25 Nov Dental Implants – Frequently Asked Questions
Dental implants are an increasingly popular solution for replacing lost teeth, at our practice in Southampton, we see many patients for consultations about dental implants. Before you visit us, have a read below for the answers to the things that people ask us most.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a fixed and permanent replacement for a missing tooth, or teeth. It is a titanium screw that sits in your bone, and with a special attachment called an “abutment”, a tooth coloured crown is fitted on top. A dental implant not only looks like a normal tooth, but feels and functions like one too.
Can anyone have an implant?
Nearly everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. There is no upper age limit, in fact, many older patients are seeking dental implant treatment to secure loose dentures, or even to replace their dentures completely. For younger patients with missing teeth, it is advised that you are over the age of 18, as until this time your gums and bone are still maturing and changing. The amount of bone you have is a critical factor, so 3D imaging is often used to accurately assess your suitability. Some people may require some other treatments to increase the bone level before an implant can be placed. Unfortunately, some people have too little bone for implants to be an option. We have 3D imaging available at our Southampton dental clinic, so all of your treatment from simple single tooth replacement to complex full mouth treatments can be completed under one roof.
People who smoke, have active gum disease, or have medical conditions which can affect their ability to heal (such as diabetes or certain immune diseases) may be more likely to reject dental implants.
How long does it take?
The whole process from start to finish can take around three months. At first, the dental implant is fitted into your jaw. This is left for some time for the bone to fuse around the implant, after which the abutment is fitted and a scan or an impression is taken. Two weeks later a crown is placed on top. If you have a missing front tooth, you will be provided with a temporary tooth replacement so you don’t have to live with a gap.
Does it hurt?
All dental implant treatments are carried out under local anaesthesia, so you will be comfortable and pain free during your appointments. Most people do have some discomfort and sometimes some bruising a few days after the implant is placed, but most of our patients tell us that it is similar, or even a little better compared to having a tooth extracted. Over the counter pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen along with antiseptic mouthwash helps to prevent infection and promote healing.
How much does it cost?
Dental implants are among the most advanced dental treatments that can be provided, so they do often come with a high price point. There are many factors to consider and each patient has individual needs and requirements which can affect the cost of treatment, but as a rough guide, dental implants can start from around £800, up to around £3000 for a single tooth. At Bridgeways Dental, we can provide a single tooth dental implant with a crown fitted on top from £1500.
If you are interested in exploring the option of replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, we offer free implant consultations with our dentist, Dr. George Margaritis (evening appointments also available) at our clinic in Totton, Hampshire. Please let us know if you have any other questions about dental implant treatments, and we would be happy to answer them for you.
If you would like to find some independent unbiased information then head to www.consideringdentalimplants.co.uk. It contains very useful information collected together by the largest dental implantologists association in the UK the ADI, where George serves as a Southwest committee member for a third term now.