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Dental Procedure Guide: Dental Implants

If you’re having a dental implant procedure carried out in the near future, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. Dental surgery can be a major source of anxiety for people around the world. However, at the Dental Law Partnership, we’re here to alleviate your worries, providing you with all the information you need to know before your treatment.

Complications during dental procedures are rare, but if you suspect that you’ve suffered from dental negligence, our seasoned team will be happy to help. Since our establishment in 2000, we’ve helped many people with their dental negligence claims, amassing a wealth of expertise within the legal dental industry.

If you think you’ve suffered from dental negligence and you’d like to open a claim, please make an enquiry with our dedicated team here.

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are metal screws or posts that have a number of applications, depending on the type of treatment you need. If a single tooth is being replaced, implants are fitted to your jawbone to support a crown. However, if multiple teeth need replacing, dental implants may instead be used to support a bridge or dentures. After your implant has been fitted, the bone will fuse to it, fixing it securely in place.

If your dentist has recommended an implant procedure as part of your treatment plan, they should make you aware of the reason your implant is being fitted. As dental implants are a complex and invasive dental procedure, they should only be carried out by an oral surgeon, or a dentist who has enhanced qualifications and expertise in this area of practice.


When might dental implants be required?

There are many reasons why tooth implants may be required. At your initial consultation, your dentist should inform you of the grounds for your surgery and create an informed treatment plan for your oral health needs. Usually, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine tooth extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant, but there may be other alternative treatments available.

Tooth implants typically serve as the foundation for supporting crownsbridges and dentures. Dental implants are often recommended if previous treatments have yielded unsatisfactory results.

woman presenting dental implants

Dental implant procedures: A step-by-step guide

If you’re feeling anxious about your dental implant procedure, you may want to find out more about the treatment. We’ve created this step-by-step guide to help put your mind at rest before your surgery. However, if you have further questions, you may want to speak to your dentist before arranging your surgical appointment. Every procedure is different and your treatment may differ depending on your individual circumstances.

However, most dental implant procedures take the following steps:

  1. First, you will need to have an initial consultation appointment to discuss whether implant placement is the right decision for your oral health. Your dentist will also need to obtain informed consent from you, and they should also advise you of any risks, side effects and alternative treatment options available.
  2. Next, you’ll usually need to have a clinical assessment – in some cases, this may be carried out at your initial consultation. Your dentist will carry out a thorough examination of your mouth at this stage, which may include the use of X-rays and a CBCT scan. A treatment plan will be created for you at this appointment, and your dentist will decide whether you need a bone graft before your implant is installed.
  3. At your next appointment, your tooth implants will be fitted. Local anaesthetic will be applied to the affected area, sedation may be available if requested.
  4. Your dentist will then start the procedure by cutting into your gum and drilling a small hole in your jawbone. Your implant will be inserted into this hole, before stitches are applied to close your gum. However, stitches do not need to be applied in every case.
  5. In some situations, your new teeth will be restored on the same day. However, in most cases, further treatment will need to be carried out at a later date to allow your mouth to heal. In the meantime, temporary teeth may be fitted, but this isn’t always the case.
  6. Once the implant has bonded with your jawbone, you will need to return to your dentist to have the remaining treatment carried out.
  7. Once completed, your dentist will provide you with a set of aftercare instructions to follow. It’s important to follow these instructions to ensure the treatment is successful. You may also need to arrange several follow-up appointments so that your dentist can check whether your implant is secure.

Most tooth implants and bone grafts go ahead without any issues. However, in a small number of cases, dental negligence may occur, which can be very distressing.

If you’ve had a dental implant installed and you think your dentist may have acted negligently, please request a callback with our team of legal experts. 

How long does dental implant surgery take?

This factor depends largely on your individual circumstances and the work that needs to be carried out. For example, if bone grafts are required, your overall time in surgery will be longer than in situations where a bone graft is not needed.

For the implant part of the procedure, it will usually take between 1-2 hours for each implant to be fitted. You may then have to wait several months before returning for further treatment.

How many appointments can I expect when having a tooth implant fitted?

This is another element that depends largely on your personal situation. You’ll usually require at least four appointments:

  • An initial consultation
  • An oral health assessment
  • Your tooth implant surgery
  • An appointment for the rest of your surgery to be carried out – usually if you need replacement teeth or a crown fitting.

If a bone graft is required, you’ll need an additional appointment to conduct the treatment. You may also need to attend your dental practice for follow-ups after your surgery has been completed.

What should be covered in my consultation?

Before a dental implant procedure is carried out, you will need to have an initial consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will assess your oral health and decide whether a tooth implant is the right course of action for you. X-rays and CBCT scans will usually be required, and a treatment plan will be created for you.

Your dentist also has a duty of care to gain informed consent for your surgery. Your dentist also needs to inform you about any risks, side effects or alternative treatments available.

However, due to the nature of dental implant surgery, you may require a clinical assessment of your teeth beforehand. This is often carried out during a separate appointment, and your scans may be carried out on this visit instead.

The aftercare process

When undergoing a dental procedure, it’s crucial that you follow your dentist’s aftercare advice, to ensure your oral health recovers as quickly as possible. Your dentist has a duty of care to accurately inform you of the aftercare steps required – if they fail to do this and something goes wrong, you may be able to open a dental negligence claim.

Every situation is different, but BUPA recommends the following aftercare steps following a dental implant procedure:

  • – After your implant has been placed, you should rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. If you’ve used a sedative or general anaesthesia during your surgery, you should refrain from driving a vehicle
  • – You should avoid strenuous exercise, smoking and alcohol
  • – You may experience light bleeding after your treatment, which is normal. To mitigate the bleeding, you should place a damp gauze over your implant, and bite down on it with gentle pressure. If the bleeding gets worse or doesn’t stop, you should speak to your dentist
  • – When cleaning your teeth, it’s important to handle your teeth with gentle care. Your dentist may be able to recommend specific cleaning products to use until your surgery heals
  • – Hot food and drink should be avoided for 24 hours, and you should attempt to eat soft food until the affected area has healed
  • – It’s recommended that you use mouthwash at least three times a day, to try and reduce the risk of infection
  • – Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen should be used to reduce pain. It’s normal to feel a small amount of pain after your treatment, but if it gets worse or doesn’t go away, you should speak to your dentist again

However, it’s recommended that you speak to your dentist first, as they will be able to advise you of the correct steps to take after your surgery.

lady checking her teeth after having her dental implants fitted

Who should you contact if your treatment goes wrong?

Most dental implant procedures are performed without any issues, although in some situations, issues can arise. If something goes wrong during your treatment, you may want to consider making a complaint to your dentist. If requested, your dental practice should be able to provide you with a copy of their official complaints procedure. However, there is a strict one year time limit in which you can make a complaint to your dentist, dating from the date of your appointment.

Your other option is to go through the dental negligence claims process. It’s important to note that you don’t need to have made an official complaint beforehand, although there is a three year time limit to open a case from the date when the negligence occurred.

If your dentist performs your procedure incorrectly, you may suffer from physical and psychological harm. However, dental negligence is not just limited to physical injuries – it also encompasses the following areas:

At the Dental Law Partnership, we’re a specialist firm of dental solicitors, working with many clients across England and Wales since our inception. We can discuss a possible claim with you, no matter what form of dental negligence you may have faced.

If you’d like to open a dental negligence claim with the Dental Law Partnership, please contact our free phone number on 0800 152 2038.


Questions you should ask your dentist before undergoing treatment

Dental surgery can be a stressful experience, particularly if you already have dental anxiety. Most dental implant procedures are performed successfully, but it’s understandable to have some worries beforehand. As a trained dental professional, your dentist should be able to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment.

To help you, we’ve created a list of questions that you may want to ask your dentist at your initial consultation:

  • – How long will my surgery take?
  • – How much will my dental implant procedure cost?
  • – Is a written treatment plan available for me to view beforehand?
  • – Are there any side effects or risks that I should be aware of?
  • – What aftercare will I require after my tooth implant is fitted?
  • – Is a dental implant really necessary for my situation?
  • – Do I need to have a clinical assessment before treatment, and are X-rays and scans always required?
  • – Is my treatment available through the NHS?
  • – Where will my treatment be carried out?
  • – Do I need to have a bone graft before my surgery?
  • – How long will my treatment take, and will I need any follow-up appointments?
  • – How do I prepare for my appointment?
  • – Are there any alternative procedures I could try instead?
  • – Are there specific cleaning products I should use during the recovery process?
  • – Is there anything else I should be aware of before undergoing treatment?

However, if you find that you have further questions, it’s recommended that you speak to your dentist to ensure you’re as informed as possible.

If you’ve already had a dental implant fitted and you think you may have suffered from dental negligence, our team will be happy to help you. Please contact us here to get the process started.


Embrace a new start with the Dental Law Partnership

If you’re set to have a dental implant procedure in the coming months, you may find yourself feeling concerned about the surgery. In the majority of cases, implant treatments occur without any problems, but in rare instances, issues can arise.

However, if you’ve already had the procedure carried out and you believe that your dentist has made a mistake, we’re here to help.

At the Dental Law Partnership, we’re market leaders within the legal dental industry. Our skilled team is made up of both dentists and lawyers, giving us the expertise and knowledge to be able to successfully handle your dental negligence claim with ease.

To get your claim started, please contact our expert team today on 0800 152 2038.

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

Start Your Claim

or call us free on: 0800 0853 823