A Q&A with Dr Peter Doyle, Our Dental Implant Expert

Dental implants are a life-changing solution for many people.

You may have been considering this treatment and wondered if it was the right option for you, what the treatment involves and what kind of results you can expect.

We put a series of questions to Dr Peter Doyle, one of our highly experienced Dental Implants experts, and we hope his answers can help you make an informed decision about whether this transformative treatment is right for you.

If you are interested in Dental Implants, register your interest today for our Open Day on Saturday 27th January, from 9am – 4pm, where you’ll also be able to access our exclusive Open Day discounts.

Register your interest here and we’ll be in touch once our appointment slots are released.

What are dental implants and how do they differ from other tooth replacement options?

Dental implants consist of miniature titanium fittings designed to look and feel like real teeth, and are used to replace missing or extracted teeth. One of the major advantages lies in their ability to be installed independently of adjacent teeth, eliminating any risk of harming neighbouring teeth or requiring future interventions.

What should you expect in terms of follow up after dental implant treatment?

Typically, we schedule a follow-up appointment with patients about two weeks after the implant placement. During this visit, we assess the patient’s comfort and overall progress, ensuring there are no issues or necessary corrective measures needed.

Subsequently, patients are allowed a three-month healing period for the implants to integrate with the body. Once the implants have been successfully installed and are functioning we recommend regular dentist check-ups, occurring approximately every six months as per your normal dental routines.

We also use X-rays to monitor the implant’s condition, with an initial check at one year post-implant and subsequent X-rays every other year to ensure ongoing dental health and implant stability.

How long does the dental implants procedure normally take?

For common procedures like single crowns, the entire process typically takes about an hour, making it a very swift experience.

Many patients are pleasantly surprised by the smoother recovery compared to their initial expectations. In most cases, they find that only one or two paracetamols are necessary for pain management, and additional medication is rarely required.

It’s worth noting that if you’re undergoing more complex dental work, the timeline and recovery process may vary. However, for the majority of individuals receiving single units or straightforward small bridges, the recovery tends to be minimal.

Who is suitable for dental implants?

Fortunately, dental implants are a viable option for the majority of patients. There are only a handful of factors that might pose limitations in terms of implant suitability or long-term success. Primary considerations include issues related to gum health and specific medical conditions. Certain medical conditions and medications have the potential to complicate dental implant procedures, but rest assured that all these factors are thoroughly evaluated and discussed during a comprehensive dental implant consultation.

How long do dental implants last and is there any maintenance required?

As with any dental work, the durability of dental implants depends on correct maintenance and care. In the case of dental implants, maintenance is very important. We advise our patients to schedule hygiene reviews every three months and maintain regular visits to their dentist. This ensures comprehensive care and ongoing monitoring.

Additionally, we recommend periodic X-rays and check-ups to assess the implants’ condition. In terms of lifespan, it can vary, but research shows a success rate of over 95% for up to fifteen years. If a patient’s medical history and general health remain stable beyond this point, dental implants have the potential to last much longer.

Are there different types of dental implants?

Certainly! Dental implants are incredibly diverse, coming in a range of shapes and sizes, often varying by manufacturer. To determine the most suitable implant for a patient, we conduct a comprehensive clinical examination and often use X-rays and CT scans. This kind of technology allows us to precisely identify the ideal dental implant that aligns with your unique needs and circumstances.

What is the typical process for getting dental implants?

Following the initial consultation, during which digital scans or impressions are typically taken to create models, the implant is then put in place. Patients are then given a three-month period to allow for proper tissue healing.

For straightforward cases such as dental bridges or single crown replacements, only two additional appointments are typically required.

During these appointments, impressions or digital scans are taken to create the crown or bridge, and the final fitting occurs approximately two to three weeks later. It’s worth noting that the timeline and number of appointments can vary depending on the complexity of the treatment. For instance, replacing a full arch in the upper or lower jaw may involve a greater number of appointments and a longer duration to ensure precision and optimal results.

What are the benefits of dental implants over other tooth replacement options?

One of the primary and most compelling reasons patients seek consultations for dental implants is their permanence – they are fixed restorations that remain in your mouth, eliminating the need to remove them at night. Unlike dentures, dental implants are securely anchored, providing a natural feel and functionality just like real teeth. A significant benefit of dental implants is that they spare adjacent teeth from potential damage.

This is in stark contrast to traditional bridges, which may necessitate alterations to neighbouring teeth, potentially leading to additional dental treatments. Dental implants allow for the preservation of adjacent teeth, leaving them unaffected while effectively addressing the gap.

Can dental implants impact chewing ability or speech?

Dental implants can indeed be a game-changer when it comes to your ability to chew and your overall functional capacity. Patients who have experienced issues with ill-fitting or uncomfortable dentures often find that dental implants provide a secure solution. In some cases, dentures can be significantly downsized and securely attached to dental implants, preventing any unwanted movement. Alternatively, a fixed appliance that remains in place, similar to a denture, can be an option.

In relation to speech, we take careful consideration during the restoration planning stage to ensure that your ability to speak is not adversely affected by the dental implant placement. This meticulous planning is conducted after the dental implant has been successfully placed.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

According to recent studies, dental implants demonstrate an impressive success rate of 95% over a period of ten to fifteen years, particularly among patients who are generally in good health. However, there are factors that can contribute to a lower success rate, such as changes in a patient’s medical history, including the development of illnesses or the use of medications that may affect bone health.

The key to ensuring the success of dental implants lies in the patient’s commitment to maintaining excellent oral hygiene. This entails more frequent dental check-ups and most importantly, diligent at-home oral care. We’ll provide guidance on maintaining oral health once the restoration is in place.

Is age a limiting factor to getting dental implants or can all ages benefit from them?

When considering the upper age range, there are generally no age-related limitations for dental implants. However, for younger patients, it’s essential to ensure that they have reached full skeletal maturity before considering dental implants. This is because dental implants are closely linked to a patient’s bone structure, and if growth is still occurring, it can present challenges in terms of the implant’s alignment, potentially necessitating replacement.

Nevertheless, there are no age-related restrictions for older individuals seeking dental implants.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this Q&A with Dr Peter Doyle has been helpful and answered any questions you may have had regarding Dental Implants.

If you’re considering Dental Implants, register your interest in our Open Day on Saturday 27th January, 9am – 4pm and we will be in touch when our appointment slots are released.

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