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What are dental implants – and why choose them?

4 June 2021

Losing a tooth, or teeth, can happen at any stage of life, through decay, gum disease, or an accident. As well as affecting your ability to chew, eat and speak properly, it can also have emotional consequences, impacting on your self-image and robbing you of your willingness to smile.

We receive most of our implant patients at Devon Dental Implant Centre on referral, and we are aware that a number of patients seem to have little knowledge or understanding of dental implants and their benefits when they come to us. So, if you are self-conscious about a gap in your teeth, or suffering the discomfort or embarrassment of dentures, this blog is for you!

Dental implants are a natural looking and long-term solution for replacing missing teeth and can last a lifetime if you look after them. The implant itself is a metal (usually titanium) screw which is placed directly into your jawbone as a substitute for your missing tooth root. The surface of the implant is specially treated to stimulate bone growth, so that your bone gradually fuses to the implant. Once firmly secured, a custom-made crown, bridge or denture is fitted on top. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, depending on your needs.

Having an implant doesn’t impact on your existing teeth – unlike a bridge which often requires healthy teeth on each side of the gap to be ground down to support the bridge. Being fixed in place, implants don’t slip, click, or rub your mouth like ill-fitting plates or dentures, so you can eat your favourite foods, talk naturally, and smile confidently. And unlike bridges and dentures, implants prevent bone loss, helping you to maintain a more youthful appearance.

Dental implants are not appropriate for children and teenagers whose jawbones are still growing; otherwise, if you have good dental and general health you should be suitable, subject to assessment.  If you have gum (periodontal) disease we will need to treat it before your implants are placed. Heavy smoking and some medical conditions may also rule them out.

As for that all important question, “do implants hurt?”, most patients are surprised with how little discomfort is experienced during treatment. Usually this can be managed at home with normal painkillers. Nevertheless, we understand how nervous many of our patients are about dental surgery and take a special interest in helping anxious patients overcome their fears. We hope you will be reassured by reading about some of their experiences here.

If you think you might benefit from implants, why not book a Zoom consultation with our Treatment Co-ordinator Lisa on 01805 623657? She can answer any questions you may have and, if you wish to explore the treatment further, arrange a free consultation with one of our implant dentists to check your suitability.



Mr Mills was kind, pleasant and reassuring, and explained everything to me, so that I knew what was going on every inch of the way. I can’t recommend him and his implant team highly enough.
Super helpful, friendly, clean, efficient and brilliant at informing us of procedures & treatment. We never feel rushed or have to wait too long. They have made the dentist experience a positive one for our children – who are always excited to go!
I would rate this dentist 1000 stars if I could! Everyone there is so friendly and smiley! I had my teeth done by John Cato and Paula and what can I say. Both of them made me feel so relaxed even though I normally hate the dentist they have made this all change! I couldn’t thank them both enough.
Ms P
It’s nearly two months since my treatment for an implanted bridge concluded and I could not be more pleased. The treatment was excellent, the care by Ian Mills and his team was superb and the teeth look fantastic.
Rhys Gabe is an incredible guy. After 30 odd years of avoiding the dentist through fear I actually now enjoy going thanks to this man. I cannot recommend him highly enough to nervous and anxious patients.