Having a dental implant

Dental implants

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.

Read our information about bone grafting

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.

Resource number: 2846/VER3
Last reviewed: July 2021
Next review due: July 2024

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Contact us

If you have any problems or concerns, please contact the dental implant department.

Phone: 020 7188 1816, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Email: [email protected]

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Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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