A no-frills guide on your implant procedure – before, during & after
Dental implants are a game changer. A permanent tooth replacement solution for patients who have missing teeth or teeth damaged beyond repair, nothing else compares. Since their invention by Per-Ingvar Branemark, decades ago, they’ve become one of the most popular tooth replacement options, boasting a high success rate and a range of excellent benefits.
But if you’re a newcomer, there are quite a few things to understand. We’ve put together this guide so you’ll know what goes on before, during and after getting dental implants.
NB: It’s essential you speak to an experienced implant dentist for advice on your options and eligibility. And, as with all surgical procedures, we recommend you seek a second opinion. But if you’re keen to know more about implants, here’s what you should know.
How long does the dental implant procedure take?
The length of your dental implant procedure will depend on many factors, such as:
The above factors will determine how many visits to the dentist you’ll need and the time required in between visits. These factors will also contribute to the cost involved in your treatment. Conventional methods may take several months to complete your implant procedure; however, if you choose the Same Day Teeth procedure, you may have a new tooth or teeth placed within 24 hours.
Components of a conventional dental implant
There are a variety of different types of implants – as well as different types of tooth replacement devices that are connected to the implant. Essentially, there are three different components, with each fitted at different stages of the dental implant procedure:
What happens during my dental implant procedure?
With a conventional dental implant, the implant procedure is performed in stages – over several months. This gives you implant of the surrounding tissues time to fuse and heal between stages. Your dental implant procedure will typically include the following steps:
1. Dental examination
Before the implant procedure begins, your dentist will need to check your dental and medical health. They will examine elements such as your bone density and gum health to determine your eligibility for dental implants. In some cases, you may be required to undergo additional procedures such as bone grafting or tooth extraction to remove damaged teeth before the implant procedure takes place.
2. Jawbone preparation
Before your dental implant procedure, your dentist will need to prepare the jawbone and surrounding area for implant surgery.
3. Implant placement
The first stage of the implant procedure involves placing the titanium screw into the jawbone, below the gum line. Once placed, the surrounding area will be left to heal for two to three months. During this time, the jawbone tissue will grow right up to the implant and fuse with it in a process known as osseointegration.
4. Abutment placement
After the healing period, the implant will be surgically exposed. Then, the abutment will be attached to the titanium screw (implant). It will take around two weeks for the recently exposed tissue to heal; then, afterward, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth to fit your dental crown.
5. Crown attachment
Your dental crown will be fixed to the abutment to complete the surgical procedure.
What’s the cost of an implant and crown?
The cost of your implant and crown will depend on several factors, as mentioned. In particular, the position of the missing tooth, the level of bone volume you have, and the type of crown you are choosing will help determine the implant and crown price. However, the starting price for a dental implant, abutment and crown at Aria Dental is $3850.
Who can perform implant dentistry?
There are many dental clinics offering tooth implants today; however, not all dentists have the same level of expertise or experience. We recommend you have your dental implant procedure overseen by a dental specialist, such as a prosthodontist.
Aria Dental is led by Western Australia’s leading implant expert and specialist prosthodontist Dr Michael Zaninovich. Dr Zaninovich has been placing implants for over 14 years and is renowned throughout the nation for his expertise and accomplishments in implant dentistry. He also regularly lectures fellow dental professionals on implant placement techniques.
Is the procedure painful?
Many people assume that implant surgery would be painful. And although it’s not strictly pain-free, implant placement is not painful. You may experience some swelling and discomfort initially, but this discomfort subsides after the first two days. To counteract any discomfort, we will prescribe you Panadeine Forte and anti-inflammatory medications so that you can remain comfortable during your recovery time. If you do experience pain that is in any way intolerable, we advise you to contact the clinic immediately so that we can prescribe you alternative medication that is more appropriate to your needs.
What is a dental implant?
Tooth implants are made of titanium – a strong, biocompatible material (meaning it’s nonharmful and your body won’t reject it). The screw-in part of the implant is inserted into the jawbone, beneath the gum-line by a dentist or oral surgeon. It eventually fuses with the bone in a process known as osseointegration. Your implant then acts as an artificial tooth root for your new replacement tooth or teeth.
How do I prepare for dental implants?
Most of the time taken preparing for implants involves your dental appointments and examinations leading up to the placement date. Regarding personal preparation, not a lot is involved – it’s more a matter of being sensible. For example, as implant placement is a surgical procedure, it’s recommendable you don’t have any important events planned for the week after your surgery.
Depending on your level of sedation, your dentist may request a short period of fasting. Please check with your dentist and adhere to their instructions closely. If you become severely ill with a heavy cold or fever, your dentist may postpone the procedure as maintaining good health around your surgery time is imperative. After your procedure, you will be given a list of post-operative instructions by your dentist, which must be adhered to closely.
If you’re having implant surgery are Aria Dental, will give you a complete list of verbal and written instructions.
In summary, here are some of the things you’ll need to do after your implant surgery.
Which country is cheapest or best for dental implants?
(Is it worth travelling overseas for tooth implants?)
Where you decide to have your implant procedure is up to you. Today, many Australian dental clinics offer dental implants, and there are plenty of overseas clinics, particularly in Bali, Thailand, and India offering tooth implants. But while they may look similar at first, there are quite a few differences.
Before you choose a dental implant clinic, keep in mind that the initial costs are only one factor. With implant, there will be ongoing costs and consultations. Also, if things go wrong, you’ll need to return to the clinic for treatment. Consequently, you’ll need a clinic that you can easily travel to and that you can develop a long-term relationship with.
Few countries have hygiene protocols as high as Australia’s. We have extremely strict regulations and guidelines in place, and our dentists will be held accountable for any breach in conduct. These standards don’t always apply in other countries, so if something goes wrong, there is no recourse. A dental clinic may look clean and tidy, but this is no indication of the quality of their equipment, or sterilisation and disposal protocols.
Also, as overseas dentists often use implants that are not approved in Australia, so if things go wrong, Australian dentists may be unable to help, so you’ll have to return overseas for all further treatments.
We’ve written a more extensive article on overseas dental work here, if you like to read more information about this.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.