A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth. Dental implants are made of a titanium alloy and are surgically inserted into the jawbone to support the replacement teeth.
Dental implants can be placed in most adults providing the growth of the jaw is complete and they are in good health to undergo a surgical procedure. Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant. If you have been missing your teeth for many years and the bone has resorbed, bone grafting or augmentation may be required prior to the dental implant procedure. The best candidates have healthy gum tissue that is free of periodontal disease. There are some medical conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, or lifestyle choices such as smoking, that may need to be addressed prior to implant treatment.
Not all dentists are trained in implant dentistry. It is important to understand there is significant variation in not only the cost, but the quality of your dental implant treatment. The factors that influence the quality and end result of your dental implant treatment include:
- The formal qualifications, experience and expertise of the dental surgeon.
- The type of dental implant used. Not all implants are the same!
- The equipment and facilities used to perform the procedure.
- The skill of the dental technician in fabricating the dental implant prosthesis.
- The dental laboratory and materials used to fabricate the dental implant prosthesis.
Careful consideration needs to be made when determining where to have your dental implant treatment. There should be very little or no compromise in terms of the quality of the materials used.
The initial cost of having a dental implant is greater than that of a denture or a tooth-supported fixed bridge. If maintained adequately, however, implants can last a lifetime, making the long term cost very affordable.
When considering costs, it is also important to consider the “biological cost” of dental treatment; that is, the biological impact it has on the tooth and the likelihood of needing future treatment. The biological cost of having a denture or a tooth-supported bridge is far greater than that of an implant, and when this is taken into consideration, the dental implant is much more cost-effective.
As with any other routine dental treatment, dental implants are placed under local anaesthetic. We provide additional sedation options to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
As with any surgery, you may experience some swelling and discomfort afterwards, which is perfectly normal. Appropriate analgesics and medications will be provided to ensure your comfort during the healing phase.
Once a dental implant has fused to the bone successfully and it is functional, it should last many years if cared for properly. Many implants have now been in place for more than 40 years.
Dental implants need to be adequately cleaned and maintained just like your natural teeth. Although they are not subject to dental cavities, they can develop gum inflammation and even infection and bone loss if not properly cared for. Brushing and flossing around your dental implants is extremely important. In addition to daily home care, it is important to maintain your regular visits to your dentist who will be able to review and ensure the surrounding gums and bone remain healthy.
Dental implants are safe and effective and have a very high success rate. However, as with all dental treatments, there are risks involved when placing dental implants. These may include:
- Infection at the implant site.
- Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels.
- Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin.
- Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities.
There are also a number of risk factors that may increase the risk of implant failure such as smoking and periodontal disease. It is important to discuss any general medical conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis with your dental surgeon prior to commencing dental implant treatment.
Optimal home care and professional maintenance will also reduce the risk of any future complications or infection so your dental implants can last you a lifetime!
When you have missing teeth, the bone has reduced function and is not stimulated. This results in the jawbone becoming weaker and shrinking in size. This can affect the shape of your face, causing you to look prematurely aged. The placement of dental implants can significantly reduce this process, helping to maintain the natural bone structure and support your facial features.
Dentures can make you feel and look older than you are, cause embarrassment in social situations when they become loose and click, and restrict the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably. They are often ill-fitting and uncomfortable to wear, making it difficult to speak and eat with confidence. Dentures also do not provide enough stimulation to the jawbone, which results in increased bone loss in the area where teeth are missing.
Aria Dental Perth is a leading dental implant centre and general dental surgery situated in the Perth CBD. If you’re considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option, we offer a free initial dental implant consultation.
Dental implants are now considered the gold standard in tooth replacement over conventional options such as removable dentures and dental bridges. Find out more about our dental implant services via our dental implants FAQs or by booking your free consultation today.