Dental Guides

The Quick Guide To Dental Implants

Dental implants make it possible for you to live on your terms. If you've ever struggled with temporary dental bridges, dentures, unattractive or damaged teeth, then a dental implant is just right for you.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a permanent teeth placement solution for damage, dead or missing teeth. Dental implants are attached to the jawbone. After this is done, a lifelike prosthetic tooth or set of teeth is inserted into the implants, creating an attractive and stable set of teeth. Dental Implants can be used to replace one, a couple or all of your teeth.

What are dental implants made of?

Dental implants are made up of two parts - the post is made from titanium because it is non-corrosive, lightweight, strong and easily accepted by the body. Titanium also bonds and encourages the bone to fuse, which makes the implants strong.  The second part (prosthetic crown) is usually made from porcelain or ceramic material to mimic natural tooth structure and density.

Are dental implants strong?

Dental implants that are inserted correctly and have healed properly are very strong. Dental implants are made to withstand more pressure than your natural tooth can.

How long can I expect dental implants to last?

On average, dental implants have a success rate of 93%. After your implants have healed, maintain basic oral care and it can last up to 25 years. The longevity of your dental implants is dependent on the way you look after them - Brush and floss and schedule regular visits to the dentist. Avoid biting on pens or using your teeth to open beers and you can prolong their lifespan.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

The entire process takes a couple of months. At your first consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth and walk you through the process. This is usually a short visit.

At your next visit, the implant insertion (surgery) is done and this takes about two hours. Anaesthetics are injected into your mouth and a part of your gum is removed so your surgeon has access to the jawbone. A hole is then drilled into the jawbone and implants inserted - a healing cap is placed over and your gum stitched to encourage fast quickly. After your surgery, you have to wait for your bones to fuse with the titanium post - this can take a couple of months.

On your third visit, the healing cap will be removed, the prosthetic teeth attached to the titanium post and the process is complete. This visit takes about one or two hours.

Are dental implants painful?

The dental implant surgery itself is not painful because you are under full local anaesthetics. However, after the procedure, you will be advised to take over-the-counter pain medication. Some people report mild discomfort following postsurgery but if you stick to your postsurgery care - don't smoke and eat soft food -, you can speed up recovery.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

There are numerous advantages to having dental implants.

  • Dental implants are a permanent solution and not just a series of temporary ones.
  • Dental implants are highly convenient,
  • Dental implants help you feel confident and attractive.
  • Dental implants are solid implants. There is no slipping, which means you get precise speech with no mumbling or slurry
  • Dental implants do not shift position - they stop your jawbone from eroding,
  • Dental implants are stable and strong - you can eat whatever you want.
  • Dental implants give you a beautiful natural-looking smile.
  • Dental implants are hard-wearing and durable.

You can find more details on the procedure Dental Implant Solutions

How much does a dental implant cost?

The cost of a dental implant depends on the process of getting it done. Some people would require tooth extraction, and you also have the option of having bone grafted into the jaw before the actual implant surgery.

If your procedure is straightforward, on average the cost of new dental implants in New Zealand, for example, is approximately NZ$5000 - NZ$6000. For two or more, on average it is anywhere from NZ$11,000-NZ$30,000. And for a full set of lower or upper implants, the cost varies between NZ$15,000 and NZ$30,000.

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