DENTAL IMPLANTS EXPLAINED
Do you need to replace a missing tooth? Are you looking for an alternative to dentures? Opt for a long lasting solution and ask about dental implants to reclaim your smile.
Dental implants are used to replace a tooth or set or teeth by inserting a metal screw or fixture into the jaw, which then acts as an anchor for a new false tooth. Over time the metal screw bonds with the jaw bone and creates a very strong, long-lasting support for the prosthetic tooth, a process called osseo-integration. Read on to find out more about dental implants including the process, implant prices, who can get an implant and more.
WHEN DO I NEED A DENTAL IMPLANT?
This treatment is an option when the tooth or teeth are badly damaged and have no hope of being saved. While implants are suitable for most people, the success rate can vary depending on various pre-existing conditions. To improve the implant success rate, some general requirements include:
- Have appropriate bone tissue density in your jaw
- Be free of periodontal disease (a form of gum disease)
- Be a non-smoker or at least give up smoking during the healing process.
There are many factors that will affect the total amount you will pay for dental implants. This includes the number of implants needed, the quality of the porcelain or prosthetic tooth and the type of implant you receive.
We have included some price ranges below for various implant types however for a more accurate cost, contact us so we can determine your individual needs.
*Price varies based on brand of implant, the type of restoration and need for bone graft
PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
The White Bite offers a number of payment options to make your treatment as affordable as possible. If your individual procedure involves tooth extraction, your Private Health Fund may cover a part of this cost. Check with your Fund directly to see what kind of cover you have. HICAPS is available at our clinic for on the spot health fund claims.
We can also offer an interest-free payment plan through Zip. Find out more about Zip Pay and Zip Money payment plans here or apply in their quick 3 minute online application process here. You can also ask us about payment plans when making your appointment.
DENTAL IMPLANTS PROCEDURE
There are two phases in the dental implants procedure:
The first phase involves the surgical component of placing the fixture in the jaw bone. The implant placement procedure involves heavily anaesthetising the area. A small incision is made and the gum is then carefully reflected off the bone (very important for healing afterwards) and a hole (known as an osteotomy) is carefully prepared. The fixture is then gently inserted into the jaw bone and the gums are sutured back into position to allow osseo-integration. This is then followed by 2-6 months of healing.
The second phase involves fabricating the custom made prosthesis. Here we obtain a highly accurate impression (with a digital scanner or traditional impression material) of the head of the fixture to allow the dental laboratory to fabricate the prosthesis tooth. The prosthesis is supported on top of the implant by the abutment and there are a number of combinations available, depending on your specific treatment.
The entire course of treatment takes between 3-12 months on average.
DENTAL IMPLANTS OR DENTURES?
For many years dentures were the primary option for patients with missing teeth. Designed to fit into the empty space of the lost tooth, dentures are removable and offer a simpler, cheaper alternative for replacing teeth. However, a common complaint with those who wear partial or full dentures is that they are uncomfortable, insecure and can cause irritation or discomfort while eating or speaking. This is primarily due to the dentures not being secured carefully resulting in movement.
Dentures are also prone to wear and tear so regular cleaning and proper dental hygiene is a must, however regardless of the care given, they will need to be eventually replaced.
Implants differ to dentures as they offer a more permanent solution and a have a much higher success rate with patients. Implants are the closest match to natural teeth, they help to preserve the bone and also prevent further bone or gum deterioration. This is because the implant helps to replace a portion of the tooth root, which adds support to the jaw. They are a more expensive option and require multiple appointments however for many patients the benefits far outweigh the costs. After the healing process, the maintenance of an implant is much like a normal tooth, in that regular flossing, brushing and dental check-ups are required.