What is a dental implant?

Dental implants can be a life changing solution for patients with missing teeth. A dental implant mimics nature: it is designed to be firmly anchored in the jaw and to hold the crown in place. The implant is a small part made of titanium, titanium alloy or ceramics – materials which are generally well-tolerated and have been shown to bond well with the human bone.

Why is a dental implant preferred to a bridge?

Traditional methods of restoring a missing tooth required cutting away natural tooth of adjacent teeth to support a bridge, which would fill the space of the missing tooth. A dental implant is a much more conservative method of restoring a missing tooth, without damage to the rest of dentition.

Careful treatment planning is the key to successful implant restorations. During an initial consultation, Dr Robert Felkler, Eledent’s implant expert surgeon will listen to your needs and concerns.

He will also assess:

  • Your suitability for successful implant integration
  • Stability of remaining teeth –decay and infection free
  • Bone width height and neighboring anatomy
Dental Implants
Dental Implants
Dental Implants

What makes dental implants at Eledent special?

The Implant team at Eledent have worked together for many years achieving successful and predicable results.

Dr Robert Felkler holds a masters degree specific to dental implants and has been placing dental implant successfully for 10 years, not only at Eledent, also for a number of local NHS dental clinics, who seek his expertise.

Globally recognised Straumann® Implant System has crafted a product that rises above other dental implants in the UK, making it the only implant of choice at Eledent. The Straumann® Implant System can be used as a fixed base for dentures and crowns, freeing you from the inconvenience of removable dentures.

We have collaborated with Design Ceramics laboratory based in Tonbridge, a Straumann Platinum approved technician for construction of implant crowns and prosthetic cases for 10 years. Digital scanning rather than impressions for planning and restoring dental implants, mean the results are highly accurate.

We test the stability of your implant in annual reviews, using Resonance Frequency Analysis for predictable outcomes and long-term maintenance, this is carried out with an Ostell device.

Dental implant treatment does take time, this increases the success and predictability of the treatment outcome. This is an example of a typical time line for a dental implant treatment:

Dental Implants Timeline

Are dental implants for you?

Key patient factors that will heavily influence the success of a dental implant are:

Good oral hygiene

At Eledent we will not begin long expensive treatment, if your mouth requires attention in other areas. Our initial examination will pick up on any treatment that may be required before you can commence with dental implants. This may be a course of gum treatment or a simple filling, which we can help you treat before dental implant placement.

Smoking

For those of you that smoke, implant treatment is a risky treatment option. Smoking reduces the rate at which the body can heal, and this causes the implant success to drastically drop. At Eledent we focus on predictable long-term restorations and If you are a smoker, Dr Robert can explore other more conventional methods of restoring your teeth with you.

Commitment to maintenance

Successfully placed and integrated dental implants can be affected by gum disease. To ensure an implant’s success long-term, you must commit to regular dental hygiene visits and practice good long term oral health care.

Dental Implants Info

Dental implant treatment process

Step 1

Diagnosis and decision-making
Assessment of the treatment options and thorough planning.

Step 2

Implantation – the dental implant is anchored in your jaw.
Insertion under local anesthetic. A temporary restoration may be placed on the implant during the healing stage.

Step 3

Healing phase – the implant bonds itself to your bone.
The healing phase may vary between six weeks and a few months, depending on your medical situation and the implant surface. High quality implants may shorten the healing phase significantly.

Step 4

Your new teeth are produced at the dental lab.
The dental lab creates your individual restoration.

Step 5

Placement of the final restoration.
Your final restoration is connected to the implant, leaving you free to smile, bite and chew like before.

Implants Process
fixed 3 unit Implant supported bridge

Pictured above is an example of a fixed 3 unit Implant supported bridge.

Before & after Dental Implants

All-on-4

The All-on-4 / 6 treatment concept is a cost-efficient method to replace missing teeth in a complete arch.

Usually each single missing tooth is replaced with one implant. If you need to replace multiple missing teeth, as little as two to four dental implants can be used to restore your upper or lower jaw with a set of fixed teeth.

The All-on-4 treatment concept is a dental implant solution strategically designed for toothless jaws. If you are unhappy with your denture or no longer want to live without teeth, it may be the right solution for you.

Straumman implants backed by clinical research

Founded in 1954, the Swiss-based Straumann® Company prides itself on exceptional quality and top-notch research for its products. Straumann® reinvests approximately 6 percent of its profits into research, making it a leading contributor to implantology research. The Straumann® Company works with international research and clinical institutes, such as the International Team for Implantology (ITI) and the European Association for Osseointegration (EAO). With such a commitment to quality, it is no wonder that Straumann® dental implants are the choice of many top UK implant dentists.

If you would like to restore a missing space or simply tired of wearing dentures, contact our team to book a complementary consultation with Dr Robert.

Dental implant FAQs

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Implants are an investment to improve quality of life. They allow you to Eat and chew naturally, whilst helping you appear younger and improving you self-confidence.
They are a permeant solution for missing teeth and provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth. In the process they help preserve adjacent teeth and bone structure.

Is Implant Therapy an expensive solution?

Contrary to what you might think, conventional dentures are not always the most cost-effective solution. The cost of implant treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case. In many situations, dental implants may be more economical in the long term. Be sure to ask for a cost plan ahead of treatment.

Is the surgery painful?

Dental implants are generally inserted under local anesthetic to help minimize discomfort. If you experience any doubt about the condition of the implant site after procedure, please make sure to consult with your dentist.

What should I expect on the day or after the operation?

On the day

Dental implants are inserted under local anaesthetic to help minimise discomfort during the operation. During the procedure you would not experience any pain, though you will experience a pressure sensation. After the surgery we would still expect you to be numb from the original anaesthesia for another couple of hours. During this time, you will be advised to eat something simple such a yogurt, and to take pain relief and start your prescribed antibiotics.
You will also be provided with a pack which includes antiseptic mouthwash, toothpaste and surgical soft brush with specific implant post-operative care instructions.

Days after

Patients may experience temporary symptoms like pain, swelling within the first few days after the operation. We would expect you to have swelling and bruising in the region of the implant, especially if a graft material was used. Any pain is controlled with simple analgesics such as paracetamol.

Are there any risks?

Implant therapy is not an experimental approach; rather it is well-proven, state-of-the-art medical dental technique that has been scientifically tested and used for decade by dentists and surgeons worldwide. Potential risk factors may depend on oral hygiene and pre-existing medical conditions. Your dentist will evaluate whether dental implants are the option for you.

How will I care for my implants?

Just like natural teeth, implants require regular check-ups and conscientious oral hygiene. With appropriate care, the long-term function of implants can be maintained. Your dentist will guide you on cleaning and hygiene measures.

Is there any age limitation to implant therapy?

It is possible to insert implants as soon as the jaw has stopped growing. Therefore, in young patients, dental implants can only be placed once their jaw bones are fully developed. At the other end of the spectrum, there is no age limit, given of course that the patient does not display any significant medical risk factors. This will be evaluated by the dentist.

Is ceramic “better” than titanium?

Titanium is a biocompatible metal. This means it is non-toxic and well-tolerated by the body. Implants made from titanium bond very well to living bone and have been used for decades in the medical device industry. To this day, there has been no documented case of any allergic reaction to titanium. Because of these attributes, titanium dental implants can last for decades.
If you are looking for a metal-free alternative, there are options with ceramic implants. These are made from high-strength ceramic and designed to achieve maximum functional and esthetic demands. In case of thin or recessed gums, the implant will not shimmer through as it has the colour of a natural tooth.

Do I need time off work?

At Eledent we offer appointments late in the day including Fridays and Saturdays, which help you recover over the weekend without effecting your daily work.