Why Replace Missing Teeth Anyway?
Many patients question the importance of replacing missing teeth, especially if they are at the back of the mouth. But, even though the gap might not be visible to other people, it can lead to complications later on.
Teeth that are not replaced can result in bone loss in your jaw. Because your tooth roots are missing, the bone in the jaw under the missing tooth can resorb. Furthermore, the other teeth in your mouth are likely to shift around in an attempt to close the gap. This can result in loosening teeth, which may come out later on.
A full set of teeth is necessary for biting, chewing and speaking with confidence. Your teeth also contribute to facial fullness and symmetry.
What Are Your Tooth Replacement Options?
Dental implants are the most permanent and natural-looking way to replace missing teeth. Unlike dental bridges, which require the adjacent teeth to be worn down, tooth implants do not cause any damage to the adjacent teeth.
Dentures tend to move around and may lose shape over time. They also result in bone loss because they only replace teeth above the gum line.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?
Unlike dentures, dental implants cannot be removed. They do not move around when you speak, and do not require any special care, other than twice-daily brushing and flossing.
What Does A Dental Implant Cost?
A permanent tooth replacement carries a higher capital outlay than dentures or dental bridges.
This is due in part to the longevity of a dental implant, versus a dental implant or bridge which will need to be replaced much sooner.
Your dental implant cost will include
- All visits to your dentist including post-surgical check-ups
- The cost of your prosthesis
- Any additional surgeries such as bone grafts or sinus lifts
The Dental Implant Procedure: How Dental Implants Are Done
The cost of your dental implant treatment should be considered a long-term project and weighed up against the overall value it offers you. You can expect a 12 to 18-month engagement with your dental practitioner, and rather than just one procedure, you can expect a few mini procedures over the course of your dental implant treatment. Your treatment plan is likely to include steps like:
An initial consultation and medical history
Before you can commence with dental implant treatment your dentist needs to assess your eligibility for the procedure. This will include a comprehensive medical history, including any chronic conditions you may suffer from. Your mouth will be inspected and x-rayed, and digital photographs of your jaws will be taken.
A bone graft
Some patients who have been missing teeth for a while may not have adequate jaw bone to support a dental implant. In these cases, a bone graft will be recommended, in order to stimulate new bone growth. Depending on the amount of bone to be transplanted, this could be done just before your dental implant is placed or during a separate procedure. If you need a major bone graft, a separate procedure will be booked, and you will need to wait until enough bone has been stimulated before your implant procedure.
Placing the implant
Your dental implant, a small metal screw that is usually crafted from titanium, will be surgically implanted into your jaw under local anaesthetic. Once this is done you will need to wait out a healing period of approximately three months.
Attaching the abutment
In order to attach the abutment or extension post, your surgical site will need to be reopened. Your dentist will place a temporary crown during this period, and you will have another period of healing before your permanent crown can be attached.
Placing the crown
Once your dentist is satisfied with your healing, you will return to have your permanent crown placed. It will be crafted to match the other teeth in your mouth and will be strong enough to withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
Are you wondering if dental implants will restore your confidence or what kind of cost to expect? The best way to find out is to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 9158 6379.