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11 July 2019

If so, it is worth considering dental implants as an alternative before going ahead.

If you have lost a tooth or had it extracted, your dentist is likely to suggest that you replace it with an artificial one, especially if it is a front or visible tooth.

The standard way to do this is to use dentures, and many dentists offer this, or a bridge, for this purpose. There is another option though which is worth serious consideration before you make your final decision.

Dental implants replace not only the visible crown part of the tooth, but also the root. This offers many benefits as we shall see later. If your dentist offers implants, you may wish to discuss it with them. As many don’t though, you may need to be referred to a dental practice that does offer them, such as the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.

Referrals

There is a good reason why many dentists don’t offer this particular treatment. The training required means extra years of study, on top of the regular dental training. It is a sophisticated and complex procedure and it is important that those who carry it out are suitably qualified.

If your dentist doesn’t offer dental implants, they may happily refer you to a practice that does. In the unlikely event that they try to avoid this, you may wish to consider if they are offering you the best options that you can have, and you may wish to consider registering elsewhere.

Implants or dentures?

There are many good things to say about dentures. After all, they have been around for a very long time and are still widely used; indeed we offer a good selection at our Surbiton practice. Dentures can often be fitted without the need for dental surgery and are one of the more affordable options; so for some people, dentures will serve their purpose quite nicely. Others though, find their occasional instability and the special cleaning to be more of a problem. For these patients, a one time procedure that gives a strong and long lasting replacement tooth is certainly worth considering.

What are dental implants?

The implant is actually a small, precision-engineered titanium screw-like object which is placed into the bone in the jaw. This is not painful as it may sound and we are always happy to talk you through what happens during an implant procedure. This part of the process replaces the natural root part of a tooth and is left in position for approximately three months whilst the bone and implant bond. This creates an extremely secure replacement tooth root onto which a crown will be attached.

Once the final crown has been attached and, after a short while, you have become used to the feel of it in your mouth, you can forget about instability issues and largely treat it as a natural tooth. It will require some maintenance and we will give implant patients full instructions about this. Essentially though, it will require standard brushing and flossing along with dental and hygienist appointments. So nothing more than the attention that you should really give your own natural teeth.

What about the cost?

There is always a ‘downside’ and it is true that dental implants are a more expensive option than dentures. It is worth remembering though that dentures can break if you drop them and would need replacing. There are also often ongoing adjustments to be made as well, all of which add extra costs to your dentures. Dental implants, providing that you look after them, will give you a minimum of twenty years of service, with many lasting thirty year and beyond.

Now if we take a higher end estimation of the cost of a straightforward single implant placement that requires no bone graft or sinus lift, the price would be in the region of £2000. We will, of course, give you an accurate cost before you confirm the treatment. Taking this as a rough upper end guide though, if you spread this cost over 20 years, it works out at £100 per year, probably far less than you spend annually in your local coffee shop. Where the implant lasts for 30 years say, that works out at around £67 per year. Looking at it this way, it is not really the expensive tooth replacement option you might think and can actually work out cheaper than dentures over the longer term.

You do not even have to pay this amount all in one payment. We offer a range of payment plans with a zero interest one for faster repayments and a low interest one for those who prefer to pay over a longer period of time.

If your dentist says that you need dentures, do make sure to ask them about dental implants too. It is an opportunity for you to have what is, in our opinion, the best option for replacing a missing tooth. If you would like to find out more about dental implants, or have any questions about them, we are more than happy to help.

You can call the Confidental Clinic for a free initial consultation on 020 8399 1291.

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