Dental implants

Do your homework…

Despite the high standards of modern dental care, thousands if not millions of UK patients suffer tooth loss every year due to a number of factors including injury, decay and gum disease.

Historically, the only solutions for tooth loss treatment were bridges and dentures. Today however, dental implants are becoming a far more common and accessible option.

Implantology is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the replacement of a tooth root with a titanium implant to secure a permanent or removable replacement tooth. While this option may offer many benefits over dentures, the public at large, are not aware of the hidden issues associated with this method of treatment.

My first modern dental implant was inspired by Professor Brånemark, with a patient at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 1981, marking a new era in tooth replacement procedures.

Today, there have been more than seven million Brånemark patented implants carried out worldwide through close collaboration of specialists in prosthodontics (dental prosthetics), oral surgery and periodontics (the branch of dentistry that studies supporting structures of teeth, diseases, and conditions that affect them).

As implant procedures have become more simplified over time, this has given rise to the number of general dental practitioners offering such treatments. Indeed, now any qualified dentist with an interest in offering implantology now has the option to attend a postgraduate training programme to do so, without the necessity for specialist accreditation.

While minimum requirements for continued mentoring are set-out by the General Dental Council, as with any surgical procedure there are many contradictions and complications, including infection, rejection and failure, that only a suitably trained dentist may notice.

This issue is confusing to the public by the sheer number of dental surgeries advertising themselves as “Implant Clinics”, “Implant Centres” or offering “advanced restorative dentistry” services.

To avoid any confusion, visit the GDC website to confirm whether the practitioner you’re considering to carry out an implantology procedure is an accredited specialist in prosthodontics (dental prosthetics), oral surgery or periodontics or has undergone appropriate postgraduate training. Alternatively, contact the Talbot Clinic for a confidential discussion.