Dr Andrew Murphy Asks, “Are you accessing the widest range of treatment options?”
Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular. Despite this, there are still a significant number of dentists who don’t offer this tooth replacement system at their own practice. There may be many reasons for this, including the fact that, in order to place them, you need to undergo extra training for a number of years in order to do so.
Older dentists, who may be heading towards retirement for example, may not wish to take up this option. This is completely understandable of course, but it does mean that their patients may then not consider this excellent treatment.
As dental implants offer a strength and stability that is second to none, we are firm believers that this treatment should be an option for anyone who wants it, and, at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we offer this treatment for patients who have lost a tooth, or a number of teeth.
Your current situation
Let us assume for a moment that your current dentist does not offer implants directly. In a hypothetical situation, you may have fallen from your bike, or had an accident which has knocked out a front tooth. This is actually quite common, and almost everyone will want to replace the missing tooth rather than have a gap in a very visible place.
You will probably, quite naturally, make an appointment to see your dentist who will explain the available options. These may well include the more traditional options such as a partial denture or bridge, but both of these options have some disadvantages when compared to modern dental implants. Instability and the need to prepare adjacent teeth are but two.
Even if they do not provide dental implants themselves, your dentist may then also discuss the possibility of having them placed at another practice, usually one close to their own location.
Bridges or implants?
Dental professionals are aware that patient choice is important, and, even though they may not offer implants themselves, they will be able to explain the procedure in layman’s term, and offer a referral to a nearby dental implant clinic. At least then you will be able to access the full range of teeth replacement options, even if they are not all at your “home” practice.
At our Epsom practice we offer a dental implant referral scheme, where dentists can offer our services to their patients. This means that you remain as a patient of your current practice, but that you can receive a treatment that they don’t offer there. In the case of dental implants, this means that you can now replace that missing front tooth, without the need for any work to be done on other healthy teeth as with a bridge, or risk potentially uncomfortable dentures.
Other dentists can be assured that we will not attempt to ‘poach’ their patients. We simply believe that this scheme offers a great opportunity for those who would otherwise miss out on the benefits of dental implants.
What can you expect at our practice?
As you would imagine, you will be treated with the same care and courtesy as registered patients of the Clock Tower Dental Clinic are. You will need to undergo a pre-procedural assessment to determine if you are a suitable candidate for implants, which will allow us to determine if there is sufficient bone present into which to place the implant, or if you would need to have a prior bone graft in order to do so.
Our implant team will discuss the treatment with you in advance, and answer any questions that you have. We will also discuss the opportunity to have the procedure performed under sedation. This is often used by anxious patients, but it can also be useful for anyone undergoing a lengthier procedure such as dental implant placement.
You will be given aftercare instructions, and, whilst you will remain in the general care of your own dentist, you may need to see us from time to time so that we can monitor the health of your new implant.
If you would like to find out more about dental implants from our experienced team, please arrange a consultation by calling us on 01372 720136. Whilst we are pleased to accept referrals from dentists for their patients, you can also self-refer by contacting us directly if you so wish.
Andrew Murphy – Surrey Implant Dentist – GDC 65986