Dental Implant Common Questions and Answers by Dr Avik Dandapat
1. What is a dental implant ?
A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that is threaded in design and placed into the jaw bone. An implant itself is part of 3 elements that is required to replace a missing tooth.
The three elements are the implant itself which is in the jawbone , the abutment that is used to connect the implant to the oral cavity and emerges from the gum and a crown that is cemented into the abutment. (read more in our dental implants explained page)?
2. Does the procedure hurt ?
Generally no – all surgeons use anaesthetic that numbs the area therefore patients will not feel any pain during placement of the implant. We also as a clinic offer intravenous sedation which relaxes patients and further reduces pain and anxiety.
3. How long does it take to place the implant(s)?
Using our unique i-Smile methods we can place a single implant within 10-15 minutes and aim to for larger cases such as full arch restoration to a maximum of 2 hours surgical time ?
4. Do I need time to recover ?
Generally if we place our implants recovery is on the same day. Patients are often back to work the next day after treatment. Extensive grafting surgery or sinus grafting we tend to allow a period of 2-3 days of rest. But every person is different in anatomy so recovery does tend to differ from each individual. We would assess all patients medically prior to any surgery and advise on all possible recovery times.
5. Who should I be seeing to place my implant ?
Dental implantology currently has not been awarded its own specialist list. All dentists whom have received adequate training can perform dental implant surgery and restoration.However it is our opinion that dentists whom hold specific qualifications in implant dentistry have been trained , assessed and examined and have adequate experience should be delivering the more complex implant dentistry.
6. Why are implants so expensive ?
In terms of comparison to other dental treatments dental implants require a higher level of investment, this is because the costs involved in delivery of implant treatment to the very highest of standards is costly in terms of setup. equipment needed (3D Scanners, On site theatres, support staff) , higher level of training and skills of implant dentists. In our clinics for example for a single implant placement it takes 3 support nursing staff to set up a theatre, we have special vacuum autoclaves systems for higher levels of sterilisation, 2 surgical lighting systems and that’s just the start. We still however aim to offer very good value for money for implant treatments. Also once you have completed a dental implant there are no more fees ever for that tooth or teeth.
7. What are the risks of dental implants – surely its not all great ?
Any medical or surgical procedure carries risks and this is no different in dental implantology. Generally risks associated with dental implants are very low in the right hands. The main risk of placement of a dental implant is failure to osseointegrate – whereby the bone does not fuse with the implant – generally an accepted failure rate is 2% (2 in every 100). Failure of an implant is not a dramatic nor painful process usually the implant is loose and mobile and can be removed using a air of tweezers. Other risks include damage to anatomical structures such as nerves, however in our clinic a majority of patients have 3D scans and we have exact measurements of volume as well and position of any sensitive structures.
8. What happens if my implant fails ?
In our clinic our failure rate in <1%. But we have assessed contingencies if failure were to occur. We would provide all remedial treatment free of charge, furthermore we would offer after appropriate healing period a second placement of an implant and this would also be at no extra cost to our patients. We would audit all failures and assess causes as we all thrive to achieve a 100% success rate.
9. What maintenance is required ?
Generally if you are with your general dentist and see them every 6 months then we would like to see you once a year to assess the implant. The yearly implant exam is a 10 min appointment whereby we check our implant, crowns your bite and stability. We may take an X-ray to check the bone levels. As part of our guarantee you are required to attend yearly as small problems are easily rectified if caught early such as a change in biting over time putting undue pressure on an implant. The cost of this varies by the number of implants you may have. Our unique implant protection scheme covers all aspects of recall examination costs.
10. What is your implant protection scheme ?
In our clinic we offer an additional peace of mind implant protection insurance. For a monthly fee charged per implant placed – we would cover accidental damage , damage to crowns, bridges and dentures supported by implants and any damage by trauma, eating aspects not covered by standard guarantee. Our implant protection cover also covers any recall examination costs. It gives our patients the complete peace of mind that all aspects of the treatment are protected and they do not have to bear any possible future costs of replacement of bridges etc.