Dental implants are titanium cylinders which can be screwed into the bone of the jaws in order to allow crowns, bridges and dentures to be retained. The use of dental implants is long established and at Surrey Implant Services, we have been carrying out implant treatment for almost 25 years and have treated thousands of patients. Implant treatment involves several stages:
You will be seen initially by one or two of the Surrey Implant Services team for assessment. We will discuss your concerns and what you would like to achieve. The options for treatment will then be discussed with you. It must be remembered that there are other restorative options in addition to dental implant treatment and these will also be discussed with you. At this consultation, it may be necessary to take x-rays and moulds of your teeth to allow for planning.
Depending on the complexity of your case, you may need to be seen for a second consultation by both a surgeon and a restorative dentist. Again there will be discussion with regard to the options for treatment and a definitive treatment plan will then be determined. This will be sent to you in writing along with the cost of treatment.
Should you wish to proceed, the next stage will be to arrange an appointment for placement of the implant. This is referred to as first stage surgery. It is normally carried out under local anaesthesia. The surgery involves preparing a suitable hole within the bone into which the implant can be inserted. Either a cover screw will then be placed, which is a flat screw which does not project above the gum, or a healing abutment. If a cover screw is placed, you will require a further minor surgical procedure, again under local anaesthesia, to expose the implant. This is known as second stage surgery. If a healing abutment is placed, this obviates the need for second stage surgery, at which point the implant is uncovered in preparation for placement of the crown. If you wear a denture, this will be modified so that you can continue to wear it while the implant integrates.
Successful implant treatment depends on a process known as osseointegration. This means that the implant and the jaw bone become rigidly attached, such that they can bear the stresses placed on them subsequently by eating. This process is not completely predictable. There is a risk of non-integration in the lower jaw of approximately 2% and in the upper jaw of 6%. Should osseointegration fail to occur, and the implant needs to be replaced, this will not incur any additional cost unless bone augmentation is required.
Osseointegration in the lower jaw takes approximately three months and in the upper jaw four to six months. After this healing period, we can then proceed to the restorative phase of treatment.
This entails placement of crowns, bridges or dentures. You will be seen by one of the restorative team, who will carry out this for you, again under local anaesthesia, should any anaesthesia be required. Typically it takes three weeks for the final restoration to be prepared in the laboratory before it can be fitted. Your final visit is therefore for the fitting of the implant restoration.
We charge a standard fee for consultation and for each implant placed. Should x-rays be required during the treatment period, they will incur a further charge payable to the hospital. Should additional procedures such as bone grafting be required, additional charges will apply.