A dental implant is an artificial titanium screw, placed directly into the jawbone underneath the gumline. The implant acts as a substitute for the root segment of the natural tooth.
The advantage of using titanium is that it allows new bone cells to grow around it. This process is called ‘osseointegration’ and allows the implant to integrate with the newly formed bone, which securely holds it in place. An artificial tooth called a ‘crown’ is then placed on top of the implant to replace the missing tooth.
The placement of most implants is a minor surgical procedure which results in some localised pain, swelling, bruising and discomfort. This is managed with pain medication. After your procedure, you will have stitches at the site of implant placement, which will be removed approximately two weeks later.
Most patients can proceed with everyday life and often be back at work by the next day and continue normal life throughout the months between specialist appointments.
How much do dental implants cost?
The treatment and related costs depend on many contributing factors and can vary from person to person. The prices are calculated from the number of dental implants to be inserted, the complexity of the placement, and whether the bone has to be “built-up” to support the implant. We will discuss the proposed treatment along with a written fee estimate before any treatment.
Who can have dental implants?
Dental implants can provide an optimal solution for all age groups, as long as the jaw bone’s growth is complete. Dental implant treatment requires a good general state of health, good gum (periodontal) health, and sufficient bone quality and volume.
Whether dental implants are the best solution in an individual case can only be determined by detailed examination and discussion. If all the medical requirements are met, careful treatment planning is also required if an optimal and long-lasting outcome is to be achieved.
How long after the implant is placed, can the crown be put on top?
Once your implant is inserted, it will be left to heal for between 3 to 6 months. A temporary plate/denture can be made for use during the healing process. In some cases, implants can be restored sooner with a temporary crown, but this requires very specific circumstances.
How do I care for my implants?
To maintain your dental implants, you will need regular professional check-ups and excellent home care, even more so than you would for your natural teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the care of your new implants. A significant factor in the long-term success of implant treatment is continued thorough but gentle removal of plaque and tartar. Therefore, regular professional cleans are essential.
We will develop a detailed home care plan to increase the chance of success of your implant. Additionally, we will work with your general dentist to develop a “shared care” approach, where you visit both your dentist and us at regular intervals as required.