Patient Information:  Dental Implants

What is a dental implant?


What does the treatment involve?

Who can have dental implant?  What can they be used for?

What to expect after treatment/Aftercare?

When treatment is completed you can expect to use implant supported teeth in a very similar way to natural teeth. It is very important to understand that implant supported teeth require ongoing daily cleaning and maintenance just like normal teeth and they can suffer gum disease in the same way as natural teeth.  They are very easy to clean and failing to clean around implants on a daily basis will result in probable failure.  Regular inspections by the dentist will also form part of the ongoing maintenance programme.  Is the procedure painful?  Often none or just a couple of pain control tablets are needed for the week after the procedure. Some swelling as well as bruising for a few days after surgery can be expected.  

How safe are implants?

There will always remain a very small statistical risk.  Implants are completely safe and you will be made aware of any anatomical structures at risk and possible complications as part of your treatment plan for your particular case.  

How long do they last?


Temporary teeth.

During treatment you will be able to wear a temporary plastic denture or removable type bridge.   

What if do not have enough bone to support a dental implant?

After a tooth is removed the socket where the tooth’s root lived fills with bone.  After 12 months the bone begins to reshape and thin.  Over many years the bone’s height and width reduces.  

This can be avoided in two ways:

1. By having the dentist remove the tooth and place a collagen framework; and/or

2. Ensuring the implant is placed within 12 months of the removal of the tooth.

In cases where the bone loss could not be avoided, a bone graft can be used to fill in bony gaps around the implant.  In severe cases a small amount of bone is taken from another part of the jaw this bone is screwed to the jaw bone where the implant is planned to be placed.  The graft is then given 6 months in order to mature.  

The Cost of dental implants.

The cost of single implants compares favourably with conventional bridges while more complex cases can cost considerably more. Your treatment plan and estimate will explain the time line and expected fees.  In the very unlikely event of unexpected extra costs it will either be discussed with yourself and added to your plan or absorbed by us.   An initial consultation can help to outline your options and a rough estimate of the costs and time frame involved.

Why choose an implant?

The benefits of implant treatment include reliability, comfort and conservation of the adjacent teeth. More importantly, bone support and prevention of further bone loss as well as confidence in a secure dentition and improvement in overall health as oral health improves. It is also important as part of your consent in accepting your treatment plan to understand what the consequences will be if you do not go ahead with the proposed treatment as well as the possible alternatives. These include removable dentures and bridges.  Please see the website for further information about these treatment options.

What are the alternatives?

It is important you understand your treatment options and final treatment plan.  If you have any questions, please contact the clinic.

Do you need to have all your teeth removed?

Implants can can be used around teeth providing your teeth and gums are healthy. They can be used to replace one single tooth to all your teeth.

Can Implants always be used?

Implants lie in the bone of the jaw.  They require bone of good strength and with enough depth and width to hold them in place.  If not enough bone is available your dentist may be able to use a bone graft to increase the amount of bone available. This procedure may be completed before the implant is placed in the jaw.  

Do having implants hurt?

Implants can be placed in the jaw using an injection in the gum. Sometimes sedation is used if you are nervous about the procedure.  If the procedure is very invasive, complex or the patient is very nervous a general anaesthetic can be used.  You will not feel pain at any time during the procedure.  You should expect some discomfort for approximately ten days after the procedure.  This can be managed with pain killers.  It may be difficult to wear a denture of the surgical area for a period of time following the procedure.  Approximately a week after the procedure the sutures are removed and the healing improves day by day.

What about after the procedure?

You may require some pain relief after the surgery.  Check with your dentist if you are not sure which one to take.  Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed.  

Use salt water mouth rinses and / or chlorohexine mouthwashes for at least a week  or as advised by your dentist.  Clean your teeth as best as possible.  Do not poke around the implants.

What happens next?

The implants need to bond with the bone after the have been placed in the jaw bone. This process takes usually three months some times six months or more.

At times the implants are stable enough when they have been fitted to accept a temporary crown. This technique can never be guaranteed as it subject to many factors.

While the implant is healing you can have a temporary bridge or denture.  

How long does it take?

Depending on the complexity of the treatment dictates the number of appointments, planning stages, surgical stages and restorative stages.  It may take up to 24 months and over 20 appointments to complete your treatment. It is important to be patient.  If you push to complete the procedure earlier than recommended the results you achieve will be compromised.   

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

No, but special attention is required  if you are going to have a long-lasting successful implant.  Cleaning around the implant and inbetween should be completed in the same as teeth. Using antibacterial mouthwashes can prevent gum disease around the implant.  It is recommended you have more frequent scale and polishes with your dentist or hygienist.   This is especially important if you have a history of gum disease.  

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

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

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

Teeth screwed or glued to the implant can only be removed by your dentist.  If you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars or retainers then you’ll be able take them out so you can clean them properly.

What if I have an accident?

Implants can be damaged in the same way that natural teeth can.  It is therefore important that you wear a professionally made mouthguard if you play sports that involve contact or moving objects.  If there is damage, the teeth can be dismantled from the implant and replaced.  If the implant screw is damaged it would need to be replaced or repaired.  Sometimes the screw may be left in the jaw where and another implant placed alongside it to replace the damage implant.

How much do they cost?

Implants is an expensive treatment. It requires many appointments and further post graduate training, the equipment and parts are expensive.  They should be considered as buying an expensive car.  You should understand the initial cost of the implants is the not the only cost involved.  You should budget for the cost of maintaining repairing and replacing the implants in the future.

What are the risks ?

Every medical procedure has risks.  Implants are surgically placed into the bone.  The bone will have blood vessels and nerves. The implant will emerge from the gum.  All of these structures can be damaged during the procedure.  The gum around adjacent teeth can recede and damaged blood vessels can cause serious bleeding which if uncontrolled can be fatal. Damage to nerves can cause permanent or temporary altered of sensation in an area of your mouth or lips. Sometimes nerve damage can cause permanent pain, tingling sensations in your lips.  If each area of the mouth has different risks ad your dentist will explain the risks after your assessment and consultation.

Implants have over a 90% success rate but they can loose integration with the bone. They can suffer gum disease similar to periodontal disease called mucositosis and implantitis.  Some factors can increase this risk. Smoking, diabetes grinding your teeth and a unhealthy life style can influence the success of the implant treatmemnt.

See our implants price list.

Further information:

 There are many uses for dental implants they can be used to support loose dentures, replace lost teeth, support bridges.  Although not an absolute replacement for a tooth or teeth they are a very close replacement to the natural tooth.  I’ve gained experience from some of the north west’s pioneers in high street dental implantology.  Implants have been around for around 80 years which in medical terms is a relatively new science.  The technology and procedures involved are constantly evolving and progressing with success rates approaching 90% over a ten year period.  This area of dentistry requires regular training and updating which is what makes this area of dentistry rewarding and engaging.  


    Bare Dental Clinic

     patient information

Bone graft leaflet

Implant leaflet

Implants for dentures leaflet

Implants for missing teeth leaflet


Pre-operative instructions

Post operative instructions

Dental implants are titanium screws surgically placed into the jaw, used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.  After a short period to allow the bone to heal to the metal of the implant it then has a crown, bridge and or denture clip attached to it.

Most implants are placed with an injection in the gum (local anaesthesia similar to that used for fillings or extractions).  A window is cut into the gums and the bone is prepared to accept the implant.  Implants are dependent upon the volume and quality of bone available.  The duration and complexity differs from case to case and it is important to make sure you understand how complex your own plan is for your case.  For more complex cases or nervous patients, it will be advised to consider conscious sedation. See our website for further information about intra-venous sedation.  Even more complex cases can be completed using general anaesthesia.  It is important to note general anaesthetic can only be undertaken by an anaesthetist in a hospital environment.

If a patient does not have enough bone to support and implant, a bone graft can be placed before or during the procedure.  The graft will form a framework for new bone to grow into.

Once the implant is fitted to the bone and the bone has grown into the implant it is ready to have the crown (cap) fitted.  Your dentist can connect the implant crown through the gum and the implant will ready to use.

The majority of patients are suitable for implant treatment. With the exception of rare medical conditions, patient who have had facial radiotherapy, patients having intravenous bisphosphonates for treatment cancer, severe diabetes and patient who have untreated dental decay and periodontal disease and long term heavy smokers.  Even patients with severe loss of bone in their jaws or several missing teeth or even no teeth left are suitable for implant treatment, although this might require a more complex treatment plan.  Implants are similar to teeth and are used to avoid a bridge, as the procedure of making bridge involves damaging the adjacent teeth. This situation is particularly a problem where the adjacent teeth have no fillings or crowns.  See the bridges web page of this site for more information.  Where no teeth are present to support a bridge or the span for a bridge is too great implants can provide the support for the bridge. In some instances this can be a full set of teeth on six implants.  For patients with loose dentures implants or mini implants can be used to dramatically improve the stability of the teeth.

A small percentage of implants fail shortly after placement and have to be removed.  Smoking, excess alcohol consumption and systemic illness play a major role in early and late implant failure.   Nothing lasts forever and this is also true for implant retained teeth.  For example, false knees, hips, pacemakers, prosthetic heart valves, all have a lifespan, as do dental implants. It can be accepted that a well-integrated implant that is well maintained in a healthy mouth can last many years. You must also expect that crowns and/or any other structures fixed on an implant might need replacement and maintenance in the same way as normal teeth need attention from time to time. Patients who grind teeth can overload implants which lead to further risks of damage.  It is important to make an informed decision and to tailor your treatment around your treatment options relating to your specific case.