Questions & Answers

Read this before you have Dental Implants. This information is to help consumers in the UK make an informed decision about the best way to replace missing teeth and choose the right Implant dentist.

Why have a dental implant?
What are the causes of tooth loss?
What is bone loss?
What is a dental implant?
Is the procedure painful?
How successful are dental implants and are there contraindications?
How long does the treatment take?
How do we plan the treatment?
Why do implants cost what they do?
Why are some dentists advertising cheap implants (less than £1000 for an implant fully restored)?

 

Why have a dental implant?

Dental implants are the best way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The implant is a substitute for a natural root onto which we build a crown. This results in a natural looking fixed tooth.

Dental Implant unrestored, and Dental Implant restored.

Dental Implant unrestored, and Dental Implant restored.

The alternatives are to replace the tooth or teeth with either a bridge or a denture. The down side of a bridge is that often healthy teeth next to the gap have to be crowned to support the bridge. Long term this compromises those healthy teeth. The disadvantages of a denture is that it can be removable, can be uncomfortable and makes your mouth more difficult to clean.

Full Denture, and Partial Denture

Full Denture, and Partial Denture

Bridge in place.

Bridge in place.

 

What are the causes of tooth loss?

You may have lost a tooth due to trauma, have a cracked tooth, a failed root canal treatment or dental abscess, however most commonly it is due to periodontal (gum) disease. Each of these problems will need to be diagnosed and treated accordingly to stabilise the mouth and achieve optimal oral health before proceeding with implants.

What is bone loss?

When a tooth is extracted or lost a certain amount of bone surrounding the root does disappear. This can be particularly rapid during the first few months and is described as bone resorption. Dental implants not only provide an aesthetic solution to tooth loss but also maintains the bone in the area because function is restored.

Bone loss from missing teeth and premature ageing.

Bone loss from missing teeth and premature ageing.

 

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is made out of sterile titanium and is similar in shape to the root of a tooth. It was discovered over thirty years ago that bone has an affinity for sterile titanium and if placed under the correct conditions bone grows in close proximity to the implant and cements it in. We call this phenomenon “osseointegration”. This titanium cylinder when osseointegrated is treated just like a root and can then be crowned or used as part of a bridge.

Dental implant restored with crown, and shown in position.

Dental implant restored with crown, and shown in position.

 

Is this procedure painful?

Having a dental implant placed is not at all painful. Local anaesthetic is given before the surgery, the gum is opened up and a small hole is drilled into the bone and the implant placed. Sometimes we use sedation if many implants are done at once. Simple painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken over the next 24 hours.

How successful are dental implants and are there any contraindications?

The success rate for dental implants is 98.2%. Age is not a contraindication for implants as it has been shown that they are equally successful in old and young people. As a surgical procedure is involved we take note of any pre-existing conditions and medication and give antibiotic cover before surgery. Implants have been shown to be marginally less successful in smokers so it is best to moderate smoking habits at least for a week or two after having the implants placed.

How long does the treatment take?

From implant placement to restoration of the tooth can take from 6 weeks to 9 months depending on how much bone is available and whether bone augmentation is required. Where the cosmetic appearance is important we routinely fit a temporary bridge until the implant is restored. In some cases if conditions are absolutely perfect, newly placed implants can be restored immediately.

How do we plan the treatment?

Once we have all the information we need we will give a written treatment plan and an estimate of costs.

Dental implant  retained bridge, dental implant retained full bridge, and dental implant retained full denture.

Dental implant retained bridge, dental implant retained full bridge, and dental implant retained full denture.

 

Why do implants cost what they do?

Implants are precision engineered from titanium and require several components which fit together to achieve the final result. In addition the research and development of these components has been very expensive. Our implant surgeons are dentists with additional postgraduate training in implant dentistry. Training varies widely from weekend courses to four years full time university degrees. We at 92 Dental only use surgeons with recognised university qualifications. When placing the implants we work in a sterile environment. Preparation of the surgery for each procedure requires intensive cleaning and disinfection to achieve hospital operating theatre standards.

Why are some dentists advertising cheap implants (less than £1000 for an implant fully restored)?

There are many implant brands available to dentists as it is a very competitive global market place. Some countries in the world produce cheap copies of well researched implant brands. We at 92 Dental use the Astra Tech Implant System as the system is backed by years of reliable scientific research and with our pricing structure there are no hidden extras.