Here at Smilemakers we’re a highly experienced team of orthodontic and cosmetic dentists in Southampton dealing in a whole host of dental procedures including dental implants. For many people, when it comes to deciding whether or not they should opt for a dental implant procedure, it’s often the cost that tends to sway them towards other forms of tooth replacement. So why are they so expensive?
In essence it’s a culmination of factors including:
- The cost of materials used in the implant itself
- The experience of the surgeon needed to fit them
- The running costs of state-of-the-art equipment needed to aid fitting
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at these three criteria.
Cost of materials
The main component used in over 99% of all dental implants is titanium, yet because of the fact that it’s very difficult to extract from the ground, it’s also very expensive. So why use it? In essence it has a number of properties that makes this component the perfect material for dental implants. Firstly it’s incredibly lightweight, yet pound for pound it has the strength of low-grade stainless steel. Secondly, it’s non-corrosive and anti-allergenic, meaning it’s perfect for use in operative procedures (think hip replacements). Finally, the most persuasive argument for using titanium is that the body’s natural bone tissue will merge and fuse with it in a remarkable process known as osseointegration. This is vital to the success of the implant and is what makes the procedure so unique.
Time and experience of the dentist
Implant dentistry is a specialist area of dentistry. As such any successful implant dentist would have undergone years of intense training, which doesn’t come cheap and which some way or other has to be paid for. It goes without saying therefore that when a patient decides on a dental implant they’ll be paying for the services of a highly-skilled implant dentist and everything associated with that. Aside from this, in order to fit dental implants, it involves a series of surgical processes and fittings over a period of roughly 6-9 months. This ultimately means that a dentist is likely to spend many hours working with a patient to make sure that their implants remain in perfect condition for many years to come.
In order to drastically reduce the risk of dental implant failure state-of-the-art equipment is often used. For example, 3D imaging machines can take a complete cross-section of a patient’s jaw to determine sufficient healthy bone and more importantly the depth of that bone. Laser guides are also used to plot the exact positioning of the implant before any surgery can take place; and finally computer aided design (CAD) is utilised to build a complete mock-up of a patient’s mouth so that dental crowns can be made to exact proportions to retain a truly natural appearance.
Finally, here’s one other thought! From an initial perspective then dental implants can seem expensive. However, if you consider that they are the most life-like, hassle-free and indeed permanent form of tooth replacement that modern dentistry has, then the long term benefits that they bring to a patient, could just as easily be portrayed as a great investment.
If you want to find out more about dental implants or any other methods of orthopaedic or cosmetic dentistry in Southampton then come and speak to Dr Thomas Darling and the team at Smilemakers. Contact us on 02380 442626 and let us put a smile on your face. Alternatively, read more about all the treatments that we offer by visiting our website at www.smilemakers.co.uk.