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Considering dental implants? We answer your questions

Updated: May 25, 2023

Dental implants

Considering dental implants? You wouldn’t be alone. In the not-too-distant past, implants were perhaps regarded as something of a niche treatment. However, as technology and materials have evolved, they’ve become increasingly sought after.

In 2012, the Association of Dental Implantology estimated that around 130,000 implants were placed each year in the UK. Fast forward to 2030 and the global dental implants market is expected to reach $7.14 billion. A growing elderly population and an increase in oral illnesses are pushing this growth, alongside technological advancements such as digital scanners and 3D printing.

Increased awareness of implants and their benefits is growing too. Offering a natural look and feel, many people recognise them as the best option for replacing missing teeth.

If you’re considering dental implants, you’ll probably have a lot of questions. After all, they’re not a throwaway purchase – it’s a procedure that takes both time and money. With that in mind, in this article we’ll look at some of the most common questions about dental implants.

Let’s dive right in.

Are dental implants painful?

Placing an implant is an invasive procedure, but that doesn’t mean it’s painful.

Clinicians use effective numbing techniques so that no pain is felt during the procedure. Some people may experience discomfort for a few days afterwards, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief.

Are dental implants safe?

Yes. Dental implants are a safe procedure, provided they are carried out by a trained and experienced clinician or preferably a specialist in Restorative Dentistry.

There are some potential complications that can occur, including failure of the implant. Therefore, it’s crucial that an experienced clinician places your implant. They will take a detailed medical history and consider all the risk factors before commencing treatment.

There are certain circumstances and conditions that may make you an unsuitable candidate for dental implants. Let’s look at them next.

When are dental implants not suitable?

Most people are good candidates for implants, but there are some conditions that need to be well-controlled or resolved before starting treatment to prevent infection and ensure the body accepts the implant. These include gum disease and diabetes.

People who smoke or drink heavily can experience problems with healing and a failure of the implants to bond to the bone. Therefore, clinicians will not place implants unless a patient has stopped or drastically reduced smoking or drinking.

Conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease do not automatically rule you out of having implants. An experienced specialist in Restorative Dentistry, such as Dr Gahan, will consider each client on a case-by-case basis.

Age is not a factor, except for growing children.

Are dental implants permanent?

Various studies have shown average survival rates of 95.4% after 10 years. But in fact, provided they are properly cared for, your implants could last a lifetime, making them a worthwhile investment.

Dental implants need to be cared for as diligently as natural teeth, by attending regular check-ups and following a strict oral hygiene routine at home. Not doing so will affect the longevity of your implants.

Can dental implants fail?

In short, yes. But most failures occur due to certain factors that can usually be avoided, such as poor placement, bone quality and quantity and poor oral hygiene of the patient. That’s why it’s important that the treatment and aftercare is carried out by a qualified and experienced clinician.

Where can I find dental implants near me?

As with anything, you need to do your research. The dentist should have good experience fitting implants and be able to provide testimonials. Ask about their experience and the implant system they use.

All dentists who place implants will have had training in implantology. However, you may want to consider someone who is a specialist in Restorative Dentistry. This means they have undertaken speciality training after their general dentistry qualifications. You can find a registered specialist near you by searching the General Dental Council register.

The right clinician will do a thorough medical history and examination of your mouth and consider your specific factors and risks for failure before embarking on treatment. They should treat the mouth as a whole and not just the replacement, and consider how that replacement may impact on your mouth both in the short and long term.

Ask them to explain the process and their reasoning behind your treatment plan, so you can be sure you’re getting the right treatment at the right time for the right reasons.

Why are dental implants so expensive?

Dental implant surgery is a complex area and should be carried out by a highly experienced dentist or specialist in Restorative Dentistry. Dental implant costs reflect the expertise and time it takes to do such skilled work.

You may find cheaper implants elsewhere, for instance, if you travel abroad or go to someone less experienced.

However, the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true here. Many people who have travelled abroad for dental implants have experienced complications. Implant dentistry normally takes several appointments over months and should be followed by good aftercare. This isn’t feasible if you go abroad for your dental work. And, if you suffer complications, you may find that this ‘cheaper’ alternative isn’t such a good deal after all.

Cheaper implants may also be offered by dentists with less experience, by those using inferior implant systems, or by clinicians employing a ‘conveyor belt’ strategy and perhaps placing implants when it’s not suitable to do so.

Is there a cheaper alternative to dental implants?

As a replacement for missing teeth, dental implants offer the best alternative. They look and feel just like natural teeth, you care for them just like natural teeth and you don’t have to worry about them coming loose or falling out. The other main advantage of dental implants is that the implant helps maintain bone density and therefore your facial structure.

However, the dental implant cost can be prohibitively expensive for some people. Other options to replace missing teeth include dentures and dental bridges. Their main advantage is that they are cheaper than implants. It’s worth discussing the pros and cons with your dentist to find out if they’re a better option for you.

We hope this has answered your questions about dental implants. If you’re looking for dental implants in Selby, York, Leeds or the surrounding areas, Dr Gahan is a registered specialist in Restorative Dentistry who has 20 years’ experience of placing implants, including in highly complex cases.

To book a consultation with Dr Gahan, simply contact the team at Finkle Hill Dental Care on 01977 682 200 or email


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