Dental implants are a proven, safe, and reliable solution for replacing one or more missing teeth. But with more dentists offering implants than ever before, how can you choose yours with confidence?
Implant dentistry is an advanced dental skill – which is why many dentists often elect to refer their patients to a qualified implantologist for treatment. Neither are implants cheap, so it is important not to be swayed by price alone. It may surprise you that dentists who offer implants are not legally required to have advanced implant qualifications or have undertaken an accredited course. Mistakes can result in permanent damage, so it is important to do your research. To help you make an informed choice, here are 7 questions we recommend you ask:
Look for a dentist with a Diploma or Masters (MSc) in implant dentistry. Devon Dental Implant Centre is part of Torrington Dental Practice. We have three highly qualified implantologists on our team – Ian Mills, John Cato, and Declan MacDonnell – who have placed over 3,000 implants between them over the past 20 years. Ian is one of only a handful of implantologists to also hold a higher certificate in Advanced Implant Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This prestigious qualification is widely recognised as the Gold Standard award in implant dentistry in the UK.
Most implant treatments are straightforward, but some can be more complicated and require a multi-disciplinary approach with the support of experts in other areas of dentistry. For this reason, our team at Devon Dental Implant Centre also includes a Restorative Dentist, Rhys Gabe, and Specialist Periodontist, Imogen Midwood. Rhys is employed by Somerset NHS foundation trust as a Specialty Doctor in Restorative Dentistry where he treats complex cases. He has worked alongside Ian Mills and the implant team for the past 15 years and oversees the cases where there are multiple problems present. Gum health is critical to the successful placement and longevity of dental implants, and Imogen specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.
Specialist implantologists receive many of their patients on referral from general dental practitioners so referral numbers can be a good indicator of skill, experience, and success rates. DDIC is a referral centre for more than 70 regional practices in the south-west. We also welcome self-referrals from patients.
Implants can last a lifetime, depending on the type of implant you receive and how you look after them. We use the Swiss Straumann® Dental implant System which is renowned for its exceptional quality and reliability and is one of the most extensively scientifically documented implant systems in the world. Straumann is also recognised for its outstanding role in education and training for dental professionals in more than 70 countries, helping to ensure that our patients always benefit from the very latest advances in implant treatment.
A CT scan of your jaw is a vital part of implant treatment, to determine the quality and quantity of bone and visualise the optimal positioning for your implants. Most referral implant centres will have their own CT scanner – if they don’t you will need to go elsewhere for the scan which can be inconvenient, costly and may prolong your treatment. At DDIC we have a low dose Gendex CT scanner which enables us to take 3D CT images of your jaws with much lower radiation dosages than is possible with traditional CT scanners.
Many people are nervous about going to the dentist and worry that implant treatment may cause them pain and distress. Devon Dental Implant Centre has a special interest in treating anxious patients, and we encourage all our patients to voice their fears and concerns. We usually carry out implant treatment under local anaesthetic but can offer both inhalation and intravenous sedation to help you remain calm and relaxed. Implant surgery is a relatively minor surgical procedure and much less invasive than patients anticipate. If you are worried about this part of the procedure, we are happy to put you in touch with former implant patients who can reassure you.
Dental implants are a significant investment, so it is important to get it right first time. Many Brits consider going abroad for treatment, attracted by the lower costs; however, this can be a false economy. British dentists are regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC) and are required to have the appropriate indemnity insurance. If your treatment goes wrong outside the UK, you will have little legal recourse to recover the money and may have to return to the clinic incurring additional treatment and travel expenses. Successful implants also require good communication, access to advice and information, ongoing support, and after-care, and most importantly, long term maintenance. This can sometimes be an issue when treatment is carried out abroad, and unfortunately, we are asked to see a number of patients each year who have run into problems from treatment undertaken elsewhere. We always try our best to help, but unfortunately this is not always possible.
When thinking about costs, we recommend you consider the longevity of the treatment, the long-term health of your mouth, and the improvements in quality of life which you simply can’t put a value on. To help spread the cost of your treatment and/or bring it forward, we offer 0% finance options to suit your circumstances.
Mr Mills was kind, pleasant and reassuring, and explained everything to me, so that I knew what was going on every inch of the way. I can’t recommend him and his implant team highly enough.
Super helpful, friendly, clean, efficient and brilliant at informing us of procedures & treatment. We never feel rushed or have to wait too long. They have made the dentist experience a positive one for our children – who are always excited to go!
I would rate this dentist 1000 stars if I could! Everyone there is so friendly and smiley! I had my teeth done by John Cato and Paula and what can I say. Both of them made me feel so relaxed even though I normally hate the dentist they have made this all change! I couldn’t thank them both enough.
It’s nearly two months since my treatment for an implanted bridge concluded and I could not be more pleased. The treatment was excellent, the care by Ian Mills and his team was superb and the teeth look fantastic.
Rhys Gabe is an incredible guy. After 30 odd years of avoiding the dentist through fear I actually now enjoy going thanks to this man. I cannot recommend him highly enough to nervous and anxious patients.