successfully placed implants in people 84 years old. If you are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, it is likely you can have dental implants. A consultation with one of our dentists, along with completion of our medical questionnaire will help to determine whether implants will work for you. They do for most patients!
Q. Do you treat smokers?
A. Yes, we do. Many of our successfully treated patients have been smokers. There is an increased risk of complications with active smokers, especially in procedures involving bone grafting. The risks and benefits will be discussed fully during your consultation.
Q. Will I be comfortable?
A. From the warm smile that greets you as you walk through the door until long after you leave the practice, your comfort is our ultimate priority. The calm atmosphere in the waiting room, the choice of refreshments, the caring nature of our team and the relaxing dental bed. Everything we do is to ensure your needs are met throughout your stay with us.
Q. Are there any likely complications?
A. With any surgery there are risks of pain, swelling, bruising and infection. We will provide you with all the necessary medication to keep you comfortable and the discomfort is far less than you would imagine. Many of our patients experience no discomfort at all. The risk of infection increases if you smoke or suffer from diabetes. However, we have fitted many implants successfully for such people.
Q. Can implants come out?
A. It’s possible, but good mouth hygiene and regular check-ups make it unlikely. This is why we recommend twice yearly visits to our hygienist (she knows all about how to keep implants clean). It’s also possible we may need to tighten a component screw but this is a quick and simple procedure.
Q. What happens if there is a problem with my implant?
A. We will assess the situation and advise the best course of action. If it does come out, after 10-12 weeks a new implant can be fitted. The manufacturer of my implant does not charge for this but there may be a charge for the dentists time. The best way to avoid implant problems is to keep your implants immaculately clean. We will show you how to do this.