FAQs about oral implants answered by our dentist
Eager to ask some questions about dental implants?
Our dentist in Orpington has fitted a great number of dental implants and is always happy to answer questions that our patients may have about these restoratives.
In this introductory Q and A session, our dentist in Orpington answers the most common queries we receive about oral implants for your information.
Who is suitable for dental implants?
Many patients are surprised to learn from our dentist in Orpington that the majority of them are suitable for dental implants.
In short, you have to be over the age of 18 years old, have good oral health and have a stable amount of jawbone for us to affix the implants to. As well as this, we will inquire about your general health, as many health conditions can counter indicate you will have successful implants fitted, such as osteoporosis or uncontrolled diabetes.
We will also ask about your lifestyle; if you are a smoker or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, this can be problematic for your implants and can cause them to fail prematurely.
How long do they take to fit?
This depends on how many implants are being fitted, the type of implant and how skilled the team is. Luckily, our team is very skilled!
Fitting a single endosteal implant can take up to 2 hours, so if you are having multiple implants fitted, we may spread it out over several appointments, to avoid you getting a sore jaw and to allow our team to focus.
Once an implant has been fitted, there is a period of fusing; this is between 3 to 6 months for most people but, depending on your age and health, it may be slightly longer. If you have had an implant fitted in your jaw for 12 months and it has failed to fuse, our team will remove it.
When the implant is fused, we will then fit the prosthetic tooth or teeth, which generally will take a couple of hours.
What is the aftercare like?
The aftercare for dental implants is not too complicated.
Immediately after the surgery, you will need to take care not to apply pressure to the site where the implant is fitted, to avoid it coming loose or fusing at an odd angle. You will also need to avoid brushing the area as this can aggravate the gums. Instead, we recommend using salt water to clean the site.
Pain relief is also advised for the first few days after the fitting is completed, but we often advise our patients to avoid medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin, as these can thin the blood and make any bruising worse.
How long do they last?
With correct care, oral implants can last 15 years or more.
But, this requires that you have to treat them as you would treat your natural teeth! This means that twice a day they will need brushing, you will need to floss them, rinse them with mouthwash and of course, you will need to see our team to have them checked every 6 months.
There are lifestyle habits that you can cut out that will increase their lifespan, such as smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and avoiding dental check-ups.
If you suspect that there is an issue with your implants, please contact our team immediately.