The demand for dental implants in the UK is more common than you might think. Did you know that 69% of people between 35 and 45 have at least one tooth missing? And that around one in four people over 75 don’t have any teeth at all?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. They can be used to replace missing teeth, or to provide a fixed solution for partial or complete dentures.
At our dental practice in London, we frequently help patients to restore their smiles – and confidence – with dental implants. If you too are considering getting dental implants in the UK, this guide will help you to answer all of the common “whats”, “hows”, and “whys” of the procedure.
Reasons for Getting Dental Implants
Patient before and after receiving dental implants at 77 Harley Dental Practice
There are a number of reasons why someone might need a dental implant. The most common reasons are:
To replace one or more missing teeth without affecting the adjacent teeth
To resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space
To restore a patient’s smile
To restore chewing, speech, and digestion
To restore or enhance facial tissues
To support a bridge or denture, making it more secure and comfortable
Dental implants are currently considered to be the only restorative technique that preserves and stimulates natural bone. Artificial teeth are so advanced these days that they look natural and help to improve the appearance of a patient’s smile.
What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
There are three main components that a dental implant comprises:
The implant: replaces the root of the missing tooth by providing a strong base that the replacement tooth can use. Typically the implant is made of titanium, but there are alternate materials emerging as technology advances
The abutment: this connects the implant to the crown
The crown: this is the replacement (artificial) tooth, which is the only visible part of the implant
What Does Getting Dental Implants Involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
Step 1: X-Rays and impressions
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of your jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.
Step 2: Surgery to insert the implant base
While the area is numb, the implant is surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself for up to six months.
Note from Dr Godarzi: Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
Step 3: The artificial teeth are inserted
After several weeks of healing, the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
Step 4: Aftercare
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene and eating habits, alongside regular dental visits, will help to ensure the longevity of your new implant.
How Easy Are Dental Implants to Care For?
Like natural teeth, dental implants are pretty durable. Yet, also like natural teeth, dental implants aren’t invincible. Practising good oral hygiene is crucial to ensure that teeth – artificial or not – can last for decades. Gum disease is a risk factor for patients who don’t care for their implants properly which makes routine care all the more important.
When it comes to taking care of dental implants, Dr. Godarzi says that “the cleaning routine around the implants is slightly different to normal teeth.” He usually recommends that his patients “use implant floss or super floss to clean around the implant”. If that is difficult for the patient, then “TePe brushes should be used before brushing.” Dr. Godarzi also recommends using a low concentration peroxide rinse to help keep bacteria at bay and prevent gum disease.
How Painful Is It to Get Dental Implants?
Dental implant surgery requires making an incision into your jaw bone in order to insert the tooth implant. The area will be numbed with anaesthetic before the procedure commences so you might feel a bit of pressure on the area but you shouldn’t feel any pain during the surgery.
“Visiting a dentist was always a terrifying experience for me, but Dr. Godarzi made my experience extremely comfortable. Although my teeth and gums are in bad shape you treated me with great personal care. I really appreciate the time and effort you put to provide me with a truly great smile!!!” – D.I
The amount of pain or discomfort you feel will depend upon how many dental implants you receive, local tissue swelling post-surgery, and how your body reacts to the treatment in general. We frequently only need to open as much as the diameter of the implant which is between 4 and 5 mm, hence there is very little discomfort or post-operative pain.
It is likely that you will experience some swelling or bruising, and the affected area will likely feel sore or tender for a while. Most of the pain should have subsided within ten days, but if you’re ever in doubt don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.
If you’re still experiencing pain after 14 days then we recommend contacting your dentist immediately to ensure that you haven’t developed an infection.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost in the UK?
The average cost of a single dental implant is approximately £2000-£3000.
Dental implants are not typically available on the NHS, except in very rare cases (for example, if mouth cancer has resulted in missing teeth). We’re always upfront about costs at 77 Harley Dental Practice. Our cost per implant is £2700 which includes the implant, abutment, crown, x-ray controls during treatment, and all visits. Check out our price list for more info.
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