What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. Your dentist places them directly into your jawbone, where they provide an artificial replacement for the root of your missing tooth or teeth. They can support crowns or dentures, in a similar way that roots support natural teeth.
A dental implant itself is a titanium screw, which is placed directly into your jawbone, replacing your missing tooth root. After it’s fitted, the bone surrounding your implant will gradually fuse to it, holding the implant firmly in place. A false tooth (a crown or denture) is then fitted to the top of the implant (the abutment), giving a natural look to your smile
Having missing teeth can really knock your confidence, as well as affect the way you eat and speak. Dental implants offer a long-lasting and discreet choice of treatment for replacing teeth.
How will my dental implant be fitted?
Dental implants are usually fitted in two main procedures; the first being to fit the implant itself into your jawbone, and then the second a few months later to fit the new tooth onto the implant.
You’ll usually be able to have the procedure in your dentist’s surgery, under local anaesthesia.
Can anyone have dental implants?
Dental implants are suitable for most adults who are in good general health and have healthy gums. They aren’t suitable for children and young people under 18 because the underlying bones are still growing.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of treatment will vary (start from £2,500 for a single tooth), depending on how many implants you’re having and the complexity of the treatment. Your dentist will be able to give you a good indication of the cost once you’ve discussed your individual treatment plan.
Before you decide to have dental implants, try to find out as much as possible about them. Don’t rush into a decision. Talk to your dentist about the alternatives and what might be best in your particular circumstance.
What are the benefits of implants?
One of the reasons people choose implants is that they’re a more permanent option than dentures. So long as you care for your implant properly, they can last as long as natural teeth. Dentures tend to last for around five years. and can become less comfortable as your mouth changes shape over time.
Implants may also be a preferred option if you want to avoid causing any damage to your existing teeth. This can happen if you have a conventional bridge, as it means cutting your natural teeth to fit them.
We know people feel self-conscious if they have missing teeth. With an implant, hopefully you can get your confidence back – whether it’s in your smile, how you eat or when you talk.
What are the alternatives?
An implant isn’t the only way to replace missing teeth – there are several other solutions. These include:
- Full or partial dentures– false teeth attached to a removable metal or plastic framework
- Bridges– false teeth that are fixed onto the existing teeth either side of your missing tooth or teeth
People might choose to have bridges because, in some circumstances, it’s a less complicated procedure than implants. They might also be needed if your dentist doesn’t think you have enough bone to fit an implant and you don’t want to have a bone graft.
Your dentist may not recommend dental implants if you:
- Are a smoker
- Have had radiotherapy to your jaw area
- Have diabetes which isn’t well-controlled
- Suffer from gum (periodontal) disease
Something to know
- You can have a single implant, or you can have multiple ones if you need more than one tooth replaced.
- Your dentist will help you to decide what’s best for you. An implant isn’t the right option for everybody. It can depend on many things, including which teeth are missing, and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums.
What to expect when you want dental implants
1/Face to face initial consultation to discuss possibilities and options (usually complimentary for EDC private or member patients)
2/ Implant assessment and treatment planning (£199) include CBCT scan, photos and relevant measurements
3/ Discussion of assessment findings and detailed treatment planning.
4/Implant surgery approx 1.5 hours to place implant. Surgical fees usually around £1250
5/Restorative phase happening a few months after surgery. Multiple appointments to make crown, bridge or denture to fit onto implants. Fees dependent on the agreed treatment plan.
There will be many review appointments during the whole treatment process. They are usually complimentary.