How Long Does Implant Treatment Take?
We will see you for an implant consultation where we will listen to your needs, assess your mouth and provide you with treatment options and costs. Once the treatment plan has been decided, a CT scan is taken and the implants are planned using sophisticated computer programmes. Key hole or guided surgery are used in most cases to make surgery more comfortable and quicker. The implants are placed into the jaw bone and left to heal for usually 3 months. During this time, the bone cells grow on to the implant surface and bond strongly to it. Impressions or moulds are taken of the implants and then the implant crowns or bridges are constructed and fixed to the dental implants. The whole process usually takes 4-6 months, but some highly complex cases can take longer.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium replacement tooth roots, which are inserted gently into the jaw bone and support a replacement ceramic implant crown or implant bridge. Unlike dentures they don't move around, and they are more popular today than tooth-supported bridgework, because they do not rely on adjacent teeth for support.
Implants have been around for a number of decades and millions of implants have been placed successfully world wide. It takes years of experience for a dentist to become highly proficient at placing dental implants. Increasingly sophisticated technology has allowed dental implants to be placed faster, more comfortably and more precisiely than ever before using technology such as CT scans, navigated surgery and guided surgery technqiues.
Our implant dentists will plan the position of your dental implants virtually before surgery using sophisticated 3D modelling software and the data from CT scans and optical scans of your teeth and gums.
Same Day Teeth
This is when the implant crowns or bridges are fixed to the implants at the same time as the dental implants are placed into the mouth. This is a more advanced technique and is often used for full arch implants.
All On Four
Four to six specially placed dental implants can be used to replace a full set of teeth. This is called all on four or all on six, and has very good success rates. The number of implants needed varies from person to person, depending on bone quality and size of jaw. A temporary bridge is usually placed on the same day. A permanent bridge is fitted three months later after the implants are healed.
Immediate Implants And Immediate Loading
When a dental implant is placed at the same time as removing the tooth, it is called an immmediate implant. A crown or bridge is sometimes fitted at the same time as implant placement and this is called immediate loading or restoration. This is a more advanced technique, but it can shorten treatment times significantly.
When one tooth is missing this is replaced with a single-tooth dental implant. One dental implant body supports a dental implant crown made from ceramic which mimics the appearance of the natural tooth.
When several teeth are missing together, these can be replaced using two or more dental implant bodies supporting an implant bridge which has three or more ceramic implant teeth joined together in a bridge. The numebr of implant needed to support a bridge depends on the position in the mouth and the amount of biting force expected to load the impalnts. Higher bite forces are found at the back of the mouth than at the front, so more implants may be needed to replace the larger back molar teeth than the smaller front incisor teeth.
Full Mouth Implants
A full set of implant teeth can be placed for someone who already has dentures, or if the remaining natural teeth are failing. A full arch dental implant bridge supported by between four and seven implants is often used in these cases. The implants if strategically positioned are capable of supporting a full upper or lower implant bridge with between twelve to fourteen teeth.
What Is Guided Surgery?
Guided surgery makes implant treatment faster and more comfortable. It uses 3D imaging techniques such as a CT scan and mouth scan to produce a virtual model of a patients mouth on a computer. Sophisticated 3D implant planning software is then used to virtually place dental implants on the computer model, and then a 3D printed surgical template is produced and used during the implant placement procedure to very precisly position the dental implants in the planned positions. This allows surgeons to achieve accuracies of within fractions of a millimetre.
What Is Bone Grafting?
When people lose teeth, there is usually a 40% loss in bone volume. Therefore, a Bone Graft is sometimes required for implant treatment where there is insufficient bone volume present. There are different types of bone graft techniques for different parts of the mouth and different volumes of bone regeneration required, such as block grafts, sinus lifts and sinus grafts etc. There are also different types of bone materials available. They have different properties and are preferred under different clinical situations. Dr. Guy will discuss this with you at your consultation if you require bone grafting. Bone grafting is an advanced procedure and Dr Guy is highly experienced in this area.
Aftercare For Your Implants
It is important that your implants are cared for in the long term to ensure that they perform as well as possible. We recommend seeing us annually to have your implants checked and maintained. We are also able to look after your implants if you have had them placed elsewhere.
Dr David Guy BDS (Wales) PGC (UCL) MSc (Warwick)
Dr David Guy qualified from UWCM where he was awarded the prestigious Wystan Peach Prize for Restoratve Dentistry. He was awarded a Distinction from University College London (UCL) in his PGC Restorative Dentistry and was awarded a Distinction in his MSc in Implant Dentistry from Warwick Medical School.
David is a gentle and caring dentist, and a great listener, who understands that every person requires a bespoke treatment plan tailored to their own specific needs and aspirations. David is a highly experienced and respected Restorative Dentist and Implant Surgeon who has dedicated his professional working life to the treatment of complex dental cases, particularly those with a combination of high aesthetic need and advanced dental implant work.
David’s treatment philosophy focuses on the attainment of optimal dental health combined with cosmetic excellence. His extensive experience, expansive knowledge, and finely honed skillset allows him to use an impressive range of techniques including porcelain veneers, crowns and dental implants to achieve enviable results, especially in challenging dental reconstructions. He is an expert in all areas of implant dentistry and bone regeneration (bone grafting) including sinus grafting. He is an international lecturer in implant dentistry and restorative dentistry.