Step 1: Initial consultation
The first step to having dental implants is seeing a practice of your choice for a consultation. Everybody’s implants are unique, and their journey is too. We’ll take the time to talk you through your options, so we can work out the right treatment for you.
Some practices also offer phone consultations, so you can speak to a treatment coordinator to find out more about implant treatment before you see a dentist.
During your consultation, your dentist or treatment coordinator will talk to you about what you want to achieve during treatment, any relevant medical history and they may be able to give you an estimated cost. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the treatment.
*Image taken before COVID-19
Step 2: Treatment plan and clinical assessment
Once you’ve had an initial consultation, you need a clinical assessment to determine whether you’re suitable for implants, and if they’re the right solution for you. During the assessment, your dentist will take X-rays of your mouth and create a model of your existing teeth. This helps them to check you’re suitable for implants and to decide exactly where they need to be placed.
Your dentist might also recommend you have a CBCT scan to help them understand exactly how much bone you have. In some cases, your dentist may need to perform a bone graft or sinus lift to create enough space for the implants to sit before you have your treatment.
They’ll talk you through exactly what will happen before, during and after the procedure, and they’ll also give you a breakdown of how much your treatment will cost. If you decide to go ahead, you’ll be asked to sign a treatment plan.
Step 3: Placing your implant
The dental implant procedure is performed at your local practice. It’s a straightforward procedure that’s usually done under local anaesthetic, so it’s relatively pain-free. But if you do feel nervous, your dentist may be able to offer sedation to put your mind at ease.
Once your mouth is numb, your dentist will cut into your gum and drill a small hole into the jawbone. The implant itself is then inserted into this hole. Your gum is then usually closed with stitches, although not everyone needs them.
In some cases, your new teeth will be restored the same day, which is known as smile in a day treatment. But usually, your bone and gums will need some time to heal before an abutment can be attached. So, you may have a visible gap while the implant heals, or we can fit you with some temporary teeth until you’re ready.
Step 4: Fitting your replacement teeth
Once you’ve had the implant placed, it’s normal to wait between four and eight months for the implant to fully bond with your jawbone.
Once it’s healed, your permanent replacement tooth or teeth can be fitted. This includes the abutment (a small post attached to the top of the implant, which in turn supports the false tooth) and crowns, which are custom-made to fit the size, shape and colour of the teeth they’re replacing.
*Image taken before COVID-19
Step 5: Aftercare
During and after the treatment, we’ll give you all the aftercare advice you need to help you look after your implants. It’s important to follow the aftercare instructions carefully. Your dentist will also advise when they need to see you for follow-up appointments, so they can make sure your implant is secure and healthy.
Find a Bupa Dental Care practice offering dental implants near you
Find out more
More about implants, including how to know if you’re suitable, how much implants cost and the benefits of dental implants.
Many images and videos used throughout our website were taken before the COVID-19 outbreak and therefore do not represent COVID best practices.
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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.
Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.