Dental implants

Dental implants have been used successfully to replace missing teeth for several decades. They provide a permanent solution to tooth loss because they look, feel and function like your natural teeth. Therefore they can give you increased comfort and renewed confidence as well as offer great improvements during speech and eating.

What is a dental implant

An implant is a rod made of super-strong titanium alloy. It is gently placed directly into the jawbone and acts as an anchor to support one or more crowns or a bridge of up to two false teeth. Implants can also be used as anchors to improve the stability and retention of loose dentures. The major advantage of implants over a conventional bridge is that we don't need to drill down the teeth either side of the gap.

Your suitability for implants

Implant therapy is a life changing, reliable and successful way to replace missing teeth. However, occasionally implants can fail. Patients who smoke heavily, have active gum disease or certain medical conditions are more prone to loss of their implants. It is possible that implant therapy may not be the best solution for your mouth, or that some remedial and hygiene treatment to establish good basic dental health is necessary. We will discuss this with you at your first appointment. Advanced age does not affect implant success, so you are never too old to benefit from implants.


The placement of implants is a relatively simple process. The room and equipment are specially prepared to ensure a fully sterile technique. Your mouth is numbed by local anaesthetic in the same way as for routine dentistry. Following placement of your implants it is possible to occasionally place teeth on them immediately. However we usually prefer to allow several weeks for the bone to fuse to the implants before loading them with bite force. During this healing phase a denture or simple adhesive bridge may be worn by the patient.

In some cases the underlying bone where we want to place our implants may be deficient or damaged. We can repair these deficiencies either at the time of placement of your implants or as a prior procedure. This is discussed further with you during the planning stage.

Fitting of prosthetic teeth to the implants

Several weeks later, once the bone has fused to your implants they are uncovered. They are now very versatile platforms on to which dentures, crowns or bridges may be attached. This can transform your ability to chew and smile with confidence and be truly life changing. Your new teeth are custom made to fit your mouth by our specialist dental laboratory. These teeth are checked and fitted, then reviewed a few days later to ensure your complete satisfaction.

Hygiene and maintenance

It is important to realise that implant borne teeth require regular reviews, x rays and maintenance. Implants can be affected by gum disease like natural teeth. Regular monitoring and hygiene visits are essential to ensure any problems with the adjacent gums or implant teeth are recognised and treated at an early stage.