Dental Implant Surgery In London
What Are Dental Implants?
People lose teeth for many reasons, such as traumatic injury, decay and gum disease. Traditionally the only options for patients suffering tooth loss were dentures or bridges, and although still classed as effective, both do have their drawbacks. Today's dental implants permanently replace missing teeth with realistic looking false teeth. They are not a quick fix, can take several months to complete and may require more than one surgical procedure, and yet they hold many advantages over traditional dentures or bridges.
Advantages Of Dental Implants
- Dental implants offer a realistic look and are designed to fuse with the patient's jawbone and so become permanent.
- They help improve speech as dentures can sometimes slip and lead to slurred words or mumbling.
- They help improve self-esteem as patients do not have to worry about unsecured dentures and feel more confident with their smiles.
- Oral health is improved as dental bridges require surrounding teeth to be altered to support the bridge; this is not the case with implants.
- Implants do not need to be removed nor do they require adhesives to stay fixed. This makes them far more convenient and practical than dentures.
- Eating is easier and more convenient. Slipping dentures can make eating and chewing difficult, messy and embarrassing; implants function exactly like your own teeth so these issues do not occur.
- Dentures can irritate your gums and become uncomfortable; this is not the case with implants
The actual implant refers to only the replacement roots. A hole is drilled into the jawbone and a metal post (the implant) is inserted into this hole. The gum is then allowed to heal after which an abutment is attached to the post. A permanent crown is then placed over the abutment to complete the process and give the patient realistic looking false teeth. If taken care of properly, dental implants can last a lifetime and help improve one's quality of life. Although there are some side effects, usually swelling and discomfort around the implant after its initial insertion, these tend to be temporary and over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen should offer sufficient treatment.
If you experience any discomfort or pain as you recover from dental implants, you can manage this with over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol.
Your dentist may also prescribe a course of antibiotics along with an antiseptic mouthwash, as these can lessen the likelihood of infection developing. In the months following your implant surgery, you will need to be regularly monitored for infection and post-operative complications, and so you will need to attend frequent appointments as part of your recovery. This is to ensure there are not any problems, and to allow the dentist to provide any further advice as needed to ensure you make a full recovery from your dental implant surgery.
The time it will take to make a full recovery will vary from patient to patient, but once you are recovered, your implants and replacement teeth should function just like natural teeth. You should be able to eat and drink as normal, and clean them as normal as well. This means brushing and flossing regularly to ensure your new implants remain healthy. Should you damage any of the teeth attached to an implant, either during cleaning or otherwise, you will need to have a replacement put in. However, if just the implant itself is damaged, this can normally be repaired.
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Dental implant surgery does carry with it an element of risk, and you should discuss with your dentist beforehand the likelihood of you encountering any of these during or after your procedure.
Common side effects including pain, swelling and discomfort around the implant, all of which can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. While these are all normal signs of recovery, complications can potentially arise, and you should be aware of these in order to recognize them and make an appointment to see your dentist straight away should you experience them. These include an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic, and excessive bleeding. There is also the possibility that nerve damage can occur; the nerve that supplies feeling in your lower teeth, gums and lip can potentially be damaged by the insertion of the implant, resulting in your feeling temporary or sometimes permanent tingling, pain and numbness. Your dentist should therefore carry out X-ray and CT scans to determine the position of the nerves prior to your surgery to minimise this risk.
There is also a risk of the jawbone failing to fuse together properly with the implant, causing it to become loose. While not necessarily painful, this complication means that the implant will not be able to support false teeth, and that you will need to have another fitted.
Where Can I Get Dental Implants In London?
There are many different dental practices that offer dental implants. Your regular dentist should be able to advise you, alternatively an online search can provide some suggestions. Some websites offering dental implants and other cosmetic dental procedures have multiple clinics and will allow you to choose which you would like to have your procedure at. Also some of these websites offer clinics outside of the UK, which can have shorter waiting times with cheaper procedures compared to those in London, but the cost of flights and accommodation should be always taken into account, as should the clinic's reputation, before making your final decision.
How Much Do Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants can vary from clinic to clinic. The cost also varies depending on what type of implants you get. For instance, the typical cost for implants, including abutment and crown with a limited guarantee (5-10 years) is approximately £2,500 per tooth. Implants with a lifetime guarantee can cost upwards of £3,500 per tooth.
Dental implants are not traditionally available on the NHS as they are usually considered a cosmetic procedure. In cases where there is a medical need for the implant, it will be made available on the NHS; free for children under 18 and £200 for adults.
Most clinics require a deposit before they will proceed with treatment, with payment usually made by debit or credit card. Some clinics do offer different financing options, including interest free finance, but this will depend upon the provider.