Dental implants are an excellent way for a patient to replace a missing tooth or several lost teeth. They are often a far more sturdy option than dental bridges or even dentures, but there are some things you will need to consider before approaching your dentist about having dental implants.

This is because not everyone is suited to them and another form of treatment might be recommended instead. Therefore, let’s take a look at what the procedure involves, who would be approved for them and, ultimately, whether they are a right fit for you.

What does the dental implant procedure involve?

First of all, you will be assessed to see whether or not having dental implants would be right for you. Your dentist will take a number of different factors into account, but if your general oral hygiene is good, then there, generally, is not an issue. Once you have been approved for treatment, it could take several visits to your dentist before treatment is completed.

The procedure itself involves the screwing of a titanium screw into the jaw bone at the site where the tooth is missing. This serves as a replacement for the root of the lost tooth. The idea then is that your bone naturally starts to fuse to the implant. Not only does this add extra stability and strength, but it will also make it more comfortable for you to use as you would a natural tooth.

A crown will then be fitted over the top of the titanium screw. This crown will match the colour of your existing teeth to allow it to seamlessly blend in. This way, no one would ever question whether or not it was real or a dental implant. It might take a few months, depending on how many teeth you have that are missing, for treatment to be completed. You should also note that it could take quite some time before you can use your dental implant as you would a natural tooth.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

Generally, if your oral hygiene is sufficient and you have healthy teeth and gums, then there should not be any reason why you cannot undergo dental implant treatment. In summary, you should be approved for dental implant treatment if you:

  • Are an adult


  • Are an adolescent and your face and jawbone has stopped growing


  • Have a jawbone with enough natural bone to secure the implants to


  • Have a jawbone that can withstand a bone graft


  • Have healthy gums


  • Have good dental hygiene


  • Do not smoke


However, there are some instances where dental implant treatment will be rejected, even if you hit all of the aforementioned criteria, although this is uncommon. An example of this would be if you have undergone radiotherapy on or around the throat, jaw, mouth or head in general.

It also would not be possible to have dental implants fitted if you have any serious underlying medical or health conditions. In addition to that, diabetes is something that will affect whether or not you can have dental implant treatment as it can delay the healing process, making you more prone to infection. If you are in any doubt about whether you will be able to undergo dental implant treatment, make sure you have a consultation with your dentist.

What will my dentist look for before approving dental implants?

There are a few things that your dentist will look for when determining whether or not you will be able to have dental implant treatment. They will first look to see if you have good bone density. This is important because the jawbone needs to be able to hold the titanium screw in place for a lifetime, so it needs to be strong and sturdy.

Something else they will look for is good gum health. Gum disease will affect the rigidness of the titanium screw because severe cases of gum disease, it can actually cause the loss of teeth over time. Your gums need to be healthy in order to ensure your implant stays in place for many years to come.

Your dentist will then assess your overall oral health as well as your general health. This is because your treatment will require the use of anaesthetic, so it is important that your dentist is aware of any health issues you might have together with what medication you might be on. Your dentist will want to find out about your medical history which could include requesting your records from your general practitioner. In summary, a dentist will look for:

  • Satisfactory bone density, specifically in the jawbone
  • Excellent gum health with no signs of gum disease
  • Good general and oral health of the patient
  • Cases where the patient might be on medication, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medication and any supplements that the patient might be taking

Things to consider before having dental implants

Having dental implants is not as simple as having a filling done, for example. There are many things involved in dental implant treatment that some people might not be aware of. From time frames to the possibility of seeing more than one specialist, here is everything you need to consider before going down the route of dental implant treatment:

The entire procedure could take several months

Depending on how many teeth you have that are missing, dental implant treatment could take several months, and sometimes up to a year, to complete. You won’t necessarily know, exactly, how long the treatment will take, from start to finish, until you have had a consultation with your dentist and a full assessment is carried out.

Your dentist will be able to give you an approximate timeframe, but you should be aware that treatment may be completed sooner or later than initially predicted, although not by much. Undergoing dental implant treatment is often considered to be something of a commitment, so if you are a busy working professional or have several holidays coming up, then maybe dental implant treatment is not for you, at least right now.

The procedure itself is invasive, so expect to feel tenderness after treatment

As already touched upon, a titanium screw is fixed to the jawbone. This in itself will cause tenderness for a few days afterwards. You might also find that you experience a bit of pain as the natural bone starts to fuse around the screw. It is considered to be an invasive form of dental treatment, so will take several days to heal from the procedure. This is something to think about if you have made arrangements for the days following the treatment, such as dinner parties or restaurant reservations.

You may see more than one dentist

There are some cases, depending on the complexity of your individual treatment, where you will be required to see more than one dentist throughout the course of your treatment. For example, you might come into contact with the following dental specialists:

  • An oral surgeon – a specialist in conditions that might affect the mouth, jaw and face, such as wisdom tooth extractions, for example


  • A periodontist – someone who looks specifically at structures supporting your teeth, such as the gums and jawbone


  • A prosthodontist – a dentist who will design and fit your artificial crown, or tooth replacement, ensuring it blends in with your natural teeth


What are the benefits of having dental implants?

There are a few benefits to having dental implants over other types of treatment and solutions to missing teeth. Where each treatment will have its pros and cons, dental implants seem to be the most sought-after solution for those who are missing either one or a few teeth.

It might be, however, that a dental implant solution might not be for you if you have lots of missing teeth. In this case, dentures or dental bridges might be a better fit for you, but you can discuss the alternative treatments with your dentist. With that being said, here is why so many people opt for dental implant treatment over other types of procedures:

They look natural

A dental implant will be finished off with a crown, as it would after root canal treatment, for example. In this instance, the tooth is expertly coloured to the rest of your existing teeth, so you won’t have to worry about your dental implant standing out. Once the treatment has concluded and you can use it as you would the rest of your natural teeth, no would know that it was an artificial tooth unless you said otherwise.

They’re fixed in place making them both comfortable & highly-functional

Dental implants are often chosen instead of dentures or dental bridges and most of the time, it is for one simple reason: usability. A dental implant, once healed, can be used just like the rest of your natural teeth. This means that you will be able to chew lots of food types, smile, talk and laugh with complete confidence, without having to worry about the dental implant(s) moving around or falling out.

Although, it is important to note that there might be some foods that your dentist will strongly discourage you from eating, such as toffee. Refrain from heating particularly hard foods or, as strange as it might sound, chewing on ice. Not only do dental implants look natural, but they are highly-functional and remain that way for, usually, a lifetime.

They can enhance overall health

Dental implants can help to restore full functionality of your teeth, allowing you to chew foods into a smooth, easy-to-digest texture. This will, in turn, help with conditions such as indigestion, for example. This is all possible thanks to the replacement of the missing tooth into the jaw.

If the jaw is missing a tooth, then it could reduce the strength of your jawbone overtime, although this is more common if you are missing more than one tooth. This is because the jawbone is stimulated and strengthened through the process of chewing food, so if you have fewer teeth to chew your food with, then it could weaken the jawbone somewhat.

Having dental implants will also help with overall dental hygiene, because food particles and bacteria will have fewer gaps to sit and hide in. This is why a dentist will suggest paying a hygienist a visit, especially if you have gaps in your teeth. It is important that you floss your teeth and brush them at least twice a day. If you have teeth that are missing, then you should aim to brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal, although this is also advice given to those who are not missing any teeth to ensure optimum dental health.

Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic is pleased to provide patients throughout Loughborough and the surrounding areas with first class dental implant treatments. Our dedicated, professional team endeavours to provide excellent care throughout your treatment and beyond. Whether you are a nervous patient or someone who is used to regular dentist visits, the team at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic work tirelessly to make your comfortability a priority. Delivering specialist care and unrivalled customer services, you will always be able to count on us for all of your dental needs. If you would like further information about the dental implant treatment available, or to discuss other types of cosmetic dental treatments and alternative solutions to missing teeth, such as and dental bridges, then get in touch with us at a time to suit you.