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What Are Dental Implants?


Dental Implants providing structure to the face

Your teeth support the structure of your face, so losing teeth can cause your skin to sag and your cheeks to appear hollow, adding years to your appearance. Having missing teeth can also make people feel very self-conscious, and the old-fashioned solution of wearing dentures can make you feel old before your time. As such, dental implants are a fantastic long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. They can remove the pain and discomfort of dentures and give you a new, beautiful smile. Dental implants are effectively replacement roots for your missing teeth. They are made of titanium and are fixed into the bone of your lower or upper jaw to provide an anchor for the new replacement tooth. Dental implants are very strong and durable, so they can last a lifetime if properly looked after.

Am I a Candidate dental implants?

Generally the ideal candidate for dental implants is someone with one or more missing teeth who has healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant. Dental implants are not suitable for those under 18 whose jawbones have not fully developed. They are also not recommended for heavy smokers as smoking can hinder healing in the mouth.

Dental Implant procedure

A dental implant procedure can be quite a lengthy process, requiring several appointments with your dentist. During your first treatment, your dentist will need to put the titanium ‘roots’ in place. Under local anaesthetic, the dentist will make an incision in your gum to expose the jawbone where the implant will be placed. A special drill is then used to make a hole for the titanium fixture to sit in. Once the implant root is in place the gums are stitched back up. You will then need to wait 3-6 months for the bone to heal around and bond to the implant. Once the tissue has healed around the implant, your replacement teeth can be fixed into place. You will once again need to have a local anaesthetic while your dentist makes another incision into your gum to expose the implant fixture so that your new tooth can be fitted.

Dental Implant Results

Dental implants should look and feel like your own teeth, and can last a lifetime if properly looked after.

Risks and Complications Although a dental implant procedure can be quite uncomfortable, the treatment is incredibly safe. A rare risk associated with dental implants is that they may not integrate properly with the jawbone or surrounding teeth and will therefore be uncomfortable, and in rare situations they can even become loose or fall out. Both of these complications can be managed by revisiting your dentist.

Dental Implant Costs

The cost of dental implants will depend on how many teeth are being replaced and the dental surgery where you are having your treatment done. As this is a highly advanced procedure you should expect to pay anywhere between £1,000 and £3,500 per tooth.

Choosing a Dental Implant Dentist

Not all dentists offer dental implants so you are advised to contact a cosmetic dentist or implantologist who has a particular focus on this procedure.

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