Dental implants are growing in popularity in the UK. In 2012, the Association of Dental Implantology estimated that around 130,000 implants were placed every year. This figure doubled by 2018, and is likely to be even higher today.
As dental implants become more popular, more dentists are turning to specialist training to be able to offer this treatment. And as the number of qualified dental implant surgeons increases, the treatment is becoming more accessible and affordable.
For those who rely on the NHS for their dental care, there are important questions to ask about what treatments are available on the NHS. Read on to learn more about NHS dental implants and what treatment you are entitled to when you choose NHS care.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a popular alternative to a bridge or denture. It’s a permanent solution for missing teeth that uses an implant placed in the jaw as an anchor for a crown, bridge or denture. Rather than using surrounding teeth or gums as support, this procedure uses an implant that is fused with your jaw bone to provide ultra-realistic support. In short, a dental implant mimics the role of the natural tooth root.
How much for single dental implants?
The average cost for dental implants in the UK is typically around £2000 to £2500. This is nearly always a privately-funded treatment.
How can I get NHS dental implants?
Dental implants are not routinely offered on the NHS, except in very rare circumstances. This could include in situations of facial trauma where it would be beneficial to the patient to have dental implants rather than a denture.
If you have a single missing tooth, you can get a dental bridge using NHS treatment. For multiple missing teeth, you will be offered a bridge, partial denture or full denture. The materials used for these restorations will be more limited than those offered during a private treatment.
In general, you cannot get NHS dental implants, so this will always be a self-funded treatment plan. The good news is that this gives you full flexibility over where you go for treatment and when you start your treatment.
How can I get free dental implants?
Even NHS treatment comes with a surcharge, so the idea of getting completely free dental treatment isn’t entirely accurate. Only certain people are entitled to free NHS treatment, and this treatment does not include dental implants.
If you are looking for free dental implants, you may be able to find a dentist offering discounts on the treatment in exchange for testimonials. You can also spread the cost of your treatment to make it more affordable and accessible by making the most of interest-free credit payment plans. It’s important to keep up with your payments, or your implants could end up costing a lot more.
How can I save money on dental implants?
If you’re keen to explore dental implants as a treatment option, but can’t afford a lump sum payment upfront, there are options available to you.
- Look for dentists offering promotional prices on dental implants. You can save hundreds on your treatment, or access lots of extra freebies by shopping around before you choose your implant surgeon. Some dentists run seasonal promotions that will allow you to cut the cost of your dental implant treatment.
- Make the most of payment plans available. Choosing a payment plan to spread the cost of treatment will make the treatment more accessible and affordable. You don’t have to save a lump sum for treatment, and you often don’t need a large deposit. You can simply spread the cost of treatment over a fixed period, making dental implants a more affordable option.
- Be willing to travel. Travelling outside of your immediate area can be a great way to save money on dental implants. This will open up your search area to the whole country, rather than just the dentists in your local area. However, be wary about travelling too far for treatment. Specifically, you don’t want to go overseas for your dental implants.
Why avoid overseas dental implants?
There are a number of dangers with going overseas for dental implants, and there is also the risk that it could end up costing you more than choosing a UK-based implant surgeon for the treatment. The biggest risks with overseas dental implants include:
- Language barriers
- Treatment by trainee surgeons
- No legal support if something goes wrong
- Travelling soon after surgery can be dangerous
- Lack of aftercare support
- No payment plans
- Hidden and unexpected costs
It’s not uncommon for dental implant treatment to go wrong overseas. If this happens, you will have to self-fund any further treatment to put it right. NHS treatment is likely to only cover the cost of removing the implants, not fixing the problem.
Ready to discuss dental implants?
If you’re ready to explore dental implants, book your free consultation with our team today.