Dental implants cost UK – what you need to know

Many people are in the unenviable situation of wanting to replace missing teeth, this can often be through tooth loss caused by dental decay or by trauma. Whatever the cause, the problem still remains, how do you replace those missing teeth and what is the cost?

In this article we will take a look at a few other questions relating to dental implants and then take a detailed analysis of the cost.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

The first dental implant was based into a human in 1965 by Professor Branemark, since then a huge body of knowledge has built up around this growing market. Success rates are usually around 98% for dental implants, sometimes as high as 99.2%.

Factors which can affect the success rate of dental implants

There are a variety of factors which affect the success rate of dental implants, however we found the following to be good guide:

  • Smoking. Smoking has a dramatic effect on the oral pathology. It kills off good bacteria as well as bad and can also dry out the mouth significantly. This altering of the bacteria in conjunction with a dry environment can mean that healing doesn’t happen as fast as it should. It also leaves any implant placement site more open to infection and further problems. Very often smokers will not be considered for dental implants for this reason.
  • Dental hygiene. After the implant is placed they can be susceptible to many of the same problems that natural teeth are susceptible to. Gum disease can still happen around implants and if not kept under control can turn into the more severe peri-implantitis. It is a difficult to treat infection of the bone around the implant, it can lead to further bone loss, tooth loss around the implant site and also loss of the implant itself. A good dentist will always ensure that your dental hygiene is at a good place prior to placing the dental implants.
  • Food & Drink. Eating a balanced diet is important for maintaining overall body health and ensuring the healing process stays optimal. Also, eating a diet high in sugar can increase the chances of tooth decay in surrounding teeth and subsequent gum disease which can then affect the implant itself. After surgery it will also be important to stick to a relatively soft food diet for a few months to give the implant time to integrate into the bone.
  • Bone quality and quantity. If there is not enough bone or the bone is not good enough quality to place the dental implant then implants can become compromised. Very often a dentist would use bone augmentation procedures to build up this bone and therefore support the implants better. Bone grafting or sinus lift are examples of this.
  • Dental implant protocols. Lastly but by no means least are the protocols that are used. It may be tempting to cut corners to have cheap dental implants such as cutting out some stages. It has however been shown that if an implant is placed and then an adequate amount of time is left to the implant heal before it is restored gives a higher percentage chance of success, the protocol that your dentist uses for the dental implant surgery is of prime importance when looking at longevity. If these stages are missed out, which may be tempting if the patient is travelling overseas for cheaper dental implants, then problems may be more likely to develop.

What are the benefits of having dental implants?

If you have missing teeth you have a few options to replace them, each of them have a different cost upfront and in the long-term and each have a different set of features, benefits and disadvantages.

bone loss around the tooth extraction site
The teeth either side of a dental extraction site can begin to collapse if they are not supported

The benefits of a dental implant treatment are that they can support the bone around where the tooth was lost, after a tooth has been extracted the bone where the root was begins to collapse, as this collapsing happens bone quantity is lost.

Over time this can also mean that gum levels are reduced in that area, not only does this have a cosmetic affect but it can also mean that implants become more difficult to place as years go on due to the volume of bone, so it is advisable to have implants placed as soon as possible after a tooth has been extracted to prevent this bone resorption.

Bone resorption around the tooth extraction site

Can I have cheap dental implants?

As with anything in life it’s always possible to look for lower cost options, however is important to understand the difference between lower cost and cheap.

Many people may be tempted to seek cheaper alternatives to UK prices by travelling overseas. This comes with a wide array of problems such as:

  • Is the person placing the implant a suitably qualified professional? In the United Kingdom dentists are required to register with the General Dental Council, this council regulates the dental profession to ensure that patients remain protected. Is this same protection in place overseas?
  • What happens about all of the appointments? Dental implants are often a more complex treatment and require a few visits to the dentist, are all of the costs of these visits included in your dental implant price? Be prepared for additional trips abroad if not.
  • What happens about follow-up and post operative care? Whilst dental implants have a high success rate there may be complications post implant placement or post-restoration. Are you prepared to travel overseas to have these complications resolved? One would want to know that all travel, including flights and hotels are included in any costing.
  • What are cross infection control policies like in other countries? In the UK there are strict policies governing cross infection control and how this is the. Government legislation lays this out to ensure you remain safe. What are the cross infection control policies and requirements in other countries?
  • Will language be a barrier? Whilst some of the team may speak English it would be good to have the entire team being fluent in English, this then allows the patient to communicate effectively and adequately with the dental team throughout the dental implant procedure. The last thing anyone wants is to be unable to communicate any problem.

The cost of dental implants in the UK

Let’s take some time to look at more detail at the dental implants cost UK, what makes up that cost and how you may be able to have a cheaper alternative.

The cost of the dental implant is made up of a series of different factors, including but not limited to:

  1. The titanium dental implant itself – This will be a precision made implant component manufactured to tolerances down to 1000th of a millimetre. Of course the number of implants fitted with also affect the cost.
  2. A trans-mucosal element – This is an element of the restoration which connects the final bridge or denture through to the dental implants itself. This element is also often made from titanium although can be custom-made by a dental laboratory.
  3. The final restoration – This is usually either a crown, bridge or denture. This will often be made by a high-quality dental laboratory taking a few weeks to manufacture.
  4. The connecting screw – There is then often a screw which connects the final restoration via the trans-mucosal element into the implant. A screw may seem insignificant however in order to prevent them loostening they are also manufactured to extremely high tolerances and often made of gold. This gives a small amount of flexibility into the screw so that it can be tightened without breaking.
  5. The planning stages – After you have decided that you want to go ahead with dental implants and have received your full treatment plan (this is usually after a few hours with your implant dentist discussing the options) the planning stages will begin, this can often involve a CT scan, dental impressions or multiple x-rays. This all follows a dental implant initial consultation, very often dentists do this for free.
  6. Treatment planning – This stage involves detailed communication between the dentist (who will be restoring the final implant with the crown, bridge or dentures), the implant surgeon (the person placing the dental implant) and the dental laboratory (the person making the crown, bridge or denture). The liaising and planning between these 3 people can either be done via analogue techniques using conventional models and mockups of how you will look, or can be done digitally using CADCAM design software.
  7. The dental team – There is then also the cost of the dental team, not only is there the implant surgeon and the dentist but they will also have a team of nurses and hygienists as well as reception staff, all there to look after the patient and ensure they are well cared for.
  8. The facilities – The facilities in which dental implants are placed will be upmost important, they should be convenient as well as well maintained.
  9. Training and development – No one wants someone dealing surgically in their mouth without adequate training and skills, these take time to develop and perfect over the years which often makes the cost of dental implants in the UK more expensive than travelling overseas.
  10. Additional implant procedures – Sometimes there isn’t enough bone and additional procedures such as bone grafting or sinus lift may be required, these all add additional costs although you should be made aware of them at the initial treatment planning stages

The cost of a dental implant is therefore:

  • Implant components, including the implant, transmucosal element and screw. £200-300
  • CT scans are approximately £150.
  • placement of the dental implants itself £1200.
  • The dental implant transmucosal element and screw including final crown £750.

Total – £2300/ replacement tooth

However, if more than a single tooth needed to be replaced the price may come down, here’s an example.

Let’s say there were 4 missing teeth in a row and these were going to be replaced with implants:

  • Implant components, including the implant, transmucosal element and screw. £200-300 X 2 (only 2 implants would probably be used) – total £600
  • CT scans are approximately £150.
  • Placement of the dental implants itself £1200 X 2. Total £2400
  • The dental implant transmucosal element and screw including final implant bridge £750 X 2 (for the teeth over the implants.) + £598 X 2 (for the teeth in between the implants). Total £2696

Grand total – £5846 = £1461/ replacement tooth

It’s worth bearing in mind that very often interest-free finance can be arranged.

To replace a single missing tooth could therefore be as low as £46.20 per month, that’s less than a cup of coffee per day!*

Dental implant alternatives

There are few alternatives to dental implants worth looking at

Alternatives to dental implants include:

  • Dental bridges. These are attached to the teeth either side of the gap and can only be used if there are existing teeth on which to support the bridge.
  • Dentures. Very often dentures are the very reason that people go with dental implants in the first place, they simply want a fixed a more stable full set of false teeth. However, modern dentures can often be made extremely lifelike, fitting well and therefore stable.

If you would like to book a free consultation to discuss dental implants and to find out how our dental practice in Croydon can help, please visit our dental implants page and click the free consultation button.

* Subject to status. Conditions apply. Representative example. Treatment cost £2700 with a £500 deposit. Cash price of goods/amount of credit £2200; 60 monthly payments of £46.20; Total amount repayable £2772.25; Representative 9.9% APR variable.