Dental Implants Process & Guide

Grandfather looking into the mirror on his teeth

What to expect when getting teeth implants

If you want to replace damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are an attractive choice. They are among the most natural-looking options for restoration, not to mention the fact they are highly convenient. You don’t have to remove them when they need a clean, and you can still eat all of your favourite foods. After natural teeth, dental implants are the next best dentistry option.

If missing or imperfect teeth make you feel self-conscious, dental implants can give you back the confidence you deserve.

In this guide, we’re going to cover what is involved with a dental implant procedure, as well as answer typical questions and queries. Read on to learn everything you want to know about dental implants.

The Point Dental offers dental implants to replace missing teeth. To learn about this procedure and whether it’s suitable for your situation, book a free consultation with one of our dental experts.

What are dental implants?

Elderly woman seated in dentist chair, smiling at dentist

Dental implants are replacement teeth that are secured into the jaw with titanium ‘roots’. They are a more natural-looking alternative to dentures and don’t need to be removed at night.

Why get dental implants?

The most common reason people get dental implants is to replace missing teeth. They behave and function just like normal teeth, and last for life if properly maintained and treated well.

Dental implants are a great option if you:

  • Are missing one or more teeth
  • Have adequate bone for securing an implant
  • Are healthy and don’t have medical conditions that might compromise healing
  • Cannot or do not want to wear dentures
  • Would like to improve your speech
  • Can commit several months
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes

What are the benefits of getting dental implants?

There are a range of benefits associated with dental implants over other procedures and treatments.

Convenience

Removable dentures can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and embarrassing. Dental implants can help you avoid any inconvenient or embarrassing situations in which you have to take out your dentures. Plus you won’t need to apply messy glues or adhesives to ensure they stay in place.

Appearance

Implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone. They’re fabricated to last, especially if you care for them well.

Clearer speech

Missing, damaged or crooked teeth may cause individuals to not be able to pronounce certain words or even slur them. A healthy mouth full of healthy teeth will help with speech clarity.

Improved oral health

Replacing missing teeth will help set you up for excellent long-term dental health. Implants will provide access to your teeth for flushing and brushing.

Easier eating

A full mouth of teeth without complicated dentures makes eating a breeze. Food is simpler to chew, allowing you to properly enjoy your meals.

Enhanced self-esteem

Tooth implants are great for your oral health and also offer aesthetic benefits. Without strong teeth, a person’s face can become atrophied or weak, resulting in a sagging face. Dental implants prevent this from happening. Many people experience a boost in self-esteem when they have a full and healthy smile.

What are the disadvantages of dental implants?

There are some disadvantages to consider when it comes to dental implants.

Cost

Dental implants can be significantly more expensive than the alternatives. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the effects are lifelong and will result in restored oral health along with a fantastic smile.

Discomfort

There is some discomfort associated with healing from the dental implant procedure. Pain is minimal since it is conducted with local or general anaesthesia to numb the mouth. Residual pain can be managed with standard pain medication.

Time

The entire dental implant process takes several months and involves restrictions on your life. For some people, the terrific results don’t justify the inconvenience. Fortunately, there is a range of other cosmetic dentistry options.

Smiling woman looks into mirror in dental clinic after procedure

What is the dental implant process?

Receiving tooth implants is much more permanent compared to dentures or bridges. Because of this, getting dental implants surgery involves multiple steps. You’ll need to spend time healing between some of the steps, and your dentist may conduct several steps in one session.

1. X-rays

X-rays are taken so that your dentist can create a replica of your mouth, teeth and gums. These also help your dentist assess your oral health. Any necessary tooth extraction is completed. You can’t get your new tooth/teeth implanted right away, but a temporary denture is available if you feel uncomfortable.

2. Bone grafting

If your jawbone isn’t able to support a dental implant, a bone graft is necessary. A bone graft means your dental specialists or oral surgeons transplant bone into the jawbone.

3. Implantation

Your oral surgeon places a metal root into your jawbone. They’ll cut your gum to expose the bone then drill a hole for the implant. Anaesthesia is used to ease pain and make the process smooth and painless.

4. Osseointegration

Following implantation, your jawbone is given several months to fuse with your dental implant in a process called osseointegration. Afterwards, your natural and implanted teeth will have a strong foundation.

5. Abutment

The abutment is placed, which is necessary for your new crowns to be attached. Your dentist will open the gum to expose the dental implant before attaching the abutment and closing the gum tissue.

6. Attaching crowns

Finally, your crowns are attached. You can choose between removable crowns, which can be taken off for cleaning purposes, and fixed crowns, which are permanently affixed with a screw or cement.

The whole process can last from several months up to a year from beginning to end. During this time, your jaw will heal and new bone will grow, solidifying your new implants.

How long does it take to recover from the implant process?

This depends on the individual and the details of their dental implant treatment, such as:

  • The number of teeth extracted and implanted
  • Whether bone grafting took place
  • The health of your jaw
  • Case-by-case factors

A typical figure for the jaw to recover from dental implant surgery is around a week. While this can be inconvenient, it’s important to weigh this against the advantages for your health and life.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants depends on the extent and nature of your procedure. The more implants that are required means more time is needed for planning and operating, along with greater expertise and technology.

During your initial consultation with your dentist, you can enquire about prices and options.

Are dental implants covered by Medicare?

Unfortunately, dental implants are not covered by Medicare. It’s why The Point Dental offers interest-free payment options to help you get the dental treatment you need.

Are dental implants covered by health insurance?

Most health insurance companies only supply partial dental care cover. The Point Dental has a variety of flexible payment options to make things easier for customers.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be permanent. They are connected directly to the jawbone and bond with bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration. When osseointegration has finished, the implant will have fused with the surrounding bone. While the implants themselves are designed to last for life, the crowns attached to them may need to be replaced if they become worn.

Are dental implants better than dentures?

Dental implants offer the best and longest-lasting results but the price can be off-putting to a lot of people. As a result, many opt for fake teeth. While cheaper than implants, fake teeth are less comfortable and stable, not to mention they have to be frequently removed for cleaning and adjustment. They’re just inconvenient.

How successful are dental implants?

The vast majority of dental implants are successful. On rare occasions, the bone and metal implant do not fuse sufficiently, leading to complications. If this happens, the dental implant must be removed, the bone cleaned, and the procedure attempted again.

What is involved before undergoing dental implant surgery?

The pre-surgery process involves consultations with several different medical and dental specialists. Because implants entail multiple surgical procedures, you need to undertake several evaluations, such as:

Full dental exam

3D images and dental X-rays may be taken, and teeth and jaw models constructed.

Medical history review

Advise your doctor of any health conditions you have and any medications you are required to take. If you’ve got orthopaedic implants or particular heart conditions, you may be prescribed antibiotics before surgery to prevent infection.

Treatment plan

A treatment plan will be devised based on your individual circumstances. It will be adjusted for factors like the number of teeth you need to be replaced and the health of your jawbone and teeth.

To manage pain, there are some anaesthesia options including:

  • Local anaesthesia
  • General anaesthesia
  • Sedation

Speak with your dental specialist to determine what option you’d like. Your dental care professional will advise you about drinking and eating prior to surgery.

Young woman looks happily into mirror at dental clinic

Are there different kinds of dental implants?

Yes, there are 4 different implant treatments catering for different extents of tooth loss.

Single implants

If a single tooth is missing, a single tooth implant will correct the issue. When you lose even one tooth, the bone and gum around the gap can change shape. Inserting an implant as quickly as possible following tooth loss or removal can prevent any issues.

Implant-supported bridge

If several teeth are missing, an implant provides the foundation necessary for a dental bridge. An implant bridge minimises pressure affecting natural teeth, enhancing comfort when speaking or eating.

All-on-4 dental implants

Another permanent restoration option for missing teeth is an All-on-4 implant. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that employs four implants to provide support for an arch of your teeth.

Zygoma dental implants

Zygoma dental implants are attached to your cheekbone (zygoma) instead of your jaw bone. These implants are suited for a degraded jaw bone. They provide an alternative implant option to bone grafting, which can be uncomfortable.

What happens after dental implant surgery?

Whether your dental implant surgery takes place in one operation or over several, it can involve discomfort like any dental surgery, including:

  • Gum and face swelling
  • Skin and gum bruising
  • Minor bleeding
  • Pain around implantation sites

You may require pain medication or antibiotics following surgery. If pain, sinus issues, infection, bleeding or tingling persist, you should contact your dentist to rectify the issue.

While you recover from surgery, you will only be able to consume soft food, to allow the surgical site to heal. In terms of stitches, surgeons overwhelmingly use ones that dissolve naturally over time. If not, your dental care team will remove them after your healing is complete.

How should I care for my dental implants?

Once you’ve received your dental implants, there are some things you can do to take care of your new dental implants.

Maintain oral hygiene

It’s vital that you keep artificial teeth, gum tissue, and implants clean — just like with normal teeth. Special brushes help clean areas around metal posts, gums, and teeth.

Regularly visit your dentist

Get regular dental checkups to monitor the functioning and health of your implants. Be sure to follow advice around professional implant cleaning.

Avoid bad dental habits

You should not chew hard items like hard lollies or ice. These can break crowns and natural teeth. Tobacco and caffeine should be avoided too.

Dental implants to replace missing teeth are a natural-looking, long-lasting solution. Book a free consultation with a Point Dental expert to learn about your options.

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