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Dental Implant Claims

Dental implants are metal posts that are fixed into the jawbone. A crown, (if you are replacing a single tooth) or a bridge or denture (to replace multiple missing teeth) can then be attached to the implant(s).

Dental implants are rarely carried out on the NHS, this means that if something goes wrong due to negligence it is  expensive to fix. The cost of a dental implant can be anywhere from around £2500 upwards.

The dentist will drill a hole into the jawbone and place the implant into the hole. As the jawbone heals, it should fuse with the implant. A protective cap will usually be placed over the implant while this healing process takes place.

Once the bone has healed around the implant, the crown, bridge or denture will be fitted to the implant.

Fitting Dental Implants is a specialised and complex procedure and should only be carried out by a Dental Practitioner who is suitably trained to carry out dental implants. If they are not they should refer you to an oral surgeon, a restorative or prosthodontic specialist.

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Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. A dentist should consider many different factors before deciding whether a patient is suitable for implant(s), including:

  • The patient‚Äôs general medical health, (including smoking history which reduces the prospects of success of the implants)
  • The health of the patient‚Äôs gums and other teeth
  • The quality and amount of bone into which the implant(s) will be placed
  • Whether there is sufficient space for implant(s)

If these have not been checked by your dentist you may exit could lead to implant failure or serious complications.

Prior to recommending dental implants, a dentist should carry out appropriate investigations to ensure that a patient is a suitable candidate for dental implants. This will usually include dental x-rays, a CBCT Scan (which produces three dimensional (3-D) images of the teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone) and an Orthopantomogram (a scan that gives a panoramic view of the jaw and teeth).

The procedure itself is usually performed under local anaesthetic; and your dentist will drill a hole into your jawbone, into which the implant is placed. As the jawbone heals, it fuses with the implant. You will then have to go back to have the crown, bridge or denture fitted to the implant(s).

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Some of the issues that can lead to a claim for compensation arising from failed dental implants include:

  • Failure to identify pre-existing conditions (such as periodontitis) which could lead to failure of the implant. Any infection or disease must be cleared before the procedure takes place. If it isn‚Äôt, this can cause both the gum and jawbone to become infected, leading to the implant failing and even significant jawbone damage.
  • Failure carry out scans / x-rays to assess bone levels. If for example, a patient has been wearing a traditional denture this is likely to lead to bone loss
  • Failure to consider whether there will be sufficient support from the opposite jaw on biting. For example, if a full denture is fitted in the upper jaw when there are no teeth in the lower jaw to support it on biting then this can cause the denture to ‚Äėrock‚Äô causing pain.
  • Failure to diagnose gum disease before fitting an implant
  • Incorrect positioning of implants
  • Dental implants being placed in the jawbone at the wrong angle
  • Poorly designed or ill-fitting crown, bridge or denture causing implant failure and/or gum infection
  • Loosening of the implant for example due to

i.)      Failure of the implant to fuse to the bone.

ii.)     Infection surrounding the implant (peri-implantitis) causing severe pain and leaving the implant openly visible.

iii.)    The jawbone being insufficient to secure the implant.

  • Failure to advise a patient who smokes of the increased risk of failure this causes.
  • Penetration of the sinus cavity
  • Screws breaking after being tightened excessively, leaving the jaw permanently damaged, the implant unsalvageable and the tooth missing
  • Causing or failing to prevent damage /injury to a nerve
  • Poor implant maintenance, causing them to fail prematurely
  • Damage to the surrounding teeth

Contact us if you believe you may have suffered problems with dental implants as a result of poor treatment by your dental practitioner. We will usually obtain your dental records and seek advice from a suitable expert as to whether the treatment you have received has been appropriate.