Maida Smiles (W. London)

Tel: 020 3974 1777

07 Apr

Dental Implants Q&A


What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a metal post surgically attached to the jaw bone to support an artificial tooth. Once in place, a restorative dentist or oral surgeon mounts a replacement tooth on the implant. For more information, see the FAQs page on implants.

Why are dental implants necessary?

Dental implants are necessary when you have missing teeth but either cannot or do not want to get dentures, bridges or crowns. One of the main causes of missing teeth is advanced tooth decay, which can have several unpleasant effects on your body.

It is important to replace a lost tooth, as the consequences of removing/losing a tooth and doing nothing can grow into a much larger problem as time goes on. Dental implants play an important role in the overall function of your mouth, supporting a healthy bite and keeping each tooth properly in place while supporting a healthy jawbone and preventing bone deterioration. The jawbone can deteriorate when a tooth is lost or pulled and not replaced. This happens because the pressure and stimulus of chewing preserve the jawbone in the first place.

Do dental implants work like real teeth?

Dental implants are the closest you can get to restoring your healthy, natural teeth. Implants are a permanent solution to your missing teeth that look, feel, and function like real ones.

Are dental implants noticeable?

Dental implant restorations are made from special materials that mimic teeth’ natural translucency and colour. When shaped and polished by a skilled dental lab technician, they’ll look so realistic it may be impossible to tell them apart from any remaining teeth. They may even look better and healthier! Please note that implants do constitute surgery, so it is extremely important to ensure you are a good candidate with suitable bone density and no sinus issues. At Maida Smiles, we specialise in complex dental implant cases.

Once you have a dental implant, you won’t even notice it’s there. It will blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile. Dental implants play an important role in the visual aspect. You may feel self-conscious about how your smile looks and feels, and dental implants can help with that. Your self-esteem and self-confidence are important, and eating comfortably (especially at social gatherings), smiling and laughing without pain, worrying or holding back are essential. It will have a significant impact on your life.

Are dental implants as good as the natural tooth?

Successful implants work just as well as natural teeth, even providing added benefits. The bond between the implant post and bone will be as strong as a natural tooth, and the implants won’t break down over time from the pressures of biting and chewing. With dental implants, you don’t have to worry about cracking your artificial teeth or them ever falling out.

Are dental implants susceptible to cavities?

Along with being incredibly strong and life-like, dental implants do not become decayed, and they will never need a root canal. You won’t need to worry about them ever getting a cavity or needing treatment as long as you care for them properly and complete routine visits to your dentist. For patients needing most or all of their teeth replaced, this solution can also provide life-changing improvements in oral and systemic health. See the healing process.

How reliable are dental implants?

Dental implants have a high success rate, but an estimated 5-10 per cent of dental implants fail shortly after a procedure or months or years later.

What causes early or late dental implant problems?

Early dental failure occurs within the procedure’s first three to four months. Patients will experience some pain and swelling after surgery, which can be managed with pain medication. However, if this pain doesn’t subside after five to seven days, you should seek professional advice. It takes between 3 and 6 months to completely heal.

Early complications which may develop include

  • Infection at the implant site – An infection can develop during or after surgery. Risk factors increasing the chance of infection include autoimmune disease, smoking, and bad oral hygiene.
  • Implant micro-movements – These can occur when a dental implant lacks stability. Typically, an artificial tooth isn’t attached to an implant until after the jaw bone properly integrates with it.
  • Insufficient bone support – The implant can’t fuse with the jaw without adequate bone.
  • Allergic reaction – You may develop a reaction if you’re allergic to titanium alloy, a metal in some dental implants. Symptoms of an allergy include swelling, loss of taste, and perhaps a tingling sensation.

Late dental implant failure and problems include:

  • Nerve or tissue damage may occur when a surgeon places an implant too close to a nerve. Signs of damage include numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, gums, or face.
  • Foreign body rejection – This doesn’t occur often but can happen. It occurs when the body rejects an implant. Signs of rejection include increased pain at the implant site, swelling, fever, and chills.
  • Protrusion – A dental implant placed in the upper jaw may protrude into the sinus cavity.

How do dental implants affect Periodontal Disease (gum disease)

Once you have an implant, your risk of developing gum disease does not disappear. Without proper care, you could develop peri-implantitis — another form of gum disease. Peri-implantitis occurs when bacteria builds up and affects the gum tissue and bone around a dental implant. Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Bad breath
  • Loosening implant
  • At its worst, peri-implantitis can cause your implant to fail and fall out completely.

What are the overall benefits of dental implants in treating tooth loss?

  1. Prevents Bone Loss
  2. Matches Your Natural Teeth
  3. Restores Bite Force
  4. Prevents Changes In the Shape Of Your Face
  5. Enables Natural Speech
  6. Won’t Get Cavities
  7. Easy to Care For
  8. No Embarrassing Slippage
  9. Supports Adjacent Teeth
  10. A Permanent Solution to Tooth Loss