How do implants work?
Implants work by having a roughened surface which allows bone cells to attach directly to their surface. This process is called integration.
Do they always work?
No. Like anything in medicine or surgery success is not guaranteed. Success rates for initial integration range from 90 to 98%. These success rates are very pleasing but still mean that in some cases (with a higher number of risk factors) 1 in 10 implants may not successfully integrate.
What factors affect initial success rates?
Infection, gum disease, smoking, poor quality of bone all may act as risk factors that contribute to bone not developing as planned around an implant. That is why we endeavour to remove as many risk factors as possible from the equation before placing our implants.
What if my implant does not integrate?
Our implant brand provides a new implant at no additional charge in the rare event of an implant not integrating. Treatment would then be repeated at such a time that we had identified and removed any further risk factors affecting success.
What is the process?
Typically when a patient attends requesting implant treatment there is a disease process present. This may be a broken tooth, infection or presence of gum disease. Whilst it is possible to extract these teeth and place an implant directly into the socket this increases risk factors and the chance for an implant not to integrate.
For most of our cases we advise that the failing teeth are removed and a temporary denture provided to allow for any infection to clear and also for new healthy bone to fill the socket.
We typically allow 6 – 8 weeks for this initial healing phase.
After this healing phase has occurred the implant can be placed into clean, healthy bone.
At the placement appointment the area will be made numb so as to keep the procedure as comfortable as possible. A small incision will be made in the gum over where the implant is to be placed until the bone underneath can be visualised. Then a small hole is made to allow the implant to be placed into the bone. Following this the gum is sutured back in place over the top of the implant. We call this burying the implant.
Burying the implant is the most predictable way of placing the implant to increase the chance of successful integration. It does require that when it is time to begin taking records of the implant position to make the new crown, the implant must be uncovered. This is called exposure.
To avoid the need for exposure a small cap is sometimes placed over the implant and the gum is sutured around this cap. This is called a healing cap. This technique will only be used if it is felt that the site and the patient are free of any other risk factors.
Can everyone have an implant?
Implants are dependent on bone to secure them. If there is not enough bone when a patient presents for consultation or after the failing teeth have been removed then other techniques may need to be employed before an implant can be placed (bone grating). Alternatively other sites may be available in a nearby region.
What is bone grafting?
An implant requires a minimum width and height of bone to secure it. If this is not present bone can be added to increase the width and height. In the past this additional bone was removed surgically from the patient from other sites and then placed in the implant site. Nowadays artificial bone can be used. The most common source for this artificial bone is freeze dried cow bone. The bone graft can be placed at the time of placement or in advance depending on the additional volume of bone required.
Does bone grafting always work?
No. Like anything in medicine or surgery success is not guaranteed. As a rule, the larger the bone graft required, the more unpredictable the result will be. In certain complex cases, repeat bone grafts may be required. You will always be advised if you are likely to require a bone graft and you will be given an estimate for this as bone grafting materials are expensive to acquire.
What are the stages of a typical implant treatment?
Removal of teeth and fitting a temporary denture.
6 – 8 week healing phase.
Placement of implant and re fitting of temporary denture.
8 – 10 week healing phase.
Exposure of implant.
Impressions of implant for crown.
Fitting of final crown.
How long does this process typically take?
Typically it takes 6 months from initial records to fitting your final crown. However this does not account for more complex cases or cases involving bone grafts as these require longer healing times.
How long do implants last?
Studies have shown that implants are the most predictable treatments in medicine and dentistry today. Once successfully integrated and restored with a high quality crown you should expect to have a long life span from your implant treatment. With correct hygiene and maintenance you should expect the implant to remain secure in your bone for a lifetime. The crown itself may require replacement over the years to come but the implant itself should remain stable.
Research has also shown implants to be more cost effective than any other option for replacing missing teeth when averaged out over the years of service that an implant will provide.
How do I know the quality of my implant and crown?
At The Courtyard we are proud of the materials we use.
Our implant system has been used in some of the most recognised implant studies and by the worlds most prominent implant dentists. You can be assured of its proven evidence base.
The crowns and components used to make your implant look like a natural tooth are handmade by some of the UK’s finest dental laboratories. One of our dental labs has been awarded the countries best lab a record 6 times and they do not work with any other dentist in West Yorkshire.
How much will my implant treatment cost?
We have set prices for typical implant treatments. The replacement of a single tooth. The replacement of a bridge. If teeth require removal first then there will be an additional charge for this. If bone grafting is required there will be an additional charge for this. As you would imagine, the simpler a case, the less it will cost.
A simple implant case at our practice starts from £1700.
How do I know if you are well priced?
We operate a fair pricing policy for our implant treatments. This means that we charge for the components used and the time required to carry out your case.
In a lot of practices if your treatment requires more than one implant to be placed the pricing structure is such that 2 implants cost twice the price of one. However we have learnt that placing the second implant does not take twice as long. In fact it takes an extra few minutes. Similarly taking an impression does not take twice as long. It takes the same amount of time. For this reason we have set prices for multiple implant cases that have proven to be very cost effective for patients. This is our fair pricing policy.
What if I am nervous?
We have gained a reputation for taking care of nervous patients. This does not mean sedation, though this can be arranged. It means understanding that our patients are nervous. Having friendly staff on hand to walk you through the process of treatment. A friendly call the day after your implant placement to see how you are feeling. A warm smile when you make the first step of attending for your initial consultation.
We look forward to meeting you.