Here are some FAQs about implants we often hear…
First of all, what is an implant?
An implant is where we create artificial tooth roots in your jaw using titanium which can support crowns/caps or bridges.
Why do I need implants?
You have a tooth (or teeth) missing. This might be because of an accident, gum disease or a neglected mouth. Getting an implant and replacing the missing tooth will help you eat and smile nicely again.
Why implants rather than dentures?
Implants are a more permanent and fixed solution than dentures or tooth bridges. There’s a few reasons why implants are preferable to dentures or tooth bridges:
1. An implant is permanently fixed, so you’ll never forget to put it in in the morning!
2. Dentures can move around when you eat and the bite might not be what you’re used to – this isn’t the case with implants
3. Tooth bridges can be a good option but often one of the supporting teeth you’ve hooked the bridge onto will fail and you’ll end up with two holes! An implant is secured into your bone, not another tooth
4. Implants don’t affect your speech or taste like the plate of dentures can, especially when they cover the taste buds on the roof of your mouth.
5. Dentures and bridges will fail but 90% of implants will last a lifetime if you look after them.
Is there anything that will make me an unsuitable candidate for an implant?
If you have a serious bleeding disorder, advanced untreated gum disease, very poor oral hygiene or you’re a heavy smoker. Talk to us if you have reservations or concerns.
So what’s the process in getting an implant?
First, we need to book you in for an assessment. We’ll look at your mouth and make sure everything’s healthy, including your gums (gum disease and implants aren’t a good mix). We’ll use X-rays and CT scans to check your bones and vital structures – this also gives us a good idea of the best way to proceed with surgery on the day.
Step two, we’ll book you in for surgery. Surgery time depends on the implants or if there’s any extractions needed but generally for one implant you’re looking at between 90 minutes and two hours. You’ll leave our surgery with an implant and a temporary denture.
Three months later we’ll book you in for a check-up, to ensure the implant has successfully taken with the bone and healed well. We’ll use our amazing digital technology to create impressions for your crown – instead of the old “cake batter in a tray” method, we just use a small camera in your mouth to take photos which we email to a dental lab to get the crown custom-made for you. This consult takes about an hour.
Two to three weeks later your crown will be ready – we’ll bring you in again to place the final crown and polish it for a natural look. This takes less than an hour.
How painful is it?
This really depends on the individual but we can say that some patients are amazed at the lack of pain the next day and happily head back to work! The surgery itself is painless – we supply you with pain relief, local anaesthetic and any sedation needed. We take good care of you, giving you a single dose of antibiotics pre surgery and pain relief for the days after, should you need it. It’s normal to feel pain for just a few days afterwards but it could be up to a week. The pain should be easily controlled with Panadol and Nurofen.
Is there anything I need to do after the surgery?
If you didn’t have sedation, you can happily drive yourself home after your surgery! Because you’ll have stitched in your mouth, you can’t brush that area for two weeks – instead we’ll give you a mouthwash to use and you’ll make saline rinses. Once we remove your stitches two weeks later, you can go back to normal brushing and flossing. (For those who live out of town, we can use dissolving stitches).
How much will this implant cost me?
For a single implant, surgery and all the pre and post consultations costs about $5000-5500 with our expert periodontist, Dr Richard Henderson. Many practices charge $6500.00 for an implant but we’ve reduced the cost by investing in the latest technology, using digital impression cameras instead of the old time-consuming and equipment-heavy method to make impressions.
We do offer payment plans, including online payments. We also take Q Cards with their 12-month interest-free holiday – apply for a card through our website or use an existing card.
How do I look after my implants?
Because they’re made of titanium, implants won’t decay or break but you still need to keep them clean – brush, floss, see the hygienist regularly, and get an annual check-up to ensure it’s healthy and you’re doing a good job in looking after it properly.
We are a Specialist Practice – we’ll do what we can to make your surgery as pain-free and stress-free as possible. You can make your implant appointment online here or by phone or email. We hope to see you soon!