Dental Implants Q & A
Many people have questions about dental implants. So this second part of our series, we will answer some questions that we have seen come up with our patients on a regular basis. Of course, if your question is not answered, please call us!
Q. I have two missing teeth in the upper jaw, the first molar and second premolar. These have been missing for a number of years. Given this, are dental implants suitable for this area?
A. We can easily tell you what is involved in replacing these two missing teeth with implants after we take some x-rays, which we would do as part of your initial assessment. Without first taking x-rays, there is no way of telling how much bone you have in these regions and what would be involved in implant treatment i.e. whether you have enough bone to place implants or whether you need some bone grafting first.
Q. How painful is the dental implant procedure?
A. It is one of the most common concerns for people thinking about having an implant. When carried out by an experienced clinician, most dental implants are very straightforward to place, taking only about 10-15 minutes to complete the surgical part of the treatment, (though clearly more complex cases may take longer).
The majority of implants are placed under a normal dental local anaesthetic. Though the local anaesthetic injections can sting a little (most of us have experienced dental injections in our mouth at some time), once you are numb, you will not feel anything painful at all throughout your treatment. You will feel some pressing and pushing during the procedure as well as some vibration during the drilling stage, but this will not hurt in any way and your dentist can check to make sure you are completely numb before they start the surgery.
Q. Can you get a dental implant put in the same day a tooth is taken out?
A. Skilled dentists are able to place implants immediately into the extraction socket and then build up a temporary tooth on top of the implant. However, this depends on a lot of factors – the main one is if there is any sign of infection the implant has to wait.
Don’t worry because you need never have a gap – there are all sorts of temporary solutions to make sure there is no embarrassment at any stage through the implant process.
Q. How long will an implant last?
A. If well cared for and maintained with reviews to monitor an implant should last a lifetime.
It is possible to chip a crown or bridge on implants in the same way that it is possible to chip a tooth and we recommend annual reviews with x-rays to check the bone levels around the implants in addition to your regular check-ups with us.
Q. Can I have dental implants if I am a smoker?
A. We now know that smoking does affect both natural teeth and implants. For natural teeth, smoking increases the risks of gum disease. For implants, smoking very slightly increases the risks of complications at every stage of implant treatment.
The good news is that this increased risk if very slight and we successfully treat patients who are smokers every day at Century Stone Dental.