Dental Implants

Dental implants are a long-term, durable solution for replacing missing or damaged teeth, offering a look, feel, and function that's remarkably similar to natural teeth.


We often suggest dental implants when you have a tooth missing. The implant replaces the root of your tooth, and is then covered with an artificial tooth. The titanium implant creates a strong connection with your jaw. This ensures that you have excellent strength and function in that area. The artificial tooth is natural in its appearance, enabling you to smile confidently.

The dental implant procedure requires steps that take place over several months. Your dentist will first check your suitability for the treatment. Then, they will begin preparation by removing any remaining damaged material. The implant is then inserted and given time to heal, before the dentist attaches a new tooth.

How an implant works

Diagram of dental implant

A tooth consists of 2 parts: the roots below the gum, and the crown above the gum. When a patient is missing a tooth, a dental implant can replace the roots. A crown, denture or bridge can attach to this biocompatible titanium implant.

Types of implant

Tissue level implants

These are the favoured implant type when replacing back teeth. Tissue level implants attach to crowns, bridges or dentures at the gum line. Unfortunately, the metal implant can become visible if the gum recedes. Though, they are the easiest to clean and maintain, and unlikely to be visible if used at the back of the mouth.

Illustration of tissue level implant

Bone level implants

These are the favoured implant in the front of the mouth, where it is important that the implant is not visible. They attach to crowns, bridges or dentures below the gum at the bone. A drawback of this implant type is that they are harder to clean and maintain.

Illustration of bone level implant



The dentist takes impressions, x-rays and photos to help plan the implant placement. At this stage, further investigations may be necessary to map the bone and tissue. A wax model of the crown, bridge or denture position is then made to help the dentist position the implant.


There are two stages to the surgery:

  1. Initial implant placement – this is a 2-4 hour surgery depending upon complexity. An incision in the gum exposes the site and the bone for preparation. If there is insufficient bone, the dentist may add more bone during surgery. The gum is finally repositioned and stitched in place.
  2. Preparing for crown, bridge or denture attachment – takes place 3-6 months later, once the implant has fused with the bone. Both surgeries are carried out under local anaesthesia.

Post-surgery care

Your dentist will provide care instructions to reduce swelling and bruising post-surgery. 7-10 days after surgery they also remove the stitches, review your healing progress and refit your temporary denture or bridge.


It will be necessary to visit the hygiene team every 3-12 months and your dentist every 6-12 months. This will ensure the success and health of your dental implant.

Frequently asked questions

How successful are dental implant treatments?

Implants have 97% success rate over 5 years or more in motivated patients. Crucially, these patients have excellent oral hygiene and attend regular maintenance.

Implants have a significantly lower success rate in smokers. Therefore, ideally you should quit smoking 6 months before surgery and continue never to smoke again. If you cannot quit smoking you will have to accept the limited life span of your implant or consider alternative options.

Patients who clench or grind their teeth may overload their implant. This can cause premature failure and we may have to fit anti grinding devices to limit this damage.

Am I suitable for treatment?

You must have one or more missing teeth, be a non-smoker and be able to commit to several months of treatment. Before beginning the treatment, your dentist will further assess your suitability. They will also provide you with a full range of options.

What are the risks associated with dental implants?

As with all surgeries there are certain risks associated with implant placement. Pain, swelling, bleeding and bruising are normal after implant placement. These are kept to a minimum with post operative care. Infection is another risk and your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to prevent this. Careful planning can minimise damage to adjacent structures such as teeth, nerves, blood vessels and sinus air spaces.

Will it hurt?

The levels of anaesthesia are adjustable to your needs. If your comfort during the treatment is a concern, please let us know and we will be sure to facilitate your needs.

Will I be missing teeth during the treatment period?

We provide temporary replacement teeth for your comfort during the healing period.

How is my crown, bridge or denture attached to my implant?

Crowns and bridges attach to an implant using a screw. This allows for their periodic removal for maintenance or repair if required. Crowns and bridges can also cement to the implant once an implant abutment has screwed onto the implant. Dentures can attach to implants using special attachments such as bars and locators.

What happens if I don’t have enough bone?

If requiring a small amount of bone, we place synthetic animal derived bone granules around the implant (Guided Bone Regeneration). Animal derived collagen membranes may also be used to protect the materials. We often mix this with your own bone we harvest from the implant site during surgery. These materials promote the formation of new bone around your implant.

If requiring a larger amount of bone, we may take a block of bone from other parts of your jaws and surgically place this in the implant site. This is typically left for 3 to 6 months before placing an implant. In the upper jaw your dentist may carry out a sinus lift to migrate the floor of your sinus upward. This allows for bone to form into which an implant can be subsequently placed.