Is your mouth holding you back from the life you should be having? Are you fed up with wearing a loose, uncomfortable plate of false teeth? Dental implants can be truly life changing for people with missing or failing teeth, as our lead dentist Dr James Main will attest.
James has been providing dental implants for his patients for more than 15 years. During this time, he has seen the difference they make to people who can no longer put up with their denture. In this Q&A, James answers some of the most common questions about this increasingly popular treatment option.
Q. I have to be careful what I eat, but I am used to my dentures now. How much more benefit would I get from having implants fitted?
A. It sounds that you are having to make food choices for no other reason than your dentures. Your inability to chew food effectively is dictating those choices for you. With teeth supported by dental implants, you will no longer have to make those decisions. Instead you can eat what you want and when you want, just like you did when you had your own teeth.
Q. My denture is uncomfortable but I am not sure I can be bothered with dental implants. How long does the treatment take?
A. If you feel that your uncomfortable denture, which you have to cope with daily, does not diminish your quality of life sufficiently for you to undergo implants, then clearly making time to have the treatment is perhaps not for you. The good news is that most dental implant treatments can be completed in two to six months. However, the benefits can be felt from the day you walk out of the surgery with your new implant teeth.
Q. I’ve heard that teeth implants cost more than a bridge or a denture. How long do they last?
A. Bridges require some of your natural teeth to be drilled for the appliance to be attached. Many people don’t get on with dentures because they can move around in the mouth. Whilst implant teeth require a higher investment than bridges and dentures, they do not put your natural teeth at risk and are fixed in the jaw. Unlike dentures, they look, feel and function just like your natural teeth and as such have been known to immeasurably improve self-esteem. They have also now been proven to last decades if properly looked after. So, over the longer term they are very cost effective.
Q. I am over 70. Is there an upper age limit for dental implant treatment?
A. I have fitted implants for a 92-year-old patient, so the simple answer to your question is no - there is no age limit. It all depends on your individual health and other factors such as smoking and underlying medical conditions, which can only be determined with a clinical assessment. However, the starting point is our free initial video consultation so we can get to you know you as a person and understand your future aspirations.
Q. Are dental implants painful?
A. Dental implant treatment is not usually painful. Most of my patients are surprised how straightforward the procedure is, and a lot less uncomfortable than having a tooth removed. Nowadays, local anaesthetics are very effective. At times there is mild, temporary discomfort after surgery but this can be remedied with over-the-counter painkillers. Following the treatment, you can say goodbye to your loose dentures which may be rubbing and causing soreness and discomfort.
Q. I am retired and don’t fuss about my appearance. Do people have teeth implants mainly for aesthetic reasons?
A. It is important to be aware that when the jawbone is not being loaded by chewing forces, it can shrink over time, changing your facial profile. Some of my patients have implant teeth for aesthetic reasons and some have implant teeth for improved comfort and function. However, all the people I have treated have come to me with a quality of life issue that revolves around their teeth. Some of my patients never used to smile, as they did not feel confident that their denture would stay in place. If they had a gap, they would avoid going out to eat, as in a social gathering they would be embarrassed by taking so long to finish their food. Either way, having implants meant they could start to get their life back on track.
Whatever your reason for considering dental implants, after the treatment you can begin to look forward to a more comfortable mouth and a new confident you. And your old denture will soon become a distant memory! To find out more, call us on 01458 840033.