What is a dental implant?
A dental implant serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. It is machined from surgical grade titanium alloy to exacting specifications. A dentist places the implant into either the upper or the lower jaw bone. After a period of time, the implant integrates with the bone and becomes a secure anchor for a replacement crown, fixed bridge, a removable partial or a complete denture.
Who can have a dental implant?
If you are missing one or more teeth due to trauma, tooth decay or gum disease, then you may be a candidate for a dental implant. Our dentists will be able to discuss your individual clinical situation. Dental implants will allow you to smile, eat and speak with confidence and comfort. For surgery, you will need to be of good general health and the remainder of your teeth will need to be healthy and free from tooth decay or gum disease. Any problems will need to be treated before surgery. Also, there needs to be enough bone in the jaw for implant surgery, so we may need to check for bone volume using a CT scan. There are bone grafting techniques available for borderline patients to increase the available bone.
What if I smoke?
Smoking can inhibit proper healing of an implant, however, this does not prevent smokers from having implants successfully placed and restored. You should speak to your dentist for more specific information relating to your dental needs and the effects of smoking.
How much pain will I experience?
Usually mild to minimal. While you are undergoing treatment, you will receive local anaesthesia (some clinicians may choose other forms of anaesthesia). You may have mild post-surgical soreness for up to 72 hours. An over-the-counter analgesic will alleviate the discomfort for most patients.
What will the appearance of my mouth look like during my treatment?
During treatment, your dentist will be able to provide you with a temporary prosthesis that will have the look and feel that you need during this period of healing. With our implants, it is often possible to have a fixed temporary tooth immediately after the placement of the implant.
How much time is required to have an implant placed?
A single dental implant placement is usually completed in less than an hour as a procedure with local anesthesia. The implant is then allowed to heal with the bone to form a solid unit. This usually takes 6 – 12 weeks in the lower jaw and 4 to 6 months in the upper jaw. During this time, the head of the implant usually remains hidden under your gum. Once the bone has fused to the implant (osseointegration) crowns, bridges or dentures can be fitted. If you have poor quality bone and bone grafting procedures are necessary, the overall process can take up to 12 months or more. Your dentist will determine which surgical procedure is best for you.
How much will dental implants cost me?
The costs of dental implants vary depending upon the complexity of the procedure as you may require a graft, sinus lift or multiple implants. If you require multiple implant treatments, the cost per implant usually reduces. A consultation appointment is required prior to implant placement for which there is a fee, however, this fee is included in the total cost if you proceed with treatment. The fees are payable in stages over the course of the treatment.
Please see our Fee Guide.