Dental implants are metal posts that are fixed into the jawbone. They are then used to support a crown (if you are replacing a single tooth) or to support a bridge or denture (to replace multiple missing teeth). Getting dental implants is a complex and invasive dental procedure, which should be carried out by a dentist who has extra qualifications and experience in this type of treatment.
Required Criterea for Dental Implants
If you have a missing tooth (or teeth) your dentist should discuss all the treatment options available to you to replace it. If you both think that dental implants are a potential treatment option, your dentist should spend considerable time assessing your suitability.
Precise planning is extremely important and crucial to the success of dental implants. Your dentist will need to be appropriately trained to place implants. Otherwise, they will refer you to an oral surgeon or a restorative or prosthodontic specialist. You should note that there is no such thing in the UK as a registered specialist implantologist, and dentists who claim this title are potentially misleading patients.
Your dentist will consider many factors before deciding whether you are suitable for implant(s). These factors will include:
- Your general medical health including your smoking history
- The health of your gums and other teeth
- The quality, height and width of your bone
- Whether there is sufficient space for implant(s).
Your dentist will use a variety of diagnostic tools, including x-rays, when assessing your suitability for implants. If these have not been checked by your dentist you may experience implant failure, or serious complications from dental implant surgery.
Dental Implant Procedure
- The procedure is usually done under local anaesthetic. The dentist will drill a hole into your jawbone into which the implant is placed
- As the jawbone heals, it fuses with the implant (osseointegration)
- Your dentist will then ask you to come back to have the crown, bridge or denture fitted.
Lifespan of Dental Implants
Dental implants should last a lifetime. The crown, bridge or denture – which the implant carries – will require replacement approximately every 10-12 years.
Dental Implant Claims
There are several complications associated with implants and the cases that Dental Law Partnership deal with include failures such as:
- Failure to assess a patient’s medical history properly before performing a surgery, including failing to spot any pre-existing conditions resulting in implant failure
- Loosening of the implant due to a failure to fuse to the bone. They may also be loose due to an infection surrounding the implant (peri-implantitis) or because the jawbone is of insufficient quality to secure the implant
- Smoking may affect the risk of success of dental implant treatment. If you are a smoker, your dentist should have advised as to whether you are suitable for implants
- A poorly designed or poorly fitting crown, bridge or denture can cause implant failure and/or gum infection
- Penetration of the sinus cavity
- Dentists causing nerve damage
- Failure to diagnose gum disease before fitting an implant
- Incorrect implant positioning which causes failure
- Dental implants being imbedded in the jaw at the wrong angle
- Poor implant maintenance which causes them to fail prematurely
- Dentists causing damage to the surrounding teeth.
Your dentist should conduct several tests to determine as to whether you are an appropriate candidate for dental implants. Failure to assess patients correctly, as highlighted above can lead to complications and severe injuries.
After treatment your dentist should ensure that you are not experiencing any unnecessary pain or discomfort and provide you with the right standard of care. In addition your dentist should make sure that you are pleased with the results and that the dental implant is comfortable.
If you feel that your dentist has failed to provide you with the right level of service or you have suffered due to either below-par or compromised dental implant surgery, you have the right to claim compensation for your injuries.
Contact the Dental Law Partnership
If you think you have suffered unnecessary pain, embarrassment or financial loss due to negligent implant treatment, call us today on Freephone 0800 0853 823 to get the ball rolling on your compensation claim.
All initial advice is free and our team of expert solicitors will fight for the maximum compensation award possible to make up for your suffering and expenses.