What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are one of the most innovative treatments in modern dentistry, enabling us to replace lost teeth with artificial ones that look, feel and function like the natural teeth that they replace. In the past, our only option was to either leave the gap or fill it with a plastic denture. Dental implants are fixed in place and do not have to be removed at night to sleep or more embarrassingly drop out when you least expect it!
In addition, dental implants have a great number of other benefits. Teeth fixed with dental implants have been shown to greatly increase the confidence to smile, the ability to chew and also has numerous positive effects on general health.
Dental implants are not new. They are a tried and tested procedure that provides one of the most successful dental treatments available.
What can I expect?
Although the surgery involved in dental implants can be complex, in some cases involving bone grafts, most patients report no more discomfort than they experience with standard procedures like fillings.
If you are a very nervous patient, we do offer the option for conscious sedation, otherwise the procedure will be carried out using a local anaesthetic.
Depending upon the complexity of the case, the operation might take anything from 30 minutes for a single implant to several hours for bone grafting and multiple implant placements.
Patients can expect bruising and discomfort afterwards but this is controlled well with over the counter painkillers. Healing is generally straightforward and any stitches are removed 7 to 10 days later. Generally the implant is left to heal between 2 and 6 months after which time the missing teeth are restored. During healing, for aesthetic and functionally reasons, temporary teeth are often provided.
How much does it cost?
Our treatment costs are comparable to all other reputable dental implant centres. Your potential costs will be discussed with you at your initial consultation. Costs vary depending on what treatment is provided but as a guide, a single implant with tooth on top will cost from £2,500.
What areas do you cover?
We treat patients from the whole of the UK – and internationally – but most of our patients come from Bath and the surrounding towns of Bristol, Trowbridge, Chippenham, Frome, Wells, Warminster, Shepton Mallet and Westbury. Ian’s reputation also draws many clients from London seeking his advice and knowledge.
The Five Stage Process – A step by step guide to dental implants
A dental implant begins with either a referral from another dentist or a self-referral by someone who has suffered one or more lost teeth. The process then follows the 5 stages of treatment over 3 to 9 months:
Assessment and treatment planning
We’ll discuss the alternatives and assess the feasibility of implant treatment. CT scans allow a 3D image of the bone and surrounding teeth to be viewed, enabling us to asses the area in great detail and check the bone density of the jaw, taking away the likelihood of any surprises once treatment has started. As well as a painstaking verbal explanation of the treatment and associated costs, a written treatment plan will be provided and, where appropriate, finance arranged.
This simple surgical procedure is performed under local anaesthesia with conscious sedation for anxious patients if required. If the underlying bone is deemed deficient to support the implant and bone regeneration is possible it is carried out around this time.
Implants take from 6 weeks to 6 months to fuse with the bone, meanwhile temporary dentures or bridgework may be provided where necessary for eating and aesthetic effect. In some cases, temporary teeth can be fixed to the implants.
The restorative phase
We guide the patient on how to clean the new tooth and the neighbouring gum and natural teeth, with regular check-ups booked in so the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and the integrity of the restoration can be reviewed.