If you’re like most people, you probably think of dental implants as a high-end treatment only available to the rich and famous. But what if we told you that dental implants are an affordable option for anyone who needs them?
In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about dental implants, from how they work to the different types available. Keep reading to learn more!
- What Are Dental Implants?
- When Might A Dental Implant Be Needed?
- What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
- What Should I Expect Following a Dental Implant Procedure?
- What Are the Benefits of Getting Dental Implants?
- How Long Do Dental Implants Usually Last?
- Is Dental Implant Procedure Safe?
- Are There Risks with Dental Implant Procedure?
- Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?
- How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
- Final Thoughts
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is essentially a titanium metal post that is surgically placed into your jawbone to serve as a replacement for your natural tooth root. They provide a more comfortable, natural-feeling, and durable option to replace missing teeth than traditional dental bridges or dentures. And unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not require support from adjacent teeth.
These replacement teeth are made of titanium, a material compatible with human bone and tissue. Titanium has been used in dental implants for over 30 years and is proven to be a safe and effective material. The implants are placed in the jawbone through minor surgery. Once the implant has bonded with your bone, a dental prosthetic (a tooth, bridge, or denture) can be attached to it.
A dental implant is basically an artificial tooth root. They are typically made up of three main parts: the implant, abutment, and crown.
The implant is a small metal post that is inserted into the jawbone to act as a replacement for the natural root of a tooth.
The abutment is a connector piece that attaches the implant to the dental crown.
- Dental Crown:
The crown is the visible portion of the dental implant, and it can be made from a variety of different materials, including porcelain, ceramic, or even gold, giving the look of a real tooth.
In some cases, dental implants may also include a fourth part known as a baseplate. This is a metal plate that helps to support dental implants that are being used to replace multiple teeth.
As there are different parts of an implant, there are also various types. These are:
- Single Tooth Implant:
This type of dental implant is used to replace a single tooth.
- Implant-Supported Bridge:
This type of dental implant is used to replace two or more missing teeth. It consists of two dental implants that support a bridge.
- All-on-X Dental Implants:
This revolutionary technique is used to replace all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw. It consists of four dental implants that support a full arch of teeth.
- 3-on-6 Dental Implants:
This type of dental implant is used to replace all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw. It consists of six dental implants that support a full arch of teeth.
When Might A Dental Implant Be Needed?
Dental implants replace missing or damaged teeth. They can be used to restore a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even all of the teeth in a single jaw.
Implants function and feel just like natural teeth, making them an ideal replacement for people who want to improve their smiles. Additionally, there are several common problems that they can help address:
- Missing teeth:
Dental implants can replace one or more missing teeth. This is one of the most common reasons for getting them.
- Damaged teeth:
They can also support dental crowns or bridges. This is an excellent alternative for people with damaged teeth and severe tooth decay that cannot be repaired with dental restorations or other treatments.
If you’re considering dental implants, ask your dentist how the procedure is done to avoid unwanted outcomes.
What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
The dental implant procedure is relatively simple and can be performed by a qualified dental professional. In some cases, the entire process can be completed in as little as two visits to the dentist.
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting dental implants:
- The first step is to have an initial consultation with your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for dental implants. This may include getting an X-ray procedure or a CT scan.
- If you are a good candidate, the next step is to have implant surgery. A small incision will be made in the gums, and a metal post will be placed in the jawbone.
- Once the posts have been inserted, they will need to heal for several months before the dental crowns can be attached. The implants have to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration.
- After the implants have healed and fused with the bone, your dentist will attach the dental crowns to the metal posts. In some cases, the abutment must be placed first if this was not done during the surgical procedure.
- Once the dental crowns are in place, you can eat, drink, and smile like normal!
What Should I Expect Following a Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implant surgery is a relatively safe and straightforward procedure. Most people report very little pain afterwards. However, it is important to note that they require a period of healing after the procedure is completed.
Here’s what you can expect after your dental implant surgery:
- It is normal to experience some swelling and bruising around the implant site. This should resolve within a few days. Contact your dentist if these symptoms persist.
- You may also have some numbness or tingling in your lip, gums, or chin. This is caused by the anaesthesia and will go away within a few hours.
- Take it easy for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Avoid strenuous activity and brush your teeth gently. It is also important to avoid chewing or putting too much pressure on the area of the implant for the first few weeks after the procedure. You will also be asked to eat only soft foods and avoid hard and crunchy foods.
- You may be prescribed pain medication to help with any discomfort, although patients report that the level of discomfort is somewhat similar to that of tooth extraction pain.
- Most people report very little pain after dental implant surgery, and they are able to return to their normal activities within a few days. However, this varies individually.
If you have questions or concerns about the healing process after your surgical procedure, contact your dentist. Like with any other dental treatment, there are negative side effects associated with implants. However, it is believed that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Your dentist will take the necessary steps to minimise them from occurring.
What Are the Benefits of Getting Dental Implants?
Dental implants are quickly becoming the preferred method of tooth replacement, and it’s easy to see why. Implants offer several benefits over other options, such as dental bridges or traditional dentures.
When considering dental implants, it is important to understand the potential benefits, such as the ones listed below.
- Dental implants are versatile.
Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or a whole set of teeth.
- Dental implants are more comfortable.
Dental implants feel more like natural teeth than other options. This is because they are securely anchored in your jawbone to act like your natural teeth.
- Dental implants can give you back your confidence.
Dental implants can give you back your beautiful smile and help you feel more confident about your appearance.
- Dental implants are natural-looking.
Once your implant has healed and the artificial tooth (or teeth) has been placed, no one will notice you have one. They look and feel like your teeth.
- Dental implants improve oral health.
Unlike a dental bridge, which relies on neighbouring teeth for support, dental implants do not affect the nearby teeth. They also do not require the permanent removal of enamel, which is usually done for bridges.
- Dental implants prevent bone loss.
Without the root structure of a tooth in place, your jawbone can begin to deteriorate. Dental implants help to prevent this by stimulating the bone and keeping it healthy.
- Dental implants are easy to maintain.
You take care of dental implants just like you would your natural teeth – with regular brushing and flossing. You also need to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
- Dental implants prevent facial sagging.
Tooth loss can cause your face to sag and make you look older. Dental implants help support your face’s structure by preventing your jawbone from shrinking. This allows you to have a more youthful appearance.
- Dental implants are durable.
Dental implants are strong and long-lasting. With proper care, your implants can last for decades, if not longer.
How Long Do Dental Implants Usually Last?
On average, dental implants can generally last 25 years with proper care. However, several factors can affect the longevity of dental implants, including the following:
- The quality of the dental implant. When low-quality materials are used to make dental implants, they are more likely to fail prematurely.
- The skills of the dental professional. An experienced dentist is more likely to place the implant correctly and minimise the risk of complications.
- The health of the patient. Patients with diabetes, osteoporosis or other medical conditions that impair healing may be at higher risk for implant failure.
- The quality of care after surgery. Patients who smoke or do not follow their dentist’s instructions for caring for their dental implants are more likely to experience implant failure.
- The type of implant used. For instance, mini dental implants have a shorter lifespan than standard dental implants.
- The patient’s oral hygiene habits. Poor oral hygiene can lead to implant failure.
- The location of the implant. Because they are subject to chewing force, implants placed in the back of the mouth are more likely to fail than those in the front.
- The number of teeth being replaced. The more implants that are placed, the greater the risk for implant failure.
Many people are still wary about undergoing an implant procedure with the possibility of implant failure. However, it must also be considered that implants have a high success rate with proper care.
Is Dental Implant Procedure Safe?
While dental implants are considered one of the most popular dental procedures, they are usually safe.
The rate of dental implant failure is less than 5 per cent. That means that dental implants have a 95% chance of success.
There are many reasons why dental implants are considered safe. Here are some of them:
- Dental implants are made from materials that are compatible with the human body.
- They are placed in the jawbone, a very strong and dense bone.
- Implants are placed under the gum line so they are less likely to become loose.
- They are very strong and can last for many years.
- They can be removed if they become loose or cause any problems.
However, it is important to remember that despite the high success rate of dental implant placement, there is still a small chance of failure. And just like any other dental procedure, getting implants comes with risks. So, it’s important to consult with an experienced professional to know if they’re right for you.
Are There Risks with Dental Implant Procedure?
If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to be aware of the associated risks before you undergo the procedure. Discuss these with your dentist so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this procedure is right for you.
- Allergic reactions
Allergic reactions are rare but can occur with dental implants. Symptoms of these include itching, rash, and swelling. If you have an allergy to metals, you may be at increased risk for an allergic reaction to dental implants.
- Damage or injury to surrounding structures
Dental implants can also cause damage to surrounding structures, such as teeth or bones. This is more likely to occur if the implant is not placed correctly.
Extrusion is a rare complication that can occur with dental implants. This happens when the implant becomes loose and protrudes from the gum line. Extrusion can be painful and can lead to infection or nerve damage.
One of the most common risks associated with dental implants is infection. This can occur at the site of the implant or in the surrounding tissues. Infection is a serious complication caused by bacteria. It can lead to gum inflammation, pain, swelling, bone loss, and implant failure.
- Gum recession
Gum recession is a common complication that can occur with dental implants. This happens when the gum tissue around the implant starts to recede. Symptoms of this include tooth sensitivity and gum tenderness.
- Nerve damage
Another risk of dental implants is nerve damage, which can occur if the implant is placed near a nerve. This can cause numbness, tingling, or pain in the affected area.
Rejection is a rare complication that can occur with dental implants. This happens when your body refuses to accept the implant. It can cause pain, swelling, and inflammation.
- Sinus problems
Sinus problems can occur with dental implants. This happens when the implant irritates the sinuses. Symptoms of these problems include congestion, headaches, and facial pain.
Because of these potential risks, dentists conduct a thorough examination to first determine if dental implants are suitable for a patient.
Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?
Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. The ideal implant candidates are people who:
- Have healthy gums
- Have adequate bone density in their jaw
- Are non-smokers
- Are willing to commit to good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits
People with health conditions that affect the immune system, such as uncontrolled diabetes, and those with heart disease, cancer, and advanced gum disease (periodontal disease), may not be suitable candidates for dental implants.
It’s important to know if you’re suitable for dental implants because if you aren’t, it could lead to implant failure – and dental implants are certainly not cheap.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
In general, dental implants can cost anywhere from $2,600 to $5,600 per tooth.
Several factors affect the cost of dental implants, including:
- The type of implant:
Mini dental implants are less expensive than traditional dental implants, and fewer implants are needed to support a dental prosthesis.
- The number of implants needed:
The overall cost will be higher if you need multiple implants.
- The location of the implant:
Implants placed in the front of the mouth usually cost more than those placed in the back.
- The type of prosthesis:
A simple implant and crown may cost less than an implant-supported denture or bridge.
- Your health:
If you have a chronic health condition, you may need additional treatments before or after implant surgery, increasing the cost.
- Your insurance coverage:
Most dental insurance plans do not cover the cost of dental implants, but some plans may cover a portion.
- The experience of the dentist:
Dentists who have extensive experience performing dental implant surgery typically charge more for their services than those just starting out.
- The location of the dental practice:
Dental practices located in major metropolitan areas tend to charge more for dental implant surgery than those located in smaller towns or rural areas.
- The need for additional procedures:
Patients with weak jaw bones may need bone grafting before dental implant treatment. This is because the implant needs sufficient bone strength to succeed.
By understanding the factors that affect dental implant cost, patients can make more informed decisions about whether this tooth replacement option is right for them.
Among many tooth replacement options, dental implants are a popular choice for patients. They provide patients with several benefits, including improved oral health, increased self-confidence, and enhanced chewing function.
While dental implants typically cost more than other tooth replacement options, they are worth the investment because of their significant advantages over other options.
Suppose you are considering dental implants as an option for replacing your missing teeth. In that case, we encourage you to book an appointment online or call Maylands Dental Centre at (08) 9370 5464 to discuss your needs with our friendly team of experts.
We believe that dental implants are a valuable investment in your oral health and overall wellbeing, and we would be happy to help you make the decision that is right for you.