As modern dentistry continues to evolve, dental implants have emerged as the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.

What are dental implants?

When it comes to dental health, we often hear about procedures like fillings, root canals, and braces. But what about dental implants? If you’re not familiar with them, you might wonder what they are and how they differ from other dental treatments. Let’s break it down in simple terms.

Think of a dental implant as a replacement tooth root. It’s typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material that’s well-tolerated by the body. The implant is surgically placed into your jawbone beneath the gum line, where it acts as a sturdy foundation for a replacement tooth or teeth.

Once the implant is securely in place, over time the bone in your jaw fuses with the implant, creating a strong and durable bond. Essentially, the implant becomes a permanent part of your jawbone, just like a natural tooth root.

Once this has occurred, a connector piece called an abutment is attached to the implant. This abutment serves as a support for the artificial tooth or teeth (crowns) which are custom-made to match the colour, shape, and size of your natural teeth. 

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • Durability and Longevity: Unlike dentures and bridges which may require replacement every few years, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care. Implants fuse with the jawbone, creating a stable foundation that mimics the strength of natural teeth.
  • Natural Appearance and Functionality: Dental implants are custom crafted to match the shape, size, and colour of your natural teeth. You can confidently eat, speak, and laugh without worrying about slippage or discomfort.
  • Preservation of Jawbone: When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone may begin to resorb over time. Dental implants stimulate bone growth and prevent further bone loss helping to maintain facial structure.
  • Improved Oral Health: Unlike bridges, which require the alteration of adjacent teeth, dental implants preserve the integrity of neighbouring teeth. This means that your healthy teeth remain untouched, reducing the risk of other oral issues.
  • Enhanced Confidence and Self-Esteem: With dental implants, you can enjoy restored confidence in your smile and overall appearance. No longer will you feel self-conscious about gaps in your teeth or worry about the embarrassment of denture slippage during social interactions.

Are dental implants painful?

Although implant placement does involve surgery, advancements in dental technology and techniques have made the procedure much more comfortable than you might expect.

The process typically begins with a consultation, where Dr Courtney will evaluate your oral health and discuss your treatment plan. Before the actual implant surgery, local anaesthesia or sedation will be administered to ensure you’re comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure.

During the surgery itself, you may feel some pressure or vibrations, but you shouldn’t experience any pain. Your dentist will make a small incision in your gum tissue to access the jawbone, where the implant will be placed. Once the implant is secured in your jawbone, the gum tissue is stitched back into place.

After the surgery, it’s normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and minor bleeding. However, any pain can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication prescribed by your dentist. Most patients find that the discomfort is manageable and subsides within a few days.

The healing process is crucial for the success of the dental implant. Over the following weeks and months, the implant will fuse with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. During this time, it’s essential to follow Dr Courtney’s post-operative instructions, which may include eating soft foods, avoiding strenuous activity, and practising good oral hygiene.

While the idea of dental implant surgery may sound daunting, the reality is far less intimidating. With modern anaesthesia techniques and effective pain management, the procedure is generally well-tolerated by patients. So if you’re considering dental implants but worried about pain, rest assured that the discomfort is manageable and temporary, and the benefits of a restored smile far outweigh any temporary discomfort.

How do I care for my dental implants?

  • Brush and Floss Regularly: Treat implants like natural teeth, brushing twice daily and flossing daily to remove plaque and bacteria.
  • Schedule Check-Ups: Visit Sunshine Boulevard Dental every six months for a professional clean and exam to ensure optimal implant health.
  • Avoid Harmful Habits: Quit smoking and limit sugary foods to prevent complications and implant failure.
  • Protect During Activities: Wear a mouthguard during sports to safeguard implants from injury.

How much are dental implants?

The price of a dental implant depends on the position in the mouth, how many implants are required and how extensive the implant surgery is. Implants replacing missing back teeth start from $3990 and from $4490 for replacing front teeth. 

Dr Courtney at Sunshine Boulevard Dental is highly skilled in implant planning, placing and surgery. Book a complimentary consultation with Sunshine Boulevard Dental now if you’re considering dental implants as a solution for missing teeth. We would love to help you embark on your journey to a confident smile for life.