What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a tooth restoration that can be fitted to replace teeth that have been lost through tooth decay, dental trauma, or gum disease; the product is made from a titanium rod and a porcelain crown. The restoration is inserted right into the jaw bone, rather than being simply anchored over the top of the empty socket to make it look like there is a real tooth sitting there. This is a very popular form of dental treatment after teeth have been lost or removed and a well-fitted implant can last for an entire lifetime in great condition; this is thanks mainly to the strong materials that are used to create implants and also to the way they are fitted into the socket using a surgical procedure. The only real maintenance that a dental implant would probably need is the replacement of the porcelain crown as the natural enamel starts to darken over time; the crown should be removed and replaced after about a decade, otherwise the synthetic tooth will become more obvious between the real teeth. This treatment does not affect the actual implant, just the portion that sits above the gum line.

How is a dental implant fitted?

Although fitting dental implants is considered surgical in nature, it is usually carried out with the patient under a local anaesthetic rather than a general one; this is because the procedure does not affect the major organs in the body and only takes place on a single area of the jaw bone, which lowers the risk of the treatment considerably. Rendering the patient unconscious is going to make the process more complicated and it would mean that the surgery would have to be carried out at a hospital, rather than a dental clinic. Unless you have some health conditions that would make it safer for you to be unconscious for the duration of the treatment, it is unlikely that the dentist will offer this as an alternative to a local anaesthetic injection.

Once the surgical site has been completely numbed the surgeon can begin the treatment; the first thing to do is to make an incision into the gum tissue over the empty socket, this reveals the bone and allows the dentist easy access to create a new hole to house the implant. It is important that the new hole is the right size and shape so that the titanium rod can bond with the bone properly and the implant can function as it should. The socket is created using a small drill bit that bores into the bone; when the surgeon is happy with the width and depth, the implant rod can be inserted. This part of the treatment should be fairly simple because implant rods are typically made with a screw thread cut into the metal, which means all the dentist has to do is turn it like a screw until it is inserted into the bone, with only a small section protruding from the jaw bone. The gum tissue is then sewn up around the base of the implant and a temporary crown is fitted over the abutment that sticks up from the socket.

It normally takes about six months for the implant rod to bond properly with the bone and stabilise so that it can withstand the pressures of daily biting and chewing. During this time the implant has to be protected with a temporary crown that will be strong enough to act as a tooth crown for this recovery period. Once the implant has fully stabilised, the temporary crown is removed and a permanent one is fitted in its place; at this point, the treatment is complete.

How much does a dental implant cost?

It has to be said that dental implants are an expensive way to replace teeth that have been lost through tooth decay, dental trauma, or gum disease; a single implant will be at least £1500 and could be over £4000 depending on the particular clinic that is providing treatment. This is a lot of money for a single tooth restoration but you have to take into account that the implant could last for an entire lifetime without the need for any real maintenance; also, thanks to the strong materials that are used to create the restoration, an implant can function just like a real tooth. It is worth remembering that you are not just paying for the product itself, you are also investing in the experience and skill of your chosen dentist; which does not come cheap if the surgeon has a great deal of experience in this area of dentistry.

Although this is a lot of money, it does not mean you can’t have the treatment just because you don’t have the finances available right away; there are loan companies that can provide payment for treatment so that you can access the best services without finding yourself in financial trouble further down the line. This is a service that most cosmetic clinics will provide if they are offering things like veneers, orthodontics, or dental implants; it means that patients can access treatments and break down the payment into more affordable chunks over the following months and years. If this is something that might help you with your implant treatment you should mention this to your dentist at the initial consultation. You should be aware that this sort of provision will include a credit check to make sure that you are capable of making the repayments as you are expected to.

If you are still interested in getting a dental implant or you would just like to find out more about the treatments that are on offer to help with tooth loss, you should get in touch with the Pearl Dental Clinic; this London surgery can provide all types of restorative care to rebuild your teeth and give you a smile you can be proud of. Contact the reception team now to make an appointment and start the treatment process soon.

How to find us?

 

5 Vale Parade, Kingston Vale

Kingston Hill, London SW15 3PS

 

Pearl Dental Clinic

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