Denture Stabilisation at a Private Dental Practice

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Many people who have lost teeth through injury or illness seek dental implants for longer lasting and more effective artificial teeth. Implants are important support structures which stabilise and maintain dentures, allowing for improved functionality and comfort. The procedure is available from a number of sources in the UK, and in this article we look at the private provision of implants with the aim of stabilising prosthetic teeth.

Private dentistry in the UK

The bulk of dentistry in the UK is provided privately, and as such most of the provision for dental implants in the country will be through private practices. There are instances where the NHS will subsidise the cost of a dental implant procedure, but these are relatively uncommon and will depend on a real medical necessity for the treatment.

Many dentists and oral surgeons in the UK are qualified to provide implant surgeries, and this particular type of procedure is often offered by cosmetic dentists. The cost of the procedure will vary depending on factors like the skill and expertise of the dentist in question, the type of implant procedure you choose, and the location of the clinic. Some clinics are in locations where running costs will be substantial, and this will be reflected in the fees you have to pay.

You can pursue the implant procedure from general or cosmetic dentists, or an oral surgeon. If they are offering the treatment, then the dentist in question will be fully trained and experienced in delivering it. However oral surgeons are specialists in the provision of dental surgical procedures, and will offer the benefit of experience with complex cases and different surgeries.

Regardless of the type of dentist you use, you can expect most private dentists to take you through the same stages of treatment. You can expect an initial consultation in which your aims and options are discussed, and at this stage your dentist will probably arrange some X-rays or tests if necessary. Following this your treatment will be booked, and advice on how to prepare for the surgery will be provided.

After the surgery itself is performed you will have to wait for a few weeks until your implant has fused with the jawbone and is ready to receive a temporary denture or crown. After a further period of about 6 weeks the final, permanent prosthetic will be fixed to your implants. Private dentists will usually offer a set of post-treatment follow-up appointments designed to ensure that you are recovering as you should, and that your artificial teeth and implants are not causing you any problems.

There is a great deal of variety in terms of the specific practices of private dentists, and indeed the skill and experience of the dentists themselves. If you are looking at private dental implant provisions, you should take your time and look into a number of different clinics. Some will offer you more for your money than others, and it is important that you find a dentist in whose expertise you will feel confident.

Ultimately the purpose of the procedure, regardless of whether it is obtained privately or not, is to provide a means by which dentures or crowns can be stabilised for improved usage and comfort.

Dental care in the UK can be quite expensive, and implant procedures in particular are notorious for being quite expensive. Having a full arch of teeth fitted can cost anywhere between £8,000 and £14,000, with costs dependent on the experience of the dentist in question and the implant technology being used. With these figures in mind, many people look to find out whether or not they would be eligible for NHS coverage of their implant surgery.

The NHS and dental implants

There are situations where the NHS will fund treatments provided a patient meets certain criteria. These criteria are outlined in national guidelines, however individual Trusts and their PCTs (primary care trusts, organisations responsible for managing the allocation of funds for treatments) tend to have some autonomy in terms of what treatments are offered under those guidelines.

The basic principle guiding the NHS’ decisions regarding whether or not to fund a treatment is that of medical necessity. Where dental implants are needed to maintain a person’s quality of life for medical reasons, then the treatment can be funded by the NHS. In these cases the person in question needs the added stability offered by dental implants to make use of their artificial teeth, and the use of standard full or partial dentures simply will not suffice.

There are three broad categories of people considered for NHS funded dental implants. These include patients who have lost all the teeth on either or both of their jaws, patients who have some of their original teeth still intact, and finally, patients who have suffered a disease or injury that requires the replacement of different tissue types of the head and face.

Examples of specific circumstances which can warrant NHS funded dental implants include children who are born with a cleft palate, a condition which often creates a medical necessity for dental implants. Individuals under the age of 40 who have lost all of their teeth are also sometimes considered for NHS funded implant procedures.

Beyond a driving medical need for implants, there are other considerations which must be taken into account when determining whether or not a patient will receive an NHS subsidised treatment. These are to do with the lifestyle and oral health of a prospective patient, and the chances of a successful procedure as a consequences of these factors.

Age, life expectancy, oral hygiene, the amount of bone available for the procedure, and smoking are all key factors which can affect the outcome of an implant procedure. Smokers, for example, are known to have poorer oral health and have shown a markedly reduced success rate when provided with dental implant surgeries. As with a number of other medical treatments, priority and funding is given to people who are most likely to benefit the most from the procedure.

Even in instances where the NHS does not completely fund dental implant surgery, it may be possible to have some of the cost subsidised. These are roughly described as ‘bands’ of treatment and are described by the NHS website, or you can get this information from either your dentist or GP.

Ultimately there are a number of different factors taken into consideration when determining a person’s eligibility for treatment, and these can affect whether or not the NHS provides funding. The variation between different Trusts’ policies also means that it is always worth finding out what your local Trust’s stance is on the matter.

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