What’s involved in a dental implant treatment?
Having an implant at Bupa Dental Care means you’ll get a dedicated treatment plan tailored to your needs. Take a look below to find out more about the procedure and if you’ve got any questions or you’d like to book an appointment, find your local practice and get in touch.
1. Book a consultation with an implant specialist
Check if your local practice offers dental implants, if not, they'll most likely refer you to another practice offering this service. At your consultation, in addition to answering any questions you might have, your consultant will also use this consultation to carry out any relevant X-rays or scans, as well as identifying if you need any additional treatments (see below). Once we’re happy, we’ll be able to confirm your individual treatment plan and give you a personalised cost that covers every aspect of your implant.
Some people might require additional treatments as part of their implant procedure such as a bone expansion, bone graft or sinus lift.
If your jaw bone is too narrow for a dental implant to be fitted, your dentist may recommend a bone expansion. This involves drilling a small hole into your jaw bone where your implant will eventually sit, then increasing the size of the hole. Bone graft material is then used in this newly created space, and if required, the bone will be left to heal before a dental implant can be successfully fitted.
Bone grafting is a treatment that's used to strengthen the area of bone your dental implant will be inserted into. It involves taking bone from elsewhere in the mouth and placing it in the area to be strengthened. After a number of months, this will fuse together, creating a stronger base for your implant.
If you need a dental implant in your upper jaw, but there isn't enough space to fit one, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift. It involves moving the sinus membrane upwards to create space in your bone for your new tooth. Once the membrane has been moved, a bone graft will fill the space that's been created to make a suitable space for your dental implant.
2. Fitting your implant
Once your dentist is happy you're ready for the treatment, they’ll start by inserting a dental implant into your jaw to replace the root of your lost tooth. You’ll normally need to wait between four and eight months for your implant to bond to your jaw, before we can fix your permanent replacement teeth to it.
3. Taking impressions for your new tooth
When your jawbone has healed and your implant is successfully in place, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth to pinpoint the size and shape of the tooth we’ll be fitting to it. We will also ensure the shade of your new tooth matches correctly. While this is being made, your dentist may fit you with a temporary tooth.
4. Fitting your new tooth
Time for your final appointment, at which we’ll fit your brand new tooth. Most teeth attached to implants are fixed permanently and can only be removed by your dentist - although if you have removable dentures attached to your implants, you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.