By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

November 11, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Are you considering dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth? If so, you’re likely wondering what to expect from the implant process and how long the results will last.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of dental implants. We’ll also answer some of the most common questions patients have about them.

We hope this information helps you make an informed decision about your dental care. Continue reading to learn more!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small metal posts that act as artificial tooth roots. They are surgically placed into the jawbone beneath your gums. They are an increasingly popular option for people who have lost one or more teeth due to injury or disease.

The dental implant is made up of three parts:

Dental implant surgery is usually performed by an oral surgeon. It is a safe and effective procedure. Once the implant is in place, the dentist will securely attach replacement teeth to complete your smile. These implants can provide many benefits for your oral health.

If you are considering dental implants, consult an experienced dentist to discuss whether they are right for you.

When Are Dental Implants Necessary?

Dental implants are considered to be necessary for people who:

Despite their popularity, dental implants are not for everyone. Certain qualifications make people good candidates for the surgical procedure, such as:

While dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth, it is still important to talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants can provide several benefits for patients. Here are some of them:

  1. Dental implants are a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. The most commonly used material for dental implants is titanium, and it is very durable, allowing implants to last for two decades or more with proper care.

  2. Dental implants improve oral health. When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth drift toward the space, creating gaps between teeth where plaque and food can get stuck. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dental implants prevent this by filling the space left by missing teeth.

  3. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. Implants are artificial tooth roots embedded in the jawbone. This provides a stable foundation for the prosthesis and can make patients feel like they have their natural teeth back. Implants are also designed to blend seamlessly with your remaining teeth, giving you a more naturally-looking smile.

  4. Dental implants are strong and durable. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

  5. Dental implants restore chewing function. Dental implants allow people to eat their favourite foods without worrying about their dentures slipping or moving.

  6. Dental implants restore speaking ability. Dentures can cause people to mumble or slur their words due to the fit of the dentures in their mouths.

  7. Dental implants allow people to speak clearly and confidently by keeping the teeth from slipping out of place.

  8. Dental implants are easy to care for. Just brush and floss them as you would your natural teeth!

  9. Dental implant surgery is safe and effective. The success rate of dental implant surgery is high, and complications are rare when a qualified oral surgeon performs the surgery.

Dental implant surgery is an effective solution for missing teeth and offers many benefits for dental health. Talk to your oral surgeon about whether dental implant surgery is right for you.

How Is a Dental Implant Installed?

Dental implant surgery is a multi-step process that takes place over several dental appointments. An oral surgeon usually performs it, and it involves the following steps:

  1. The oral surgeon makes an incision in the gum tissue to expose the bone.

  2. A hole is drilled into the bone, and the dental implant is inserted.

  3. The incision is closed with sutures, and the dental implant is left to heal.

  4. Once the dental implant has healed, an abutment (connector piece) is placed on top of it.

  5. A dental prosthetic (artificial tooth) is then attached to the abutment.

The entire dental implant procedure usually takes several months to complete, but its significant oral health improvements make it worth it. Dental implants allow you to enjoy all your favourite foods without worrying about your teeth falling out.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

There are four main types of implants: single-tooth implants, implant-supported bridges, implant-supported dentures, and All-on-Four dental implants.

  • Single-Tooth Dental Implants
    Single-tooth implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are usually made of titanium and are placed in the jawbone by a surgeon. Once in place, the implant fuses with the bone, creating a strong foundation for a replacement tooth.

    Single-tooth implants are ideal for people who have lost one or more teeth due to injury or disease.

  • Implant-Supported Bridges
    Implant-supported bridges are dental bridges that are supported by dental implants. Unlike traditional bridges, which rely on the surrounding teeth for support, implant-supported bridges are held in place by dental implants. This makes them more stable and longer-lasting than traditional bridges.

    Implant-supported bridges are an excellent option for people who have lost three or more teeth in one area of the mouth.

  • Implant-Supported Dentures
    Implant-supported dentures are dental prosthetics that are supported by dental implants. Unlike traditional dentures, which rest on the gums, implant-supported dentures are anchored into place by dental implants. This makes them more stable and comfortable than traditional dentures. Implant-supported dentures are an excellent option for people who have lost all of their natural teeth.

  • All-on-Four Dental Implants
    All-on-Four dental implants are a type of dental implant that can be used to support a full set of upper or lower dentures. Unlike traditional dental implants, which require two to six implants, sometimes even more, All-on-Four dental implants only require four. This makes the oral surgery much less invasive and simpler to recover from.

    All-on-Four dental implants are an excellent option for people who want to replace all of their teeth with dental implants.

How Do You Care for Dental Implants?

Dental implants may be durable and strong, but they require proper care to stay healthy and function properly. Here are eight tips on how to care for dental implants:

  • Brush and floss regularly:
    Just like your natural teeth, dental implants must be brushed twice daily and flossed once daily. Use an interdental brush or dental floss threader to clean around the base of your dental implants. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from around the implant and reduce your risk of developing an infection.

  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash:
    Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can help kill bacteria and reduce the risk of infection.

  • Visit your dentist regularly:
    It’s important to visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will be able to spot any early signs of problems with your implants and help keep them healthy.

  • Be careful with what you eat:
    Dental implants are strong but can be damaged by hard or sticky foods. So, it’s important to be careful with what you eat and avoid biting into hard candy or chewing on ice cubes.

  • Quit smoking:
    Smoking is bad for oral health in general, but it’s especially harmful to dental implants. Nicotine can reduce blood flow to the gums, which increases the risk of infection and implant failure.

  • Use dental products specifically for implants:
    There are many dental products on the market that are specifically designed for dental implants. These products can help remove plaque without damaging the implant surface.

  • Follow your dentist’s instructions:
    After dental implant surgery, it’s important that you follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to promote healing and prevent infection. This includes eating soft foods, avoiding vigorous activity, and not smoking.

  • Watch out for warning signs:
    If you notice any changes in your dental implants, such as pain, redness, or swelling, be sure to contact your dental professional immediately, as this could be a sign of infection.

Following these tips on how to care for dental implants will help them last longer and improve your oral health.

What Are the Possible Complications of a Dental Implant Procedure?

Dental implant surgery is a safe and effective way to improve oral health. However, as with any surgery, complications can occur. Here are some complications that may be involved in dental implant surgery:

  • Infections and Peri-Implantitis
    Dental implants can be vulnerable to bacterial infections, including peri-implantitis, which is the inflammation of gum tissue and bone around an implant. This type of infection can be caused by inadequate oral hygiene or a weakened immune system and can lead to the loss of the implant and damage to the surrounding bone. To prevent infections around dental implants, it is important to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly. Your dentist may also recommend antimicrobial treatments or special toothpaste to help protect your implants.

  • Nerve Damage
    Another potential complication of dental implant surgery is nerve damage. This can occur if the implants are placed too close to the nerves in your jawbone. While nerve damage is usually not permanent, it can cause numbness, tingling, or pain in the area around the implants. To help avoid nerve damage, choose an experienced and reputable oral surgeon for your procedure.

  • Implant Rejection
    In rare cases, your body may reject dental implants. This happens when your body’s immune system attacks the titanium posts placed in your jawbone during surgery. The most common signs and symptoms of implant rejection include pain, swelling, and redness around the implants that occur months after implant placement. If you experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with your oral surgeon immediately.

  • Sinus Problems
    Another potential complication of dental implant surgery is sinus problems. This can happen if the implants are placed too close to the sinus cavity or perforate the sinus cavity. The most common symptom of sinus problems is a stuffy nose or pressure in the cheeks or forehead.

  • Allergic Reactions
    In rare cases, people may be allergic to dental implants made from titanium alloy. The most common symptom of an allergic reaction is itching or rash around the implant site. If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to your oral surgeon right away so that they can check for an allergy.

  • Dental Implant Failure
    In rare cases, dental implants may fail to fuse with the bone or become loose over time. This usually occurs due to improper placement or poor oral hygiene. If you notice that your dental implants are loose or wobbling or have gum recession, see your oral surgeon immediately for treatment options.

  • Damage to Surrounding Structures
    Dental implants can cause damage to the surrounding structures, such as adjacent teeth or gum tissue. This can occur due to improper implant positioning or an infection in the area. Contact your oral surgeon immediately if you experience the following:

    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness in your gums near a dental implant

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The average cost of dental implants is $5,000-$7,000 per single tooth. However, several factors can affect the price, including:

When considering dental implants, it’s important to keep these factors in mind. To get an accurate estimate of the overall cost, ask your dentist for a quote.

Are Dental Implants Covered by Medicare?

Unfortunately, dental implants are not usually covered by Medicare. Patients must pay for the dental surgery themselves or through private health insurance.

There are several ways to finance dental implants, including private dental insurance or a dental payment plan. Your dentist may also be able to assist with financing options, such as a flexible payment plan where you can make monthly payments instead of paying for the full cost upfront.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a popular choice for those looking to replace missing teeth. They are stable, natural-looking, and can last for years with proper care.

At Hills Family Dental Centre, we offer dental implants to our patients. Book an appointment with us so that we can discuss your options and see if dental implants are the a good choice for you. You can book through our website or give us a call today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental implants are one of the most popular and successful options for tooth replacement, with a success rate of 90-95%. Several factors affect dental implant success, including:

  • The oral health of the patient:
    Good oral hygiene is essential for dental implant success. Patients with gum disease or other oral health problems may be less likely to have successful dental implants.

  • The experience of the oral surgeon:
    Dental implant surgery is technique–sensitive, so it’s important to choose an experienced oral surgeon. Ask about your surgeon’s experience and success rate with dental implants.

  • The type of dental implant:
    There are several different types of dental implants available, each with its own success rate. Be sure to ask your dentist or oral surgeon about the type of dental implant that is suited for you.

  • The location of the dental implant:
    The location of the dental implant in the jawbone can affect its success. Implants placed in high-stress areas, such as the back molars, may be less likely to succeed.

  • The healing process:
    Some patients heal more quickly and smoothly than others, which can affect dental implant success. Be sure to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care to give your implants the a better chance to succeed.

If you’re considering dental implants, talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about these factors to increase your chances of success.

Dental implants are a safe and effective solution to tooth loss, with a success rate of 90-95%. However, there are a few factors that can affect the longevity of dental implants, including:

  • The patient’s oral health:
    Patients with good oral health and dental hygiene are more likely to keep their dental implants for longer.

  • The skill of the oral surgeon:
    Improper placement or overloading an implant causes it to fail, which is why it is important to choose an experienced oral surgeon for your dental implant surgery.

  • The quality of jawbone:
    Implants embedded in thin and less dense bone won’t be able to fuse or integrate well. Eventually, these implants will need to be removed and replaced.

  • Tooth grinding and trauma:
    Constant pressure from teeth grinding or sudden impact from trauma can lead to the loosening of an implant.

  • The overall health of the patient:
    Patients in good general health tend to have longer-lasting dental implants.

Finally, remember that no dental implant will last forever, even with excellent care. At some point down the road, you may need to have your dental implant replaced. However, your dental implant can last many years – maybe even a lifetime with proper care!

Dental implants are made of medical-grade materials such as titanium, zirconia, or a combination of both. Titanium is the most common material used in dental implant procedures because it is lightweight, strong, and biocompatible, meaning it is less likely to trigger an immune response in the body like some metals can.

Zirconia is another material that is often used to make dental implants. Zirconia is a ceramic material with a natural white colour and can be shaped into various sizes and shapes. This makes it an ideal choice for making customised dental implants.

Both titanium and zirconia are extremely durable materials capable of withstanding the tremendous forces exerted on teeth during everyday activities such as chewing, speaking, and smiling. They also integrate well with bone tissue to give implants a secure fit. The material used in dental implants is designed to be biocompatible, which means they are less likely to be rejected by your body.

In addition to materials such as titanium and zirconia, some dentists may also use ceramic or acrylic implants. Ceramic implants are a good option if you have allergies to metal, as they are non-allergenic. Acrylic implants are constructed from a mixture of acrylic and titanium, making them less visible than metal implants.

The dental implant process is usually not painful, though you may experience minor discomfort during the procedure. Your dentist will use local anaesthesia to numb the area around your mouth and jaw before performing the procedure. Afterward, they may prescribe an analgesic or anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce any lingering soreness or inflammation.