The cost of dental implants in the UK is a concern for many people, particularly as implants are often not available on the NHS. The temptation is to look for the cheapest implants possible, our opinion is that this is not always the best thing to do.
So the question is, why are dental implants so expensive in the UK and how was the cost made up?
Why are dental implants so expensive?
There are various factors which make up the cost, these include:
- Planning prior to placement of the dental implant.
- The surgery itself.
- The dental implant and components.
- The restoration on top of the implant such as the bridge or crown.
- Follow-ups after treatment.
- Experience and training of the implant surgeon.
- Maintenance of the dental implant surgery and equipment.
Dental implant planning costs
The planning stages often involve CT scans, these stands can be extremely expensive to commission as the standards cost hundreds of thousands of pounds in some cases. You will often find that the planning stage also involves some form of digital presurgery preparation. Many times your dental implant dentist can plan with their team, including the surgeon, restoring dentist and dental technician using computer assisted and guided technology.
Using this form of computer guided implant placement means that the dental implant can be placed with absolute precision avoiding nerves and blood vessels.
Technology now means that implants can be even more predictable due to the precision with which they can be placed, but this is only possible with detailed implant planning.
The cost of dental implant surgery
The implant surgery can be expensive as they may be a few people involved, including nurses, surgeons, dental technicians and restoring dentists. It is important that the team work as a cohesive unit in order to provide the best treatment outcome. The surgery in which the implant is placed will also need to be kept extremely clean and sterile, running this kind of facility is never cheap, unfortunately!
The cost of the dental implant and components
Dental implants and components are made up of several individual elements, each milled 10 tolerance of about 10µ (10 thousandths of a millimetre). The accuracy is required at this level in order to ensure that the components don’t work themselves loose, if the implant components are not made to these fine tolerances then the components can become loose and the crowns or bridge is can end up falling off. In worst cases this can damage the implant itself.
Most of the implants are held together with a precision made screw, this screw is also made to extremely fine tolerances to ensure that it doesn’t work loose and that your crown or bridge doesn’t fall out.
The cost of a dental crown on top of an implant
Some dentists may be tempted to use cheaper dental laboratories overseas rather than use a local UK laboratory. The advantage of using a dental laboratory in the UK is that your dentist will have close communication with the team, and may even have a dental technician on site at various stages of the dental implant treatment. Of course, using a UK laboratory with such close contact and at such a level of quality comes at a cost and the dental crown on top of an implant can often cost many hundreds of pounds.
The cost of follow-up treatments after placement of the dental implant
This is where staying in the UK to have dental implants comes into play. Patients are often tempted to travel overseas to places like Hungry, Poland or India to have their implants placed. As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to travel back to these places for follow-up treatments and after-care… What happens if there is a problem? What happens if there is any infection?
Having a local dental practice able to support you after implant placement, being there to answer your questions, help you if you have any difficulties and generally support you is of vital importance.
Experience of the implant surgeon
Who wants to work with someone that doesn’t have any experience? Not many of us could answer that positively, we all want someone that has experience in doing what they do, and knowledge to do it well. Any dental implant dentist which has years of experience and may even have an MSc or postgraduate qualification in dental implants would clearly come with a higher pricetag than someone that doesn’t have any experience… Who would you rather pay for?
As you can see, the cost of dental implants has many factors and components and it’s only when you fully understand how the cost of an implant is made up that you can appreciate why it is important to go to a local dentist, in dental practice you trust and have the implant placed by a dental implant surgeon with experience and knowledge.