What are Dental Implants?
An implant is a titanium insert that integrates with bone to act as an artificial root.
The post can support crowns, bridges or dentures. When used to support a crown the lost tooth is replaced without damage to adjacent teeth.
How can they help me?
When a number of teeth require replacement, implants can support bridges matching existing natural teeth without compromise to the existing teeth.
They can even be used with simple anchor attachments to stop a troublesome denture from sliding or dropping down.
Modern implants have an extremely high success rate and often dentists recommend them to replace teeth that are heavily filled or loose because of gum disease.
Can anyone have implants?
It is better to wait until growth is completely finished i.e. about 19 years of age, but there is no upper limit to the benefits of implants. The main restrictions are whether there is adequate bone to accommodate the implant and if there is enough room between the teeth to place the crowns / bridgework / denture. It is usually possible to overcome these difficulties either by grafting or creating space with simple orthodontics.
How can I find out if l can have implants?
Implant assessments are carried out by your dentist who will undertake a thorough examination of the proposed site. He will discuss all treatment options using implants as well as conventional treatments to ensure that you can decide which treatment is right for you. An assessment takes 30 minutes or longer for more complex cases and will require x-rays of the area. You will be given a written summary, which will include all the treatment options you have discussed.
Do implants hurt?
Placing implants is normally a minor surgical procedure. It is usually carried out under simple local anaesthesia although sedation or general anaesthesia can be arranged where indicated. The placement is always painless but there can be some discomfort in the week following surgery.
Are implants expensive?
Can I have them on the NHS?
Implants are not considered to be necessary to achieve oral health and therefore not available on the NHS, except in rare occasions such as after cancer resections or congenital abnormalities.
Prices can vary if it is necessary to augment the bone. For more complex cases it is better to have an assessment and you will be provided with different treatment options with different costs.
What will my dentist do?
Dental Implant placement is a highly specialised procedure. Many dentists therefore refer their patients while keeping close tabs on the patient’s treatment.
There are two stages to implant placement. The post is fitted into the bone of the mouth which grows and integrates with the insert. This can take several months. Once this is achieved the crown, bridge or denture is fitted to the post.
The Benefits of Implants
Implants are an alternative to dentures. They assist with your appearance, speech and the ability to chew and are undetectable to other people.