Receiving dental implants is the most advanced and reliable method of replacing lost teeth. They look, feel and work so much like natural teeth that you will never feel the difference. Unlike bridges and dentures, they can last at least ten years. But they can be expensive and this is what deters most people from opting for them.
Dental implants are made of titanium screws or posts that are surgically attached to the jawbone under the gum. Titanium is a light but strong and ductile silver-white metal. There are basically two types of implants. The older method, called subperiosteal, requires a metal frame to be fixed on the jawbone. The newer and more advanced method, called endosteal, requires a titanium screws to be fixed in the jawbone. One ore more titanium posts as required are attached to the frame or screw. The posts are then covered with prosthetic crown. When a whole set of teeth has to be replaced, dentures are fixed permanently on top of the posts.
The effect of this method of tooth replacement is that the implanted teeth look exactly like natural teeth. Since the frame and screws are fixed firmly to the jawbone, the implants are as strong as natural teeth and can be used to bite and chew anything. Another advantage that dental implants have over bridges and dentures is that they do not use the support of neighboring teeth. This eliminates the risk of damage to healthy neighboring teeth, which is often the case with bridges.
Does this mean that you should you opt for dental implants? The answer is yes, if you can afford it. A single dental implant can make you poorer by at least GBP 1,200. If you are looking to replace the whole set of teeth, you may have to fork out GBP 40,000 or more. For this amount of money, you will have a new set of teeth that will be no different from your natural teeth.
If you cannot afford dental implants but still want to receive them, you could approach the NHS to foot the bill. But be aware that NHS will not entertain your request unless they are absolutely sure that you need them. This happens very rarely. If you are concerned about your dental health and wish to know more about how to get NHS to pay for your dental implants, please get in touch with the Dental Implant Advisory.