If you are missing a single tooth, several teeth or all teeth, providing you are in reasonable health, you should be a good candidate for dental implants. A tiny percentage of the population may not be suitable for implants. For instance, if you have inadequate bone tissue, diabetes or cancer, tooth implants may not be possible. However, for those with inadequate bone tissue, bone graft may be possible.
What about going overseas for dental implants?
We understand that many are attracted to the idea of a cheap dental work performed offshore in Bali or Thailand, for example, particularly if you can grab a holiday at the same time. It’s important to weigh up the risks, though. For example:
- In Australia, we have strictly regulated guidelines and protocols to follow and are only allowed to use the highest quality TGA approved materials.
- Not all countries require the same standards of education required in Australia.
- Australian dentists must adhere to stringent infection control protocols. We are now seeing a rise in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” due to people picking up infections after returning from overseas protocols with lesser infection control standards.
- Things can go wrong – if you’re in Australia, you can return to your dentist within the hour. If your dentist is overseas, you’ll have to incur the cost of a return flight and accommodation, as no Australian dentist will be able to remedy your situation here, partly because the dentist may not have compatible materials to those used overseas.
- If things do go wrong – how much money do you have to rectify the situation and how much time you prepared to lose being sick and away from work?
How much are dental implants?
What if I only have one tooth missing?
You would only require one dental implant if one tooth is missing. After placement and healing time, your dentist will then place an abutment and crown over the implant, which should mimic the look, feel and function of the normal tooth.
What if I have several teeth missing?
Depending on how many teeth are missing and their location, the implant dentist will place two or more implants below the gum line and create an implant supported partial denture.
What if all my teeth are missing?
Does it matter how old I am?
You can have dental implants at almost any age. The minimum required age is late teens. After that, implants can be placed no matter what your age, providing you have enough bone tissue.
How long does the whole procedure take?
Your procedure will take several stages and will depend on your individual circumstances. The simplest cases may only require two or three visits. More complicated cases will require several visits over a couple of months.
Once you have the dental implant inserted, approximately three months’ healing time will be required for the implant to stabilise and mesh with the bone (osseointegration).
Talk to a dentist about what would be involved in your procedure.
Is the procedure painful?
It’s likely that you will have your procedure performed in the dentist’s chair. You will be given local anaesthetic. The procedure is similar to having a filling. However, if you prefer, we can offer you further sedation. Afterwards, you may be sore for a couple of days only.
Why do you use titanium implants?
Titanium is exceedingly strong and durable, making it an ideal material for implants. It is also ideal as the human body does not consider it a foreign body and reject it. Because it is a biocompatible material, the surrounding bone, nerves, tissues and gum will form a strong bond with the implant.
Warning: we have heard of many cases of Australians going to Asia for dental implant procedures, only to receive implants made of inferior materials which can fail or lead to infection.
Why choose dental implants over conventional dentures?
Dental implants are the preferred option for stabilising dentures for many reasons:
- restore and preserve the normal shape of the mouth, jaw and face. Implants keep the jawbone tissue strong. Without our natural teeth, the bone begins to break down (resorb).
- Improved bite efficiency by up to 65%
- allows you to bite and chew hard foods
- enables improved speech
- provides a permanent solution
- superior comfort and function
- aesthetically pleasing
How safe are implants?
Providing your procedure is performed by an experienced professional, dental implants are an extremely safe procedure.
What is osseointegration?
Osseointegration refers to the direct functional and structural connection between living bone and the artificial tooth implant. The bone tissue can grow right up to the implant surface without any layer of connective tissue.
After you’ve had a dental implant inserted into your jawbone, it takes approximately three months for osseointegration to occur. Successful osseointegration can be observed through x-ray.
What is bone resorption?
When there is no longer a tooth root in the jawbone, the bone starts to resorb or melt away. The longer the jawbone is left without anything in its place, the more bone will be resorbed.
Replacing a tooth with a dental implant will encourage the surrounding bone to stay healthy and strong, resulting in a more natural-looking appearance.
How long will my dental implants last?
If you’re in good health and your dental implant was inserted by a reputable dentist here in Australia, your chance for success with your implants is 99%, and lasting over 30 years.