Patients have many questions when facing Implant treatment. Here we’ve picked out some key questions.
Please contact us if you wish to know more.
Q 1. WHERE DO I START?
The General Dental Council (GDC). The GDC register keeps details of dentists’ qualifications and specialists’ listing. The BADI ‘Find a Dentist’ service will be launching soon.
Q 2. DO I NEED A SPECIALIST?
Specialists will have more experience and skill in certain areas and will often charge higher fees if in private practice. There is no specific referral process – you can be referred by your general dentist or you can self-refer by contacting directly and making an appointment. The most common dental specialities are:
Q 3. HOW CAN I CHOOSE?
As there is no formal qualification for cosmetic dentists, always look at the dentist’s post-graduate education, courses attended in the type of dentistry you are considering and accreditations from British academies. Often dentists will list these online or display certificates on their wall. Just because a practitioner may have been your dentist for years does not mean they are experienced enough to perform the specific aesthetic procedure you are after.
Q 4. WHAT SHOULD I ASK?
Anyone considering cosmetic dentistry treatments should expect to be fully informed about the entire procedure, risks and side effects. For realistic expectations, ask your dentist how long things will look their best after treatment, and about maintenance advice. If there is any information you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for further clarification. The treatment should be something you choose to do, rather than something you are told to do.
Q 5. CAN I SEE EXAMPLES OF THEIR WORK?
Yes, this is essential. Request before-and-after photos from any potential practitioner – examples may be available on their website or in published articles they may have written for the dental press. Always look for a dentist or specialist to provide you with many examples of the same style of work that you are considering. Sometimes he or she may have done only one case! Testimonials are also useful so ask to contact any previous patients who could share their experience.
Q 6. WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS?
It is crucial to check what aftercare will be available if things don’t go as planned. There should be a support system outlined for the long term before the treatment begins, especially if something doesn’t go to plan (an ever-present risk if considering cut-price treatments abroad).
Q 7. DOES DENTAL IMPLANT TREATMENT HURT?
Patients are often surprised with how little pain and discomfort they experience during and after the procedure. The actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. When the anesthesia wears off a few hours later, you might expect some discomfort. The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling and bruising may also develop.
Q 8. AM I TOO OLD FOR THE TREATMENT?
There is no age limit for patients to have dental implants. Many patients continue to have dental implants placed into their sixties, seventies and even eighties. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.
Q 9. HOW LONG WILL DENTAL IMPLANTS LAST?
Dental Implants have been used for over 30 years and should last a lifetime. It is important that careful dental hygiene and regular check ups are completed to ensure they last as long as possible.
Q 10. HOW LONG WILL THE PROCESS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS TAKE?
There are various techniques available which affect this. Usually implant treatments require a number of appointments over several months, although this can be done on a shorter timescale. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.
Q 11. ARE THERE ANY FINANCE OPTIONS FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental work can be expensive. If you are considering having dental implants and are looking for finance options we have some links which may help you. It is always worth checking with your dentist to see what finance options they recommend.
Q 12. HOW MUCH DO DENTAL IMPLANTS COST?
The price of dental implants vary considerably and depends on several factors including the level of skill of the surgeon, the type / quality / brand of implant used, the clinic where the treatment is carried out, the level of aftercare service provided and the amount of work required, and number of implants you need. In the UK the costs of a single tooth implant can vary from £500.00 up to £3000.00. The cost may depend on whether the final restoration is included in the price or not. For example, some clinics may charge £1800 for an implant, and then £700 for the final crown to restore the implant, whereas another clinic may charge £2500 for an implant that includes the final crown. Always check exactly what is included in the price before making a decision.
Q 13. HOW DOES THE IMPLANT PROCESS WORK?
Before any Dental Implants are placed you will need an initial consultation by your dentist to assess the health of your teeth and gums. The dentist should also discuss possible alternatives and the feasibility of Dental Implant treatment. If there are any signs of gum disease or decay these must first be treated. Following this your treatment will be planned following several x-rays and a in some cases a CT scan is done to assess that bone quality and check for nearby anatomical structures to avoid before any drilling. Models may be prepared. Your plan is usually then put in place to detail the sequence of treatment and costs. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.
Dental Implant Placement
The placement of the Dental Implant is relatively simple and is considered a minor surgical procedure. The gum where the Dental Implant is to be placed is cut and lifted and a small hole is drilled into the jawbone at the precise location of the intended Dental Implant. The titanium Dental Implant is tightly fitted into this socket and the gum is stitched back over the Dental Implant. If there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the Dental Implant a number of options are available for bone regeneration. This may be carried out before or at the same time as the Dental Implant placement.
Once the Dental Implant has been placed it is left to heal and integrate with the jawbone. It can be loaded into function immediately or soon after placement. However, a period of 6 weeks to 6 months (depending on the patient) should be allowed for the Dental Implant to fully integrate before loading. During this stage the bone tissue will grow and anchor itself into the microscopic rough surface of the Dental Implant.
During this healing / integration period patients are given temporary teeth (bridges) or continue to wear dentures. Later when the surrounding gum tissue has matured the final permanent restoration can be fitted to the Dental Implant. These Dental Implants are constructed by a specialist dental laboratory working closely with your dentist.
Following the treatment, patients need to clean thoroughly around the Dental Implants. Regular dental visits are important to check the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and integrity of the restoration.
Q 14. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental Implants are more comfortable than conventional dentures due to the fact that they do not move or slip. Due to the procedure there is no need to grind down healthy teeth as in Dental Bridgework. Dental implants help maintain the structure and shape of your jaw. Dental Implants also help with confidence!
- Better aesthetics
- Improved dental hygiene
- Improved function
- No need to drill or remove any healthy tooth structure
- Reduced bone loss
Q 15. HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF THE IMPLANT RETAINED BRIDGE?
The IRB must be treated like your natural teeth. It must also be cleaned with a special type of floss or a little brush that your dentist will give you. That way the space between the gum and the implants is kept healthy. You might need to see your dentist more regularly for the first year or two and have regular hygiene visits.
Q 16. WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING IMPLANT RETAINED BRIDGES?
Implant retained Bridges are more expensive than conventional bridges. The procedure involves minor oral surgery and it is done under Local Anaesthetic but some patients who have dentist phobia might not wish to have it done. The process involves multiple visits to the dentist and takes longer to be completed as the implants need to heal first. If there is not enough bone present, the patient might need a bone graft which involves more surgery.
Q 17. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IMPLANT RETAINED BRIDGES?
IRBs have a higher success rate than conventional bridges. Since there is no need to prepare any neighbouring teeth there is no risk of needing root canal treatments in the future. Since the implants take up all the forces on the bridge, there is no risk of tooth movement. There is also no risk of recurrent caries to the prepared teeth as the bridge is supported by the implants which are made of titanium.
Q 18. WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE?
The first stage of the process is placing the titanium screws directly in the gum or jaw. This is done under Local Anaesthesia. The implants are then left to knit with the bone for about 3-6 months. After this the dentist then uncovers the screw and abutments are fitted. An impression is then taken which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the crown or bridge. The final crown or bridge is then cemented or screwed in place.
Q 19. WHEN ARE IMPLANT RETAINED BRIDGES USED?
They are often used when there is one or more teeth missing or in some cases they are used when teeth are extracted. They are ideal for patients who cannot tolerate a partial denture or when the natural teeth are not suitable. They are used to improve function and/or aesthetics.
Q 20. WHAT IS AN IMPLANT RETAINED BRIDGE?
An implant- retained bridge is like a regular dental bridge, but instead of being held in place by natural teeth it is supported by implants. When an implant-retained bridge is used, one or more implants are placed according to the patients needs and then crowns which are linked to each other to form a bridge are placed on top of the implants. Unlike traditional bridgework, implant retained bridges are more conservative as there is no need for destruction of tooth tissue.
Q 21. WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
A dental implant is a replacement or substitute for the root portion of your natural tooth. It is usually a small screw-shaped attachment (commonly made from titanium). It is inserted within the jawbone to take the place of a missing tooth root. Once the bone attaches firmly or fuses to the implant (osseointegration), a replacement tooth can be secured to the top of this implant. This new tooth can look, feel and act as a natural tooth. It is also possible to use multiple implants to support dentures or bridges. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.