Seeking a replacement for your damaged or missing teeth? Look no further than dental implants. Not only are they prosthetic fixtures you can implant in your jaw to replicate real teeth – but these highly successful, complex procedures result in dental work that looks and feels natural. With the use of dental implants, patients may find themselves surprised at just how lifelike their new smile is.
A dental implant is composed of three components: the post, the abutment, and finally, the crown. These distinct parts collectively form a secure foundation for replacing missing teeth with artificial ones.
In this blog post, we will cover the basics of dental implants, from the procedure to the dental implant cost. Keep reading for more information.
Implant post (artificial tooth root)
An implant post constructed of titanium is inserted into the jawbone via a minor surgical procedure. This specially designed “screw” resembles a natural tooth root to guarantee maximum stability and support.
Sitting beneath the gum line, the implant post requires an abutment for support. This serves as a bridge between the root and crown – providing essential stability for your smile.
Once attached to the abutment, a crown will look like an actual tooth. Crafted from materials such as ceramic or porcelain, these crowns can be moulded into whatever shape and size desired.
Types of dental implants
The surgical insertion of a post into the jawbone is an increasingly popular technique used to support one or more artificial teeth – making it a safe, secure, and comfortable option.
When there is inadequate jawbone for a traditional dental implant, a subperiosteal implant offers an effective alternative. By placing directly on the bone rather than below it, this type of implant helps secure and stabilise teeth.
Understanding the dental implant procedure (Step-by-step guide)
1. Initial evaluation
Before your dentist can decide on the most suitable dental treatment, he must carry out a detailed assessment that incorporates taking X-rays and impressions as well as matching the shade of your teeth to ensure that your implant looks indistinguishable from all of the other natural teeth.
When it comes to replacing several teeth and optimising your dental health, you must have an exclusive consultation with your dentist. To ensure the best results for you, he will review all of your medical conditions as well as any medications that may be impacting them. In some cases, antibiotic treatments may also need to be administered before surgery to prevent infection or other complications from occurring.
2. Tooth extraction
If you are in need of a missing tooth replacement, your dentist will extract it and then begin the dental procedure. On the day of your appointment, your dentists will provide an anesthesia option to help alleviate any pain associated with the extraction process.
In most cases, they administer novocaine or lidocaine as a local anaesthetic that numbs only the targeted area. Unless there is a fracture present on the tooth, removal usually doesn’t last long.
During extraction, you should only feel mild pressure and pulling.
To protect yourself from suffering down the road, it is recommended to refrain from blowing your nose, smoking cigarettes, spitting excessively, or drinking through a straw -these can all result in a dry socket which causes extreme discomfort.
3. Dental implant placement and bone grafting
To ensure that the implant can be inserted into your jawbone successfully, it is essential to make sure it’s strong enough. Most of the time, no additional bone mass needs to be added. A sturdy jawbone will not only facilitate chewing but also safeguard the placement of your implant more effectively.
In cases where the extra bone is required, dentists normally take a sample from another region in your jaw bone that isn’t near the area containing the implant.
Following a bone graft, your surgeon will wait for it to heal before inserting the implant into your jawbone. Once inserted, osseointegration commences and can last anywhere from 3-9 months as the implant bonds with your jaw bone.
4. The placement of the abutment
The dentist must attach an abutment to its top to guarantee that your dental implant will remain firmly in place. This connection between the implant and your crown permits you to chomp on food without fear of it becoming dislodged securely. The abutment is tightly fastened for maximum stability and security.
As you will receive local anaesthesia, the only thing that might be felt is a slight pressure during this procedure.
Sometimes, the abutment can be placed during your initial surgery with the implant. As it is visible and extends beyond the gum line, you’ll want to explore cosmetic choices with your dentist. A healing cap will also need to go onto the abutment so as to prevent tissue and bone from growing overtop of it.
5. Adding the dental crown
After your gums have recovered, your dentist will create a fabricated tooth or crown for you. You can choose between either having a permanent installation that cannot be removed or a removable option where you’ll need to clean and replace it as necessary. When replacing multiple back teeth, such as with dentures, the latter is more suitable since it allows for easier maintenance.
Fixed implants are firmly secured into an abutment using screws or dental cement; thus, they are not able to be removed once installed, unlike other implant types.
Immediate aftercare tips
No need to fret if you feel any discomfort or swelling up to 24 hours after your dental implant procedure – it’s expected. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, here is all the information you need for a successful recovery experience post-surgery.
So don’t worry! Just follow these straightforward steps:
- To stem the flow of blood, apply pressure to the sponges in your mouth.
- To ensure a successful recovery after surgery, be sure to keep your head elevated for 8-12 hours post-operation.
- For pain relief, place an ice pack on your face every 15 minutes.
- For the initial 24 hours after your procedure, stick to consuming soft items and beverages.
- Carefully adhere to your physician’s instructions when taking prescribed medications, and for the initial 24 hours post-surgery, abstain from rinsing your mouth.
- After having surgery, it is highly recommended that you do not drive yourself home.
How to know if you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery?
- You do not have any autoimmune diseases.
- Your gums are healthy, and there is no sign of gum disease or infections.
- You are not prone to bruxism (teeth grinding) or other habitual behaviours that can cause harm to dental implants.
- You have realistic expectations about the results of dental implant surgery and what it takes to maintain them over time.
- Your dentist has assessed your overall oral health and taken necessary X-rays and scans before recommending the procedure.
How much are dental implants?
As detailed above, dental implant surgery is a multi-step procedure that demands professional expertise – and this has to be factored in the cost.
The expense of implants varies depending on many factors, such as how many teeth need replacing, if any bone grafting is required, and whether or not you require a sinus lift. A sinus lift might be essential if your upper jawbone has been weakened by missing teeth, necessitating reconstruction so it can support the implant(s).
Beginning at around $3000, a single-tooth implant in Australia may be the ideal option for your treatment plan.
The price of an implant-supported bridge, like any other dental service, will vary depending on your treatment plan.
Implant retained denture
If you are contemplating implant-retained or implant-supported dentures, recognise that the price tag for this sort of dental work may begin at $12,000 and could be pricier contingent on your specific circumstances.
All-on-4 has revolutionised the dental industry and is more financially attainable than you might assume. Your full arch will be replaced with just 4 implants per jaw – this treatment’s cost in Australia usually starts at $19,000.
Please note that your dentist’s suggested treatment plan could affect this cost.
5 factors affecting the cost of dental implants
- If your need is to replace multiple teeth, surgically speaking, it will be more complex than replacing just a single tooth. Moreover, the condition of your teeth and gums also impacts how often these replacements must happen- resulting in costs that are higher compared with those for simply one replacement.
- Depending on an individual’s dental structure and mouth size, some teeth may need to be adjusted with more delicacy to achieve the desired results. Thus, some cases can be far more complex than others and require a steeper price point. Nonetheless, your smile will always look its best from all angles.
- For successful dental implants, having enough jawbone density is essential; this allows the titanium posts to be firmly fastened. Unfortunately, if there isn’t sufficient bone mass in your jaw area, pre-treatment with a bone graft may be necessary before an implant can take place so that you have increased odds of success.
- Your dentist will be required to extract the tooth that requires replacing, an operation with distinct pricing.
- Before receiving an implant, you must ensure your mouth is in optimal health. If you are living with gum disease or any other oral issues, suitable dental must be treated first for the best possible outcome after the implant procedure.
Dentures vs dental implant costs
While removable dentures may be an easy, more cost-effective option for some upfront, they can cause long-term issues regarding comfort and stability. This can affect both speaking and eating capabilities. Additionally, regular cleaning and adjustment of the prosthetics are necessary to keep them functioning properly.
Dental implant treatment is a much better investment due to the implant’s durability; although initial costs start around $3,000 for a single dental implant versus only $1,000 per set of dentures; over time, dental implants help prevent damage that poorly fitted artificial teeth could cause on adjacent surfaces as well.
Although you might feel dental implants cost more than dentures, they will help you save thousands of dollars on dental treatments resulting from the damage of dentures over the years.
Dental Bridges vs dental implant costs
If money is not a major consideration and you’re in good health, dental implants are the superior choice as they last longer without damaging adjacent teeth. On the other hand, if cost plays a greater role in your decision-making process, then dental bridges may be more financially feasible for you since their upfront costs are typically lower. However, it is important to notice that dental bridges may cause damage to your remaining natural teeth by shifting them out of their place.
How to take care of dental implants?
1. Use a soft nylon brush
After your dental implants are in place, it is recommended to switch to a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Hard-bristled options should be avoided as they can damage the surface of your implant. Moreover, refrain from utilising metal instruments when cleaning around or near the implant—regular brushing twice per day will suffice.
2. Avoid abrasive products
To maintain your dental implants in pristine condition, it is best to purchase gentler oral hygiene products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
Abrasive components may cause long-term damage or immediate irritation of your gums; hence, avoiding them altogether is highly recommended. Additionally, intensely flavoured oral care items like mint or cinnamon should be avoided at all costs since they can create a burning sensation in the mouth.
3. Floss regularly
Brushing your teeth is essential, especially if you have dental implants. Plaque buildup around the implant can lead to additional oral health complications — so don’t let that happen! Fortunately, several flosses on the market are specially designed for those with dental implants – making it easier to maintain great oral hygiene every day. There’s no excuse not to brush twice a day.
4. Avoid eating hard/sticky foods to keep your implants healthy.
Consuming hard foods can damage your implants and the teeth opposite them.
Examples of sticky/hard foods to avoid:
- Ice Cream
- Caramel candies
- Dried fruit like raisins or apricots
- Hard candy
- Hardshell tacos
- Potato chips that are stale or dry
- Raw carrots
- A rare steak
- Crusty bread, such as a French baguette
5. Avoid smoking and alcohol
For the well-being of your body, it is always wise to abstain from smoking and consuming alcohol. This becomes even more critical when you have received dental implants, as they require a 6 month healing period. Smoking during this time can drastically impede the process, and research has shown that drinking alcohol hinders it too, so for optimal recovery outcomes, forego these activities altogether if possible.
6. Schedule regular dental visits
Dental implants may greatly improve the aesthetics of your smile, yet they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to all oral health issues. Depending on your dental hygiene overall, regular checkups with your dentist are recommended at least twice yearly. But with the proper upkeep and recurrent visits to the dentist, you can expect these implants to last for many years!
Are dental implants painful?
Dental implants can be a rewarding experience in many cases. But, like other dental procedures, there can be some degree of discomfort. Fortunately, advances in technology and techniques have enabled dentists to offer more comfortable and less invasive treatments. Your dentist may administer the use of Local or general anaesthesia and numbing agents to help reduce pain during the procedure.
It’s time to reclaim your smile.
Here at Broadford Dental, we are dedicated to helping you achieve that perfect smile. We believe dental implants may be the optimal solution for restoring your teeth, and our experts can help confirm this during a consultation appointment. Don’t wait any longer! Contact us now to book an appointment, and let us serve you with exceptional care.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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