Dental implants are the modern solution to missing teeth, offering a permanent, functional, and aesthetically pleasing option for tooth replacement. They are a preferred alternative to bridges and dentures, providing patients with a reliable and natural-looking solution. This comprehensive guide will discuss dental implant benefits, types, procedures, and other important factors to consider.
Dental implants offer various advantages over other tooth replacement methods:
There are two primary types of dental implants:
Implant Procedure Overview
The dental implant process typically involves several steps:
Consultation and planning: During this initial stage, the dentist thoroughly examines the patient’s oral health. They will use X-rays and 3D imaging to assess the patient’s jawbone and teeth. The dentist will discuss available treatment options and answer any patient questions. Based on the patient’s needs and preferences, the dentist will create a customised treatment plan outlining the steps and timeline for the dental implant procedure.
Tooth extraction: If the patient has a damaged or decayed tooth that cannot be saved, it must be removed before the implant procedure. The dentist will perform the extraction, preserving as much bone as possible. After the extraction, the area may need to heal for several weeks before implant placement.
Bone grafting: In cases where the patient’s jawbone is insufficient to support the implant, a bone graft may be necessary. The dentist will take a small piece of bone from the patient’s body or a donor and graft it onto the jawbone. This procedure helps to build a stronger foundation for the implant. Bone grafting typically requires several months of healing before implant placement.
Implant placement: Once the area has healed, the dentist will surgically insert the dental implant into the patient’s jawbone. Usually made of titanium or zirconia, the implant is an artificial tooth root. After the implant is placed, the patient will need to wait several months for the implant to fully integrate with the jawbone, a process known as osseointegration.
Abutment placement: After fully integrating the implant with the jawbone, the dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant and the artificial tooth. The gums around the abutment may need a few weeks to heal before the final step of the process.
Crown placement: The final dental implant procedure step involves placing a custom crown on the abutment. The crown, made from materials like porcelain or zirconia, is designed to match the patient’s natural teeth in terms of size, shape, and colour. Once the crown is secured to the abutment, the dental implant process is complete, and the patient can enjoy a fully restored, functional, and natural-looking tooth.
Two main materials are used for dental implants.
Several factors can influence the success of dental implants:
Proper care and maintenance of dental implants are essential for their longevity:
The dentist removes the damaged tooth, places the implant into the jawbone, and inserts a screw to remove debris. The implant takes 3 to 6 months to fuse with the jawbone while the gum is secured over the implant.
Choose a dentist who offers high-quality, reliable dental treatments. An inexperienced or poorly-trained dentist may cause implant failure, breakage, or gum infections. Dentistly lists thousands of dentists throughout Australia, and you can certainly find the best dentist in your local area.
The cost of dental implants can vary depending on factors such as:
Discussing the costs with your dentist and considering all available options is essential to make an informed decision.
Statewide Estimated Dental Implant Cost
|Single Implant Cost (AUD)
|Full Arch Implant Cost (AUD)
|New South Wales
|3,000 – 7,000
|15,000 – 30,000
|3,000 – 6,500
|14,000 – 28,000
|2,500 – 6,500
|14,000 – 27,000
|2,500 – 6,000
|13,000 – 25,000
|2,800 – 6,800
|14,500 – 29,000
|3,000 – 6,500
|15,000 – 28,000
|3,500 – 7,500
|16,000 – 32,000
|Australian Capital Territory
|3,000 – 6,500
|15,000 – 30,000
Please note that the prices listed in this table are approximate and may vary depending on individual dentists, specific cases, and additional procedures that may be needed. It is essential to consult with your dentist to obtain a more accurate cost estimate for your dental implant needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of biocompatible materials like titanium or zirconia. They are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth and provide a strong foundation for crowns, bridges, or dentures.
During the dental implant procedure, local anesthesia is used to numb the area, ensuring the patient feels minimal discomfort. Some post-operative pain or swelling may occur but can be managed with pain medications and ice packs.
The cost of dental implants varies depending on location, dentist experience, implant type and brand, additional procedures, and the number of implants needed. In Australia, a single dental implant can range from around 2,500 to 7,500 AUD, while full arch implants cost between 13,000 and 32,000 AUD.
Sometimes, a dental implant procedure called “immediate loading” can be completed in one day. This involves placing the implant, abutment, and temporary crown during the same appointment. However, not all patients are suitable candidates for this procedure, and traditional dental implant treatments may take several months to complete.
Dental implants have a high success rate and are considered a safe and effective treatment for tooth replacement. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks, such as infection, nerve damage, or implant failure. Choosing an experienced dentist and maintaining good oral hygiene can help minimise these risks.
In Australia, health insurance extras typically don’t cover implants. You need high-level extras cover for implants. Most policies cover general dental treatments but not major procedures like implants. With smile.com.au, you get reduced fees on implants regardless of your extras policy.
You’re likely eligible for a dental implant if you have a strong jawbone, no gum disease, and don’t smoke. Discuss tooth replacement options with your dentist. Each case is different, so share your medical history during your consultation.
There are three types of dental implants. Your dentist will decide which is best for you:
Endosseous Implants: cylinder or screw-shaped, placed within the jawbone
Subperiosteal Implants: metal framework on top of the jawbone, under the gum tissue
Transosteal Implants: metal pin or u-shaped frame passing through the jawbone and gum tissue
A single implant takes about 1-2 hours. 3-9 months later, your dentist will create a crown or bridge to place over the post.
Recovery time varies based on your history, jawbone condition, number of teeth replaced, and if bone or gum grafting was needed. Downtime could be a few days to weeks. Complete healing takes 3-6 months.
Risks and side effects are rare and treatable. These include infection, injury, nerve damage, and sinus problems.
Going overseas may be cheaper, but lower-quality materials and questionable infection control increase risks. Dentists in Australia follow strict regulations. Consider smile.com.au for reduced implant costs with quality dentists in Australia.
Getting dental implants in countries with less strict regulations increases health risks. Common complications include infection and poorly positioned implants.
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. The artificial tooth attached lasts 5-15 years with good care.
Delaying treatment can lead to bone loss, requiring bone grafts before implants, increasing cost and healing time.
Dental implants are more expensive than alternatives and require a strong, healthy jawbone for support.
Alternatives include removable partial or complete dentures, tooth-supported fixed bridges, resin-bonded bridges, and All-on-4 dental implants.
Dental implants are an effective and long-lasting solution for tooth replacement, offering numerous benefits over traditional alternatives. Understanding the different types of implants, materials, and procedures and the factors influencing their success can help patients make informed decisions about their dental care. Proper care and maintenance will ensure the longevity of dental implants, providing a confident and healthy smile for years to come.