Missing teeth have long been replaced conventionally with fixed bridges or dentures, However more recently there has been a trend towards replacing missing teeth with dental implants which are a more comfortable and permanent solution. Implants, when placed and restored by an experienced dentists will look and feel like your own natural teeth and be virtually indistinguishable.
Tooth loss can occur for a number of reasons including neglecting your teeth and gums with a poor diet and poor oral hygiene, naturally with age and also due to trauma. Athletes such as rugby player and boxers often loose teeth due to trauma!
The loss of teeth can have a significant impact on a persons self esteem due to the aesthetic implications as well as causing bite problems and difficulties in eating.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are replacements for the root portion of your tooth. Implants consist of a threaded titanium screw or post that is surgically placed into the jaw bone.
When may dental implants be needed?
In cases where too many teeth are missing and there are no supporting teeth for bridges, loose dentures or more solid dental implants are the only choice to replace the missing teeth. A highly skilled implantologist would be required to carry out a full mouth reconstruction using dental implants. Generally implants are used to support either a single crown or bridges.
Dental Implants for dentures
One of the major complaints with dentures are that they are not stable enough to enable normal eating habits and biting into an apple would be unheard of! They can also cause irritation of the gums and soreness from the movement. Dentures can be strongly secured into place with dental implants giving patients the confidence and comfort of being able to eat what they want.
Dental implants preserve your natural teeth
A major advantage of dental implants is that they do not require preparation or drilling of neighbouring healthy teeth unlike bridges, and they do not require special brushes and extra care for oral hygiene. When teeth are lost bone loss of the jaw occurs after some time and dental implants slow this process down and prevent excessive loss of your bone structure.
There are many different types of dental implants, and implant systems used by different dentists. There is no evidence to prove that any one brand of implant is superior to another. However some dentists prefer to use one implant brand over another. What is more important to you as a patient is the experience of the dentist placing the implants and how many implants that they have placed before. You should always ask about your dentists credentials before consenting to have any implant work carried out.
How long to implants last? Are they successful?
Dental implants are one of the most successful ways to replace missing teeth and have a very high success rate. How long they last will depend on a number of factors including the skill of your dentists and how well you look after the health of your teeth and gums. When implants are placed into your jaw, surrounding bone grows into the microscopic surface of the implant making it more secure. This process of Osseointegration takes approximately 6 months. Implants fail to anchor and provide solid support for false teeth if they are not positioned carefully in the right position and by an experienced dentist. Implants may fail if patients experience a high level of bone loss around the implant or if the tissue around the implant becomes infected. Poor oral hygiene can result in infection of the tissue around the implant itself. Implant failure is significantly higher in smokers due to the effects smoking can have on healing, it tends to slow the healing process down. Smoking also has a negative impact on the health of your gums. It would be advisable to give up smoking prior and your gum tissue. Implants generally have a 90-95% 5 year success rate and in patients that look after their oral health and hygiene with regular visits and check ups at the dentists they can last up to 25 years.
Prior to the placement of dental implants your bone density needs to be assessed to ensure that you have sufficient quality and quantity of bone tissue available around where the implant will be placed. If there is insufficient bone or significant bone loss has occurred due to periodontal disease then you may need bone grafting before implant placement. In certain cases mini implants can be used if bone density is too low for larger implants.
Once you have been assessed and the plan of treatment explained and agreed, the appropriate implant system and size of implant will be selected and then surgically placed. Since the implant functions as the root of your tooth, a hole needs to be drilled into your jaw bone to accommodate it. Placing an implant is often carried out under local anaesthesia but anxious patients may choose to be sedated during their treatment.
A small hole is drilled carefully into your jawbone ensuring to avoid damage to nerves and other important facial structures. Some dentists place guided implants by first taking a CT scan to ensure accurate drilling of the hole for your implant. Once the hole has been drilled the implants the titanium implant screw it either gently screwed or tapped into place ensuring a tight fit. Once the implant is securely placed into the hole a protective screw cover or cap is placed over the implant and the gum tissue sutured over the top. The implant is then left to heal for approximately 6 months, this process is called osseointegration. During this time the bone tissue around the implant grows onto the microscopic roughened surface of the implant so that it effectively becomes a part of the jawbone and can securely hold a restoration in place. After healing the screw cover is removed and an abutment placed on the implant, which serves as an anchorage point to securely hold a restoration in place such as a crown or denture. Some dentists offer same day implants, which support the restoration during the integration process.
How much do dental implants cost?
The price of dental implants can vary significantly. The factors influencing the cost include:
Certain specialist implant clinics charge more for their expertise in these procedures. A dentist with a diploma or an MSc in implantology would also tend to charge more than a general dentist. However having a further qualification in implantology does not always mean that they are better at placing implants that for example a dentists who has placed 100s of implants over many years.
Some patients travel to Hungry and Budapest for cheaper dentistry. The quality of the materials used and the skill of the surgeons may be comparable to those of dentists in the UK, however one should always remember that aftercare and service would be difficult when you need to jump on a plane to see your dentist!
The materials and implant system used
Some implant materials and systems cost significantly more than others and it is worth noting the quality of the materials and brand of implants used by dentists.
The work involved
In some cases where there is not sufficient bone tissue a bone graft may be needed or more complex procedures such as a sinus lift may need to be performed which would all add to the cost
Average price of Implants
The average cost of a single implant with a crown can range anywhere from £1800 to £5000 and a full mouth reconstruction requiring several implants and major restorative work could cost you in the region of £20,000 to £30,000+.
- Dental sealants
- Dental fluorosis
- Dental phobia
- Electric Toothbrush
- Emergency dentists
- Gum Recession
- Mouth Ulcer
- Sinus Lift
- Wisdom teeth
- Oral herpes
- Oral Cancer
- Mouth Guards
- Brushing Teeth
- Dental Occlusion
- Denture Relining
- Chipping Teeth
- Laser Dentistry
- Maryland Bridge
- Mini Implants
- Root canal
- Root Resection surgery
- Sedation dentistry
- Teeth Staining
- Temporomandiublar Disorders
- Tongue Cleaning
- Tooth contouring
- Tooth decay
- Tooth sensitivity
- Whitening Toothpastes
- Cracked Teeth
- Dry socket
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- Inlays and Onlays
- Oral Hygiene