Dental implants are the best way of replacing teeth that are either completely missing, or which have such significant damage that replacing the entire tooth is a less invasive option than trying to restore it.
When you see miraculous “before and after” photos where people’s smiles have been completely transformed, in 99% of cases these people would have at least one tooth implanted (often they have many more).
They are, without doubt, the most cosmetically pleasing tooth replacement option.
An implant placed by a highly experienced dentist, using proper treatment planning and the best materials available, can last 10-15 years at a conservative estimate.
This is the kind of result that we aim for.
So if you are embarrassed about gaps in your smile, have certain teeth that you avoid chewing with, or are sick of uncomfortable dentures, dental implants may be an ideal solution for you.
In fact many of our patients say that they forget that they have lost their natural teeth.
“Having two tooth implants was my introduction to 92 Dental. A good experience. The staff are all very friendly, and the treatment was superb. Everybody answers questions, which pleases me. I am delighted with my two new teeth, and am happily eating apples and raw carrots again.” Jan, Chiswick
When do I need dental implants?
There are usually three reasons why we place implants. These are:
1) To replace a tooth (or teeth) that has come out.
2) To replace a tooth (or teeth) that are so decayed that you try to hide it or you avoid chewing with it. In these instances, implants will only be considered if we cannot restore the look and function of the natural tooth by less costly means.
3) To replace a set of missing, or significantly damaged adjacent teeth. In this instance, we often use two or more implants to support a bridge (several artificial teeth attached together).
If you have multiple teeth that you would like to replace then we can perform more than one implant placement at a time.
Meet our implant dentists: Dr Moira Baldiraghi & Dr Goncalo Sanches.
Both our implant surgeons have placed several of thousands of implants each, having worked in practices across London for over 15 years.
They measure their success on how far their treatment improves your well being, be it increased confidence, a renewed ability to eat properly, or the avoidance of future painful complications down the line.
The level of skill that comes with so much experience is not what sets our oral surgeons apart, however.
Rather, they see the difference between merely good and outstanding implant treatment as being in the treatment planning and aftercare of patients.
“I see an implant as an instrument to restore oral function. Therefore when placing implants I focus on how the implant is going to improve a patient’s mouth as a whole. This is where treatment planning is key as it allows me to truly understand the problems that I am trying to solve with implant treatment, and therefore offer a truly tailored solution to the patient.” Goncalo
Beyond the clear cosmetic benefits, replacing missing and severely decayed teeth helps preserve the whole structure of your mouth.
Our implantologists are highly aware of this and consider every aspect of your oral health during your implant treatment.
Both our implant dentists also have extensive post-graduate training in periodontics— the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
This plays an important role in the treatment planning of implant surgery.
By far the most common reasons why dental implants last less than 10 years is because the bone that surrounds the implant deteriorates due to gum disease.
During the initial consultations for all our implant treatments we will assess the condition of your gums, and the bone underneath them, treating any underlying infection that may compromise the longevity of an implant.
We will also address any wider factors that are known to lower the lifespan of an implant.
This may include:
1) Stopping smoking
2) Identifying and managing any tooth grinding as this can put undue pressure on a new implant and crown
3) Using floss interdental brushes to improve gum health
We prefer to get things right the first time rather than having to treat complications once they have started having noticeable effects on your life.
Dental implant surgery is by no means a quick and easy procedure, so we will only place implants if we have considered all other options and have addressed any issues that increase the likelihood of complications.
What does getting a dental implant involve?
A dental implant looks and functions exactly like an actual tooth because it is designed in the same way as your natural tooth is.
This means that your newly created tooth is attached to your jaw via a titanium root that implanted into the jawbone itself.
Over a couple of months, your bone grows around the implanted root, holding it in place in a very similar way that your natural teeth are secured in the mouth.
This process only happens correctly if you use sterile titanium to create the implanted root.
Sterile titanium is biocompatible, meaning that bone treats it as native tissue and grows around it, cementing your implant in place.
This process is called “osseointegration”. The phenomenon is backed by decades of clinical evidence.
Once the root is perfectly secured in the jaw we attach an artificial tooth to the root via a finely ridged titanium abutment screw.
Do not worry about having a gap in your smile for the 2-3 months that follow your implant being placed.
We can create and fit a natural looking temporary tooth for you during this time.
Your final fixed tooth is custom made to match the shape and shade of your adjacent teeth.
This ensures that your new tooth is so natural looking that no one can tell that it is a dental implant.
This way we can ensure that your new tooth matches the shade of your newly whitened teeth.
Dental Implant procedure: appointment by appointment.
It would be dishonest to say that getting dental implants is a quick, easy process.
In simple cases, dental implant treatment lasts 3-4 months from start to finish.
In more complex cases this can be 6-12 months.
You will make several trips to the dentist, and you will have at least one surgical procedure, most likely under local anaesthetic.
A step-by-step process to getting dental implants with us happens as follows:
|What we do|
|Initial consultation to determine if implants are indeed the best solution for you. This will include an x-ray to determine the bone density in your jaw and a discussion of other options.|
If your to-be-implanted tooth or teeth need to be extracted, we will do this. If not then this appointment is not necessary.
You will go to CT Dent to have a 3D x-ray taken (CBCT scan). We create your implant(s) from this precise data.
We place the implant(s) into your jaw under local anaesthetic. We may prescribe antibiotics following this procedure to minimize any chance of infection.
We place a healing abutment into the implant to shape the gum to best receive final crown. This will also be done under local anaesthetic.
An impression is taken of the implant position and the surrounding gum. This impression determines the shape and size of the final tooth crown (the visible portion of your tooth).
Your custom made crown is fitted and adjusted for comfort.
Appointment 8 (onwards):
All future dental appointments with us will involve checking up on your implant.
It is only with this kind of dental implant aftercare that your implant will last as long as possible.
How much do dental implants cost?
The absolute minimum that a dental implant will cost with us is £2730.
The breakdown of this charge is as follows:
State of treatment
Initial consultation with implantologist
CBCT scan at CT Dent
Placement of implant
£1300 per tooth
Fitting of abutment screw
£150 per tooth
Creation and placement of crown
£1200 per tooth
There are other stages that may have to take place in more complex implant treatments.
This may include the extraction and temporary replacement of teeth, as well as replacing deficient jawbone in cases where you have suffered bone loss due to infection.
These extra procedures will be quoted and charged for separately.
We will not perform any of these additional procedures without a full explanation of why they are being done, and letting you make a decision on whether you want to pay for them or not.
As we tailor every implant treatment to your specific needs it is difficult to give an exact price without a face-to-face assessment with our implant dentist.
Therefore the £2730 and its breakdown represents the minimum charge for our most simple implant treatment.
What if I have bone loss in my jaw?
As implants are secured in the bone under your gums, that bone needs to be of sufficient volume and condition in order to take the implant.
Certain factors can affect the quantity and quality of bone in your jaw.
1) Gum disease in the affected area.
2) Having had missing a missing tooth or teeth for more than 3 months.
3) Having ill-fitting dentures (if they cause you pain, they likely are damaging your bone.)
4) As age increases, your bone density naturally goes down, this is particularly true for post-menopausal women.
If our x-rays reveal that you do not have enough bone in your jaw to reliably support implants we can grow bone in 2 ways:
1) Moving bone from one part one part of your mouth (usually the chin as bone here can grow back quickly) to the area that requires extra bone.
We refer to both of these procedures as bone grafts, and they cost from £750.
If extra bone is required underneath the sinus, then we may need to lift your sinus in order to accommodate the extra bone.
This is an additional procedure to the bone graft and the cost can range from £600-£1500 depending on the complexity of the lift needed.
What are the risks of having dental implants?
Dental implant treatment has a 98.2% success rate.
This success rate is equal across all age groups including the elderly.
That being said, there are some ways that dental implants can fail.
By far the most common cause of dental implant failure is that the bone around your implant deteriorates due to gum disease.
We reduce the likelihood of this happening in two ways:
1) We do not recommend implants if you have if you have severe gum disease that we cannot definitively bring under control.
2) We will pay close attention to the health of your gums that surround the dental implant. We will also educate you on how to effectively promote good gum health yourself.
There are other reasons why implants can fail, such as a fracture of the abutment screw or an implant screw loosening.
However, these complications are easily repaired by replacing the damaged components.
In very rare cases, an implant can fail to integrate with your bone. In these instances the procedure has to be redone
You may also experience some mild to moderate pain and swelling in the days that follow your implant surgery.
This pain should only affect the area immediately around the implant.
Usually, over the counter painkillers are enough to manage this pain, and we will also prescribe antibiotics to reduce swelling and lower the chances of infection.
If you require stronger, prescription painkillers than we can arrange that for you too.
How our dentists help look after your implant post-treatment.
Proper implant aftercareis essential for dental implants to last as long as possible.
It is vital that you keep the gum that surrounds the implant clean and healthy in order to prevent infection to the bone that surrounds your implant
If left untreated, this infection may cause loosening of the implant from the bone supporting it.
We will also monitor the condition of the implant itself and the bone that surrounds it through regular x-rays.
Should we find infection in the gum that surrounds your implant, we can manage it accordingly through:
1) Working out easier ways to clean your gums—perhaps through switching from flossing to interdental brushes.
2) A deep cleaning of your gums with our periodontist
Any other dental problems that we discover in future check-ups will be considered in the light of how they may shorten the lifespan of your implanted tooth, and appropriate measures will be taken to minimize this impact.
In short, we appreciate the additional measures required to care for implanted teeth and will address them in every dental visit you have with us.
If you believe you may benefit from having implants please call our beloved receptionist Jenny on 020 8748 1381.