The Patient Journey

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If you decide to have treatment at The Dental Implant Centre we would like to help show you what to expect at each stage of treatment.

You will be contacted by phone once we have received your referral to arrange a convenient date and time for you to attend for an assessment. Before you attend for your first visit we will send you a confirmation letter with your appointment date and time and a map with detailed directions.

The stages outlined below are merely intended as a guide as not all stages are always required and indeed some cases may be substantially more complex.

This appointment involves very careful assessment of your individual case. You need never be left with a visible gap in your mouth. This appointment usually takes one hour, during which you will meet the team at the centre followed by detailed discussion of your medical (most of our surgeons are also qualified medical doctors) and dental history and your aims for treatment. We will then undertake a very careful and detailed examination of your mouth, including an oral health and cancer screen. You will have any necessary x-rays taken so that we can then begin the process of assessing the bone volume available for implants. At this stage we can usually advise you on your suitability for implants and begin the detailed discussion of the different treatment options available to you, how implants work and the stages and costs involved. More complex cases sometimes require more time to plan them properly and it may even be necessary for you to be seen by more than one clinician. We may need to make some models of your teeth and to consider further investigations such as detailed 3D imaging prior to making any decisions. All the costs involved with this will be explained to you. Once planning is complete you will be sent a comprehensive treatment plan outlining everything that was discussed at your initial assessment and detailing all the timings and costs of your treatment. This helps reiterate the information you were given during your initial assessment.
Most patients are slightly nervous about this phase of their treatment, but there really is no need to be. We do everything possible to make surgery as stress-free as possible. For the placement of a simple single implant, the actual surgery time is only about fifteen minutes, however that you will be booked in for a longer appointment to allow us to put you at ease and to give the local anaesthetic time to work. The implant surgery is carried out extremely carefully, gently and precisely, and while it is a surgical procedure, most patients say it is far less traumatic than having a root treatment or tooth extraction. For example, we don’t use the high pitched whining drill that most patients associate with dentistry. The expertise of your surgeons ensures that there should be remarkably little discomfort following treatment and you should require no more than simple, readily available painkillers. Remember, if the gap where the implant is placed is visible we can then place and adjust a temporary tooth for you. In most cases, a small metal cap will be placed on the implant to prevent the need for further surgery. At the end of the procedure you may have some stitches which dissolve on their own. If they are causing you annoyance or discomfort we can remove them for you after a week or two. You will be given a detailed instruction sheet on how to maintain and clean your mouth following the surgery and we will discuss any pain relief or any antibiotics that may be required at this stage.
These appointments are spread out over a few weeks to allow the skilled technicians at our laboratory the time necessary to craft your new custom-made implant crowns. The rest of implant dentistry is much like all dentistry you would have experienced in the past. You will be seen over two to three appointments to have impressions taken of your teeth and to accurately register the positions of the implants. We take extreme care in all of these phases to make sure everything is carried out accurately. We also have specialist machines to digitally photograph and take shades of your adjacent teeth so that these crowns can be matched perfectly. We may even suggest that you visit the laboratory to have the colour and shade of your implant crowns chosen by you and the very technician who will make it. Once the crowns are fitted we will review you a few weeks later to make sure that the final outcome is exactly what you wanted.
It is vital that your implants are cleaned very carefully by yourself and followed up by trained implant dentists. At the end of your treatment it is important that you attend regular reviews and we recommend that these are with us at The Implant Centre. This is because very occasionally implants can be affected by bone loss around them, in the same way that gum disease can affect the bone around your own natural teeth. We therefore recommend that we see you after six months and then on an annual basis to take x-rays, check the implant and its crown, clean them both as necessary and take photographs. All of this treatment is carried out without additional charge if you take out our long-term Implant Care Plan.