Frequently asked questions about dental implants

    Here, we provide answers to several of our frequently asked questions about dental implants in Lyme Regis.

    If you are still unsure or would like to ask further questions, please contact our team directly. 

      Dental implants FAQs

      What is a dental implant?

      A dental implant is a fixed solution for one or more missing teeth and can help restore both your smile and your quality of life.

      An implant is made up of an artificial titanium root that is fixed to the jaw, and an abutment, made from titanium, gold or porcelain, which fits to the implant and attaches the crown, bridge or denture fitted on top.

      If you are concerned about your replacement teeth looking realistic or coming loose, implants are an ideal option. They are crafted to look and feel just like natural teeth.

      Teeth implants also safeguard your overall dental health. Replacing missing teeth is extremely important, as missing teeth cause bone loss which can age your face and could potentially cause adjacent teeth to become loose too.

      How long do dental implants last?

      Dental implants have been used for over 30 years to replace missing teeth. As with natural teeth, they can be damaged by trauma and affected by gum disease and poor oral hygiene. However, if they are looked after like normal teeth, they can last a lifetime.

      Does it matter if I have missing teeth?

      A natural smile and a healthy mouth are important for your confidence, but it is important to replace missing teeth for health reasons as well.

      Some of the health reasons to replace missing teeth are:

      1. If you have missing teeth, the way your jaw opens and closes can be affected. This can result in a condition called TMJ dysfunction (or TMD), which is extremely painful and requires surgery in extreme cases.
      2. Gaps between the teeth can allow the movement of other teeth into these spaces. These surrounding teeth become increasingly susceptible to decay and gum disease, which can result in them being lost as well.
      3. Once teeth have gone, it results in bone loss. This not only shortens your face and ages it, but can cause other teeth to become loose which are then at risk of falling out. Your features droop and can appear prematurely aged.

      Is a dental implant right for me?

      Most healthy people, who regularly brush their teeth and visit the dentist, are suitable for implants. Dental implants can be a great solution for people of any age.

      While implants are suitable for most people, there are circumstances where implants may not be suitable. It’s important that you speak to your Portman dentist if you’re concerned about any of the below.

      1. Heavy smoking, which slows down and hinders the healing process.
      2. Excessive alcohol intake, which can disrupt healing of the gums.
      3. Those with a weak bones, as the implant needs to fuse with the bone in the jaw.
      4. Severe gum disease. Tooth decay and/or gum disease needs to be treated before proceeding with a dental implant. Gum disease is a major cause of bone loss, which would hinder the success of any implant procedure.
      5. People with compromised immune systems.
      6. People who suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism).

          What does the treatment look like? 

          It’s a straightforward process which can be completed under local anesthetic. If you are particularly nervous or have a dental phobia, your dentist will make sure you feel absolutely comfortable with the treatment and can provide sedation if needed. 

          The implants will need 3 to 6 months to heal and integrate with your jaw bone to provide a solid support for the crown, bridge or denture. 

          Depending on your treatment and your dentist’s diagnosis, a temporary crown can be fitted at the same time as your initial appointment. These will stay in place until the final restoration appointment. 

          It may be necessary to have a separate appointment between 6 weeks and 6 months after your initial treatment, to allow the implant to fully integrate. This ensures that your jaw has completely healed before the crown, bridge or denture is permanently fitted.

          What is Immediate Loading?

          Immediate Loading is when a dental implant and crown are fitted at the same time. This is as opposed to a Delayed Loading implant, which is a two-stage process, separated by a period of up to six months.

          The main advantage of Immediate Loading is convenience. The procedure can be done in the same day, which is why it’s sometimes known as ‘the same day smile’.

          Other advantages are that it’s a quicker procedure, there’s no need to wait for the bone and implant to fuse, and you don’t need to wear a temporary bridge or dentures.

          However, the main disadvantage with Immediate Loading is that there’s an increased risk of loss of the implant, due to a failure of the bone to fuse sufficiently to the implant.

          Your Portman dentist will advise you on which technique will be the most beneficial for you.

            What are the benefits of dental implants?

            • Implants look and feel just like natural teeth
            • Implants provide permanent stability and comfort without affecting healthy teeth
            • Implants won’t come loose or fall out
            • Implants can last for many years if you maintain good oral hygiene
            • Implants prevent ageing bone loss, by stimulating your bone structure and stabilising the surrounding teeth

            How do I look after my implant?

            As with natural teeth, good oral hygiene is important for preventing gum disease and prolonging the life of your implants. You do not need to remove the teeth fitted to your implants but clean them as you would your natural teeth. A high standard of daily oral care, along with regular check-ups with your local Lyme Bay Dental & Implant Clinic dentist and hygienist, will help to ensure your mouth stays healthy and your implants last as long as possible.

              Next steps

              Ready to see one of our specialists?

              If you're ready to take up treatment, get in touch.


                Dental implants

                Our Lyme Bay Dental & Implant Clinic dentists can help restore both your smile and your quality of life with dental implants.

                  Portman Dental Care Awards

                  Fmc Logo 2019 Winner Oby M25
                  Award Logo 2018
                  Dental Industry Award - Portman Dental Care
                  Private Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
                  The Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
                  Elite Practice Award - Portman Dental Care