What Are Dental Implants? | Costs and Procedure4 Oct 2021
There is no doubt that your own teeth are the best teeth you can have if you keep them healthy! However, for patients that already have missing teeth or who require teeth to be taken out, dental implants are the next best thing!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent option for tooth replacement. Essentially, they are small titanium screws that acts as artificial roots and are placed into the bone where the missing tooth once was. The implant is later covered by a tooth that is custom-made in a dental lab that matches the other remaining teeth and functions as per normal.
The benefits of Implants:
Dental implants are the gold standard when it comes to tooth replacement. For example, unlike dental bridges which generally require two teeth to hold and support an artificial tooth in place, a dental implant only treats the missing site which prevents any healthy teeth from having to undergo any large, unnecessary restorations and strain from holding the artificial tooth in place. Dental implants also help to maintain bone integrity, meaning that the bone that supports your teeth, does not recede as easily if there were no implant or tooth in its’ place and therefore helps maintain the support to adjacent teeth.
When compared to dentures, dental implants do not come out! They are a permanent! They are also stronger in the sense that you should be able to eat an apple or harder things that you would not be able to eat if you had dentures.
Lastly, dental implants are generally easy to keep clean. Yes, just like the rest of your teeth, they still require maintenance and visits to your dental professional; however, when compared to other tooth replacement options, dental implants are relatively easy to maintain.
What is the procedure for dental implants?
If you are considering dental implants, you will need to book in for a full consultation. Some patients who come in for a consultation think that they will require all of their teeth to be taken out and then replaced with implants or dentures, when really, all they may need is a couple of dental hygiene appointments and some new fillings. This is why it is so important to have a consultation as we can discuss your concerns and also check over your teeth to ensure we can offer you the best treatment that suits you and your oral health.
During the consultation, we will go over your general health, examine your teeth, your gums and your bone levels inside your mouth and take some x-rays to help assess areas in the mouth that we cannot see clinically. Depending on the information we retrieve at the consultation will determine what your treatment needs are and what options we can provide to you.
If dental implants are recommended for you, your dentist will discuss your full treatment plan and sequencing of appointments. Before your implant is placed, some providers may suggest a dental hygiene appointment to help ensure the gums are in a healthy condition prior to beginning the procedure. Furthermore, any teeth that need to be removed to allow for the implant placement will need to be completed. Sometimes we are able to remove teeth and place the implant at the same time and other times we need to complete the extraction first and then wait for the site to heal before we can insert the implant. This will be discussed during your consultation.
Once you are ready to have the implant inserted, you will be treated with either local anesthetic or general anesthetic- depending on what was discussed with you and your dentist at the consultation (at Bond St, we have our own surgical suites that we are able to offer to our patients if they choose to have general anesthetic). Once the implant is placed, patients have a series of impressions and moulds which allow for a new tooth to be made to fit over the implant. At this point, patients are generally given a temporary tooth that covers the implant until their permanent tooth is ready from the dental lab.
When the dental lab has completed making your tooth, we have you come back to try it in and ensure it matches and functions perfectly. We also go over how to maintain proper cleanliness around the implant and recommend when to see a member of our dental hygiene team for a checkup and clean!
Keep those implants clean!
Although dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option, it’s important to know that implants require just as much cleaning as your normal teeth. If your teeth and implants are not kept in pristine condition, you are at risk of periodontal disease, which can affect the stability of the bone that holds your teeth and implants in place. Our team at Bond St is extremely experienced when it comes to dental implants. From the initial consultation with the dentist to follow up visits with our dental hygiene team, we will work with you to create a tailored oral hygiene plan that works for you and allows you to maintain the best oral health condition possible.
Why are they so expensive in Australia?
When given a treatment plan that includes dental implants, it can be overwhelming when patients see the cost. There is no doubt that dental implants are expensive in Australia! If you break it down, materials are expensive, shipping to Australia is expensive, wages of staff compared to other countries are higher and the length of time it takes to complete an implant procedure from start to finish is much more than many other procedures.
A single implant can range from $5,000 to $6,000 or a full upper or lower implant bridge (also known as the All-on-4 which replaces all of the teeth on the upper or lower arch) can range from $24,000-$27,000. These prices include the surgery and all of the materials and appointments involved for the procedure. Unfortunately, dental implants are not a procedure covered by Medicare. However, if you have private dental insurance, you may be covered for a portion of the treatment depending on your coverage. At the consultation, we will provide you with a cost estimate and include all of the item numbers involved in your procedure so you can check with your insurance to see which items will be covered and by how much. We can also work with you to establish a payment plan using Zip which has proven very successful with many of our patients. Although implants are an expensive procedure, please remember that there are options to ensure their affordability to give patients the chance to have the procedure that they want.
Come See US
Overall, our team at Bond St is highly experienced with dental implants. From the dentists, to the specialists to the dental hygiene team to the lab we use to make the teeth – everyone is highly experienced in their field of dental implants. If dental implants are an option you are considering or thinking you may need, please book in for a consultation and let us see what we can do for you!
Weigh out your options
it is important to weigh out your options when choosing implants. Have you heard of the term ‘dental holiday’? In North America, some Canadian or American patients will go to Mexico in hopes of finding cheaper dental treatment. In Australia, some patients will go to Bali, Thailand or Vietnam to name a few. It is true that other countries are able to offer cheaper treatments, but it can come at a cost in the long run. For example, what are the cleaning and sterilization mandates in the country? What are the qualifications of the dentist and what training did they have? If you have any issues with the treatment performed, do you have to go abroad again to have the problem fixed? It can be very risky when having any dental work done overseas.
Unfortunately, at Bond St, we often see patients who have had dental treatment completed overseas and they come to us to have their problems fixed. Many times, it costs more in the long run to fix or repair the problem than if the patient just had their work done in Australia to begin with. In Australia all dental providers must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency which ensures that members are practicing safely and within strict guidelines.
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