DENTAL IMPLANTS, THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LEADING TREATMENT FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH
In this post we are going to attempt to answer many of the questions that we are frequently asked, we are going to address some of the misconceptions surrounding this treatment and answer some questions such as; why are implants so expensive? Why do they take so long? I can’t have them can I, I’ve been told I have bone loss? Some of the answers may be surprising, so we are going to break implants down for you from cost to treatment time.
So you have found yourself in an unhappy situation, maybe you have lost a tooth and you feel it is noticeable when you smile thus, knocking your confidence, do you find yourself covering your mouth when you smile or laugh?
Or perhaps you have been wearing a denture for a while now and you are fed up of not being able to eat your favourite foods comfortably, it may even have an effect on the taste of your food. Or are you one of the many people walking around with a gap because you didn’t get on with that denture and implants are too expensive to even consider.
Before we go any further, it is important to understand that implant treatment isn’t for everyone, the cost, process and time frame is absolutely something to be considered, however, it goes without saying, that implants are a fantastic way to replace missing teeth. Here are a couple of reasons why;
- You can treat them like your own teeth – do you want to bite into an apple again? No problem. Implants allow you to live as if your tooth was never missing.
- No more sticky paste to help your denture stay in place – you needn’t worry about your dentures moving around when you eat and speak, with implant retained dentures, the implants do all the work.
- No more plastic covering the roof of your mouth or your tongue popping out your bottom set of teeth – Dentures placed on top of implants do not need the suction from the plastic that conventional dentures do, this can help people taste their food properly again! And as an extra plus your pesky tongue can’t knock them out of place either!
I’ve been told that I have bone loss so implants aren’t possible, are they?
In years gone by bone loss may have resulted in implants no longer being an option, but dentistry is always changing and with the technological advancements and modern materials in today’s world, even sufficient bone loss isn’t the deal breaker it once was. In some cases a bone graft is required in areas where the bone is deficient.
But what is a bone graft?
Bone grafting is the process of increasing the amount in the deficient area, by adding either your own, synthetic or animal derived bone. This process varies depending on the individual, as does the material used.
In many cases a small amount of bone grafting will often take place on the day that the implant is placed, in others, it may be a separate step along the patient’s implant journey.
Is it (bone grafting) painful?
This is a difficult question to answer, mostly because everyone’s pain threshold is different, however the discomfort from the procedure is no more severe than having a tooth taken out. If you require extensive bone grafting it is realistic to expect some discomfort from that area for a week or so after the procedure has taken place.
There are also ways to place implants in areas with insufficient bone such as;
- The expansion of existing bone
- Shorter implants could be placed
- In some cases narrow implants may even be used
How long will it take for me to have my new teeth?
The implant process takes between 4-12 months, depending on the individual and of course the treatment plan. The dentist would be able to give you a clear idea of a time frame at the comprehensive examination, should you decide to move forward. On an exciting note there are systems available that could result in a missing tooth being replaced in just 3 short months!
This all sounds great so far, but how much do implants cost? They are really expensive aren’t they?
We understand that cost is a concern for most if not all people, and yes implants can be on the higher end of the treatment cost scale. Here at FPDIC this treatment starts at around £2400 for a single tooth implant and an implant retained denture starts from around £7500.
We also offer many types of payment plans from 12 months 0% APR all the way to 10 years at 9.9% APR
So tell me, why are implants so expensive?
The overall cost of implant treatment doesn’t only include the cost of the implant tooth/teeth; there are many factors to consider in ensuring that we provide our patients with the best treatment possible, factors such as;
- The length of time taken and the number of appointments required during the diagnostic stage – to ensure that our patients are happy moving forward, know exactly what treatment is most suitable for them and to ensure the best possible final result, the diagnostic stage is an important process of the implant journey. We do not rush this because it is a top priority for us, we want to know that you are happy before going any further.
- The implant components used – Here at FPDIC we only opt for the best companies, who use evidence based parts and have a proven track record. The companies we favour are top brands within their area and have a rich history of providing excellent products.
- The lab technician – this is as important as the placement of the implant itself. We only use high quality technicians with extensive knowledge and training in implant prosthesis. This is because the final result will be down to the lab, as they will be the ones who make your tooth, denture or bridge.
- Clinician and staff training – As previously mentioned, dentistry is always changing and with new advancements and materials, training is required. The implant clinicians here at FPDIC have undergone rigorous training and are continually developing their skills and knowledge, as are the rest of the clinical team. Dental nurses are well rehearsed in decontamination systems and ASEPSIS. This ensures that the highest possible standard of clinical excellence is achieved and decontamination risks are very low. Single use items are used throughout the procedures and our whole dental team is highly trained to ensure that your overall experience is a pleasant, relaxing one.
- Before, during and after care – We are dedicated to patients and are here to help and support you during every step. One way we do this is by providing the appropriate warranties for one year after the treatment has been carried out. So what does that mean for you? It means we will not charge you for review appointments, if something doesn’t go quite to plan despite out absolute best efforts we will support you through that.
Ok, I’m interested, what’s the next step?
So, you have read the above information and you’re keen to know more. The next step is a complementary, free of charge appointment with me our treatment coordinator. I will introduce you to our practice and get a good, clear idea of what is bothering you and what you would like to change. Together we can discuss treatment options over a coffee to form a rough idea of what costs may be involved and go through the various payment plans too, hopefully helping you towards a path where you can smile and eat confidently again.