For whatever reason, if you have suffered tooth loss you know the discomfort and psychological effects of having gaps in your smile. Many may succumb to a ‘hollow’ look in the face, as teeth support the cheeks and without a full set the cheeks may sag; Others feel self-conscious about the gap. One permanent solution to this is having a dental implant.
Dental implants are, in layman’s terms, new metal roots that are fixed into the jawbone, to which a new tooth can be fixed. The implant is usually made of titanium and is extremely strong so with the right care can last a lifetime. It will ossiointegrate with the jawbone – the metal and bone will fuse together – and the result is a strong anchor for a prosthetic tooth to be attached to. If you have a missing tooth (or teeth), enough bone to embed the implant into and healthy gums, you can be considered for a dental implant. Implants are not, however, suitable for heavy smokers or under 18s – smoking vastly increases oral healing time on an already long procedure, and the jawbone is not fully developed before the age of 18.
Dental implants involve highly advanced technology and 2 surgical procedures, so the cost does reflect this. Dependent on how many teeth you have replaced, you should expect to pay between £1000 and £3500 per tooth.
The procedure can take some time, depending on how quickly the implant heals and integrates. An initial consultation must be attended, X-rays taken and then 2 procedures are undertaken under local anaesthetic: firstly, a process to open up the gum, drill into the jawbone and insert the titanium fixture. Then after 3-6 months healing, the second procedure is carried out, to fix the new tooth to the now-bonded implant. Your new dental implant will look natural and allow for a new and beautiful smile. The tooth will feel slightly different to your normal teeth when eating, but they are not painful and will last a lifetime if they are looked after – they don’t require any special oral hygiene procedures, and so are easy to maintain. Book in for a consultation with your dentist today and take your first steps towards a new, full smile.