Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by ‘Sedation’?

Sedation can be used during dental treatments to assist patients in coping with anxiety and lengthy and/or complex dental treatments. Patients can become free of fear and time appears to pass very quickly. Sedation is most commonly achieved using short acting drugs delivered continuously to the patient through a small cannula (usually) placed in the back of a hand. When undergoing such treatment, every patient is carefully monitored by a consultant anaesthetist. Sedation is NOT anaesthesia. The patient remains conscious and cooperative throughout.

Are There Side Effects To Sedation?

Once dentistry is completed and the sedation drugs stopped, most patients find their memory of the treatment is incomplete. This is normal. Indeed, this is an aspect of the procedure our patients find advantageous. Although normality returns soon after the treatment is over, all patients must remain in the care of a responsible adult for 24hrs following treatment. It must be remembered that these drugs can “play tricks on the mind”. They have effects which can continue once the pain-suppression aspect of the sedative has worn off. Patients should refrain from any activity which requires a sense of judgement or responsibility during this time.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth. In practice, both the false teeth and their supporting rod are known as ‘implants’.

Are implants safe? How long will they last?

Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.

I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?

Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

Do implants hurt?

Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or with a general anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.

Can I have the new teeth straight away?

Yes. We can often attach teeth to the implants immediately. However if the bone is not quite dense enough, it is sometimes prudent to allow implants to integrate with bone for several months before they are “loaded”. If this is the case, a temporary restoration or a denture can be worn throughout this period.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment times can vary on an individual basis. The ideal patient could expect to have implants placed and a restoration fitted to them at the same visit. If however bone quantity and quality is not favourable then the final result will take longer to achieve. The dentist’s at Dream Implant Clinic will be able to give you a treatment timetable following your assessment.

If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?

Yes, if you don’t care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and don’t smoke, then you should not have any problems.

Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?

Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist. However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by attachments, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.

Do the implants show?

Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.

Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?

No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, four or more implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support several teeth.

What if I get hit in the face?

Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. However, if the false teeth are damaged and the remnants are left in the bone then they may be more difficult to remove than natural teeth would be. After healing, new false teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.

What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?

This happens very rarely. If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way. Once the jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there. Or, the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.

What about alternative solutions?

An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem.

Further information on dental implants and anaesthetics: