Dental implants

DENTAL IMPLANTS


  • can securely hold artificial teeth - so you can smile, speak, laugh + enjoy your meals again.
  • are artificial tooth roots made from a naturally ocuring metal called Titanium (also used to fix broken bones)
  • archeologists have found Dental Implants were being used to help people nearly 1,500 years ago by the ancient Mayan Civilisation.  Unlike our modern dental implants - these ancient ones were crudely fasioned from sea shell.

How many teeth can they hold?

  • Dental implants can be used to securely hold a single artificial tooth or a whole set of teeth or dentures.
  • Dental implants can improve the stability and comfort of dentures without needing a full set of implants to replace each missing tooth.  This can often be achieved for a full lower denture with just two implants !

Titanium is:

  • a biocompatable metal and has the unusual property of attracting healthy bone to grow around it.  This is very useful if we want to securely hold artificial teeth when smiling, laughing or enjoying a meal with friends.
  • Titanium was first discovered in Cornwall by the British geologist William Gregor in 1791. 
  • However it was not until the 1950's in Cambridge that its useful properties of attracting bone to grow round it would be discovered.  This allowed the development of modern dental implants.


What are the alternatives ?

  • Dentures - may be a satisfactory option for many patients.
  • A Bridge - there are many different designs of bridges availbale but generally a bridge involves suspending a false tooth off one or more adjacent teeth.  There are usually limitations of how long you can make a bridge.  Also a bridge is dependent on the the adjacent teeth.  If these teeth develop problems, this can cause problems with the bridge.  
  • Leave the gap - this can be a problem if the gap shows when you smile or if you need a tooth there to enjoy your food.  In the medium to long term, however the adjacent teeth can tip or tilt making it harder to clean them and protect them from decay and gum desease.  This tipping and tilting of neighbouring teeth can also cause problems when eating.

Why are they considered so good ?

  • Dental implants are not dependant on adjacent teeth like a bridge or certain designs of dentures.
  • they do not get dental decay, however implants (like your natural teeth) can get gum disease if your gums and teeth are not kept clean.
  • If you are about to loose a tooth - it may be worthwhile seeing an implant dentist in case implant care may be coordinated with your tooth removal.  This can often achieve nicer results - especially with front teeth.

How long do they last ?

  • Like most things after care is important.  Just like your own teeth need regular care, cleaning, check ups and maintenance - so will your dental implants.
  • Current evidence shows that 90% of implants are still doing well after 15 years.  Most implants are lasting longer than this without problems.

How much do they cost?

  • The typical cost of a restored dental implant in Britain is about £2500 to £3500.  This is for an implant restored with a finished, fitted artificial tooth.
  • It is important to remember that everybody is different and so every case is different.   If your particular case is less complex than others, it may cost less than others to treat - and if it is more complex - it may cost more.
  • In the long term, implant treatment may be more cost effective than alternatives like conventional bridgework.  For example; when a bridge becomes worn and needs to be replaced - the entire bridge often needs to be removed and remade.  However, with an implant case - the artificial tooth component can simply be released from the underlying implant and remade.  This often costs significantly less than replacing an entire conventional bridge and is also often simpler to have done.  Over the years this can be  significantly cheaper for people.

How to find out more?

  • Simply make an appointment with an implant dentist like myself or one of my colleagues. 
  • Your first visit is usually just for a simple chat to see how we may best help you.
  • Sometimes we may also get a few simple test done as well - just to help get things moving in the right direction.
  • Please do not hesitate to get in touch.


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Updated 16 May 2020