With U Dental

2 Wills St, Hawthorn East, VIC 3123

What Are Dental Implants?

restorative dentistry in hawthorn

Dental implants are near-permanent replacements for missing teeth. They have gained popularity because they dramatically improve functionality and aesthetics by surgically replacing the entire tooth structure with artificial tooth roots, connecting abutments, and visible crowns.

They function just as your natural teeth would and once healed, you shouldn’t even notice that they’re there! Dental implants offer many benefits over traditional dentures. Moreover, they are an excellent choice for anyone who needs to replace missing teeth, and wants to feel confident about their smile and have fully functioning teeth. If you’re interested in getting dental implants, contact us today to set up your free consultation at With U Dental.

What Are the Different Types of Implants?

dental implants types
types of dental implants

There are different types of dental implants for different needs, including single tooth implants, implant-supported bridges, and All-on-4. Here’s how each one works:

Single tooth implants

A single tooth replacement for those with just one badly damaged tooth or missing tooth

Implant-supported bridge

Also called a fixed partial denture, this replaces multiple adjacent missing teeth by creating a row of artificial teeth using two implants. 

Implant-supported dentures

Unlike traditional dentures that rest on your gums, implant-supported dentures (AKA, overdentures or snap-on dentures) are fastened to your jawbone with dental implants. They provide stability and comfort but can be removed if necessary. 

All-on-4 dental implants 

All-on-4 implants replace an entire arch (upper, lower, or both) using four implants per arch: two in the front of the jaw and two in the back.

If your jawbone has low bone density or low volume, your dentist might suggest a subperiosteal implant instead. This kind of implant will be placed under the gum but above the bone instead of being embedded directly into the bone (endosteal implants).

What Are the Components of a Dental Implant?

dental implant components
the dental implant components

No matter which type of implants for teeth you choose, they have the same components: the implant post, abutments, and visible replacement teeth.

  • Implant post: Also called an anchor, this is a titanium or zirconia screw that’s embedded in the jaw, creating a new “root” for your false teeth.
  • Abutment: This is a connector that joins the implant post to your crown, dental bridge, or full arch.
  • Visible teeth: These are crowns, bridges, or dentures that look just like your natural teeth and connect to the abutment.

What Materials Are Used in Dental Implants?

Titanium and zirconia are the main materials used for dental implant screws and abutments. However, your crowns or bridges (visible teeth) are often made from porcelain. Advances in restorative dentistry have produced natural-looking crowns made from zirconia, as well as cost-effective crowns made from resin or acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA).

Each material has its own advantages, and your dentist will suggest one based on your needs and budget.

  • Titanium: Known for being exceptionally strong and durable, titanium implants fuse well with the jawbone. High-grade medical titanium is usually composed of 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium, and 90% titanium to form a titanium alloy for increased strength.
  • Zirconia: This innovative ceramic is a metal-free alternative to titanium, but it is not as cost-effective. Zirconia is strong and aesthetically pleasing, and it can be used to construct the whole dental implant (screw, abutment, and crown).
  • Porcelain: With its natural-looking aesthetics, porcelain is still the preferred choice for crowns and bridges. However, porcelain can chip more easily than other materials, so it’s typically mixed with metal for porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) which is much stronger.
  • Other: Occasionally, other materials like gold alloys, cobalt-chromium alloys, or stainless steel may be used.

Why Should You Choose Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a natural-looking, near-permanent solution to a variety of dental issues. Here are some reasons getting dental implants in Melbourne is an excellent choice and a great alternative to dentures:

  • Natural-looking replacement: Whether you’ve got one missing tooth or many, dental implants offer a fix that looks and feels like your natural teeth. 
  • Restore function easily: Smile, speak, and chew with ease, as soon as your temporary or permanent implants are placed. 
  • Preserve bone density: Unlike removable dentures, dental implant treatment strengthens the jawbone, preserves bone density, prevents bone loss, and can even stimulate bone growth. 
  • Prevent teeth from shifting: Dental implant placement prevents your teeth from moving to “fill in the gaps”. 
  • High success rate: Multiple studies have shown that dental implants have an average success rate of 90–95%. This incredibly low failure rate means that this permanent teeth replacement and your dazzling smile will last for many years.  
  • Boost confidence: Implants create a beautiful smile that looks as natural as your real teeth. Get ready to feel more confident than you have in ages! 
  • Long-Lasting With Proper Care: Implants last a lifetime after healing. Crowns can last 10 to 15 years with good care before needing replacement.

Are You Eligible for a Dental Implant?

After an initial examination, your dentist will let you know if you’re a candidate for dental implant treatment. While most people are eligible for screw-in teeth replacements, you may not be, if:

  • You have low jawbone density or low jawbone volume
  • Severe gum disease (periodontal disease) is present
  • You have underlying medical conditions that may affect bone healing
  • You’re in poor physical health
  • You’re a smoker

The Dental Implant Procedure – What to Expect

dental implant procedure
the dental implant procedure

You’ll start your tooth replacement journey with a consultation and holistic assessment. From there, you’ll have your dental implant surgery, allow time for healing, and then come back to have your permanent teeth placed.

1. Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning

You’ll start with a comprehensive consultation, which includes a physical oral examination. Your implant dentist will also ask about your medical history and current health. This step includes an X-ray or 3D-CBCT scan to check jawbone density and develop a treatment plan that suits your needs.

Your dentist will also answer any questions and address any concerns you may have about the implant procedure before you commit to it.

2. Implant Surgical Procedure

Depending on your preference and your oral health, you may have either local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic for your implant placement surgery. Here, your dentist will insert the titanium or zirconia implant screw(s) into your jawbone.

You may need extra dental surgeries before your dental implant placement, such as tooth extraction if there’s severe tooth decay. These additional surgeries will be performed first so you can heal before coming back for your implant surgery.

3. Osseointegration (Healing Time)

After your implant surgery, you’ll be fitted with temporary teeth while your jawbone fuses with the implants. This process is called osseointegration, which can take 3 to 6 months.

Your dentist will give you post-op care instructions on dental hygiene to help your bone healing go as fast as possible. Depending on your treatment plan and personalised timeline, you’ll come back for a follow-up appointment about 3 months after your surgery.

4. Prosthetic Teeth Placement

Your dentist will assess your implant(s) and bone healing. If they are happy with your progress, they will place your permanent prosthetic teeth. At the follow-up appointment, your dentist will fit the abutments and then place your custom-made permanent dental crowns.

Once your permanent prosthetic teeth are placed, you’re ready to go out into the world with a bright, confident smile!

Dental Implants Recovery Time 

Recovering fully after dental implant surgery can take up to 6 months in total. However, everyone is different, so for some it may be closer to 2 months. 

Initial recovery after your procedure takes a few days to a week. You can expect slight pain, some swelling, and possibly light bleeding. Ice packs, over-the-counter painkillers, sticking to soft foods, and getting good rest should be enough to help you get through this stage. 

Waiting for the jaw bone to fuse with the implant is the longest part of healing. This can take a few months and you may experience mild discomfort over this time. 

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The cost of your dental implants depends on multiple factors, like how many teeth you’re replacing, what kind of dentures you’re getting, and the materials used in creating the tooth implants.

Below is a general overview of dental implant prices in Australia. However, it’s important to get a personalised assessment so you can get an accurate idea of the cost of dental implants based on your specific situation.

Dental Implant Prices
Single Implant$3,000 to $7,000
Implant-Supported BridgeFrom $11,000
Implant-Supported DenturesFrom $19,000
All-on-4 ImplantsFrom $25,000 per arch
Extra Dental Procedures
Bone Grafts$1,000 to $5,000
Soft Tissue Grafts$600 to $1,200
Tooth Extractions$200 to $700
Abutment and Crown$2,000 to $5,000

Getting teeth implants is an investment in your happiness and confidence! Book a FREE consultation with us today if you need dental implants Melbourne.

How to Care for Your Dental Implants

Proper care is crucial for maintaining your dental implants’ effectiveness and extending their lifespan.

Daily Oral Hygiene

Brush twice a day, just like you normally would. Use a soft-bristled brush and floss daily to prevent plaque from building up around your teeth. Look for toothpaste and dental floss designed for implants.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Going for regular dental check-ups is necessary, even if your implants feel good. Your dentist will assess the condition of your implants and your oral health. They can spot potential problems before they become serious issues.

Professional tooth cleaning is also helpful for removing plaque that might still build up even with daily brushing and flossing.

Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods

While the strength and natural feeling of implants allow you to eat like you normally would, it’s a good idea to avoid biting down on hard foods or chewing on sticky foods. Both can damage the artificial tooth surface, leading to chips, cracks, pitting, or discolouration.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can significantly affect your healing, as it creates inflammation. Plus, the chemicals in cigarettes can constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the gums and can increase your chances of infection.

Smoking can also discolour your pearly whites and make them brittle, making them more susceptible to chipping. We highly recommend that you quit smoking if you’re planning on having dental implant surgery.

Avoid Grinding and Clenching

We know this is a tough habit to break, especially as it usually happens while you’re sleeping. A night guard could be a good option. If you grind your teeth, book a free consultation with us, and we’ll give you our best advice on how to prevent damage to your new teeth.

Treat your prosthetic teeth with the same care you do your natural teeth, and they can last for at least 20 years! If you’re looking for a way to restore your smile and bring back your confidence, dental implants are a wonderful choice.

Dental Implants FAQs 

Are Dental Implants Painful? 

Dental implants themselves aren’t painful. The procedure is done under anaesthesia, and any discomfort after surgery is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers. Dental implant surgery is often less painful than a tooth extraction! 

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? 

Dental implants are designed to be a permanent tooth replacement solution. With proper care, the implant itself can last a lifetime. The crown may need replacement after 10 to 15 years due to wear and tear. 

Are Dental Implants Safe? 

Dental implants have been used for decades with a proven track record of safety. Risks are minimal when the procedure is done by a qualified dental specialist. 

What is the Success Rate for Dental Implants? 

Dental implants are considered one of the most reliable tooth replacement options. They have a success rate of around 95%.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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