If you are want to get dental implants to replace your missing teeth and restore your smile, you'd need information about implants before going through with the procedure. The right information about dental implants will help you know what to expect and make an informed decision about whether to get the implant or not.
This dental implant guide aims to answer all your questions about this dental restoration, such as the different types available, their cost, how to save money on implants, the procedure and alternative treatments to restore your smile.
A dental implant is a common dental restoration that replaces the tooth root and creates a base for fitting other dental restorations. It requires the dentist to surgically insert the artificial tooth root into the jawbone to function like your natural tooth root.
People often refer to an implant as the entire replacement tooth, but it only refers to the artificial titanium post inserted in the bone. The abutment connects the implant to the dental prostheses, and the top part can be a crown, bridge or denture.
You could use a dental implant if you had a medical condition or accident that made you lose a tooth or more. Sometimes, people get implants for cosmetic reasons. Regardless of your reason for getting an implant, it looks, functions, and feels like the natural tooth.
Getting dental implants requires you to have sufficient jawbone to support the implant and healthy gums. People who have lost their jawbone or have dental conditions like gum disease may not be suitable for dental implant surgery.
In most cases, the dentist performs a bone graft first to build up and strengthen the jawbone before the implant placement. Some people unsuitable for dental implant placement can get mini implants that have a similar structure to the conventional dental implants but with a thinner root, usually the width of a toothpick. The mini implant requires less bone to hold it.
If your jawbone is insufficient or has a low bone density, you can get a mini dental implant. You can even have it fitted in one visit, and no need to wait for months to allow your implant to settle. Mini implants are less expensive than conventional ones but also have their downsides.
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Two types of dental implants are available. They include:
The endosteal implant requires direct placement in the jawbone, and the abutment can hold more than one artificial tooth. This implant looks like a small screw either in a cylindrical or tapered form.
A subperiosteal implant has a metal base that the dentist fits under the gum tissue. The dentist will fit the artificial tooth to support the implant protruding out of the gum. This implant is not common but a better alternative for people with a shallow jawbone that cannot support the endosteal implant.
Different materials can be used to make the implant which the dentist will insert in the jawbone to function as the natural tooth root.
Implants made with titanium are the most common and considered the best implant material by most surgeons. Titanium is strong and biocompatible, so it causes no allergic reaction, and the jawbone grows naturally around it. Titanium dental implants are not pure titanium as this would be too soft to function properly. The implant consists of different alloys.
Polymer and ceramic implants are also available for people who do not want the metal (titanium) implant. A common alternative to titanium implants are zirconia implants, which contains traces of metal, but classified as ceramic.
Choosing a suitable material is up to your preference. However, titanium implants have been used longer than zirconia and more evidence about their effectiveness, longevity, and effectiveness is available.
Titanium implants are also more versatile, consisting of the implant part and abutment. You would have the abutment fitted separately, and your dentist can adjust the position of the crown placed on the implant. Zirconia implants do not have a separate abutment.
Some studies have shown that although zirconia implants are strong, they are more susceptible to material flaws. Microcracks and pores can appear on zirconia implant, causing them to fracture and increase the risk of implant failure.
Titanium implants are also less expensive compared to zirconia. Factoring all these in may leave you to choose a titanium implant, except you do not want metal placed in your jaw or allergic to any metal alloy in titanium implants. Your dentist can help you get a suitable dental implant material.
Although the term dental implant is confusing for most people, it is the part inserted in the jawbone to hold the prosthetic tooth in place. When you want to replace a missing tooth with an implant, your dentist will fit the implant with a crown. The crown fitted on an implant is different from the one used to repair a damaged tooth.
An alternative for replacing a missing tooth is a dental bridge fixed on two adjacent teeth to fill the gap, but the bridge placement alters two of your healthy teeth.
When you have more than two missing teeth in a row, you may want to consider an implant-supported bridge. Instead of inserting one implant for every missing tooth, you can insert two implants to support 3 – 4 artificial teeth.
If all your teeth on one row are missing, a denture implant may be a suitable solution. A denture implant consists of a set of ceramic or acrylic teeth fixed to a gum-coloured acrylic base. Traditional dentures, on the other hand, are fixed to the gum with an adhesive material. Implant-retained dentures are more stable because the dentist permanently fixes them to the abutment.
Denture-supported implants have fewer problems than traditional dentures, and you won't have to deal with speech or eating difficulties or the denture slipping out of your mouth. Denture implants also help stabilise the jaw, prevent bone loss, and maintain the jawline's natural shape. When the tooth root is absent, the jawbone will recede, which leads to a sagging face.
Denture implants and single-tooth implants are more expensive than their traditional alternative, but you will spend less over time because they last longer and may not need replacement.
If you've lost all your teeth and want to replace them, you can consider a full mouth implant. The dentist will permanently fit them so that they won't fall off like dentures. Most people prefer the fixed artificial teeth to those they can remove for cleaning.
You will not need a dental implant for every missing tooth because an implant is strong enough to hold several missing teeth if your dentist places it properly.
Implants like the all-on-4 allow you to replace all your missing teeth on a row with only four implants in your lower jaw and six implants in your upper jaw due to its low bone density. All-on-4 implants require placement at a 30 or 45-degree angle to give the implant a stronger hold. This provides a cheaper tooth replacement option than the traditional implants that require you to fit about 8 – 10 implants.
All-on-4 dental implants are only available with titanium material because you can't place zirconia implants at sharp angles. An all-on-4 surgery is possible in one day, so you do not need several appointments for fitting all the implants, so some persons call it a 'teeth in a day' implant.
Implant placement, a procedure also called implantology or implant dentistry, requires several stages. A dentist with advanced training, such as a prosthodontist, oral surgeon, or periodontist, can perform the surgery.
Your dental implant surgery may follow a different timeline from the one described below, and your dentist may complete some steps simultaneously.
You will find us at:54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD Make an Appointment 01727 266265
Before your surgery, your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth. The dentist will check your bone structure, sinuses, and nerves around the area you need the implant. Your examination will also involve a jaw x-ray and other scans.
Most dentists use the computed tomography (CT) scan, which is the most accurate radiography. CT scan allows your dentist to assess the state of your oral structure and jawbone. The dentist will also examine your gum and teeth structure, then treat any related dental problem before the implant surgery.
If you have a damaged jawbone or low bone density, your dentist will have to perform a bone graft to strengthen your jaw before the implant placement. A bone graft involves removing a small bone from another body part and inserting where you need the implant. The grafted bone is usually from another part of the jaw, but your dentist may take it from your hip or shin. Some people may need a synthetic material for the bone graft.
A bone graft procedure can delay your implant procedure for a while because it takes about three months to one year for the bone to stabilise before the implant surgery. Having a tooth extraction can also prolong your dental implant surgery. If you need to remove a decayed or damaged tooth first before the implant placement, you would need to wait for 1 – 2 months before the surgery. However, some people get a tooth extraction and implant placement on the same day.
Dental implant placement is an outpatient procedure, so you won't have to stay overnight in the hospital. Your implant placement will be at your dentist's surgery, under a local anaesthetic. If you feel nervous, your dentist may administer an IV sedation. Before the implant placement, your dentist St Albans will advise you on the most suitable approach depending on your operation's complexity, anxiety level, and the number of implants you need.
The dental implants procedure requires several steps. During the first step, the dentist will make an incision in your gum to expose your jawbone, then drill a hole where you need the implant and screw the implant in place.
The procedure is a complex one and requires no error, so your dentist must be well-trained to know the exact spot for the implant placement and how to screw it properly. When the implant is in place, your dentist may place a healing cap on it. The cap helps protect your implant and enhance soft tissue growth, but it doesn't look attractive for the front teeth.
An alternative is stitching your gum securely over the dental implant to prevent infection. Your implant site may feel sore for a few days. This requires you to be careful while eating, drinking, and cleaning your teeth.
The healing process lasts for about 4 – 6 months. During this time, osseointegration occurs, a process where the dental implant fuses with the jawbone.
After osseointegration, your dentist will install the abutment. The abutment is an extension protruding out of the gums. It connects the dental restoration, such as crown or denture, to the implant.
Your dentist will have to open the gum above the implant to install the abutment, except you had a temporary cover during the implant placement. Installing an abutment requires a local anaesthetic and is an outpatient procedure.
After the dentist places the abutment, they will close the gum around it. Your dentist may decide to have your implant and abutment placed on the same day, as no long-term negative effects are known from placing both devices simultaneously.
Your dentist may also fit a temporary bridge or denture after installing the abutment while the tissues surrounding the abutments heals. This helps you avoid having a metal stump showing between your teeth.
Your gum tissues would take about two weeks to heal, and then you would have another appointment to fit the crown or any other dental restoration.
After your mouth recovers from the surgery, your dentist will start the crown process. Your dentist will take your teeth impression to make your replacement tooth, and you will choose a colour that matches your existing teeth shade, especially if you are replacing your front teeth.
When your crown is available, your dentist will attach it to the abutment, using dental cement to secure it in place.
You can opt for a denture or bridge which requires a clip-on abutment to enable you to remove the restoration for cleaning. Other dental prostheses and single-tooth implant are cemented, so you can't remove them.
Your body needs time to recover after each stage of a dental implant procedure. You may experience certain discomforts during this time, such as
Most dentist use stitches that dissolve as the wound heals, but if your dentist doesn't use these types of stitches, you will have to visit the clinic to remove your stitches.
The discomforting symptoms should subside over time. If the bleeding, pain, or swelling worsens, ensure you contact your dentist immediately as you may need stronger pain killers or antibiotics.
Your dentist may advise you to eat with the side of your mouth that's far from the implant and avoid chewy or hard foods for the first few days after your surgery. This gives your dental implant enough time to settle. You'd also need to see your dentist often to check the progress of your treatment.
When you have recovered fully, you can eat because dental implants are as strong as your natural teeth. Ensure you brush and floss your teeth daily to keep the implant and your natural teeth healthy.
The average cost of dental implants in the UK is between £2500 - £23000. However, different factors affect the cost of dental implant treatment. The cost of your treatment would depend on the following.
Some dentists offer cheaper dental implants but with low quality, which does not guarantee long-term use, and paying more for dental restoration in the future.
You will find us at:54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD Make an Appointment 01727 266265
You can get an estimate for your dental implant without a consultation, but you need an examination of your gums, teeth and jawbone to get the exact cost of your treatment.
Some dentists offer an all-inclusive package to cover everything you need to replace your missing teeth with an implant, but others break down the cost so you can see what each procedure costs.
When your dentist gives you a quote for the treatment, ensure you check if they will charge you separately for the following, or everything is part of what you have to pay.
If you need a sinus lift surgery or bone graft, you would have to pay about £500 - £2000 for the procedure, so you have to factor this in when deciding whether you can afford dental implants or not.
Some clinics offer bait prices, but your treatment cost becomes high when you add up the scans, surgery, and crown cost. Ensure you get different quotes from several dentists and compare them.
Single dental implant cost from £1200, and the implant for the front teeth usually costs a little more than the back teeth implant. If you need multiple dental implants, you may pay less because you need certain requirements like x-rays and scans once.
Mini dental implants are about 60 – 70% cheaper than regular implants because the material costs less, and the procedure for fitting the implant is straightforward. However, they have a high failure rate. A cost of a dental implant bridge for three or four teeth starts from £3,800.
A full set of dental implants to replace all missing teeth starts from £25,000 with the traditional method. The state of your jawbone and gums and the number of teeth remaining will determine the cost of the procedure.
A more cost-effective option for complete teeth replacement on the upper or lower jaw is getting denture implants as this requires fewer implants. An all-on-4 dental implant cost from £7,000 for an arch in the UK, but it costs less overseas.
The costs above are starting prices, and the actual cost of your treatment may be higher if you need additional preparatory steps and expensive material.
The high cost of dental implants leaves most people wondering whether the public healthcare service offers funding for this dental procedure.
The public healthcare service offers limited funding for dental implants to only patients who need the implants for medical reasons. You will not receive funding from the public healthcare service if you need a dental implant for cosmetic reasons.
Even if you are not eligible for a dental implant from the public healthcare service, you can have their dentist carry out the procedure. If you decide to pay for the implant privately, you can get parts of the treatment as a public healthcare patient.
If you need a tooth extraction before the implant placement, the public healthcare funding can cover this part of your treatment while you pay for the implant and its placement, so ensure you check for subsides treatments before you visit a private clinic for treatment.
You can save money on your dental implant procedure by shopping around for the best price.
Below are tables showing the most expensive and cheapest cities and towns in the UK for dental implants.
|3||Weston Super Mare|
The average cost of a dental implant is £2500.
Asides from checking for prices near you, also check in other towns and cities. Travelling a little farther, like an hour, may be a better option if it saves you some money.
Generally, dental implants cost more in cities than urban areas. Competition between several dentists in an area may reduce the cost of the treatment.
Dental insurance can cover about 50 – 70% of your teeth replacement treatment. However, some insurance covers are lower, and others do not cover the cost of dental implants. Most insurance plans have an annual limit less than the average cost of a dental implant in the UK.
Your dental insurance policy may also include a waiting period of about 6 – 12 months. Other exclusions and restrictions may apply.
Most dentists offer flexible payment plans for dental implants to make the treatment more affordable, so you can ask your dentist for payments plans if you can't afford to pay upfront for your treatment.
The dental payment plans allow you to pay a percentage of your treatment cost when you start the treatment and spread the remaining cost over some months. Most dentists offer 0% interest payment plans, so you don't have to pay extra for the treatment.
You may also decide to get a personal loan to fund your dental implant treatment. Ensure you research various options to get a suitable deal.
Here at St Albans Dental Care we do provide 12-month interest free finance. The application is very simple and quick. It can also be done in the practice,
Due to the high cost of dental implants in the UK, dental tourism has become more popular, and some people travel abroad to get cheaper treatment. You can save up to 70% on dental implants and other dental procedures.
Some European countries like Spain, Poland, Hungary, and Turkey have become popular destinations for affordable dental implants. You can also combine a holiday in exotic locations with your dental treatment.
Even with the cost of accommodation and flights, these trips are usually cheaper than getting dental implants in the UK, especially for those who want to replace several missing teeth.
Most people worry about getting low-quality implants abroad because of the lower cost, but popular dental tourism destinations have high-standard dental equipment and offer excellent care. Some dental clinics abroad also go the extra mile to offer patients a luxury spa experience.
Hungary has a high reputation for having a skilled dentist who treats patients from other countries, and the trip to the country's capital, Budapest, is about two and half hours from the UK by air travel.
You will find us at:54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD Make an Appointment 01727 266265
If you want to travel abroad for dental implants, ensure you consider Hungary. The table below provided information on dental implant treatment in popular dental tourism destinations.
|Destination||Travel to||Duration of flight from London||The average cost of a return flight||The average cost of crown and implant|
|Poland||Warsaw||2 hours 20 minutes||£50||£830|
|Hungary||Budapest||2 hours 30 minutes||£55||£730|
|Czech Republic||Prague||1 hour 45 minutes||£54||£900|
|Turkey||Istanbul||3 hours 50 minutes||£150||£800|
|Spain||Madrid||2 hours 25 minutes||£44||£1100|
The prices above exclude the cost of accommodation and medical insurance.
Getting traditional dental implants requires several visits to the dentist, so you have to consider this while deciding to get your treatment abroad. Making multiple trips may not be convenient for some people, so most overseas clinics offer single-visit dental implants like all-on-4 or mini implants.
Ensure you do the following before you decide to get dental implants abroad.
You may be wondering whether getting dental implants is necessary, especially with the high cost. After your consultation, your dentist can advise you about getting dental implants, but you may consider other ways to decide whether to go through with the procedure or not.
You can ask your family members and friends who have has dental implants for recommendations. You may be surprised to find people who have had dental implants in your circle. You can also read up on other people's experience online.
Feel free to ask your dentist about dental implants before you commit to the procedure. You can ask your dentist for before and after photos of previous patients to see the result of their work.
Choosing a dentist with several years of experience would likely put you at ease to get dental implants.
Some advantages of dental implants include:
Although dental implants offer a durable and effective solution for replacing missing teeth, they have some drawbacks like other dental treatments. Being aware of these drawbacks before the surgery is important. Some problems include
Some people find the cost of a dental implant as a drawback. Although implants are more expensive than other tooth-replacement solutions, they are most cost-effective in the long run because they last longer and less likely to get damaged.
The table below draws a comparison between the dental implants and other teeth replacement options.
|Dental solution Feature||Implants||Bridges fixed to the adjacent teeth||Traditional dentures||No replacement|
|Cost||High (most expensive option)||Cheaper for replacing one or two missing teeth||cheaper option for replacing missing teeth on an arch||-|
|Durability||can last for at least ten years||5 – 15 years, sometimes longer||5 – 10 years, sometimes longer||-|
|Comfort||Like the natural teeth||Barely noticeable with proper fitting||becomes uncomfortable as the mouth shape changes naturally and needs adhesives to remain in place||Risk of gum disease and discomfort while eating|
|Procedure||Requires jawbone surgery and multiple dental visits over a couple of months||Requires filing down the enamel of the adjacent teeth||Removal of existing teeth||-|
|Appearance||Like the natural teeth||Like the natural teeth||May look artificial||gap between the teeth|
|Risks||Small chance of complication, failure and infection||The adjacent teeth and bone may deteriorate with time||causes mouth sores, can slip out and get lost||Risk of the jawbone and surrounding teeth deterioration Difficulty in speaking and eating|
Dental implants are the most effective solution for replacing missing teeth and last longer than other teeth replacement solutions with fewer risks, but their cost is high.
Getting dental implants can restore your smile and preserve your oral health. If you want to get implants, ensure you check different dentists and payment options before committing to the treatment, as this can considerably reduce how much you will spend on your treatment. You may also want to consider travelling abroad to get a more affordable dental implant treatment.
If you've decided to get dental implants for your missing teeth, visit St Albans Dental Care today to see our experienced dentist St Albans.
Yes, they are. Although dental implants have a few risks, implants with screws are a safe dental restoration for replacing missing teeth. The possible risks and complications come from incorrect implant placement, poor dental hygiene, and incorrect lack of bone structure.
Getting your dental implant from an experienced dentist will help reduce the risks of complications and infections
Without complications, a dental implant can last for at least ten years. The survival rate of dental implants past ten years is 95.4%.
A study of over 9,000 people with dental implant found a success rate of 96.13% after ten years of fitting the implants. The study also showed that 83% of implant failure occur within the first six months. The implant failure was mainly due to a lack of bone stability and impaired bone healing.
Implant failure at a later stage may be due to local factors which the patient can control. Your implant needs proper care, like your natural teeth, to make it last longer. With regular dental visits and a good oral hygiene routine, your implants will last for a longer time. Ensure you avoid smoking as this increases the risk of complications with the implant.
Dental implant placement requires a local or general anaesthetic, so the procedure won't be painful, but you will feel a little discomfort. Like other surgical procedures, you would feel discomfort for a few days after the implant placement. The implant site would also feel sore, so you need to be careful while eating.
When your mouth heals, the implant will feel and function like your natural teeth.
Traditional dental implants require two or three stages, performed within a year. The implant requires 4 – 6 months to fuse with the jawbone before the abutment fitting. Some dentists place the implant immediately after tooth extraction and fit the crown after the implant placement to reduce treatment time.
Mini dental implant placements require one appointment, and the treatment time for implants differ for everyone.
You may experience swelling, light bleeding, soreness and bleeding after your dental implant surgery. Your dentist will recommend pain medication to relieve the discomfort, and the symptoms will subside within a few days.
Ensure you rest for a few days to give your body time to recover. During the initial period after your surgery, you may feel discomfort while eating. This will stop after some days.
Your dentist may advise you to avoid certain foods while the dental implant site heals. Your diet may be limited to soft foods, smoothies, soups and fruit juices. You can eat other things during the healing process, including ice cream, scrambled egg, avocado, potato, banana, and yoghurt. If you have the implant on one side of your mouth, try eating with the other side until the implant and gum heal.