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procedure for a dental implant sydney

Procedure For A Dental Implant – A Step-By-Step Guide

Dental implants are considered the gold standard of missing teeth replacement and are implanted into the jaw during a surgical procedure. They remain the closest thing to our natural teeth as they look, feel and act like healthy teeth. The procedure for placing a dental implant is a multi-stage process typically carried out over several months (although there are some exceptions). In this post, we will look at the step-by-step procedure for dental implants and explain each step and how it works. This way, anyone considering dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth will know exactly what to expect from the dental implant process.

So, What Are Dental Implants Exactly?

An implant is a cylinder-shaped post made from high-grade, durable titanium surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace a missing or damaged tooth. Because titanium is biocompatible with the human body, it isn’t rejected. Over a few months, it fuses with the surrounding bone, becoming a permanent part of the body.

Because the implant is placed into the jawbone, it takes on the role of the missing tooth root. This means the implant won’t slip, make any noise or cause bone damage in the way that fixed bridgework or a denture might.

Who Is Suited To Dental Implants?

Generally speaking, dental implants could be a good option for you if you:

  • Are missing one or more teeth
  • Have a jawbone that’s fully grown
  • Have sufficient bone to support the implants or can have a bone graft
  • Don’t have any health issues that affect bone healing
  • Have good oral health
  • Struggle to wear dentures
  • Are prepared to commit to several months in the process
  • Don’t smoke tobacco products
  • Have a speech impediment and want to speak more clearly

If you suffer from jawbone loss or chronic medical conditions, you should seek further advice from your dentist to determine if dental implants suit your condition.

Are There Any Risks?

Like any surgery, implant surgery poses some health risks. However, problems are rare, and when they occur, they are invariably minor and can be easily treated. The risks include:

  • Infection at the site of the implant
  • Nerve damage which could cause numbness, tingling or pain in your teeth, gums, chin or lips
  • Injury to surrounding structures, such as blood vessels and other teeth
  • Sinus problems should an implant inadvertently protrude into the sinus cavity

If you’re considering dental implants, your dentist or surgeon will discuss these risks and address your concerns ahead of the procedure.

The Dental Implants Procedure Step-by-Step

  • Initial consultation

Before even considering dental implant surgery, you must meet with your implant dentist. Because not everyone is immediately suitable for a dental implant procedure, it’s important to see whether other dental procedures need to be carried out first. Therefore, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive examination, including X-rays, to see what needs to be done.

Once all examinations have taken place, your dentist will take the time to discuss a treatment plan devised to bring out the best in your smile. This includes:

  • Exactly what needs to be done
  • Timescales for the procedure/procedures collectively, including other surgical needs such as bone grafting
  • What you should do to aid recovery

Your dentist should also take the time to answer any questions or concerns you have about the dental implant surgery or any other aspect of the process. Finally, once you are happy to proceed, the dentist will schedule a time to undergo the first part of your dental implant procedure.

  • Additional surgery

If you need additional dental implant surgery like a bone graft or sinus lift, be aware that it can take three to six months before your jaw is ready to take the first dental implant, so any additional surgery should always be carried out first. This gives your new bone plenty of time to heal before dental implants are inserted.

  • Damaged Tooth Removal

steps procedure for a dental implant sydneyDental implants are oral appliances that replace tooth roots with metal posts or screws. To place an implant, it needs a space to be positioned. On many occasions, that space is already there due to a lost or missing tooth, but on some occasions, an existing tooth (typically one that is beyond repair) may need to be extracted.

Certain dental implant procedures like Same-Day Full Jaw Dental Implants allow the damaged teeth to be removed and replaced immediately with a full arch of fixed, natural-looking replacements. However, typically, a damaged tooth must be removed, and the patient must wait around ten weeks for the site to heal properly.

  • Jawbone Preparation

Because dental implants are anchored down into the jawbone, they need sufficient healthy bone to thrive. Unfortunately, once a tooth is missing, the bone tissue that supports the tooth root starts to reabsorb back into the body. If a tooth or teeth are missing for any time, it will inevitably result in bone shrinkage.

To reinstate healthy bone at the implant site, a dentist can carry out a relatively simple procedure known as a bone graft. This process harvests bone (usually synthetic) and places it at the missing tooth site. Over time, the synthetic bone fuses with the existing bone to create a healthier site for any dental implants to anchor into. It’s important to note that bone grafting is an important part of the process that around 50% of dental implant patients need, but it will add extra cost and time to an overall dental implant procedure.

  • Dental Implant Surgery

Assuming that you don’t need any additional surgery or have had surgery and sufficient recovery time has passed, the implant placement is the next phase of the dental implant procedure. In dentistry, the implant itself is, in fact, a titanium rod or screw which is anchored down into the jawbone. This is what gives the restoration its exclusive stand-alone ability.

Modern dental implant surgery is quick and comfortable and is conducted as an outpatient treatment. Nowadays, with huge advancements in technology, much of the planning and preparation involved in dental implant surgery is carried out virtually beforehand. This means that the actual dental implant placement process is incredibly precise, accurate and fast.

Updates in new sedation techniques mean the patient remains awake and comfortable during the process.

An incision is made into the gum to expose the jawbone beneath during the process. Then, a tiny hole is drilled into the bone where the implant is inserted. Once secured, the implant and bone are covered, and the gum is carefully stitched. Typically, patients can expect to be chairside for around one hour, but it may be more or less, depending upon the complexity of their case.

  • Bone Growth and Healing (Osseointegration)

Once one or more dental implants have been placed, patients enter the most important (and some would argue) the most crucial phase of the dental implant procedure — osseointegration.

Osseointegration (bone fusion) occurs when the remaining bone tissue merges and fuses with the newly placed implant. This is necessary because it creates a super-strong foundation or platform to support a dental crown, a dental bridge or denture and any associated bite force. The result is that a patient should be able to retain normal bite function without limitation.

This particular stage or procedure for a dental implant doesn’t involve the patient too much as during the two to three months it takes for bone fusion to complete, patients can go about their normal daily lives (apart from regular dental check-ups to ascertain progress). Once the post is steadfast and your mouth is fully healed, you’ll be called in for the next part of the process.

  • Abutment Placement

Once bone fusion has occurred and the dental implant or implants are stable, the next stage of the procedure for a dental implant is to fit the abutment. The abutment is a small but vital connecting piece that joins the prosthesis (dental crown) to the implant. In addition, it acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the bite force taken and spreading the load through the implant and down into the jaw.

Fitting the abutment may again involve a very quick dental implant surgery where the implant is uncovered from below the gum line and the abutment is attached. Once in place, the gum is closed up again to allow the area to heal. Typically, healing time takes around two weeks.

At this stage of the dental implant procedure, your dentist should take another impression of your tooth for the permanent crown. They may also fit a temporary restoration, which you may wear for three to six weeks, depending on the gap in your smile line. The quick process takes less than an hour and may involve a local anesthetic. During this second recovery period, your permanent crown will also be made.

  • Permanent Restoration

guide procedure for a dental implant sydneyWhen it comes to a dental implant procedure, this step is ultimately the most rewarding and well worth the wait. This is the final stage of the dental implant process and is where everything comes together with the placement of the permanent restoration. Typically, this is a single lifelike porcelain crown, but it can also be a dental bridge or a denture.

If you have been wearing a temporary crown, this is removed in place of your permanent one, which is cemented into position. Your new tooth restoration would have been colour-matched to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your mouth, and in fact, modern porcelain crowns even have that translucent look that natural teeth have. Once attached, you are finally ready to enjoy your new-found smile.

The whole dental implant procedure step-by-step takes between four to nine months to complete, depending upon the patient and their circumstances, but the result is well worth the wait.

The Cost of Dental Implants

Several factors can impact the cost of a dental implant procedure, including:

  • Other treatments

Some patients may also require other treatments before undergoing dental implants, such as tooth extraction, bone graft or sinus lift. This can all add to the initial dental implant cost.

  • The number of implants being placed

The number of implants placed will affect the cost, as will undergoing specialised procedures such as All-On-4 or digital implants using computer-guided surgery.

  • The location of your dentist

If your dentist resides in a city like Sydney or Melbourne, it stands to reason that they will incur higher overheads than a dentist located out of town. Patients considering going abroad for a dental implant procedure because of the cost may face other potential risks, such as potential language barriers with medical staff, the stress of recovering in an unfamiliar hotel room, the risk of getting sick while travelling and the potential for lower hygiene standards abroad than in Australia.

  • The cost of a specialist oral surgeon

In some instances, your case may be referred to a specialist oral surgeon. They have undergone years of training and are more qualified in this role than a general dentist. Understandably, they are likely to charge more, adding to the dental implant cost.

Book Your Dental Implant Procedure With No Gaps Dental Today

If you want to know more about dental implants and how we can help you, contact the team at No Gaps Dental. We’re meticulous regarding infection control and ensure that all our dental clinics are clean and well-stocked with hand sanitiser.

At No Gaps Dental, we are open six days a week, adhere to the Australian Department of Health’s handwashing guidelines, and offer payment options to suit our patients’ financial needs. Effective hand hygiene is critical before and after dental implant surgery to prevent the spread of Covid 19. Our hand sanitiser contains at least 60% ethanol and 70% isopropanol to effectively kill many airborne viruses.

We regularly review our hand hygiene directives to ensure the utmost cleanliness and safety to all our patients. This includes ensuring we have sufficient supplies of hand sanitiser for ongoing patient care.

Read our blogs to learn more about what dental implants feel like, the pros and cons of the procedure and the pain you may experience after surgery. Call (02) 8806 0227 to book a consultation at your nearest clinic.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

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