Choosing the right dental implant treatment provider

Dental implants are an excellent cost-effective treatment option for people who are missing one, some or all of their teeth. Dental implants provide a long lasting and natural looking alternative to dentures. Whether you’re young or old, implants can help you eat, talk and laugh normally and give you back a full smile that should last a lifetime.

Mark Aston gives his advice on choosing a Dental Implant provider

Dental implants boast very good success rates. Long-term clinical studies (over 10-20 years) show a very high success rate.

However, not all implants are created equal and it is important to take care when choosing your dental implant treatment provider. Mark Aston, partner and expert implantologist at City Bridge Dental, gives some tips on what to look out for when looking for implant treatments.

What should I look for in an implant?

There are over two hundred implant manufacturers on the market, all varying in price and quality. While it can be tempting to go for treatments using cheaper implant products, these options have been put on the market with very little clinical testing. For the best quality and most long-term cost-effective treatments, we recommend you choose only high-quality implant products. Look out for products that are backed by long-term data in well-conducted clinical trials.

Here at City Bridge Dental, we only use products by Dentsply, a very well respected provider, which are used worldwide and have the backing of many clinical studies.

Are all implant treatment providers equal?

Unfortunately not. Implant training is not provided to dentists at a basic training level and there is no strict training protocol for those placing and restoring implants. While clinical courses and mentoring schemes are often used, expertise varies among providers because there are no guidelines for how much training is required.

This can be problematic because a less experienced or trained provider may position the implant poorly or design bridges or crowns in a way that makes them hard to clean. Inexperienced providers may also decide to place implants without addressing existing oral problems, such as gum disease, which can cause peri-implantitis (gum disease around an implant). All of these problems can lead to potential implant failure.

Both Nick, my partner, and I are trained implantologists with advanced training in prosthetic and implant dentistry. This includes a two-year full-time Master’s degree in implantology from world-renowned experts at the University of London. We now provide training and mentoring to others and work with a specialist team of dentists to ensure implant success. We ensure that all oral problems are addressed before treatment begins, referring patients on to our specialist periodontist to stabilise any gum disease when required. This ensures that occurrences of peri-implantitis are low, giving our patients the best chance at success.

What should I look for in the treatment procedure?

While it can be tempting to go for quicker treatment options, such as where the dentist extracts a tooth and places an implant or connects a crown to the implant in the same session, we would suggest caution. While this can be an option for some patients, it can be detrimental to others.

Since everyone is different, we advise only getting treatment from a particular provider if they have obviously shown they have considered fully your oral health condition and have tailored your treatment plan to you.

Are there any health issues that require special consideration?

When it comes to successful implants, it is essential that the bone where an implant is placed is sufficient and of good quality. If you are suffering from bone loss, your case may be more complicated. When faced with complex cases, some less experienced dentists may suggest that implants will not be possible for you, but always seek a second opinion!

The City Bridge Dental team is experienced in treating complex cases, even ones that other dentists have suggested aren’t possible, so get in contact if you would like to be assessed.

Whilst there are many dentists in the UK that perform implantology, there are few with the level of training and experience that Nick and Mark have achieved.

What aftercare procedures should be in place?

Successful placement of an implant is never the end of a story and getting specific implant aftercare is as important to keeping them for life. Just like with normal teeth, patients should adhere to good oral hygiene practices, including brushing twice a day, flossing and keeping regular hygiene appointments. An annual implant review is very important to maintain healthy implants.

If you ever have to move dentists it is crucial that you look for a dental healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about specific dental implant aftercare techniques.

In summary, here are the things to remember when choosing an implantologist:

  • Make sure that a good quality implant is used. The implant brand should be backed by long-term, well-conducted clinical data.
  • Higher-level post graduate implant training is preferable – preferably a Master’s Degree.  This should help ensure that the correct treatment protocols are used and that treatment is carried out to a very high standard.
  • Make sure the practice has an implant recall system and good aftercare.
  • Look after your implants at home and always follow your dentist’s advice.

Whilst there are many dentists in the UK that perform implantology, there are few with the level of training and experience that Nick and Mark have achieved.

If you are considering dental implants in Winchester, Southampton or Hampshire areas please use the contact us page to find out more or book online for a consultation.

You can also find us listed under Winchester Dental Implants on dentists4implants.com.