Dr Nick Daley
Dr Nick Daley
General Dentistry
10/23/2023

Are dental implants right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Book now
Dr Nick Daley
Dr Nick Daley
General Dentistry
10/23/2023
General Dentistry
10/23/2023

Are dental implants right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Book now
Dr Nick Daley
Dr Nick Daley
General Dentistry
10/23/2023
General Dentistry
10/23/2023

Are dental implants right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Book now

Missing or broken down teeth can have a significant impact on your quality of life and self-esteem. It can be difficult to do things that most of us take for granted. Like eating, speaking, and smiling naturally. For many people, dental implants can be an effective and lasting solution for replacing lost teeth. The question you may be asking is ‘are they right for me’. To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a look at a few important factors to think about.

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What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a long-term solution for missing teeth. They can replace one tooth, multiple teeth or even all teeth. Also, they’re the closest replacement possible to natural teeth. This makes them a popular choice for people in search of an alternative to dentures.

Dental implants are made up of three parts:

  1. The implant — a narrow titanium post that is placed into the jaw bone, acting as the ‘root’ of your missing tooth. 
  2. The abutment — a small ‘connector’ is screwed into the implant to allow the crown to be securely attached.  
  3. The crown — an artificial tooth to replace the missing tooth.

An artificial tooth is replacing the missing tooth.
Dental implants are a long-term solution for missing teeth. They can replace one tooth, multiple teeth or even all teeth.

Over time, the dental implant fuses with the jaw bone (a process called osseointegration). This secures the implant in place and is the reason why dental implants feel and function just like natural teeth.

What is the dental implant treatment procedure?

It’s important to know what to expect when considering dental implant treatment. Here’s an overview of each step.

Step 1: The consultation

Filling the gaps left by missing teeth can be life changing, so a thorough consultation is essential. During the consultation, we’ll take 3D x-rays and digital scans to ensure dental implants are the best choice for you. In some cases, the bone density may need to be increased to provide a solid foundation for the implant. This is done using a bone graft. If there are other suitable teeth replacement options, we’ll discuss these with you.

After your consultation, you’ll receive your individual treatment plan. This outlines the treatment steps, timeframe, and dental implants cost. Once you’ve reviewed and approved your treatment plan, you can begin your dental implant journey.

Step 2: Planning phase

Using digital software and advanced imaging technology, we create a virtual model of your mouth and digitally plan where your implants will be placed. We’ll use this information to print a 3D guide. This ensures the precise location of your new tooth—or teeth. It also means you can be confident you’ll get results you can trust.

Step 3: Dental implant surgery

Under IV sedation the titanium implant (tooth root) is gently and precisely placed into the jaw. The dental implant procedure takes around 1 to 2 hours. With IV sedation you’ll enjoy a dream-like state. Most likely, you won’t feel any pain, just completely relaxed. Because you’ll feel a little drowsy after the treatment, you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home.

Step 4: The healing phase

During this phase, the gum tissue and bone need to fuse (osseointegrate) to the implant. The dental implant healing stage can take between 3 to 6 months. You’re probably wondering if you’re going to be left with a gap in your smile. 

In most cases, a healing cap or ‘abutment’ is placed over the top of the implant straight after surgery and stays there until the jaw bone and gums fully heal. If it’s a front tooth that’s being replaced, a temporary natural-looking false tooth may be fitted. Don’t worry, these options won’t come as a surprise. We’ll discuss them in your initial consultation.

Step 5: Fitting your new tooth

It’s time to fit your new permanent tooth crown. This stage consists of two appointments a couple of weeks apart. At the first appointment, we check that the titanium post has fused with the jaw bone. We’ll also take final impressions. These are sent to our local, specialised laboratory. A dental technician carefully hand-crafts one or more crowns to fit your implant, and your smile, perfectly. At the second appointment, we’ll fit the crown—and you get to see the beautiful, restored smile you’ve been waiting for.

Illustration of a dental implant compared with a natural tooth.
Once the dental implant has fused with the jaw bone we’ll fit a crown to your implant that looks and feels just like your natural teeth.

How long do dental implants last?

Providing you take good care of your dental implants, they can last a very long time. In general, implants can last a lifetime. Crowns typically last between 15-20 years but can be longer or shorter depending on how you care for them. You should care for your implants and crowns the same way you would your natural teeth. This means regular brushing and flossing and keeping up with your six-monthly check-up and clean appointments.

Is it really necessary to replace missing teeth?

You don’t have to replace missing teeth. Yet, missing teeth can lead to a range of problems. The main issue is that when you lose teeth your jaw bone starts to recede. This can affect your facial structure and appearance, as cheeks and lips can begin to collapse inwards.You may find that the surrounding teeth will begin to shift into the gaps. 

Not only can this lead to crooked teeth, but it can also affect your bite alignment. These problems can be prevented with dental implants. Implants stimulate the bone, so you don’t have to worry about further bone loss. By filling the gaps, you also stop teeth from shifting.

While the thought of dental implants may be daunting, they do have a positive impact on people’s lives. Replacing lost teeth with dental implants makes eating and speaking easier and comfortable again. Restoring your smile can greatly improve your self-confidence. 

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Other teeth replacement options

Dental implants can be a wonderful option for people wanting to fill the gaps left by missing teeth. But, they’re not for everyone. The alternatives to dental implants include:

  • Dentures
  • A tooth-supported dental bridge 

At your dental implant consultation, we’ll talk you through all your options and help you find the right treatment for you. 

The pros and cons of dental implants

There are many benefits to dental implants, yet it’s also important to consider the disadvantages. Here’s a look at both.

The pros

  • They look and function like real teeth
  • Long life span 
  • Prevents bone loss

The cons

  • A bigger investment than other tooth replacement options
  • Dental implant procedure can take 3-6 months
  • In certain cases, for example where there is extensive bone loss, implants may not be an option

Am I a suitable candidate?

The good news is that most patients who are missing teeth are suitable for dental implants. In cases where there is bone loss, grafts can be performed to restore volume and density to the bone.

Here at Cronulla Beach Dental we have extra clinical training in advanced dental implant techniques, so you can rest assured that you’re in safe and experienced hands. And because we want you to feel comfortable in the chair and afterwards, we offer a range of no-stress payment options. This means you can reclaim your smile now and pay in comfortable and manageable instalments. 

Ready to restore your missing teeth and reclaim your smile confidence? Book in for an obligation-free dental implant consultation ($110 or free with a check-up and clean). We’ll talk through your tooth replacement options and find out if dental implants are right for you. Book your appointment now

You’re the kind of person who researches every decision thoroughly.
Dr Nick Daley
Dr Nick Daley
Dr Daley was drawn to health care because he wanted to make a real difference for people. His experience, sincerity, and conscientious nature put even the most anxious patients at ease.

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