What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are the state of the art technique for replacing missing teeth. They can be used at the front or at the back of the mouth to replace a single tooth, several teeth or even to replace all of your missing teeth.
They are made of a bio-compatible titanium, and are often 'screw' like in their appearance. Effectively they are replacement roots for your missing teeth that we then place a 'crown' on top of
They require some small amount of delicate, painless surgery to install, but once placed the benefits are many:
- They feel and look like your natural teeth
- Unlike conventional bridges, they do not require any work to be carried out on neighbouring teeth.
- They are very secure.
- They prevent bone loss around the lost tooth area.
When can they be used?
Dental implants can usually be placed in most patients provided they have no serious medical problems. They can be used singly to replace each and every missing tooth or within groups to replace multiple teeth. They can be used at either end of a large gap to place a bridge. Provided there is bone under the gums then implants can be placed. Experienced implant surgeons such as Dr Boulcott can even replace or grow more bone at the chosen implant site if needed to ensure the very best results.
How do they work?
Dental implants are essentially titanium screws that have been specially treated so that when 'screwed' into bone allows the bone to grow into them. This process, known as 'osseointegration', means that the implant becomes part of your body.
As a stable platform we can then add tooth components. These components can be in the form of dental crowns (single artificial teeth), dental bridges (multiple artificial teeth) and dentures (removable artificial teeth).
How are they placed?
Implant surgery is not nearly as unpleasant as you might imagine. A small cut is made in your gum under good local anaesthesia so there is no pain. A small hole is created and widened before the dental implant is gently screwed into position. If carefully prepared and planned, the process takes about 30 - 40 minutes of total surgical time with minimal after surgery discomfort.
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Why Have Dental Implants Placed With Us?
Sometimes Dental implants cannot be conventionally placed if there is insufficient bone to hold them in place.
Advanced implant surgeons such as ours are able to create or grow more bone within these deficient areas by means of bone grafts. These procedures, although technically difficult, are generally easy and comfortable for the patient. They allow implants to be placed in areas otherwise impossible.
These grafting procedures, for example, can allow people with full dentures to have a full mouth of implant retained teeth placed. Stable, solid and natural feeling teeth that do not come out and do not move!
On consultation, Dr Boulcott will carefully explain all options available, the advantages and disadvantages of any procedure and of course cost. This will be in writing so that there are no hidden costs and allows the patient not only to fully understand their planned treatment but also to create dialogue between dentist and patient. It is our belief that the patient forms part of the treatment team and are part of the planning process. This way everyone is fully involved and the very best results obtained.
Surgery on the maxillary sinuses is just one advanced technique utilised within the practices to ensure a high level of success with implants in difficult or complex cases.
What Dental Implants Do we Use?
The majority of Implant Surgeons tend to favour one implant company. The set up costs for each system is too expensive to do otherwise costing several thousands of pounds each.
Dr Boulcott has developed his techniques over the years allowing him to choose which system is best for each particular case: type of bone, front or rear of mouth, are there grafts? - they all require different considerations. As such we are able to always pick the best implant for the job.
He has worked with many of the major implant companies from all over the world and understands the workings of most systems. This gives him a unique perspective when it comes to helping patients new to Pembrokeshire that already have implants of one type and either wish another or require treatment from a surgeon specifically knowing about their implant system.
As a cautionary note: despite Dr Boulcott's experience there are many cheaper systems on the market that go in and out of favour and business.
Implant surgery carried out abroad may use these less well researched systems which may prove difficult to treat when a patient returns home and things go wrong.
As a result we ask potential patients to consider very carefully before having implant treatments carried out abroad. They may be cheaper but there is usually very good reasons for this, the surgeon may not be as qualified or able and there may no consumer body to protect you as a patient.
What If I already Have Dental Implants?
Most patients who already have dental implants will tell you that is the best thing they have ever had. As a result, if further teeth are lost they often return for more.
Here at Herbrandston we have a policy of trying to continue to use the same type of implants as previously placed if they are functioning well. This is because at some point in life treatment plans may change and it is far easier to treat in a more complex manner if the components all come from one manufacturer.
This outlook, although common sense, is rare in UK implant dentistry.
At Herbrandston we are happy to oversee any new or previous implant treatments regardless of whether a patient has another dental surgeon or not. We are happy to work and communicate with all dentists interested in the care of their patients who have had implants placed or who require further implants placed.
You do not need to change dentists. Most dental surgeons do not place dental implants and may choose to refer their patients to us for this particular treatment.
... And If I Have Dentures?
Conventional dentures (either full or part) can work well if made with care and skill. Here at Herbrandston we have our own dedicated dental technician and we pride ourselves on the quality of our denture work: their natural appearance and comfort of fit.
Of course there are exceptions - when a patient simply cannot tolerate the limitations of dentures or the mouth is so poorly shaped that dentures are difficult to use.
In these cases we can either remove the need for dentures altogether by creating a large fixed structure on top of many implants or we can 'lock' down either a new or existing denture on top of specially modified implants.
Above you can see two diagrams:
The right showing an upper full denture held in place by clips locking down onto a gold bar retained by 4 implants. (You will note that in this case the plastic on the roof of the mouth has been taken away as it is no longer required to hold the denture in place).
The left shows a lower denture being pushed down onto two locking balls on the top of two implants.
Both solutions work well and are cheaper than a full mouth of implant bridges or crowns.
Dental Implants are not cheap. The material costs are high and there is considerable expertise, overhead and time required to place them.
Nevertheless, the price of UK dental implants seems over inflated with a UK quote of over £2300 being typical and this may not even include the crown (artificial tooth). Abroad, particularly in Eastern Europe an implant placed without a crown may cost as little as £700 per unit but (as previously alluded) these clinics may be unregulated, use inferior materials, can have inadequate training and there are problems with clinical follow-up if problems do occur.
At Narberth & Herbrandston we pride ourselves on our ability to keep overheads down. As a result we tend to charge between £1800 and £1900 per implant including surgery, the abutment, temporary crowns, final crowns and follow up appointments.
We also make use of 3-Dimensional CT style scans - an unusual, expensive and revolutionary planning technique that allows the very best planning and clinical success. Our Herbrandston practice houses this advanced machine - one of only a few in West Wales. So not only do we feel we are cheaper than most other practices but we have the experience, the technical know how, a high success rate and advanced equipment to ensure our patients have the best possible outcome for their implant treatments.
Mini implants: suitable for certain patients in certain clinical circumstances may be around £500 each. We think our work, of whatever implant type or manufacturer, represents excellent value for money: yet all this is carried out by one of the pre-eminent implant surgeons working within the UK today.
Implants placed at Herbrandston or Narberth represent excellent value for money. They can replace missing teeth, last for many, many years and actually help the health of your mouth. In the long term, dental implants, although initially expensive, can vastly outlast other treatment options such as dentures or bridges. They are, therefore, over a lifetime, very cost effective. We have patients having implants with us from all over Wales, and indeed, through our reputation, from all over the UK. All because of our proven skills, our qualifications and the fact that we keep costs down. - Dr Mark Boulcott
If you are considering having dental implants, why not give us a call on 01646 690580 to arrange a no commitment examination and treatment discussion with Dr Boulcott. Alternatively, ask your dentist to refer you to us.
Dr Mark Boulcott has had many years of dental implant experience having completed hundreds of cases using many different implant systems including:
Astra, Nobel Biocare, Megagen, Biohorizons, Straumann, Ankylos, Dio, Avinent, Implant Direct, Southern, Imtec and many others.
He is an ongoing member of the Association of Dental Implantologists, a Diplomate of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) and in 2010 completed a 2 year "Master's equivalent" course in Dental implants at the Royal College of Surgeons.
He teaches other dentists on dental implant surgery and is a clinical mentor for Biohorizons, Avinent and Nobel Biocare systems.
Being highly experienced in the field, Dr Boulcott receives referrals from other dental surgeons throughout Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire including dealing with implant cases placed by other surgeons both here and abroad that have associated problems.