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November 2, 2017

7 important questions to ask if you are considering dental implants

Dental implants are an extremely popular option for people with missing teeth but there is a lot to consider before committing to such a life-changing treatment. Are dental implants right for me? Where can I get the best quality treatment? Is it an affordable option? These are all valid questions that every implant patient needs to ask and know the answers to before getting treatment. To help you find the answers you are looking for when considering dental implants, we’ve put together some of the most important things you should know before getting your implant treatment.

1. Am I a candidate for dental implants?

First things first, you need to know who can get dental implants and whether they are right for you. Dental implants are a tooth replacement option for people with missing teeth. Whether you have suffered tooth loss due to extraction, trauma, injury or for any other reason, if you have one or more teeth missing you are likely to be a candidate for dental implant treatment.

2. What are dental implants and how long do they last?

Dental implants are made from titanium and are securely fixed into the jawbone in place of a missing tooth following a small surgical procedure. A crown is placed on top of the implant to create the aesthetic appearance of a real tooth. Implants can be fitted anywhere in the mouth so can be used to replace front, back or multiple teeth. Once the implant is fitted, it can last a lifetime and patients can eat, chew and smile again as normal.

3. How long after losing a tooth should I enquire about treatment?

As soon as a tooth has been lost, the bone around it starts to diminish. Over time this can cause the jawbone underneath the missing tooth to recede, making you appear older than you actually are. The sooner dental implants are placed after losing a tooth, the higher the chance is of saving the bone. Dental implants are able to re-stimulate the jawbone and prevent recession from happening which is why it is best to proceed with dental implants as soon as a tooth has been lost. If you are considering implants years after losing a tooth, it may become more difficult to place an implant depending on the amount of bone that is left. Bone grafting is a common solution for those that do not have enough bone left for the implant to be placed into. Implant surgeons are able to use bone from elsewhere to build up the deficient area and once healed, it presents a strong enough base to place the implant in.

4. How do I find an implant surgeon that’s right for me?

If you are looking to go ahead with dental implant treatment, it is important to find a credible practice that is right for you. There are a number of things to look out for when doing your research, the most important being the experience and expertise of the implant surgeons. What qualifications do they have? Do they teach or mentor other dentists? How many years have they been placing implants? These are all things that are often listed on the website, along with awards they have won, patient reviews, testimonials and case studies. All of this information will help you get an idea of how credible they are and what experiences other patients have had too.

5. Is it expensive?

Dental implants vary quite significantly in cost depending on the number of implants you need. The typical cost of quality dental implants from a reputable practice can be anything from £2,000 to £30,000. Whatever the cost however, dental implants should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. They can prevent you from having to spend large amounts of money on ongoing ‘dental maintenance’ caused by the impact of a missing tooth and they also significantly improve your quality of life. Most dental practices will offer financial plans to spread the cost of your dental implant payment and make the treatment much more affordable. This is an option explored by lots of patients considering dental implants if the cost of paying upfront is too much.

6. Do I need to take time off work?

Whilst you might need to make time for appointments before and after the treatment, the actual placing of a titanium implant takes just a few hours. If you are having multiple implants, the process may take longer, but with proper planning, it can be done in a day. Once the implant procedure is complete, you can return to work the very next day. After you have had time to heal following the initial procedure, you’ll be called back in a few months later to complete the final few steps and then for an aftercare appointment to review your healing progress. These appointments will ideally be fitted around your free time, causing minimal disruption to your busy work schedule.

7. Okay, I’ve done my research. What next?

Now that you’ve done your research, you know you’re a candidate and you have a credible practice in mind, it’s time to book a consultation. This allows you to actually meet your implant surgeon face to face and ask any questions you may have. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure they are the right fit for you. Remember, it is only an initial consultation so if the dynamic doesn’t feel right, you can always try another practice. It’s important for you to feel comfortable before starting treatment. Some practices offer a free consultation with a treatment coordinator before the paid consultation, which allows you to visit the practice and get a sense of what it’s like without paying a thing. At Ten Implant Centre, we encourage patients to take advantage of our free consultation so that you can make doubly sure we are the right fit for you.

If you are considering dental implants and would like to book a free consultation with one of our friendly treatment coordinators, please get in touch!

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