The actual placement of the dental implant is not a lengthy procedure – definitely shorter than having a crown preparation or root canal procedure performed. The surgical time may take anywhere from 30 minutes to place one implant in a highly accessible location – up to an hour for more difficult cases. The complete implant procedure most commonly takes 4 months to complete but can take in excess of 12 months, especially if additional procedures such as bone grafting are required.

This is a difficult question as pain is obviously subjective. As with any surgical procedure, there will be some discomfort. However, it is true to say that most patients are extremely surprised with how little discomfort they have in the hours following the procedure and the following day. Most people report that they return to work pain free the following day. Some of our patients have even had the surgical stage completed in the morning and returned to a full working day. Most people are surprised at how ‘uneventful’ the entire implant procedure is. The consensus is that the placement of the implant is far less of an issue than the extraction of the natural tooth. As part of our standard practice, you will be adequately medicated with analgesics to ease any discomfort that may occur.

The current prerequisite for dental implants is that you have to have ceased growing. In girls this can be as young as 15-16 years of age with boys often 17-18 years of age. There is no particular upper age limit to the placement of dental implants. Good health is often the determining factor rather than age. Provided that there is adequate bone and healthy gums that are free of gum disease, then dental implants may be right for you. There are some chronic diseases that may complicate the placement of dental implants. A complete and thorough dental examination, as well as a medical examination and history, is imperative prior to the placement of dental implants.

There are some cases where either for systemic or local reasons, a dental implant may fail to integrate with the jaw bone. In this case the implant will be removed. The site will be cleaned out and allowed to heal for three months. Often another attempt can be undertaken in the following months to achieve osseointegration.

It is difficult to accurately quote the costs of dental implants without a customised treatment plan. Costs are dependent on several factors such as the number of implants that need to be placed, the number of teeth being replaced and whether grafting procedures are required or not. There are surgical variables and prosthetic variables to the total costs. To obtain a specific fee estimate, a thorough and customised diagnostic examination is necessary. This can be provided after the initial examination.