A dental implant is a synthetic root or anchor that is positioned in your jaw and used to replace damaged or lost teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth or several teeth. They are also used as a solid base for replacement teeth including dental bridges, dentures, and crowns.
For many people, dental implants offer the opportunity to smile with confidence again but what does this investment in your future cost and what payment options are available? What can you expect during the procedure and how long will it take you to heal?
We’ve taken a few minutes to answer the questions asked most frequently about this popular procedure.
What Are Implants Made Out Of?
The majority of modern implants are crafted from titanium. Titanium offers many benefits like non-magnetism and being lightweight. Titanium is also a popular material because it is not considered a foreign object and is not rejected by the human body.
Dental implants have been used for tooth replacements for more than 30 years and are meant to last a lifetime. The replacement tooth that is attached to the implant has a shorter lifespan and typically lasts for between five and 15 years.
How Do I Know If I Need Implants?
If you are missing teeth, or have teeth that are damaged or diseased, your dentist is likely to recommend dental implants to prevent further damage or to stop your teeth from drifting.
If you wear dentures or a bridge, implants can make them more comfortable.
What Do Dental Implants Cost?
This question comes up all the time because there is a lot of variance in price for the procedure. Of course there is no rate card for implants because everyone’s circumstances are different.
The price of your implants will be calculated by your dental professional and will include the cost of the materials, your consultation fees and any specialist fees.
Your location will also play a role in the fees you are charged, as will the level of experience of your dental surgeon. If you live on the Gold Coast you can expect to pay a little less than if you need implants in Sydney or Melbourne.
In Australia a single dental implant that is relatively simple to perform will cost in the region of $2850 to $6500. In the event that you need an abutment three to six months later, you can expect the price lean more towards the $6500 figure.
If you require a sinus lift or bone graft, or some other procedure that makes the implant more complex you can expect to budget between $4000 and $11 500.
The price of all on four dental implants will range between $15 000 and $30 000 per procedure.
The cost barrier should not stop you from seeking professional treatment. Over the long term the cost of dental implants is significantly more affordable than a dental bridge or the consequences of ignoring the matter. Implants are also a lot easier to have fitted than wearing dentures, which are uncomfortable and can move around.
If the price quoted to you is higher than you anticipated speak to your dentist about a payment plan.
How Do I Know If I Need A Bone Graft?
A bone graft is required if you do not have enough jawbone to screw the implant into. If this happens your dentist will take some from your other bone tissue or use artificial bone. In some cases a combination of the two is used. Once you have had your x-rays and CT scans, your dentist will advise whether you need a bone graft.
Am I Too Old Or Young For Dental Implants?
There are no age restrictions on dental implants however it is better in children it is advisable to wait until they are fully grown as the jawbone goes through significant changes as a child grows up.
Implants can be used by elderly patients too and will benefit those wearing dentures as they will make them a lot more comfortable.
Are There Any Side Effects To The Procedure?
There are a few potential side effects and risks associated with dental implants but thanks to modern technology they can be treated in the rare event that they do occur. In recent years dental implants have become safer, faster and more cost-effective to perform.
Some of the risks include nerve damage, infections, damage to blood vessels or other teeth or problems with your sinuses. Your dentist will discuss your specific risk factors with you prior to your procedure.
After the procedure and the healing period, you should adjust to your implants quickly and painlessly. It is normal to experience slight pain, discomfort or inflammation in the week following your procedure. In the majority of cases, patients are impressed with how little pain they experience.
Ask your dentist about pain management options if this is a concern for you.
How Long Will I Take To Heal?
Recovery times vary between patients, from a few days to a few weeks. It will take your gum tissue and jawbone as long as three to six months to recover fully from the procedure. If you had been wearing dentures before the procedure you may find it more comfortable than the dentures during your recovery period.
It is important to follow your dentist’s advice after the procedure and to maintain a good standard of dental care. As with any medical procedure, allow yourself to rest and eat sleep so your body can recover as quickly as possible.
Contact us for a consultation to discuss implants so you can smile again!