Dental implants can be a great solution to replace a missing tooth or teeth in adults of all ages. Implants can often be placed immediately after a tooth extraction – for example if a tooth has been badly damaged. That means there is only one episode of healing. An implant can secure a loose denture.
Benefits of dental implants
You’ll feel confident about your smile. Dental implants feel, look and function like healthy, natural teeth. They’re so comfortable you don’t have to think about them. You brush and floss them just like you do your natural teeth.
They’re built to last. Dental implants can last many decades when properly cared for. Other ways to replace missing teeth, for example, bridges and dentures may need to be replaced more frequently. This can lead to higher costs long term.
You can eat what you want and talk naturally. Your dental implants are fixed and therefore very secure. Evidence suggests that being able to eat what you want leads to a longer-term health and wellbeing. No more avoidance of salads, apples and steak!
They protect facial bone and healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to health issues such as bone deterioration and increased wear and tear on your remaining natural teeth. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that prevents bone loss. Additionally, there is no need to grind down an adjacent healthy tooth (compared to when having dental bridges). This is the main reason we recommend dental implants – to save your remaining healthy teeth.
Patient journey for dental implants
|1||Restorative consultation||Once an implant solution has been identified as an option to replace a missing tooth (or teeth), your dentist will carry out a full assessment including photographs prior to referring you to our in-house implant surgeon, Duncan Weir.|
|2||Consult with implant practitioner Duncan Weir||Duncan will meet you for a consultation where he will take time to listen to your concerns and the end result you would like to achieve. He will then arrange some special measurements which will allow him to plan your treatment precisely.|
|3||Special measurements||Carried out at Fairmilehead Dental Practice, Lothian. Full mouth x-ray and a cone beam CT scan.|
|4||Treatment discussion with Duncan Weir||At this appointment, Duncan will confirm the treatment and answer any questions you may have. The appropriate consent forms can then be signed.|
|5||Implant surgery with Duncan Weir||Implant placement surgery. If extraction of your failing tooth is required, this will be completed at the same appointment.|
|6||Implant hygiene appointment 1||Two weeks post surgery. At this appointment, your dental hygienist will ensure that you have all the help you need to keep your implant as clean as possible.|
|7||Review with Duncan Weir||Your implant will be reviewed at approximately four weeks post-surgery.|
|8||Implant impressions with your dentist||Approximately four months post-surgery. At this appointment, all the necessary measurements are recorded so that the implant technician (Wayne Flack) can make your new tooth!|
|9||Crown fit||Three weeks later, your new tooth will be fitted onto the implant. It will be ready to use straight away.|
|10||Implant crown review with your dentist||A further three weeks later, we will check that your new implant is looking and functioning perfectly. We will also check that you are managing to look after your implant tooth properly. Finally, the internal screw is tightened, prior to sealing it with a long-term filling.|
|11||Implant hygiene appointment 2||Your hygienist will check that you are managing to keep your implant tooth as clean as possible. It is crucially important that you are looking after your gums optimally (to ensure that the implant has the best long-term prognosis).|
|12||Annual reviews with Duncan and our hygienist||Duncan will conduct a review of your implant and associated supporting tissues, once per year for three years following implant placement. An x-ray will be recorded to confirm the health of the supporting bone. This will be combined with a hygienist appointment to confirm that the implant is being looked after in the best possible way|