Dental implants offer a more permanent and stable solution for those with damaged or missing teeth. Single-tooth dental implants are titanium screws inserted into the jaw that receive an abutment and crown, which recreates the natural tooth and root. The implant allows for a solid foundation to apply a prosthetic, restore function, and fill the gap in your smile.
Reasons you may need a dental implant
Losing a tooth impacts more than just your smile - it leads to shifting of the teeth and jaw and can cause your bones to weaken. If you have a missing tooth, dental implants are a long-term solution for filling the gap and provide a more superior and comfortable experience than other tooth replacements.
Dentures are removable tooth replacement devices that are useful if you are missing many or all of your teeth. However, they are not as durable as dental implants and require more upkeep, thus making dental implants much more functional and convenient.
How dental implants work
Dental implants have three separate elements: the implant, the abutment and the crown. These elements are created and placed in stages that can take several months to complete. The first stage involves surgically implanting the titanium screw into the jaw. This can take several months to heal as the implant fuses to the jawbone and forms a stable base. The next step is attaching the abutment in a minimally-invasive procedure. Finally, only once the area is fully healed can we place the dental crown, which is created from a digital impression of your natural teeth.
What to expect when receiving dental implants
The first step to receiving a dental implant starts with an all-inclusive consultation and check-up. During the consultation, we will discuss your oral health history, general medical history, budget and goals. We then do a comprehensive assessment of your teeth and gums and X-rays to determine if your oral health is up to standard to receive the implant. If not, we may need to first complete a bone graft to ensure your jawbone is stable and can receive the implant.
From here, we draft a complete treatment timeline that outlines each stage of the process and what to expect. The first stage of the treatment is the surgical implantation of the titanium screw. You will be given local anaesthesia and sedatives to alleviate pain or discomfort during the procedure. We then make an incision in the gum to expose the jawbone and drill a small hole where the implant will be inserted. The screw is securely placed into the jawbone, and the gum is stitched close.
The jawbone needs to heal before moving on to the next stage of the treatment, which can take several months. Once the screw has fused, we can attach the abutment. The abutment serves as a base for the final crown and mimics a natural tooth reshaped for a prosthetic. During this procedure, we make an incision in the gum to expose the tops of the screw and attach the abutment. Again, this will need to heal before your final appointment.
Your final appointment will include checking the implant's stability and fitting the crown. The crown is an individualised prosthetic made using a digital impression of your natural teeth. We send the impression to a specialised dental laboratory that creates the crown from porcelain or ceramic to match your natural tooth shade.
What is the cost of dental implant treatment?
Dental implant treatment can be an extensive and complex procedure, but with a highly favourable outcome. The process is unique to each individual, and steps may be adjusted or added based on your individual needs. For this reason, we advise patients to be upfront about their budget during the initial consultation. We will also provide you with a complete quotation breakdown of the treatment. Find out more about our fees here.