Dental Implants Questions and Answers
Dental implants can be used to replace an individual tooth or a full set of teeth on the top and/or the bottom of your mouth. They look and perform like natural teeth and once you’ve had them fitted there’s no need to treat them any differently.
A dental implant ‘tooth’ is made up of three components: a titanium screw that is inserted into and fuses with the jawbone; a post that attaches to the screw; and a crown that fits over the post to provide a natural-looking replacement for the missing tooth.
The screw of the dental implant is made from titanium because your bone readily forms a strong and long-lasting bond around it. There are various materials available to replace the tooth. At TDC we use a beautiful-looking, hard-wearing but resilient material that is reinforced by a computer-designed and robotically manufactured solid titanium bar that helps achieve better long-term results.
With Smile in a Day we generally use four implants to support all the teeth in the same way that a chair or a table has four legs – it gives perfect balance. This is why it is sometimes known as the All-on-4 dental implant procedure.
Traditional dental implants can take many months of fittings and uncomfortable denture wearing until your permanent teeth are fitted. They often also require bone grafts. But with Smile in a Day dental implants, which use a scientifically proven technique, TDC has given hundreds of patients a beautiful smile in just a single day.
The science behind the smiles – how does Smile in a Day work?
As with most dental implants, we use titanium rods securely fitted into your jaw that act as a tooth root to support your new teeth. However, that’s where the similarity ends. With our innovative approach the rods are fitted at a precise angle to get the longest titanium ‘root’ possible without the need for the bone grafts that traditional dental implants often require. Scientific studies have shown that the long-term results are as good as, if not better, than traditional dental implants.
How long does the Smile in a Day procedure take?
Because there’s no need to do bone grafts, what used to take many months can often be reduced to six hours or less. Now you can be given a natural smile and also eat and speak with confidence in just one day. What’s more, we routinely – and successfully – treat patients who have been told that they are not suitable for implants.
With the titanium rods fitted permanently, the new teeth we give you on the day will look wonderful and be fixed securely in place. Although neither you nor anyone else will notice, these are actually still temporary teeth. Temporary teeth are designed to speed up healing as your gums will settle down after surgery and this gives us the opportunity to ensure the best possible fit for your final permanent teeth. All you will need to do is come back ten weeks after your treatment for an impression and fittings. Three weeks after that we’ll check the fit of your new teeth and ten days later we’ll attach your permanent new teeth.
Do dental implants hurt?
We want you to feel relaxed, comfortable and pain-free throughout your Smile in a Day procedure. Pain is relative and your tolerance to it will be different to another patient’s, but we can assure you that we have rarely had a patient tell us that their dental implant treatment was painful. A certain level of discomfort, such as you would get when you’ve had a tooth extracted, is, however, inevitable. We find that taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, for a few days after treatment provides adequate relief. None of our patients have ever found it necessary to use prescription-only painkillers.
Specialist sedation service
Most of our patients opt for our specialist sedation service. You won’t be asleep but you will feel relaxed and lose track of time so the procedure will feel as if it is over in minutes. This technique is extremely safe and does not have the risks and side-effects associated with a general anaesthetic. As your safety is our primary concern, you must have someone with you to accompany you home if you opt for sedation.
Time to get to know each other
‘Many patients are understandably a little apprehensive about what to expect from their first consultation,’ says Advanced Aesthetic Dentist Dr Anthony Zybutz, ‘but I can assure you it’s definitely not like a visit to the dentist. In fact, we’ll spend most of it chatting on my sofa as it’s really important for me to understand why you’ve come to see us and what problems you’ve been having with your teeth or dentures. That information lets me best work out how we can help. It’s also a great time for you to ask me any questions and, more importantly, meet the whole team at TDC Implant Centre who’ll be looking after you should you decide to go ahead with having Smile in a Day treatment.
‘After that I’ll examine your teeth and gums and take some photographs, which will be useful in helping your surgeon plan your treatment. During this examination I’ll also ask you more specific questions about things such as the colour, shape and size you’d like your new teeth to be.
3D CT scans
‘The next step is to take some computerised 3D CT scans to measure the amount and location of bone that you have in your jaw. These will allow your surgeon to accurately plan your dental implant treatment. Unlike hospital CT scanners, where you have to lie in a tunnel, ours can be used while you’re seated upright in the dental chair, so it’s very similar to having dental X-rays taken.
Getting the go-ahead
‘Soon you’ll have the results of your scans and know for sure if you’re suitable for our Smile in a Day procedure. In exceptionally urgent cases we can get the go-ahead and book your Smile in a Day transformation for the very next day.’
Smile in a Day is perfect for most people who have missing or loose teeth. Candidates for same-day dental implants range from people who’ve lost a single tooth, several teeth or even all of their teeth and there are very few cases in which dental implants are not a viable option.
What if I’ve been told I can’t have dental implants?
Even if you’ve been told you don’t have enough bone to have dental implants, you may still be a candidate for Smile in a Day. We routinely treat patients who, along with their dentist, have given up all hope. Our success is down to our levels of experience and expertise with the Smile in a Day procedure.
Can you guarantee that the treatment will be successful?
In the unlikely event of a dental implant becoming loose, our surgeons can remove it and place a new one in a slightly different position to achieve better integration with your jawbone. We guarantee that your bone will grow onto your implants. We check this after three months and, if an implant does not bond with your bone, we will replace the implant free of charge or refund the implant replacement fee.
Am I too old to have dental implants?
When having dental implants, your general health is more of a factor than your age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’ll probably be healthy enough to have a dental implant. The oldest patient we’ve worked with was 94.
Are you on the General Dental Council’s specialist list?
Any dentist can legally place an implant. A specialist on the General Dental Council’s (GDC) specialist list has to meet high standards of training and performance and will have undertaken years of additional, recognised training to hone their surgical skills.
Total Dental Care Implant Centre’s (TDC) Lead Surgeon, Dr Michael Zybutz, is a registered Specialist Periodontist with the GDC and is a Diplomate of The American Board of Periodontology. He is the only specialist dentist in the UK accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and has performed hundreds of dental implant procedures in the UK for over 20 years.
What is your training in dental implants?
You should always check to make sure your dentist has the proper training, experience and credentials. Experience really does matter. As alarming as it may seem, many dentists take one- or two-day courses, or mini-residencies on dental implant placement. Few of these courses require the attendee to demonstrate surgical proficiency or obtain a licence.
Dr Michael Zybutz undertook an extensive three-year full-time specialist dental implant training course at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle where he was awarded a Masters degree in Dentistry and a Certificate in Periodontology.
How long have you been placing dental implants?
Any dentist with a dental degree can legally place an implant, even though surgical placement is not taught routinely in most pre-doctoral dental school programmes. Specialists with surgical training have undergone years of additional training to hone their surgical skills.
Having placed dental implants since 1994, Dr Michael Zybutz has over 20 years’ experience in this field. He often encounters challenging situations that require the kind of expertise and skill that only come with years of professional practise. There is big a difference between someone who places 15 to 20 implants a year and someone, such as Dr Michael Zybutz, who places hundreds a year.
What safeguards are in place to protect against infection?
Many non-specialty clinics perform surgery using the same set-up as for conventional restorative dentistry and do not use surgical-level infection-control procedures. At TDC, all patients are fully draped during Smile in a Day surgery and our team is thoroughly trained in optimal infection-control procedures.
Do you have the latest technology?
State-of-the-art technologies offer faster and more effective diagnosis and treatment. Ask your dentist whether they have access to the following specialist equipment TDC can offer:
3D CT scan software
These allow us to view 3D computer images of your jawbone in order to plan and perform successful dental implant treatment. A specialist radiologist will also provide you with a written pathology report of your 3D CT scan, which is included in the price.
In more challenging cases this allows us to perform the surgery on an exact copy of your jawbone in order to eliminate any unforeseen problems.
How do you handle complications?
All surgical procedures have possible complications but thorough training and preparation substantially reduce this risk.
Here at TDC we’re very experienced at placing dental implants – in fact many other dentists refer their challenging or failing implant cases to us, and we often help patients to correct dental problems they’ve experienced after getting implants elsewhere. See how we helped a patient who had been abroad for low-cost dental implants with disastrous results on Channel 5’s Botched Up Bodies.
Do you offer an initial exam prior to diagnosis and treatment and what does it involve?
Always make sure your initial exam includes the following:
- An oral cancer screening
- An examination of the health of your gums
- A complete bite evaluation, including patterns of looseness and tooth wear and overall bite function
- An assessment of whether there is an adequate amount of gum tissue in the area of the proposed implant
- A smile evaluation to plan the future position of your new teeth
- A 3D CT scan and written pathology report
Proper implant preparation involves taking models of your teeth for planning purposes and the creation of surgical templates that ensure proper implant placement. TDC’s initial exam includes all of the above as standard.
What do your patients say about you and do you have independent reviews?
Positive feedback from previous patients is proof of how good a dentist is, which is why TDC subscribes to Feefo, an independent online system that will allow you to see genuine and unedited reviews of our Smile in a Day treatment. We can also put you in touch with patients who’ll be happy to talk to you about their experience of having the procedure with us.
"TDC were my last hope of having permanent teeth. I am so very grateful to them"
"It’s truly life-changing to be able to eat and smile again."– Rebecca Webbon
"TDC same day implants gave me my smile AND my life back."– Graham Barrow