Q I have lost a few of my natural teeth and feel scared to get implants. What does it involve?

A It’s understandable to have anxiety and nerves when it comes to dental implants because of the procedure it involves. But implants are safe, have been established for many years and are a great replacement for missing teeth.

A dental implant is a titanium screw that replaces the root of a tooth, and is placed into the jawbone. It isn’t something that will happen in one appointment either, as it all depends on the strength of your jawbone. They can be used to replace one tooth, multiple teeth or even a whole set of teeth.

Your dentist will carry out a few tests to see how much bone is still left in your jaw. If there isn’t enough, then you may need a bone graft into the area otherwise the implants may not be placed.

Once your implants have been placed the bone in your jaw needs time to fuse onto them, which takes a few months.

Depending on the number of teeth you have replaced, you may be given a temporary denture.

The whole process usually takes three to four months — from getting the implants placed to getting your false teeth attached.

How long the implants last depends entirely on how well you look after them.

If you go for regular appointments to maintain them then they will last longer, too.

Your dentist should give you detailed advice on how to look after them, but cleaning around the implanted teeth is the same as cleaning your normal teeth,

* For more information about dental issues, contact Synergy Dental Clinics Bolton or Bury, email bury@synergydental.org.uk or go to synergydental.org.uk/dentist-in-bury