The Borough Blog – October 2015
First Year of Implants Completed at the Practice
On the 4th July, Rachel Evans completed her 1st year with us as our Implantologist and dedicated Oral Surgeon. So for this October blog, we thought it would be a good idea to publish a feature on implants and an interview with Rachel herself.
Rachel qualified as a dentist from Newcastle University in 1998 and gained more than 13 years’ experience in the specialism of oral and maxillo-facial surgery, working at Newcastle General Hospital, Queen Alexandra Hospital and Southampton General Hospital. She has undertaken a Diploma in Implantology at the Royal College of Surgeons and has now been placing implants for ten years. Rachel has provided a number of implants at the practice in the last 12 months, with patients very happy with the results. Below Rachel answers some commonly asked questions:-
What is an implant? An implant is frequently used to replace a missing tooth. A titanium screw is placed into the jawbone which provides a strong foundation upon which a false tooth (crown) can be secured.
An implant (with a crown) is the closest we can get to replicating a natural tooth and is a good deal stronger and more comfortable than other options like bridges and dentures.
I am missing several teeth. Are implants an option for me?
You can replace any number of missing teeth with implants, although multiple implants can be quite expensive. Alternatively, a smaller number of implants can be used to help retain a denture more securely in place. This provides greater confidence when talking and eating, knowing that the denture is stable.
How long do implants last?
Like a natural tooth, if looked after well, an implant has the potential to last many, many years. I help to look after patients whose implants were placed over 20 years ago. Of course, just like natural teeth, they and the gums around them must be looked after carefully to prevent gum disease. We use the top-of-the-range Ankylos system, manufactured in Germany and engineered to an incredibly high standard.
Is it always possible to replace a missing or diseased tooth with an implant?
It normally depends upon the state of the bone below the tooth into which we would be placing the titanium screw. We can graft bone into an area to improve its volume, but sometimes the bone has deteriorated so much that there is too high a risk of failure to attempt an implant or the space is very limited, due to other vital structures in the region, including nerves.
I’ve heard implants are expensive?
Typically, an implant will cost around £2,600 per tooth. As well as using the high-quality Ankylos implant system, a great deal of time is spent to fully ensure your comfort and safety during implant treatment. This is a surgical procedure which requires a surgical environment to be prepared before and after your visit, appointments are therefore slightly longer than your usual attendance at the practice. You are provided with everything you require to ensure that you heal well and remain comfortable following your implant placement. Often several appointments are required over a few months to complete treatment. Your treatment plan will be clearly staged into appropriate treatment intervals and payment is made according to the treatment undertaken and therefore fees are staggered over several months.
What do I do if I think I might want an implant?
The first thing to do is speak to Jenny or Richard and mention your interest in an implant. If they think that an implant is a viable treatment option for you, then they will recommend an implant consultation with myself. This is normally a ½ hour appointment where I will discuss your needs and assess whether an implant is viable and, if so, talk you through what would be involved. After the appointment, I will then write you a detailed letter/report outlining your options and my recommendations. The cost of this implant consultation (including the letter/report) is £90.00.
Scroll further only if you are not squeamish!!! Graphic pictures below!
Case study – The patient below was missing a front tooth. He had a bridge for many years but was never very happy with how it looked as it didn’t match his other teeth and so looked somewhat unnatural. He was also very nervous when biting into food. He came to us wanting an implant to look as realistic as possible – i.e. like his other teeth!
Rachel inserted a titanium screw (implant) (picture left!) and then worked closely with Jenny and her excellent laboratory to make a new crown to colour-match his existing front tooth. This was fitted earlier in the summer (picture below left!) and the results were spectacular – we believe even dentists would struggle to identify the implant!
The patient has subsequently kindly written us the following letter:-
Dear Jenny, Rachel and the team at The Borough Dental Practice,
Thank you so much for the care and attention you gave me through the
process of having my new implant – it has certainly been a very beneficial experience.
When I became a patient at the practice Jenny recommended that I should consider an implant, a treatment not offered to me before. I was introduced to Rachel who during the whole process has been incredibly professional and efficient, putting me at ease throughout.
I lost my front tooth as a teenager and have had a variety of replacements including the original tooth being placed back in my gum, only lasted a year! I had a false tooth on a plate for nearly ten years and a bridge for the past 30 years. The latest two solutions giving the uncomfortable sensation that something alien was in my mouth.
The new implant feels superbly comfortable, just like all my other teeth and has given me confidence in smiling and, just as importantly, in eating. Since the work was completed I have re-discovered the delight of biting into a crunchy apple without the worry that my tooth might loosen or fall out!
The detailed explanations and the total care package provided by the whole team led by Jenny and Rachel has been outstanding and the result has made an extraordinary difference to my lifestyle. After 40 years without a proper front tooth the implant feels as if it has always been there.
My biggest wish would be that the procedure had been available 40 years ago!
Interested in implants? If you are an existing patient, please mention your interest in an implant at your next check-up with Jenny or Richard. If you are not a patient of the practice but are interested in our implant service, please ring the practice on 01725 510303
With best wishes,