top of page

Dental Implants

What are dental implants?
We answer some common questions.

Straumann Award for Rock House implant dentists

Rock House implant dentists win a Straumann award

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that fuse with the jawbone over time, providing a strong and long-lasting foundation for replacement teeth. This allows the replacement implant tooth to work like a natural tooth in terms of biting and chewing. Restoring your smile in this way can give you a real confidence boost!

What is titanium and why is it used?
Titanium is a naturally occurring elemental metal. It’s completely non-toxic and does not corrode easily, which is why it’s used in medical implants like artificial hips. It’s also incredibly light and stronger than steel. 


What about the artificial tooth itself?
The artificial tooth is called a crown – it’s the bit that’s visible to people you smile at and looks and feels like a real tooth. 


Are they suitable for everyone? 
Dental implants are a great option for many adults, provided they have healthy gums. 

During an initial assessment, your implant dentist will consider your medical history and things that may be affecting the health of your mouth, such as smoking. They will examine your mouth to assess your general jawbone health and bone density and may take X-rays. All these factors affect how well implants will work for different individuals.

What if my dental health is not that good?
Your dentist can advise the steps you can take to get your mouth into a healthy condition, ready for implants. 
How long will I have to wait after tooth removal until I get a dental implant? 
Most people have to wait 3-6 months for bone healing and stability before dental implant placement. During this time, a gap might be filled with a false tooth or a temporary bridge. 

Can any dentist place implants?
No. Placing implants involves a surgical procedure and requires additional training, such as postgraduate university implant training with a diploma or MSc. It may be worth looking at reviews, taking personal recommendations and asking how many dental implants the dentist has placed.

Are all dental implants the same?
No. You should check that your dentist is using a premium quality implant that is approved for use in the UK. Cheap implants such as those offered in other countries may not be compatible with those used by British implant dentists: they may cause problems and cost you more in the long term.

How long do implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if they are cared for properly. The implant eventually becomes part of your jaw, in a process called osseointegration. As we can’t regrow our teeth, implants are the next best thing to doing just that!
The crown, which is the artificial tooth visible above the gumline, may need replacing after 10-15 years due to wear and tear from regular use. So, while the implant itself might last for decades, the visible part of the replacement tooth might require replacement at some point.

How painful is having dental implants?
You shouldn't feel any pain during the placement of the dental implant. The dentist will use anaesthetic injections which ensure your mouth is completely numb throughout the procedure. 
You may experience some discomfort or pain once the numbness wears off. This is typically no worse than a mild headache and may last up to 48 hours. It is easily manageable with over-the-counter pain medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Most patients feel completely back to normal after a week.
You may experience slight swelling or bruising, and we generally recommend taking a few days off work.

What if I am anxious about dental treatment?
Dental sedation is a safe and effective way to help with anxiety during the treatment and it is a common option for patients undergoing dental implant surgery. You can ask your dentist about this option.


Do implants have advantages over alternatives like bridges or dentures?
Implants work more like your real teeth. They fuse with your jawbone, providing a strong foundation for biting and chewing which allows you to eat a wider variety of foods, speak with confidence, and enjoy a more natural eating experience.
Dental implants are designed to look like your existing teeth. The crown is typically made of porcelain or other durable materials that closely resemble the colour and appearance of your teeth. 
Implants stimulate the jawbone during chewing. This helps prevent bone loss in the area of the missing tooth.
They prevent neighbouring teeth tipping or growing into the gaps.
They do not involve neighbouring teeth in their placement and so do not compromise the other teeth or gums. 

Do dental implants need special care or maintenance? 
Keeping really good oral hygiene is the most important thing. They must be cleaned well with a toothbrush twice a day, and interdental brushing and flossing must be done daily to prevent bacteria from causing gum disease around the dental implant. 
It is important that your dentist checks your implant regularly and you also have regular appointments with your dental hygienist. This will help to tackle any issues before they cause problems. 

Can I spread the costs of dental implants?
Dental practices can usually offer finance at 0% interest to help spread the cost of dental implants, so you should discuss options with your dentist.

Why do you like placing implants for your patients? 
Dental implants really are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. They can make a significant improvement to the function of the teeth and allow you to eat the foods you like. Having implants can be life-transforming and allow you to smile again with confidence!

bottom of page