Dental Implants FAQ’s

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding dental implants.

Dental Implants

What does implant prosthetics mean?

Implant prosthetics or prosthodontics refers to tooth replacements which are mounted on implants.

This has many advantages:

• Neighbouring teeth are protected since they do not need to be ground down to be used as supporting teeth.
• The artificial tooth root ensures that the jaw bone will not recede any further.
• The implant-supported tooth replacement is barely distinguishable from a real tooth.

Can every dental prosthesis be fixed on implants?

Generally, yes. Single tooth gaps are fitted with an implant, to which a crown is fixed. Larger gaps can be closed again thanks to implant-supported bridges or partial prostheses. Even in cases of total tooth loss, we can fix the third teeth safely and firmly in the mouth. Ill-fitting, abrasive dentures are now a thing of the past.

How do dental implants work?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium or ceramic. These materials are tolerated well by the human body, meaning a direct connection between implant and jawbone is achieved.

A dental implant can be a safe and aesthetic replacement for a lost tooth. Even from close range, the result is nearly indistinguishable from your own teeth. The options range from replacing individual teeth with an implant and crown, to mounting an entire arch-restoring bridge on implants. From the smallest to biggest gaps we can replace your teeth with bespoke implant-supported restorations.

How many teeth can be replaced by implants?

Dental implants can replace one, several or even all teeth. If one tooth is missing it can be replaced by a single implant. A crown is then added to the implant. If more teeth are missing, often several implants have to be placed, so that a bridge or denture can be attached to them.

What advantages do implants offer?

Implants offer a high level of comfort for the wearer because they feel just like your own teeth and you can bite just as strongly with them. Dental prosthesis and dental implants meet the highest aesthetic demands and are very durable. Also, the jaw bone remains stable and doesn’t degrade. Healthy neighbouring teeth do not have to be ground down, and bridges and dentures sit securely and don’t rub.

What are the requirements for dental implants?

For the insertion of implants, there must be enough healthy bone tissue available so that they can be firmly and permanently anchored into the jaw. If there is not enough bone available, this can be augmented in advance. In addition, thanks to the All-On-4™ procedure, full dentures can also be converted into firmly anchored fixed dentures without bone reconstruction. To do this, four special implants are sufficient.

What materials are used for dental implants?

Implants are generally made of titanium as it is stable and well accepted by the body. Furthermore, titanium bonds strongly to bone tissue. In rare cases, implants are also made of zirconia ceramic. We always manufacture the crown or bridge from ceramic.

Tooth implants: when can I start smoking again?

Heavy smokers (more than five cigarettes a day) have a higher risk of losing implants than non-smokers — this mainly concerns major interventions involving bone augmentation. We recommend any patients who do smoke to quit smoking before fitting the implants. If you do not want to do this, you should not smoke for at least one day before the implant and ten days after to aid tissue repair.

In the long term, smoking gives rise to a significantly higher risk of inflammation and bone loss around the implant. Therefore it is generally recommended to give up smoking entirely. Your GP can help you with this and give you helpful advice on how best to quit smoking.

Tooth implants: when can I start eating again after the surgery?

You can start eating again as soon as the numbness has subsided. However, you should avoid drinks that increase blood pressure such as cola or coffee, and very hard foods which could damage your gums. Very acidic or spicy foods also irritate the edges of the wound and impair its healing. You must avoid dairy products such as milk and yoghurt in the first week after the surgery, as these contain high levels of bacteria. In addition, clean your teeth by brushing carefully with a toothbrush followed by rinsing. Please leave the wound area alone when doing this.

How should I care for my implants?

The same rules apply for implants as for your own teeth: good oral hygiene is essential. The use of inter-dental brushes and dental floss is important to keep the areas between the implants clean. Our experienced dental hygienists will be happy to help you and give you advice so that you can enjoy your implants for a long time.

How safe are implants?

Over the years, dental implants have proven themselves millions of time world-wide. The probability that incompatibilities or implant loss occur is extremely small. In Germany alone, more than one million implants are successfully inserted every year.

How long does an implant last?

With good oral hygiene and optimal care — which includes placement, aftercare, and professional cleaning — a dental implant can last a lifetime. But you need to help. Brush your teeth thoroughly and use dental floss and inter-dental brushes — we will show you the best way to clean your implants. In addition, you shouldn’t smoke, and you should come at least twice a year for professional teeth cleaning.

Do I need a general anaesthetic for dental implants?

No, the surgery can be performed painlessly under local anaesthetic. For larger-scale operations involving bone augmentation, treatment under general anaesthetic or sedation may be indicated. If you prefer to sleep through the treatment we always offer you conscious sedation or general anaesthesia.

Will I have pain after setting the implant?

Immediately after the operation the medication given to you during the implantation will continue to have an effect, so you won’t feel any pain. Once at home, to prevent further pain, start taking the pain medication we will prescribe. You will always receive an appropriate prescription before the surgery. In less than a week all discomfort will be gone.

How much do implants cost?

The costs are determined individually, depending on how many implants must be set. You will receive a treatment and price plan from us so that you can estimate all the costs and clarify with your health plan or insurance.

Which dental implant costs will be covered by health insurance?

Private health insurance will pay depending on the terms and conditions of the insurance, in some cases even up to the full cost. We will be happy to advise you further in a personal consultation.

What does “fixed teeth in a day” mean?

With All-On-4™, the toothless jaw is treated with a fixed, implant-supported prosthesis in just one day. Four special implants per jaw ensure the necessary support. This procedure is usually done with minimal or no bone augmentation.

 

Zygomatic Implants

What are zygomatic implants?

They are a special type of implant, with a special length so that they can be inserted into the cheekbone (lat. Os zygomaticum). This in many cases renders bone augmentation operations superfluous.

What is the difference between zygomatic implants and normal implants?

Zygoma implants are made of titanium like conventional dental implants. The difference between the two types lies only in the length of the implants. While regular implants use lengths of between 5mm and 18mm, zygoma implants are between 30mm and 55mm.

Is “fixed teeth in a day” (All-On-4™) also possible with zygoma implants?

Yes. Either with a combination of two zygoma implants in the area of the first molar and “normal” implants in the area of the front teeth or with two on each side. Since the zygoma implant can be anchored directly into the cheekbone, costly and time-consuming bone augmentation can be avoided.

Are zygomatic implants suitable for all patients?

Yes, they can be used for almost every patient. However, they do require a detailed examination by the dentist and the absence of any general health impediments. This option will only be considered if there is no other way to insert regular implants. This is the case if there is too little bone available in the upper jaw. Patients who cannot or do not want to undergo surgical bone augmentation may also benefit from these special implants.

For more information regarding this treatment

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Lecturer of the Academy of Practice and Science

Implantologist certified by the German Society for Implantology (DGI)

Specialist certified by the General Dental Council and the German Society of Dental Prosthetic and Dental Material

Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine

Registered Specialist with the General Dental Council

University lecturer at the Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany

All-on-4® Competence Center 2019/2020

Certified training centre for Implantology (DGI)

European Association for Osseointegration

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Wimpole Street Dental Clinic
  • 55 Wimpole Street
  • Marylebone
  • London
  • W1G 8YL
  • T.020 3745 7455

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