Dental implants are a great option to replace damaged or missing teeth. More than any other restoration option, they resemble your own teeth and they don’t have to be removed for cleaning, unlike dentures.
If you have anxiety about visiting the dentist, inhalation sedation might be right for you. Book an appointment to talk to our experienced dentists about sedation dentistry.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an anchor made from metal which looks like a screw. It’s used as a replacement for natural tooth roots, and it’s inserted into the jaw where the missing roots were. Bone and gum tissue grow over the implant with time and help to secure it in place.
Dental implants are a very stable base for replacement, artificial teeth – such as dental crowns, which are constructed to resemble your own teeth in shape, size and tone.
Commonly, implants are used to replace a single tooth, but there are cases where a full mouth rehabilitation is appropriate, in which implants are used to replace remaining teeth and fill in gaps left by missing teeth. They can also be used as an anchor for dentures and bridges.
How does a dental implant procedure work?
- The first thing we need is a CT scan so we can determine if there is enough bone to support an implant, and map its ideal position.
- The titanium implant will then be fitted into your jawbone. The area around the implant is numbed during this procedure, so no pain is felt.
- The implant is given around three months to become properly secured within the bone and the surrounding gum tissue.
- Next, the implant is exposed at the gumline and topped with a healing cap to make room for a porcelain crown.
- Several weeks later, a porcelain bridge or crown is made and fitted to the implant, restoring function and aesthetics.
The entire procedure can take anywhere from three to six months, with several trips to the dentisit required throughout.
After the loss of a tooth, the gum tissue and bone that supported the tooth gradually shrinks away, making a full denture harder to keep in place. It’s hard to enjoy your favourite foods with loose or ill-fitting dentures, and you can feel self-conscious in social settings.
Dental implants keep dentures firmly in position, increase their function and maintain bone and gum height where they are placed.
The implants used to keep dentures in place are the same as those used to replace a single tooth. However, in place of the tooth-shaped crown is a small metal ball that protrudes from your gum and corresponds with a socket embedded in your denture, enabling you to ‘clip’ them in place.
What is the recovery time for a dental implant procedure?
The time it takes to recover from a dental implant procedure varies based on several factors:
- Medical and dental history
- The condition of the jawbone before the procedure
- The number of teeth to be replaced
Depending on circumstances, recovery time can range from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. In most cases, patients are back to their old selves within several days, but the jawbone and gum tissue can take around three to six months to heal completely.
You may experience discomfort or mild pain for around a week after the procedure, but nothing that over-the-counter painkillers can’t handle.
What are the risks associated with a dental implant procedure?
Dental implants have been an effective and safe solution for replacing missing teeth for over 30 years, but, as with any procedure that involves exposed tissue, the risk of infection is still a factor. It’s vitally important that you have a dental implant inserted by a knowledgeable and skilled dentist, like the ones who work at Plainland Dental.
Because the cost of implants are high when compared to other treatments, some consider having the procedure performed overseas more cheaply. We always urge against this, as poorly-trained dentists and inappropriate equipment can dramatically increase the risk of infection.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are a lifetime solution when cared for correctly. However, that which is attached to the implant – such as crowns, bridges and dentures – have shorter lifespans and will need to be replaced, still using the current implants as a base.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments are the key to lasting implants. If you need an appointment to discuss dental implants, please call our friendly team on 07 5465 7995.
Quick and easy payment options
Any day of the week – and that includes the weekend – you can access flexible payment plans. You can pay for your Saturday dental treatment with Zip Money as if it’s a regular Wednesday appointment. It’s best to get that toothache sorted as soon as possible; dental issues are not something to be put off. With Zip Money, the benefits include:
At Plainland Dental, we accept all major private health funds and can facilitate on the spot claiming with HICAPS! We are also proud to be classified as Preferred Providers for several major funds, meaning our patients will usually have access to the highest rebates possible... FIND OUT MORE