Having a dental implant
Stage 1: Pre-operative assessment
Before you can have a dental implant, your dentist takes X-rays and moulds (impressions) of your mouth. These help the dental team to plan your treatment and make the implant to fit your mouth.
You need several visits to the hospital for this stage.
Stage 2: Bone grafting
If you do not have enough bone to support the implant, you might need a bone graft. This is a procedure to increase the amount of bone in your jaw. Your dentist tells you if you need a bone graft and explains any risks.
If you have a bone graft, your treatment might take 4 to 6 months longer.
Stage 3: Having the implant put in
We usually give you a local anaesthetic. This is an injection that makes the area of your mouth being treated numb. You then do not feel any pain during the procedure.
- We put in the implant by lifting the gum away from the jaw bone.
- We carefully drill into the jaw bone and put the implant into the bone.
- We replace the gum and hold it together with stitches.
- We remove the stitches about a week later.
Some people need minor bone grafting when we put in their implant. Your dentist tells you if you need this and what it involves.
After we have put in the implant, you usually need to wait for at least 3 months before it can support replacement teeth.
Some implants stick out through the gum and others are buried under the gum. Implants that are buried under the gum need another small surgical procedure before we can use them.
Stage 4: Restorative treatment
You need several appointments to make your replacement teeth (such as your crowns, bridges or dentures). At these appointments, we make moulds and check that the parts used for your replacement teeth fit properly.