With costs seemingly rising here in the UK more patients are tempted to look overseas to replace missing teeth with dental implants, but what is the cost of doing this and what is the true cost of a dental implant here in the UK? To answer this rather intricate question a London dentist has written a blog post detailing how the cost of a dental implant is made up and what you could save, or not save, by going abroad.
What is involved in the cost of a dental implant?
The cost of a dental implant is made up of the following components:
- Your dental surgeon’s time to prepare the diagnostics, analysis and preparation work prior to the implant.
- Training courses for the team to ensure they know exactly how the dental implants work.
- The dental implant itself is a precision-made piece of engineering manufactured to tolerances of a fraction of a millimetre.
- The Crown which goes on top of the dental implant made by a highly skilled dental technician.
- The follow-up and after-care provided by the dentist to ensure that the dental implant integrates into the bone and heals properly.
- Continuing care to ensure your implant lasts as long as possible, preferably a lifetime!
Every single dental implant restoration is made to order, exclusively for you and will not fit anybody else. You will also be wearing the dental implant 24 hours a day and even using it whilst you sleep as many people grind their teeth at night. This means it is worth spending money on a quality treatment to ensure your dental implant lasts as long as possible.
How much does a dental implant cost?
This is a difficult question to answer, it depends upon how many you need and exactly what your own situation is, however, a typical dental implant works out normally from £2600.
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Going abroad for dental implants.
Many patients consider the possibility of travelling abroad to have their implants. Let’s look at this in more detail and ask some more questions about this rather intricate subject. Of course, dentists in London want you to stay in London to have your dental implants, but we also realise that patients wish to save as much money as possible and so could look to go overseas. The NHS Choices website has some good information on going abroad for dental implants and quote: “You may not get all the information or reassurance you would normally get from your dentist at home” – Damien Walmsley, professor of restorative dentistry at the University of Birmingham Here is a list of questions that the General Dental Council recommend you consider before going abroad.
1. Who will be carrying out my treatment and what qualifications do they have?
One of the most important aspects of any type of invasive dental treatment is the amount of trust you have in your surgeon. Not only must they be a nice person and you should like them but you need to be sure they have adequate qualifications. Here in the UK, the General Dental Council have a specialist register for dentists that have undergone a Masters level degree and joined the specialist register for periodontics which will qualify them to place dental implants. For this reason in our opinion, the best person who should place your implant is a periodontist (gum specialist) with experience. Before having dental implants in the UK we recommend that you check the register to find a local dentist, preferably working with a periodontist… If you’re going abroad do they offer the same high level of trust and assurance? Periodontists do gum surgery and understand gums very well. They will get the best gum contour around your implant and this will get you the best aesthetics result so that the gum around your implant looks good and as a result make your implant look very natural.
2. Do you have any references or testimonials from previous patients?
This is something we recommend you ask for no matter which treatment you are having, but because of the complex nature of dental implants, this is even more important. A long list of patient testimonials shows that your dentist is trustworthy and has a happy list of people willing to recommend them.
3. Are you regulated by a professional body and do you have to be registered with them?
Here in the UK, it is compulsory for every dentist to register with the GDC. We also have to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), this ensures your standard of care meets defined standards, especially with cross-infection control and your ability to feedback to the dentist any concerns. If you’re travelling overseas to have dental implants does your dentist have to register with a professional body? Who is going to hold them accountable for the treatment? And most importantly, if they are registered with a professional body is that registration compulsory?
4. What happens if I am unhappy with the results? Who pays for the extra flights, hotels and remedial work?
Unfortunately, whilst there is a very exacting science to dental implants, there is also a great deal of art. This is particularly applicable with the dental crown which will fit on top of the implant, this is part of the procedure which you will see every single day, so you need to ensure that it totally matches your surrounding teeth and fulfils the cosmetic requirements exactly. This is a very skilful and highly creative part of the process which, unfortunately, does not always go right the first time. If this happens to you, how will you be able to travel back to the dental practice to have the Crown matched to your surrounding teeth? Sometimes a few appointments are required in order to get an exact match, if your dentist is overseas or a long way away then this can become rather problematic. This is why London patients like to use us, we are based in Euston and have close transport links to the London area. We use a London-based technician so you can easily go for colour matching.
5. Do you have a complaints system in place? And can I see a copy of it?
Part of compliance with the CQC, which is compulsory in the UK, is to have a robust complaints procedure. This ensures that you have the means to complain to your dentist if things don’t go right, they then have an obligation to follow up on this complaint. The CQC audit these complaints in the UK and ensures that the procedures are strictly adhered to. If you travel abroad for your dental implants will you get the same level of compliance? Who is going to monitor any complaints? Who will ensure that any complaints are followed up? Here is our full audit with the CQC.
We hope this report has been useful in allowing you to decide on the cost of dental implants so you can see that the cost of staying in the UK, when everything is considered, is often the best option.