Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a metal screw that is used in place of a root of a missing tooth. The dental implant is usually made of a metal called titanium, the same material used by Orthopaedic surgeons in hip and knee replacements and are biocompatible with bone and the body.

The titanium implant integrates or adheres to the bone beneath the gums, a phenomenon known as osseointegration.

Why a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are an effective way to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or to support and stabilise a full set of dentures or a fixed bridge.

Not all people can have a dental implant.

You will need a dental assessment to check that:

Your jawbone is healthy.
You have enough bone to hold an implant.
Any medical conditions you have.
Any medicine you take.
Your gum health.

What do I need to do before I get a Dental Implant?

First, you’ll have an initial consultation with your dentist about the implant. At this appointment you will discuss your concerns and what you’d like to achieve from a dental implant.

Dental implants require thorough planning. Your dentist will need digital scans of your teeth, intra-oral photos, and a 3D x-ray (CT scan) to see if there is enough bone to support a dental implant.

Once the planning is completed by the dentist, a second consultation appointment will be organised to go over the plan and discuss whether you are suitable for a dental implant. At this appointment, you will be given a full cost estimate for your dental implant.

What is the procedure for placing a Dental Implant?

A dental implant procedure is usually done in stages over a few months.

At the first stage, the implant is inserted at Tooth Dental clinical and usually takes around 1-2 hours to place. Medication will be prescribed to take immediately prior to your appointment to reduce the risk of infection and reduce any discomfort afterwards. Local anaesthesia is used to numb the area being worked on so the procedure is painless. If desired we have a range of sedation options to achieve optimal relaxation during the implant insertion.

Following the insertion of the dental implant a waiting period of 3-6 months occurs to wait for the implant to integrate with the surrounding bone.
Once this is complete, your dentist will take a digital scan or mould of your teeth and dental implant. This is sent to a local dental laboratory in Brisbane. It will take 2-3 weeks for your new implant supported tooth (abutment and crown) to be constructed.

What is a bone graft?

In some cases, especially if it has been more than a few months since your tooth was removed, the bone that previously supported your tooth will shrink and recede leaving insufficient space for the implant to be secured in bone. In this case a minor bone graft or gum graft or substitute may be required to increase the size of available bone. This is usually done in the same appointment as implant placement to minimise the number of appointments and requires extra care for the first few weeks to keep the area healthy as it heals.

What to expect after dental implant procedure

After the procedure, you may have some:

Swelling of your gums
Swelling of your face
Bleeding from your gums

Eat soft foods while you are healing. Contact Tooth Dental if you have any concerns, or questions.

How to look after a dental implant?

  • Brush your teeth and gums twice a day
  • Clean between the implant and your other teeth using floss, interdental brushes, or a water flosser.
  • Attend regular (six monthly) dental checkups and professional cleans with a dental hygienist

Risks and complications

As with any dental procedure there are risks associated with dental implant treatment, and thorough planning aims to reduce these risks as much as possible. Risks and complications are case dependant and will be discussed with you during the planning of your implant.

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