Dental implants can help support your mouth and give you the confidence you need. They are usually made from titanium, a strong yet lightweight metal that has been used in dental implants for several years.
Various factors affect dental implants cost. If you’re curious about how much they may run you, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots to offer support for one or more missing teeth. Further, they can prevent jaw bone loss from occurring. Dental implants have three main parts: the fixture, abutment, and prosthesis.
The implant, or fixture, is a screw placed beneath the gums. The most common material for the implant is titanium because it can fuse safely with human tissue.
Because the fixture is entirely below your gum line, an extender (abutment) must be placed to attach the artificial tooth. The abutment is a short screw that sits on or slightly above the gum line and supports tooth replacement.
The artificial tooth placed on top of a dental implant is called a prosthesis. It can be made from durable materials like ceramic or porcelain and screwed or cemented securely into place.
What are the most common types of tooth implants?
Endosteal implants, the most popular type of tooth implant, are inserted into your jawbone. They benefit patients who have one or more missing teeth.
The 2nd type of tooth implant, the subperiosteal implant, is placed on top of your jawbone. This implant is typically used for patients who have already lost all their teeth.
Factors impacting the cost of dental implants
Many factors unique to each patient affect the price of dental implants, which your dentist will discuss with you during your initial consultation. Some of these cost-determining elements are:
1. Number of teeth being treated
If you are only missing one tooth, it costs less to replace that singular tooth than multiple teeth. However, if you miss an entire arch or more than one tooth, then there’s no need to panic about facing the cost of replacing each tooth one by one. A denture or bridge can be supported by a few posts only, instead of your natural teeth. If the restoration required is larger, it will be more expensive.
2. Extra procedures
Before receiving dental implants, some patients may first require other procedures, like bone grafting or tooth removal. If that’s the case for you, then be aware that dental implants will come with additional fees.
3. Qualifications and experience
Generally, the more knowledgeable and experienced the surgeon is, the higher their rate will be.
4. Number and type of dental implants
The most commonly used material for implants is titanium because it merges well with human tissue and is more affordable; however, ceramic posts are an option as well. The price varies depending on the type of material you choose, as does the number of implants necessary to restore your smile.
What are the steps of a dental implant procedure?
Dental implant treatment comprises the following steps:
Step 1: Examination
A vital component of kickstarting the dental implant process is having your gums, teeth, and jawbone checked. This initial examination assesses if you have enough strong jawbone tissue to anchor the implants.
Before getting a dental implant, you may need to have a procedure called bone graft if your jawbone is not strong enough. Also, your gums should be free of gum disease.
The type of dental implant surgery you’ll need will be based on how many teeth you want to replace. Dental implant surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you won’t have to stay overnight at a dental clinic. The types of anaesthesia that can be used for this type of surgery are general anaesthesia, IV sedation, or local anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia recommended for your case will be determined by your dentist.
Step 2: Dental implant placement
If you have an endosteal dental implant, your dentist will begin by making a cut in your gums to expose the jawbone. Next, they will drill holes into the bone to make space for the implant post.
A denture that can be taken out and is only temporary can be placed over the hole until the permanent tooth is able to replace it. This is done for cosmetic reasons. A subperiosteal implant is placed above the jawbone, and – unlike other implants – no drilling of the bone is necessary.
Step 3: Osseointegration
The osseointegration process starts once the metal implant post is inserted in your jawbone. The jawbone will grow into and unite with the dental implant surface during this process. This process, which might take a few months, helps stabilise your new artificial tooth as roots do for natural teeth.
Step 4: Placing the abutment
Abutments can be placed during the original implant surgery (one-stage) or in a two-stage surgery. If you have a two-stage surgery, the abutment placement process begins with a small incision in the gum tissue. A healing cap is often temporarily attached to the tooth implant. The second surgery involves taking off the healing cap, attaching the abutment to the dental implant and letting gum tissue form around it. The abutment is placed by the dentist, and after a few weeks, your gums should be healed.
Step 5: Placing the artificial tooth
After your gums have healed, your dentist will make a dental impression of your teeth in order to create one or more permanent replacement teeth. These new teeth can be removable or fixed (non-removable) in place. A removable tooth is fitted onto a metal frame and attached to the abutment. It can be taken out of your mouth for cleaning purposes.
The fixed tooth will be attached to the abutment using cement or screws. Following the procedure, make sure to let your dentist know about any intense pain, discomfort, bleeding, or swelling you experience.
What is the average price of dental implants?
The price of one dental implant in Australia begins at $3,000. While the cost of tooth implants can be based on numerous things – such as how many teeth are being replaced, if a bone graft is required, and whether a sinus lift is needed – they usually range from affordable to more pricey. Extra procedures, such as a bone graft or sinus lift, can increase the price of dental implants by around $6,000.
Do insurance companies cover tooth implants?
Although tooth implants generally improve appearance, insurance companies don’t cover the procedure because it’s considered cosmetic. In some cases, if the implant is necessary to support a prosthetic device, your insurer might pay for part of the treatment. Dental insurance providers will be able to tell you what your coverage entails. If you’re worried about the cost of the procedure, Killara Dental offers financing options that might help make it more affordable.
Are dental implants right for you?
Generally, dental implants may be the right option for you if you:
- Don’t smoke tobacco
- Want to enhance your speech
- Don’t have health conditions that will impact bone healing
- Have healthy dental tissues
- Have sufficient bone to secure the tooth implants or can have a bone graft
- Have one or more missing teeth
What are the benefits of having dental implants?
Many benefits come with dental implants.
Dental implants stop nearby teeth from shifting
Your adjacent teeth can shift if you have a missing tooth, impacting your smile and how well you chew. Future dental implants might also become more challenging to place if your adjacent teeth have moved. Dental implants help to stop your nearby teeth from shifting by filling the gap in your smile.
Dental implants improve eating and speaking
You might find it difficult to properly eat or speak if you have a missing tooth, as this can change how your teeth fit together when you make certain sounds or bite down. Dental implants will improve your eating and speaking ability as they function like natural teeth.
Dental implants are easy to care for
Dental implants are much easier to care for than other kinds of dental prosthetics – you don’t need to buy any additional products – and they’re easy to clean. Just as you floss and brush your natural teeth, do the same with your false teeth.
Dental implants look natural
Unlike dentures or bridges, which might look fake, dental implants are designed to match the colour and shape of your existing teeth. It means that nobody can tell you that you have had dental work done.
Dental implants cannot get cavities
Although artificial teeth require the same care to prevent bacteria and infection, dental implants will never decay. Dental implants provide a worry-free alternative to natural teeth when it comes to cavities.
Dental implants can last a lifetime
With proper care, tooth implants can last a lifetime. This makes them an excellent long-term investment for your oral health.
What should you not do after tooth implant surgery?
Don’t smoke. Smoking weakens your gums and teeth, eventually leading to gum disease.
This will make the dental implant structure useless over time.
Chewing tobacco has similar effects, so it’s best avoided as well.
Avoid using heat on your face, as this could increase swelling.
Do not use straws as they may unduly apply pressure to the area around the wound and cause reopening, increased bleeding, and a setback in healing time.
What to eat after dental implant surgery?
For the initial few days post-surgery, aim to eat only liquids if possible. This can include protein drinks, pureed soups, fruit smoothies, homemade broths and bouillon, shakes designed to replace meals and various types of juices.
Achieve a healthy smile at Killara Dental
If you’re questioning if dental implants are the best tooth restoration solution for you, our dentists at Killara Dental can assist you. Every day, we put our years of experience and accumulated knowledge to use to offer you the best general and cosmetic dental care possible. At Killara Dental, we believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality dental care. That’s why we do our utmost to keep dental implant costs affordable so our patients can gain the long-term benefits of this type of permanent tooth replacement.
Call us at (02) 9100 0831 to book an appointment.
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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