Why choose Devonshire Place Dental Practice
At Devonshire Place Dental Practice, our highly-experienced specialists Mr Nick Lewis, Mr Assif Ahmed and Mr Nikolaos Tatarakis have collectively placed thousands of successful Dental Implants and offer a range of treatment options in this area.
How dental implants work
Dental Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth as well as being used to support multiple missing teeth (in a similar way to bridges supported on natural teeth). They can also be used to support and stabilise loose dentures in patients that have removable prostheses.
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth in the mouth in a number of different ways:
- All on 4 – replacement of multiple missing teeth supported by four implants
- Single tooth implant – replacement of a single missing tooth
- An implanted supported bridge
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are made from titanium and act like a screw when they are placed into the jawbone. Implants are usually placed into the jawbone in a small surgical procedure and then allowed to heal for a period of time. The dental implant is then used to support the artificial tooth after a successful healing period.
Almost all dental implants made are from titanium or titanium alloy. Implants are made from titanium because it heals very well with the human body and also allows your jawbone to heal around the implant. This healing provides the implant with a firm fixation to your jaw bone which then allows artificial teeth to be supported on top of the implant/s.
What are the different types of implants?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth in the mouth and can be provided in a number of different ways:
- All on four – replacement of multiple missing teeth supported by four implants
- Single tooth implant – replacement of a single missing tooth
- An implant supported bridge
What are the benefits of a single tooth implant?
Conventional treatment to replace a missing tooth requires the two neighbouring teeth to be ground down to support a bridge. A bridge doesn’t transmit chewing forces to the jawbone which may result in bone loss. With a single tooth dental implant, neighbouring teeth remain healthy and intact.
Can anyone have implants and are they safe?
In order to have dental implants it is very important that you have a healthy mouth. It is not advisable to have dental implants if you have active dental disease in your mouth (such as gum disease or dental tooth decay). To have dental implants placed into your mouth you would also need to undergo a small surgical procedure which would be performed under local anaesthetic (like when you have a filling or a tooth extraction). There are some medical conditions that can affect the success of implants which will be assessed as part of your consultation.
Dental implants are very safe and have been around within the dental profession for more than 30 years. There is a wide body of published evidence in the scientific literature on the long-term success of dental implants.
What are the alternative options for missing teeth?
Your Specialist will discuss all of the feasible tooth replacement options for your case before progressing with your chosen treatment plan. The general options for the replacement of missing teeth are usually considered to be:
- Accepting a space
- Using a removable denture
- Tooth supported bridges (either involving preparation of the teeth or minimal preparation of the teeth)
- Dental implants to support fixed teeth or to support a removable implant supported denture
Will I need to have extra investigations before I have an implant?
Normally a clinical assessment is made to see if dental implants are suitable for you and a radiograph (x-ray) will be taken to assess the available bone in your mouth that the implant would be placed into. In some cases a specialist radiograph may be required in order to assist in the planning process. These specialist radiographs can include a dental CT scan that allows a very accurate scan of the bones in your mouth. In some parts of the mouth it may be necessary to have these more detailed scans due to the position of jaw nerves (especially in the posterior part of the lower jaw) or the nasal sinus cavity (especially in the posterior part of the upper jaw).
It is also common practice for us to take impressions of your mouth at the start of treatment to allow us to plan the placement of your dental implants. The models of your mouth allow us to plan the final tooth position which assists us in accurately placing your implant/s into the correct restorative position in your mouth.
What if I don’t have enough bone in my mouth to place a dental implant?
If for some reason you do not enough bone in which to place a dental implant it is possible to increase the bone volume by performing a small bone graft in the area of implant placement. Bone grafts in the mouth provide a way of increasing the bone around the implant site. The assessment of your mouth and radiographs will allow us to determine whether you have enough bone to place a dental implant.
The majority of patients do have enough bone to place and secure implants but in some cases it is necessary to widen the bone to ensure the implant can fully heal with bone around it (also called bone grafting or bone augmentation).
We can use a variety of options to bulk out the bone for dental implants which include:
- The patient’s own bone (this is usually required in cases of extreme bone loss)
- Human bone from another source (this is termed cadaveric bone)
- Animal based bone regeneration materials
- Synthetic bone materials (non-animal based and non-human)
How successful are dental implants?
Dental implants have been shown to have a high success rate (at around 95% in the published scientific literature) in patients with healthy mouths. There are some factors that can lower the success rates of dental implants and these include unstable gum disease, poor quality jaw bone, smoking, diabetes and patients that have a history of severe tooth grinding.
There is also evidence that the long-term success of dental implants is dependant on the patient’s ability to keep the implants clean. We would therefore recommend regular maintenance visits after completion of your implant treatment to ensure that the implants remain healthy.
If an implant fails it does not heal with the jawbone. This normally means that the implant becomes mobile and needs to be taken out. Implants can fail for a number of reasons including poor healing, poor stability at the time of surgery and also overloading of the implants by the forces of the bite.
How are dental implants placed in my mouth?
Implant treatment usually involves 2 phases – a surgical phase when the implant is placed into your jawbone and a second restorative phase when the teeth are built onto the implants.
After the surgical phase implants are normally buried under the gum for a period of 3-4 months to allow the bone to heal. After this time the implant is uncovered and the restorative phase of your treatment can begin. During the restorative phase of your treatment impressions will be taken of your mouth to allow the teeth to be made by a dental technician.
What are the alternatives to dental implants?
Implants are not the only way to replace missing teeth. Alternatives to dental implants include dentures, bridges or even accepting the gaps that you have in your mouth.
Crowns and bridges supported on natural teeth have been used in dentistry for many years and are still widely used today to replace and restore teeth. Implants are simply another method of replacing missing teeth. Every individual patient is assessed on their individual needs and it may be that a bridge supported on natural teeth or a denture or a dental implant could be used to successfully replace missing teeth in the same patient– every case is different. It is nevertheless important to ensure that you are aware of the available options and the advantages and disadvantages of each possibility.
What are the benefits and risks of a having dental implants?
The main disadvantage of having a dental implant is the need to undergo the small surgical procedure to have the implant placed. Dental implants also require ongoing maintenance once they are in your mouth in just the same way that crowns and bridges on natural teeth do. Without careful cleaning and regular maintenance visits the implants may be at risk of problems – such as gum problems around the implant (also called peri-implantitis).
Dental implants offer a ‘stand-alone’ solution to missing teeth. Bridges that are made on natural teeth often require healthy natural teeth to be cut down in order to support the false tooth. The advantage of dental implants is that healthy adjacent teeth can be left intact when the space is restored.
Can anything go wrong with dental implants?
As with any medical procedure it is not possible to provide absolute guarantees with regard to success. Dental implants have been shown to have a high level of success (around 95%) in terms of their initial success in attaching to the jawbone.
Once restored, implants do require a high level of cleaning and oral hygiene to prevent plaque and tartar collecting and causing gum inflammation. In some patients the failure to maintain a high level of plaque control has been shown to increase the risk of gum inflammation and bone loss around implants. It is known that this risk is increased in patients who smoke, patients with a history of gum disease and patients with poor plaque control around their implants.
Implants are usually attached to the overlying teeth with the use of small titanium screws and in patients with high bite forces can cause loosening of these screws. If it is felt that you may be at risk of overloading the implants (such as in patients that may clench or grind their teeth) this will be raised with you. Some patients at risk of this overloading may be advised to wear a protective bite guard after completion of their implant treatment.
Will I need additional check-ups to review my implants?
Implants usually require close follow-up both clinically and with additional x-rays over the first year after completion. Implants can usually be then reviewed with additional x-rays on or around a 2-yearly basis.
We would like to make sure that any implants provided for you remain healthy and successful and in order to do this it is likely that you may require additional x-rays of the implants to assess the on-going health of the bone supporting the implants.
Where can I get further information?
If you have any other specific questions about dental implants, please ask your Treatment Co-ordinator. For further reading, please visit:
British Society of Restorative Dentistry
Association of Dental Implantology – ADI
Initial Consultation Fee – £150 – this fee is refundable if you proceed with the treatment.
Consultation duration – 30 minutes
During your consultation, your Specialist carry out a thorough examination, focussing on the areas of missing teeth. If your Specialist requires a CT Scan, a referral will be made during this appointment.
Your Specialist will take you through your treatment options in detail and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. They can also show you previous case-studies and results.
A review appointment will be made to discuss your CT scan, treatment options and fee.
As a guide, a single implant with crown costs £2,750.
We are an approved Dental Finance provider and offer Finance options for treatments costing over £1,000, which can be interest free for up to 12 months. If you choose to apply for this, an approval decision can be reached on the day of your appointment and includes a 14 day cancellation option.
Implants usually require close follow-up both clinically and with additional x-rays over the first year after completion. Implants can usually be then reviewed with additional x-rays on or around a 2- yearly basis.