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How Do Dental Implants Work?

Key Takeaways:
  • Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth.
  • The dental implant procedure involves consultation and treatment planning, implant surgery, healing, and osseointegration.
  • There are two main types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal.
  • Dental implants offer several benefits, such as natural appearance, durability, improved oral health, and increased confidence.
  • Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants, and the procedure does come with risks and complications.
  • A dental implant can be used to replace one or multiple missing teeth.
  • In cases of severe bone loss, a bone graft may be necessary before the implant can be placed.
  • The cost of a dental implant can vary depending on several factors, with the location of the dental practice being a major factor.

Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for people who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or decay. 

But, how do these small metal posts, which are surgically placed into the jaw, work to replace missing teeth? 

In this article, we will explain the dental implant procedure, the different types of implants available, the benefits of choosing dental implants in Perth, and the considerations for candidates.

How Do Dental Implants Work

Understanding Dental Implants

First, let’s start by defining what dental implants are. A dental implant is a small, screw-like post that is made of biocompatible materials such as titanium. 

The implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the missing tooth. This allows for a stable foundation for an artificial tooth, such as a crown or denture, to be placed on top. 

Dental implants aim to replace missing teeth and restore function and aesthetics to the patient’s smile.

Dental Implant Procedure

The dental implant procedure typically involves three steps: consultation and treatment planning, implant surgery, and healing and osseointegration.

Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning

During the initial consultation, the dentist will evaluate your oral and general health, as well as the amount and quality of the jawbone. If you do not have enough jawbone, you may need to have a bone grafting  or sinus lift surgery  

They will also discuss the patient’s goals and needs, and together, develop a treatment plan.

Implant Surgery

The implant surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia, and it involves making an incision in the gum to expose the jawbone. 

The implant is joined to the jawbone and the incision is closed with sutures. The patient will be given instructions on how to take care of the surgical site as it heals.

Healing and Osseointegration

Once the implant is placed, the jawbone will grow around it. This process is known as dental implant osseointegration

This process can take several months to complete, during which time the patient will need to avoid putting pressure on the implant and follow a soft food diet. 

Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment (a small connector) is placed on the implant and an artificial tooth is attached on top.

Types of Dental Implants

There are two main types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal.

Endosteal Implants

These implants are the most popular type. They are placed directly into the jawbone, and they look like small screws. 

Subperiosteal Implants

These are used when there is not enough jawbone to support an endosteal implant. They are placed under the gum but on the jawbone. These implants consist of a metal frame that is anchored to the jawbone. 

Once osseointegration is complete, the frame protrudes through the gum and an artificial tooth is attached on top.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer several benefits over other tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges. Some of the benefits include:

Natural Appearance

Dental implants look and function just like natural teeth, allowing patients to smile and speak with confidence.

Durability

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

Improved Oral Health

Dental implants do not require teeth reduction, as is the case with bridges. They also help to preserve the jawbone and prevent bone loss.

Increased Confidence

Since dental implants look and feel exactly like natural teeth, they give you confidence and an attractive smile. You will no longer have to cover your mouth when you smile or feel ashamed when you talk. 

Candidates for Dental Implants

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. Some considerations include:

  • Good General and Oral Health: Patients should be in good general health and have a healthy mouth free of active gum disease.
  • Adequate Jawbone Structure: The jawbone must be strong enough to support the implant. If the jawbone is too thin or too soft, a bone graft may be needed.
  • Willingness to Commit to the Procedure and Aftercare: Dental implant treatment can take several months to complete, and patients must be willing to commit to regular dental visits, good oral hygiene, and a healthy diet.

Risks and Complications of Dental Implants

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and complications associated with dental implants. Some possible complications include:

Surgical Complications

These may include infection, bleeding, or nerve damage. Ensure you follow up with your dentist.

Implant Failure

Although rare, implant failure can occur if the implant does not fuse properly with the jawbone.

Infection

If the implant becomes infected, it may need to be removed. Always ensure your dentist checks you for any underlying dental disease and get treatment immediately if there is an infection. 

Maintaining Dental Implants

Dental implant maintenance requires the same care as natural teeth. This includes regular dental visits, good oral hygiene, and a healthy diet. Patients should also avoid habits that can damage the implant, such as biting on hard objects or grinding their teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does the dental implant procedure take?

The dental implant procedure typically takes several months to complete. This is because it includes a healing period for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. The initial consultation, treatment planning, and surgery can take several weeks to a few months.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants can vary depending on several factors. It is best to consult with a dentist to get a more accurate estimate.

Can anyone get dental implants?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. Candidates should have good oral and general health, adequate jawbone structure, and be willing to commit to the procedure and aftercare.

Are dental implants painful?

The surgical procedure for placing dental implants is usually performed under local anaesthesia and patients may experience some pain or discomfort afterward. However, this can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and following post-operative instructions provided by the dentist.

Can I eat and speak normally with dental implants?

Yes. Once the implant surgery has been completed, you can eat and speak normally.

Can dental implants fail?

Although dental implants are highly successful 95% of the time , dental implants can fail if they do not fuse properly with the jawbone or if they become infected. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene can help prevent implant failure.

Can I get a dental implant if I have bone loss in my jaw?

In cases of severe bone loss, a bone graft may be necessary before the implant can be placed.

Can I replace multiple teeth with dental implants?

Yes, dental implants can be used to replace one or multiple missing teeth. Your dentist will recommend the best approach for your specific case during the consultation.

Conclusion

Dental implants offer a natural appearance, durability, improved oral health, and increased confidence. 

If you are considering dental implants, it is important to consult with a dentist to discuss if you are a suitable candidate and any questions you may have.

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime and provide a stable foundation for an artificial tooth, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of natural teeth again.

Ready to say goodbye to missing teeth and hello to a confident, beautiful smile? Schedule a consultation with My Implant Dentist today and discover the benefits of dental implant technology. Don’t wait, take the first step toward your new smile now!

Written By: Dr Kent Tan
Edited By: Dr Zaheer Kadwa
Reviewed By: Dr Ealin Lee

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Dr. Kent Tan - Author Bio

Dr Kent Tan is the top dental implant and cosmetic treatment expert. On average, he performs 500 to 1000 dental implants yearly, making him one of the most experienced dental implant surgeons in Perth, Western Australia.

Dr Kent is a certified Invisalign provider and has helped many patients achieve straighter teeth with a transparent braces system. In addition, he is skilled in performing a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments such as teeth whitening, dental veneers and bonding.

Dr Kent graduated from the University of Queensland and then went on to lecture in dental implants. He furthered his qualifications by graduating from the Master Clinician Programme in Implant Dentistry in Los Angeles, USA. This additional education allows him to provide his patients with the best possible care.

Customers Review

Mark TaylorMark Taylor
03:15 12 Mar 24
Rob SmithRob Smith
12:33 24 Feb 24
I was at a really low point in my life, had an accident 2 years ago which broke 3 of my teeth and a bridge in between my 2 front top teeth. From that moment I became extremely conscious of going out,socialising and found my self withdrawn and depressed as I didn't know what to do.Then a friend told me about My Implant Dentist. I plucked up the courage and went for my first consultation at Mindarie Quinns dental practice with Dr Zaheer who explained all my options and advised all on 4 top and bottom.Not only Dr Zaheer but all the staff and doctors at both Mindarie and South Perth were amazing and extremely professional and made the whole process seemless.Having the treatment has given me back confidence and enabled me to socalise and do things with my family and friends that I couldn't do before.I would like to thank Dr Zaheer and all the team at My Implant Dentist for everything they have done for me and recommended them to everyone I speak to.I just can't stop smiling!!!
Vicki DatsonVicki Datson
22:00 16 Feb 24
From the lovely girls at the front desk through to the dentist and his off sider I couldn’t be more happy with the treatment and the service provided. So incredibly satisfied with the end result it’s taken a while but we got there. Thank you so much.
Toby HawkesToby Hawkes
12:19 02 Feb 24
From start to Finnish i felt very comfortable. The whole experience for me was more than just new teeth.For me it was a journey of self discovery that changed my whole life.I found that everyone that I encountered was very professional &friendly &made my experience so pleasant.They deserve more than 5 stars.Thank you so much🥰
Selina HansonSelina Hanson
09:19 01 Feb 24
My experience with My Implant Dentist has been excellent from start to finish. The staff at the front desk were incredibly kind and helpful. The medical treatments throughout were professional and pain free. I would definitely recommend them to anyone considering this service
SherrySherry
08:14 30 Jan 24
So grateful to have found this place. I needed a wisdom tooth out. They were able to x-ray and fit me in promptly. Extremely high quality and professional service at an affordable price! I feel lucky to have found an honest and helpful Dentist especially in today's economy. Lovely staff all round. I will be coming here from now on.Thanks again :)
Catalina Te MaroCatalina Te Maro
12:02 21 Nov 23
From the moment I walked in the door My Implant dentist were very caring and professional. As a dental nurse myself I knew I would be a very hard case as other specialists said they could not help me. After my first consultation with Dr Kent he was confident that he could help me and I was provided with a clear plan for my top and bottom all on four procedure. My new teeth are perfect and so natural looking. He has made the impossible possible for me. I can smile and eat the foods I love again and this has changed my life. Thank you so much to all staff and especially Dr Kent Tan who I can say is the best implant dentist in Perth.
Bec SmithBec Smith
11:30 14 Aug 23
I can’t thank the team and dentists at My Implant dentist enough! From the girls working the front desk to the dental nurses assisting the dentist’s, Dr Kent Tan and Dr Ealin. I had the All on four implants and I can’t explain how much this has transformed my life in such a great way.I will always be thankful to be able to have this treatment!Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Adam ByersAdam Byers
02:39 20 Feb 24
Great service and very professional both admin and Dentists
Mussie KirosMussie Kiros
23:09 12 Feb 24
My implant Dentist Mooorooka is an amazing team. The receptionist staff are very welcoming and super lovely to talk to. The dentists are very experienced and knowledgeable. The assistants are very lovely. The service 10/10. Highly recommend!
moonira Bassamoonira Bassa
03:55 25 Nov 23
Dr Zaheer is an amazing dentist, very knowledgeable and very detailed. He’s an amazing dentist. Definitely recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
Yacoob BassaYacoob Bassa
03:42 25 Nov 23
Dr Zaheer is an excellent dentist, very experienced and very detailed. Highly recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
solomon issaksolomon issak
00:27 18 Nov 23
The receptionist team have been very helpful, helped me organise early super release for my implant treatment. Dr Zaheer is an amazing implant dentist, discussed with me on what type of surgery I needed and have also treated the surgery on me. Dr Reza is very kind. The dental assistants are very friendly. Highly recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
Tan Binh NgoTan Binh Ngo
02:59 31 Oct 23
I picked up”Moorooka Dental Care” contact details from the web. I rang for a few questions and the happy voice of Frances had calmed my anxiety down quickly!Dr Kadwa greeted me from the front bench, took me in for the X-ray, dental assessment, carefully explaining the procedure, answered my questions and quoted for the works. He offered to breakdown work items to suit with my needs. The quote was surprisingly very compatible with my previous quote from overseas. (I know I am going to have my dental treatment in the safe zone, most medical advances in Australia).The implant work went smoothly, so smooth that the team had to remind me “Done!”, well beyond my imagination.When he saw me off with the aftercare instructions, I could feel his professional manners with caring characters. I know he has done a few thousand implants but I still received the care of his first. Thanks Zaheer!I requested X-ray images, Fatimatu responded promptly with friendly chatting.I also would like to thank Dr Linh Trần who was in the operation team at the treatment and follow up cares.
Melrey LudivicoMelrey Ludivico
05:10 26 Oct 23
My implant dentist brisbane 5/5. Dr Linh, Dr Zaheer and Dr Reza have been amazing and have looked after me in my procedures. Frances the receptionist was the first person to contact me to get me to come in since I have been looking around. Excellent service and friendly staff
Matthew WinkelmannMatthew Winkelmann
22:33 17 Oct 23
Moorooka dental have been a pleasure to deal with. I did a bit of research into dental implants and most companies had hidden fees. I booked a consult and was contacted within a few hrs to get me in and get the ball rolling. I choose to go with he implants using my super. They helped me to do all the paperwork to release the money. Definitely a good dental clinic.
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