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Dental Implants: Everything You Need To Know

Dental implants are one of the most popular dental treatments for missing teeth. If you are considering dental implants, you probably have many questions about the procedure. In this blog post, South Perth Dental Surgery will discuss everything patients need to know about dental implants. We’ll cover what the procedure involves, its benefits and risks, and what qualities make a patient an ideal candidate for the procedure. We’ll also discuss the cost of dental implants. If you’re thinking about getting implants, read on.

detail of a false tooth implant fixed in the jaw

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a long-term solution to tooth loss. Unlike dentures, which need to be removed and cleaned daily, implants are securely anchored to your jaw bone, providing a natural-looking and feeling replacement for your missing teeth.

Implants can support a single tooth, several teeth, or a full arch of teeth. Implants are made from a strong titanium alloy that serves as an artificial tooth root placed into your jawbone. Over time, the bone grows around it to create a strong foundation. This integration process provides a stable foundation for the replacement tooth, which is then attached to the implant.

Dental implants are among the most successful and longest-lasting tooth replacement options. In fact, with proper dental care, they can last a lifetime. And because they’re securely anchored in your jawbone, implants won’t slip or move as dentures can. That means you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Implants can help restore your smile and improve your oral health. But implants are not right for everyone. Here are some of the requirements that make one an ideal candidate for implants:

  • Good oral health:
    One quality that makes a patient ideal for dental implants is good dental health. It is important to have healthy gums and teeth before considering implants. Those with poor oral hygiene may be at risk for infection and other complications.

  • Adequate bone density:
    Strong and dense bone is another quality that makes a patient ideal for dental implants. The metal post placed during the procedure needs something to hold onto, and those with insufficient bone density may not be ideal candidates. Patients who have had teeth extracted may need to wait several months for the jawbone to heal or undergo bone grafting before getting dental implants. A consultation with your dentist can help to determine if you have a strong enough jawbone for dental implants.

  • Good overall health:
    Dental implants require a surgical procedure, so you must be healthy enough to undergo surgery. If you have medical conditions that could complicate the procedure, you may not be a candidate for implants. For example, diabetes can delay healing, while smokers are at a higher risk for implant failure. Patients with gum disease may also need treatment before getting dental implants.

  • Realistic expectations:
    It’s important to have realistic expectations about what implants can and can’t do for you. You may be disappointed if you expect implants to completely transform your appearance. Implants can boost confidence and improve your appearance, but they’re not a magic solution. The procedure can also take several months to complete and may require multiple visits to the dentist.

  • Commitment to oral hygiene:
    It’s also important that patients be willing to commit to proper dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Implants require you to take good care of your teeth and gums. If you don’t take care of your implants, they can fail.

If you are interested in dental implants, consult your dentist to see if you are an ideal candidate.

What Are the Benefits of the Dental Implant Procedure?

Dental implants can provide comfort and stability that other tooth replacement options can’t match. Here are some of the benefits of dental implants:

  • Improved comfort:
    Implants are the closest thing to your natural teeth. They don’t slip or move around like dentures, and there’s no need to worry about them becoming loose. They also eliminate the need for ill-fitting dentures that can rub against your gums and cause irritation. This can help give you a greater sense of security and confidence when eating and speaking.

  • Enhanced stability:
    Unlike dentures, which can slip and move, dental implants are securely anchored to your jawbone. This provides a level of stability that other tooth replacement options can’t match.

  • Improved chewing:
    Implants allow you to chew more effectively without worry that your teeth will become loose or fall out. This can make eating a more enjoyable experience, and it can also improve your overall nutrition.

  • Enhanced appearance:
    Dental implants look and feel like your real teeth. They can also be used to support dental prostheses like dentures or bridges. This can improve the aesthetics of your smile and give you a more youthful appearance.

  • Improved speaking:
    With dental implants, you won’t have to worry about your teeth slipping or moving when you talk, which can sometimes happen with dentures. Dental implants are securely in place so you can speak confidently. This is especially beneficial for people who have trouble speaking clearly because of missing teeth.

  • Durability:
    With proper oral care, dental implants can last a lifetime. They are also much more durable than other tooth replacement options.

  • Convenience:
    Unlike dentures, which need to be removed and cleaned daily, dental implants are fixed in place. This means you can brush and floss them just like your natural teeth.

  • Enhanced oral health:
    Unlike bridges that rely on adjacent teeth for support, dental implants are independent structures. This means they do not put extra stress on your other teeth. Also, dental implants can improve your oral health by preventing bone loss in the jaw. Dental implants also do not require the reduction of other teeth, as is common with dental bridges, helping to preserve your healthy teeth. Additionally, unlike dentures, which can sometimes trap food and lead to gum disease, dental implants help promote good oral hygiene. Lastly, because they don’t require special adhesives, they’re less likely to cause irritation to your gums.

  • Improved appearance:
    Implants can greatly improve your natural smile. They are also designed to fuse with bone, becoming permanent fixtures in your mouth. This gives them a much more natural appearance than other dental prosthetics.

  • Increased self-confidence:
    Because dental implants function like natural teeth, they can increase your self-confidence. This is especially beneficial if you have been avoiding social situations because you are embarrassed about your smile. This can lead to an overall boost in self-esteem and quality of life.

What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?

The dental implant procedure is a multi-step process that requires a couple of dental visits to be completed.

The first step in dental implant surgery is to meet with your dentist or oral surgeon to see if you’re a good candidate. During this initial consultation, they’ll review your medical history and thoroughly examine your mouth. They may also take X-rays or 3D scans to get a better look at the current state of your teeth and jawbone.

Once they determine that you are a good candidate for implants, the next step is to prepare your mouth for surgery. This usually involves cleaning your teeth and gums and any necessary tooth extractions. Once your mouth is ready, the next step is to have dental implant surgery. This surgery is usually done under local anesthesia and takes about an hour or two to complete depending on the number of implants to be placed. The surgery involves the placement of a titanium implant in your jawbone.

The implants will then fuse to your jawbone and act as a new root system for your teeth. This process, called osseointegration, can take several months. Once the implants are secure, your dental surgeon will attach an abutment to the implant. This will serve as a connector of your new tooth to the implant.

The final step is to have your new tooth placed on the abutment. The dental crown will look and feel just like your natural teeth and will complete the dental implant process.

Teeth implants are a great way to give you back your smile. If you are considering dental implant surgery, be sure to talk to your dentist about all of your options.

smiling dentist pointing at tooth model

What Are the Possible Risks of the Dental Implant Procedure?

Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for missing teeth. However, as with any dental procedure, there are some risks associated with dental implants. It is important to be aware of these risks before undergoing the procedure.

  • Infection:
    This is one of the most common complications associated with dental implants. The mouth is full of bacteria, and these bacteria are at risk of getting into the surgical site and causing infection during surgery. Infection can occur at the implant site, or it can develop in the surrounding tissue. Infection can cause pain, swelling, and redness. In some cases, it may even cause implant failure. If left untreated, the infection can also lead to serious health complications.

  • Nerve damage:
    Another potential complication of dental implants is nerve damage. This can occur if the implant is placed too close to a nerve. The nerves in the mouth are very sensitive, and if they are damaged during surgery, they can cause numbness, tingling, or pain in the affected area.

  • Allergic reactions:
    Another potential issue that patients can experience after the tooth implant procedure is an allergic reaction to the materials used. This is typically rare, but it can occur. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, swelling, and redness.

  • Bone loss:
    Another potential complication of dental implants is bone loss. When the implant is placed in the jawbone, it stimulates the bone to grow around it. However, if there is not enough bone to support the implant, it can cause more bone loss and eventually lead to implant loosening and failure.

  • Sinus problems:
    One potential complication of dental implants is that they can cause problems with the sinuses. If the implant is placed too close to the sinus cavity, it can cause inflammation and pain. Additionally, if the implant extends into the sinus cavity, it can block drainage and lead to an infection.

  • Implant failure:
    This is one of the most serious complications of dental implants. Implant failure occurs when the implant does not fuse properly with the bone and begins to loosen. If this happens, it can lead to pain, infection, and eventually, the need for the implant to be removed.

Dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth. Talk to your dentist about all the possible risks and complications before undergoing this dental procedure.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

There are different types of implants used for different needs.

  • Endosteal implants:
    These are the most common type of dental implants and are placed directly into your jawbone. Once the implant has fused with your jawbone, a small connector post, called an abutment, is placed on top of the implant. The abutment is then used to support your new tooth (crown).

  • Subperiosteal implants:
    These are placed under the gum tissue but on or above the jawbone. A metal frame is attached to the implants, and your gum tissue can heal around the frame. As with endosteal implants, once the gum tissue has healed, the abutment is placed on top of the implant post to support your new tooth.

  • Zygomatic Implants:
    Zygomatic implants are used in cases where the jawbone is too weak to support a traditional dental implant. They are placed in the cheekbone, and they provide support for the implant by anchoring it to a different bone. This type of surgery is invasive and is not always successful.

What Is Involved With Dental Implant Aftercare?

Proper dental implant aftercare is essential to maintaining your new smile. Dental implants are designed to last a long time but require proper care to ensure longevity.

  • Keep your mouth clean.
    Just like your natural teeth, your implants must be brushed twice daily. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid damaging the implant. In addition, you should floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from around the implant. In some cases, mouthwashes may be recommended to help keep dental implants clean and free of bacteria.

  • Visit your dentist regularly for maintenance.
    Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are important for all types of dental implants. Your dentist can check for any signs of infection or other problems.

  • Quit smoking.
    If you smoke, it’s important to quit now. Smoking can cause damage to the gums and bones around the implant, significantly increasing your risk of implant failure. It’s also important to avoid using tobacco products during the healing period, as it can delay healing time and increase the risk of infection.

  • Eat a healthy diet.
    A healthy diet is important for overall dental health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary foods and drinks and acidic beverages like coffee and soda, which can erode tooth enamel.

  • Avoid biting or chewing hard objects.
    Your implant is strong, but it’s not indestructible. Biting or chewing on hard objects (ice cubes, candy) can damage the implant, so avoid them altogether.

  • Take care of your gums.
    Periodontal disease is a leading cause of implant failure. Be sure to brush, floss and use mouthwash to keep your mouth clean. If you notice any signs of gum disease, be sure to get treatment right away.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a great way to restore your smile, and with the right care, you can enjoy your new smile for years to come! We hope this has helped answer any questions you may have had about dental implants. If you have any additional questions, schedule a consultation with South Perth Dental Surgery today! Our friendly team will be happy to address your concerns and help you determine if dental implants are the right choice for you. Book an appointment online or contact our dental clinic today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Implants can last between 20 and 30 years with proper care. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that no dental restoration is 100% perfect. There is always a small risk of implant failure. However, the success rate for dental implants is incredibly high, and many patients have enjoyed their implants for decades without any problems.

There are a few alternative teeth replacement options that your dentist may recommend. These include:

  1. Dental bridges.
    Bridges are used when there are still natural teeth remaining. The bridge is anchored to your teeth on either side of the gap and fills in the space where the tooth is missing. Bridges can be made from gold, silver, or porcelain and can last many years with proper care.

  2. Removable dentures.
    Dentures are false teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth. They are usually made of porcelain or plastic and must be replaced every few years as they wear out. Dentures are another popular option for replacement of missing teeth, but they can be loose-fitting and uncomfortable.

The price of dental implants will vary depending on several factors, including the number of implants you need, the type of implant you choose, and the experience of your dentist. The average price of dental implants can range between $4,000 – $6,000.

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover dental implants. However, some private insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost of dental implants. If you have insurance, check with your provider to see if they offer cover for dental implants.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Dental Appointment

South Perth Dental Surgery has been providing high-quality dental care to families for over 30 years. Our team of experienced dentists offer extensive world-class services and stays current with the latest dental technology so we can help keep your smile looking great.
 
Make an appointment with us today and see what we have to offer!