Dental implants offer a longer-lasting and more realistic alternative to bridges and dentures. If you have missing teeth, here is everything you need to know about dental implants and how dental implants are done.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is composed of a small, biocompatible titanium screw that is embedded directly into the jawbone. An abutment and a dental crown are then attached to the implant to give you the appearance of a natural-looking and fully functioning tooth.
There are various styles of dental implants from single implants to All-on-4, also known as same-day teeth, which uses four implants, either side of the gap, to support a bridge of prosthetic teeth. All-on-4 implants can be used to replace multiple missing teeth and even an entire tooth arch.
At Available Dental Care, we also offer overdentures that are full or partial dentures secured in place by a mini implant. This option is suitable for patients who don’t have the necessary amount of bone for regular dental implants.
Overdentures are also a more affordable tooth replacement option compared with standard implants.
Overdentures are composed of titanium posts with a smaller diameter than standard implants that connect to fixtures on a denture plate. This allows the denture to sit more securely inside your mouth for improved function.
Why You Need Dental Implants
Missing teeth can cause several negative consequences for your oral health. One of the primary concerns of not replacing missing teeth is bone deterioration. Without a tooth to stabilise the jaw, you are at risk of bone loss or weakness, which can impact your ability to speak and eat. Bone loss can also put your remaining teeth at risk of becoming loose in their socket.
Failure to replace missing teeth can also cause a poor bite and misalignment, which can cause gaps and crookedness in your smile. Your face may even appear sunken in the areas where your teeth are missing making you look older.
Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure requires multiple sessions with several weeks of healing time in between. Before getting dental implants, it is essential to know how dental implants are done.
Before your dentist can perform dental implant surgery, you will need to have a full dental evaluation to assess the health of your jawbone and remaining teeth. You will have x-rays and impressions made of your mouth to ensure that you have sufficient jawbone and are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
At Available Dental Care, we use the latest guided implant techniques to securely and accurately place your implant.
Guided surgery, significantly shortens the surgical time, minimizes blood loss, and allows us to immediately fit the abutment and crown.
Before the surgery, we take images of your mouth using a state-of-the-art Cone Beam CT scan. The images and data from the scan are input into a software system that plots the surgery digitally. The surgical information is translated into a 3D surgical template which is fabricated to fit comfortably inside the oral cavity.
During the surgery, the template is secured in your mouth using an anchor, and specialised tools are used to punch a small hole in the soft tissue. Through these holes, our surgeons can drill into the jawbone and use a guided surgical mount to place the titanium implants. The prepared abutment and crown can then be placed unless your procedure does not include immediately loading the dental crown.
If you have not elected to have the crown loaded straightaway, the abutment and crown will be fitted once the implant has healed. The crown is matched to the shade of your natural teeth so that it blends in seamlessly.
In some cases, your jawbone may not have the necessary density or strength to support an implant, so you will need to have an additional surgery prior to the implant to strengthen the jawbone. This surgery is known as a bone graft and uses bone from your body which is transplanted to your jaw.
At Available Dental Care, we use the latest technology and techniques for bone grafts, including guided bone regeneration which uses a specialised type of barrier membrane and stem cell technology to enhance natural bone cell renewal.
You may also need a surgery known as a sinus lift, which increases the width of the upper jawbone to ensure that there is enough space to embed the implant.
Dental Implant Cost
While dental implants cost more than other tooth replacement options, their durability and longevity mean they will not need to be repaired or replaced as often making them a worthwhile investment in your oral health. The dental implant cost varies depending on a variety of factors, including:
- The Number of Teeth to be Replaced
Single dental implants are the most affordable dental implant option. All-on-4 implants, for example, require additional materials, which means they will cost more.
- Any Additional Surgeries Needed
A bone graft and sinus lift are complex surgeries that require a maxillofacial surgeon. This increases the overall dental implant cost.
- The Cost of Extraction
If your tooth has not already fallen out, you will need to have the tooth extracted before the implant can be embedded. While most extractions are simple procedures, extreme trauma, or a complex medical history may mean that you need to be placed under IV sedation for your extraction, which will add the dental implant cost.
Dental implants are considered to be a Major Dental procedure and are not covered by Medicare unless it is deemed essential for your health and well-being by a referring doctor. If you have private health insurance, you may have coverage for dental implants if your policy includes Major Dental. Always check with your insurance provider about your level of coverage. At Available Dental Care, we offer HICAPS so you can immediately file a claim.
If you have missing teeth, it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible. Dental implants are the most stable, durable, and natural-looking tooth replacement option.
To find out more about dental implants, call Available Dental Care on (02) 4062 8763 to book an appointment for a consultation.