One of the primary objectives of our blog is to answer questions about specific treatments, this time it's the turn of dental implants, specifically about the cost of dental implants in the UK and how much it might cost to get teeth or a tooth replaced.
So let's get started.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a replacement for the roots of your tooth when a tooth is extracted or lost then a dental implant can be placed in its place. The dental implant can then be used to retain a crown.
For larger cases such as full dental implants, it's not necessary to use one implant for each tooth which need replacing. On larger full cases, a fixed dental bridge can be retained on 4 dental implants, and sometimes a denture can be retained on as little as 2 dental implants.
You will never see a dental implant in the mouth, they are always buried under the gum in the bone, the part you see will be the crown, bridge or denture on top.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
If dental implants are being used to replace a few teeth.
The benefits of implants to replace a few teeth are that they support the teeth either side of the gap. They help prevent opposing and adjacent teeth from over erupting, drifting and tipping into the gap. Implants in this instance also support the underlying bone preventing further resorption which happens after the loss of tooth.
If dental implants are being used to replace a full set of teeth.
To replace a full set of teeth your only other option is to have a removable denture. Whilst dentures can look very much like natural teeth and be quite acceptable many people dislike the idea of taking their teeth out at night. Dentures also have the tendency to be sometimes loose and unstable whilst eating particularly chewy foods.
A full set of dental implants can either hold in a fixed bridge which you can't take out or can be used to stabilise either new or existing denture making eating far easier than with a denture alone.
Why are dental implants so expensive?
The cost of dental implants is made up of a few individual components:
the surgical team
the restorative team
the implant components themselves
the restoration on top of the implant
the after-care process
Let's look at each component individually to understand the costs you might likely incur for a dental implant.
The cost of the surgical team
Included in the surgical team costs are items such as:
the surgical facility
support staff such as nurses
extended training, many dentists placing dental implants have Masters degrees in periodontics, although this is not necessarily always the case
The cost of the restorative team
The restorative team may or may not be the same as the surgical team. Many dental practices bring in dentist with a special interest in dental implants to place the implant for them.
The restorative team then has additional costs of the facility and most importantly the equipment used to restore the dental implant, this often includes fine instruments such as mini torque wrenches and screwdrivers which are manufactured to the highest tolerances.
The implant component cost
This is where people can sometimes be tempted to skip on the costs by using cheap dental implant components. We will talk a little later about the best implant companies however there are often copycat implant systems around which attempt to mimic the design of the more recognised systems.
Whilst the design can be copied, because these cheaper systems are exactly that, cheap, they are not manufactured to the same tolerances. This can lead to screw loosening which means that the dental implant restoration can fail. Sometimes this can even mean that the implant itself fails!
Precision is the key to long-term performance here.
The components for a dental implant are made up of the following:
The dental implant itself - this is the part which is placed into the bone and integrates into the jaw
a trans- mucosal element - this is the part which sits on top of the dental implant and pokes up through the gum, some implant systems include this design element in the implant itself.
the screw which connects the trends mucosal element to the implant - this may seem like just a little screw but very often the screws are made of the softer gold alloy. This is to ensure that if there is any slight discrepancy with the fit of the Crown then it is the screw that breaks rather than anything else. In the grand scheme of things the screw is the cheapest component and is easy to replace. It's better to have a designed weaker link rather than to allow the dental implants to take the full force of any problem and have that file.
the restoration - the restoration which sits on top of the dental implant will also be an additional cost. Most of the time this will be manufactured by a highly skilled team of dental technicians. Sometimes the cost of restoration can run into many thousands of pounds without taking into account any of the surgical team, restorative team or implant components. It all depends on the quality of the dental laboratory used in the number of teeth being restored.
The full dental implant cost
Most practices don't break down the full dental implant cost into individual components, you can therefore expect the following as a typical cost:
initial consultation - often free
new patient initial assessment £65. At this appointment a basic treatment plan will be provided with all further additional relevant costings.
consultation with a dental implant dentist or specialist £175. This will go into more detail about exactly the number of implants required, the surgical process and will give you a complete idea of the cost and full treatment plan, including timeframe. This also includes a 3-D scan.
implant connector and crown, from £1950 per tooth. This is however a price for a single tooth, multiple teeth the price will come down accordingly e.g. to replace 4 teeth in a row we may only place 2 dental implants.
One also needs to consider additional surgical procedures which may be required such as bone grafting or a sinus lift. These will always add additional cost to any treatment.
To replace a full set of teeth with dental implants and a denture is likely to cost £4800 (£1950 per implant (2) and £900 for a denture. This is not taking into account any initial consultation is or additional surgical procedures such as grafting or sinus lifts.
To replace a full set of teeth with dental implants and fixed bridge is likely to cost £7800 for 4 dental implants plus £10,260 for a full bridge of 12 teeth, making the total approximately £18,060.
Please also remember that many dental practices offer finance. this is often 0% finance if paid in less than 10 months or interest-bearing for longer. This could bring the cost to around £369.63 per month.*
What is the best brand of dental implants
some of the top brands and dental implant companies in the world include**:
These companies invest heavily in the manufacture and research with dental implant systems, we highly recommend you ensure that your dentist uses one of the best implant brands rather than a cheaper copied alternative.
How long does it take for dental implants
A typical dental implant treatment takes approximately the following length of time between each stage:
Diagnostic and planning stage - 4 weeks. This will include scans, impressions and discussions with the laboratory.
You would then have the dental implants placed.
Healing phase - typically between 3 and 6 months depending on exactly which combination of treatments you had. This healing phase shouldn't be rushed in order to ensure implant success.
Restorative phase - 4 weeks +. After after your implant placement site has healed you can then move onto restoring the implant.
TOTAL - 5 - 8 months
Saroshen has a calm and reassuring manner which helps relax nervous patients. He has a special interest in cosmetic treatments, including teeth whitening, crowns and restorative build ups.
* Subject to status. Conditions apply. Representative example. Deposit £500. Cash price of goods/amount of credit £17600; 60 monthly payments of £369.63; Total amount repayable £22177.97; Representative 9.9% APR variable.
** Other recognised and leading systems are also available.