The Cost Of Dental Implants In The UK
Dental fees can vary considerably in the UK and the cost is not necessarily indicative of the quality of the dental work that will be received. You may even find that a practice is offering very high quality work at a discounted price, at the time you're looking, in order to attract more clients.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a metal post that is inserted into your jawbone to support a false tooth.
The idea of implants is to replicate the roots that hold your natural teeth in place. Normally made of titanium, the implant has an internal screw that can hold a false tooth in position. If you practice good oral hygiene and take care of your dental implants, they should in theory last a lifetime.
During the procedure, your oral surgeon will insert the implant or implants depending on how many false teeth need to be supported. Your jawbone will fuse to the metal rod over a series of months. In order to have implants fitted, your gums and jaw should be healthy and in good condition to ensure the procedure is a success. If you smoke, your dentist may not insert dental implants as they will be rendered ineffective, and you may also not be considered a candidate for dental implants if you have undergone radiotherapy. Speak to your dentist to determine if implants are the right course of treatment for you.
The Costs Are As Individual As The Solution
It's important to ensure that all the elements needed for the treatment are taken into consideration in order to get close to what the final cost is likely to be.
These extra procedures could add between £400-£3,000 to the final bill. Putting the added extras to one side and ensuring that none of various possible elements mentioned below are not required to prepare the sites for dental implants then the average cost of dental implants in the UK is in the region of £1,200.
Dental implants as a term takes on-board a number of different procedures and the total price charged for a procedure will take in to account some of the various elements listed below:
- Bone grafting - When a patient has insufficient bone to receive a dental implant (£350-£4000 depending on the extent of the work required).
- Gum grafting - Enhancing the amount of tissue available to receive an implant (£350-£450 per implant site).
- The fixture or "post" as well as the bridge or crown that is placed on top of an implant.
- The Dental implant itself where the jawbone is prepared to receive the implants; there are a number of different techniques which will vary in cost.
- The Consultation fees on top of these can average around £40-£50 however some are offered free of charge in certain circumstances.
Dental Implants And The NHS
The NHS generally deals with treatments that are necessary for the protection and health of your mouth, teeth and gums. Dental implants are available on the NHS, but the treatment will only be carried out if there is a medical need for it.
You can ask your NHS dentist how much dental implants will cost in addition to NHS treatment. The NHS website also provides a comprehensive overview of what dental treatments are subsidised.
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Ahead of having dental plants fitted, you will have to have x-rays carried out so that your dentist can assess the thickness and overall shape of your jawbone.
These scans will also reveal the positions of the nerves that supply feeling to the lower jaw, and this will enable your dentist to carry out the procedure with minimal risk of nerve damage occurring. If the positioning cannot be determined with an x–ray alone, your dentist may order a CT scan to take a closer look.
Your surgery will take place under local anaesthetic, which will block the pain from your mouth completely. You may be awake for the procedure, or your dentist may administer a sedative in order to help you to relax. Depending on the circumstances, your dentist may decide that you need to have the procedure in hospital under a general anaesthetic, although this is rare. If you do require a general anaesthetic, you will be asked to abstain from eating or drinking anything for six hours ahead of your operation.
The length of the procedure will depend on how many implants are being inserted, and whether or not your dentist encounters any complications during the surgery.
To start, the anaesthetic will be administered, and once the area is numb the dentist will begin the procedure by making a cut in the gum, through which they will drill a small hole into the jawbone. Through this whole, the implant will be inserted. If you have had any teeth removed ahead of your surgery, it is possible that your dentist can place the implant directly into the existing tooth socket, known as an immediate implant. If this is not possible, your dentist will fit the implant a few weeks after the hole is made, known as an immediate-delayed implant. If it takes several months for the jawbone to heal and the implant to be fitted, this is called a delayed implant. An immediate-delayed or delayed implant can be done in one or two stages at the discretion of your dentist.
Your dentist will provide you with the information you need regarding postoperative care and your recovery.
If you require pain relief as the anaesthetic fades, you can take over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen as required. As a preventive measure to counteract infection, your dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics and provide you with an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse with. This can help to lower the chances of your implant becoming infected. You will need to attend frequent appointments in the months following your surgery, during which your dentist will monitor the rate of healing and look for any signs of infections or complications. The time it takes to fully heal from having an implant fitted will depend on a number of factors, such as the health of your gum and jaws, and how many implants have been fitted. Once you are fully healed, your natural and replacement teeth should feel as normal and function without any issues.
Can Children Have Dental Implants?
Although dental implants were initially intended as an alternative treatment to removable dentures for adults, they have been used successfully on children for over 10 years. Implant surgery is different in children than adults because a child's jawbone is still growing. Although this makes the timing of implantation critical, implants can be placed safely and effectively in children at an earlier age than first thought.
This restores hope for parents and children who are going through the trauma of losing a permanent tooth due to a sports injury, road accident or other mishap. Apart from the obvious practical and cosmetic advantages over dentures, dental implants act in the same way as natural tooth roots. This permits the forces of the chewing process to be evenly distributed to the jaw bone. Just like natural teeth, the action of chewing preserves the natural shape of the jawbone and prevents it from slowly shrinking away.