Dental Implants are a modern and very successful way to replace missing teeth.
Normally when a tooth is lost, the bone shrinks around the missing tooth. The traditional methods of replacing missing teeth have relied upon removable plastic acrylic dentures or bridges, both of which have their limitations.
Dentures are basically removable prosthesis that sit on the gum and have the potential to move during function, speech and chewing.
Bridges on the otherhand require placing extra load on the adjacent teeth, which they cling onto in order to gain support. These also require tooth preparation, often of sound teeth.
Implants on the other hand utilise the patients own natural bone, sometimes in conjunction with additional supplemental material in order to insert a titanium root replacement. These ‘implants’ can then be used to provide a solid fixed anchor for a natural tooth replacement.
Q: Is the procedure for dental implants difficult or painful?
A: Most dental implants are placed under simple local anaesthetics – the same which would be used for a standard tooth extraction. If there isn’t enough bone available to place the implant, then a discussion needs to be had with the dentist in order to establish how this can be achieved.
Q: How many visits are required for dental implants?
A: This depends on each case. However to use an example case: a patient might agree to have an existing failing tooth extracted and then have an implant placed 6 weeks later (whilst wearing a temporary tooth). The root part of the implant could then be placed, followed by a healing period of between 3-6 months. Once fully healed (osseointegrated), the remaining tooth part is restored over the next month or two.
However every patient is different, and every treatment plan will vary.
Q: How much do implants cost?
A: Implants are generally the most expensive restorative option in the short term, although the cost effectiveness usually bears out in the long term. The investment made in dental implants today can reap benefits when compared to the long term prospect of having to replace dentures every 5 or so years or deal with a failing bridge and its consequences on the adjacent teeth.
Replacing a single tooth can range from £2000 to £3000 depending on the amount of bone you have, and the nature of any temporary transitional arrangements. More teeth may not require so many implant to be placed, as it may be possible to replace 4 teeth using only 2 implants and a large bridge for example. However every case is different and needs a thorough assessment. This might involve a 3D scans of your bone, and additional bone grafts at additional cost.
Q: How much for a dental implant assessment?
A: An implant assessment is required in order to assess the possible treatment options and provide the patient with the options and a treatment plan.
Any fee paid for an initial implant assessment will be deducted from the cost of the treatment should you decide to go ahead. There may be additional costs for bone scans which are additional to the above.