Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

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There are several different reasons why people lose their teeth. The most common causes are tooth decay, advanced gum disease, and injury. In some cases, you could even be born missing some temporary or adult teeth. Regardless of the cause, missing teeth can negatively affect one’s health and confidence.

If you’re missing teeth, you may be considering dental implants as an option for restoring your smile. Dental implants are a popular choice for tooth replacement, and with good reason – they provide a number of advantages over other options like dentures or bridges. If you’re curious about dental implants, read on to learn more about them. We’ll cover everything from what they are to how they’re installed to the benefits they offer.

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Dental implants are a popular choice for tooth replacement, and with good reason – they provide a number of advantages over other options like dentures or bridges. Dental implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal that fuses with your jawbone over time. This gives them a level of stability and durability that is unmatched by any other tooth replacement option. In addition, dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth, so you can eat and speak with confidence. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime – making them a great investment in your oral health.

In practice, dental implants do not require special care – you can brush and floss them just like your regular teeth. They even have the added benefit of being able to maintain the natural distribution of force to the jawbone every time you bite down. This helps maintain the health of your jaw and prevents bone reabsorption.


When you have dental phobia, your dread for dental procedures will manifest in the following symptoms:

  • You have missing teeth.
    Some people feel ashamed due to missing teeth. They often hesitate to smile and talk in public. Dental implants are a popular option to solve this problem. It fills in the gap and typically looks indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

  • You have loose or ill-fitting dentures or bridges.
    Ill-fitting false teeth will make you more conscious of how they sit in your mouth and worry whether they might fall out. This often leads to the use of denture adhesives that can feel uncomfortable and irritate your gums or palate. With dental implants, your artificial teeth feel secure and do not move around.

  • You have a tooth infection or damage requiring extraction.
    An infected tooth can lead to complications like an infection in the blood and jaw bone. More serious complications include the formation of a brain abscess, pneumonia, and cardiac inflammation. To resolve the problem, sometimes, the tooth is extracted. This will leave you with a gap in your smile that can have its own long-term complications. Having dental implants will prevent your natural teeth from shifting to fill the empty space and maintains the normal alignment of your adjacent teeth.

  • You have difficulty eating due to tooth loss.
    Chewing with several missing teeth can be hard on your gums. It can irritate the soft gum tissue. Thanks to the integration of the dental implant into the jawbone, bite strength is relatively close to normal. You experience less trouble biting and chewing hard or sticky food.


The dental implant procedure is typically done over a series of dental visits. You may need to have several different surgeries done depending on the state of your damaged teeth and other affected structures. It is essential to prepare yourself physically and mentally for your different procedures.

  • Get a comprehensive dental examination.
    An initial dental consultation is necessary to determine the appropriate course of treatment for you. You can expect your dentist to take several x-rays and a visual exam. Complications may come to light after the examination that will require additional surgeries. If you’re found to be in optimum oral health, you may even qualify for same-day dental implants.

  • Start a precautionary course of antibiotics.
    In most cases, when a foreign implant needs to be implanted into the body, a course of antibiotics are taken to prevent implant failure. Implant posts are usually made of titanium, a biocompatible metal. Antibiotics will also lessen the risk of post-operative infections that can complicate the healing process.

  • Prepare your body for the procedure.
    For oral surgeries, you will be asked to fast for 12 hours prior to the procedure. For your comfort, try to wear loose, comfortable clothing as well. Make sure to rest up the night before and avoid smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.

  • Prepare your jaw.
    If your initial consultation reveals that you have insufficient jawbone density, your dentist can suggest you undergo a bone grafting procedure. The bone graft donor tissue will be taken either from either a donor site, animal, or another human. This will be treated and implanted into your jaw bone to help promote bone growth. Once the new bone matures, you can proceed with the implant procedure itself.

  • Schedule downtime and prepare for after-care.
    To ensure proper healing, you will need to take time off to rest and recuperate. You will need to prepare a soft food diet to avoid irritating your implant site. Pain medication and cold compress will address the possible bruising and inflammation that is normal following the surgeries. You may want to avoid strenuous activities immediately after too.


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Many patients claim that they experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area. In case several teeth need to be replaced, general anesthesia or IV sedation can be used instead for patient comfort.


Each dental implant treatment is individualized to suit the needs of the patient. However, each treatment typically follows the same step-by-step procedure broken down over several dental appointments.

  1. Initial Consultation
    To determine whether a patient is eligible for dental implants, a dental professional needs to thoroughly evaluate the patient. This will include an oral examination of the intended implant site to inspect the condition of the surrounding oral structures. One of the additional requirements of dental implant surgery is good jaw bone quality. This means that there needs to be adequate bone mass and density for the implant to successfully integrate and fuse to the bone. Dental imaging will help your dentist determine the health of your jaw bone.

    During your initial evaluation, you need to be clear regarding your medical history. Disclose any conditions you may have or medications you may be taking. Lifestyle habits like smoking status and oral hygiene practices should also be shared. With this information, your dentist can design your treatment plan accordingly.

  2. Tooth Extraction
    In some cases, the dental implant site may no longer have a tooth on top of it. However, if the damaged tooth is still present, it needs to be removed. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area for patient comfort. For patients who suffer from dental anxiety, sedation options are also available.

  3. Metal Screw Insertion
    Typically, the first step during a dental implant procedure is the installation of the metal screw. Once the patient has been made comfortable, the gums of the implant site are cut open to reveal the bone underneath, the metal screw is inserted into the bone securely. The gums are then stitched up. After several months, the surrounding bone integrates with the screw.

  4. Abutment installation
    Once the dentist establishes that the screw is stable and the bone has fully healed, the connecting component of the dental implant (abutment) is installed. The gum tissue is once again sliced open and the abutment is connected to the screw. A part of the abutment wil protrude from the gum line so a temporary dental prosthesis is typically worn initially.

  5. Prothesis placement
    A custom dental prothesis is made to replace the tooth and will sit atop the abutment. This can either be a dental crown, bridge, or denture. After the permanent prosthesis is placed, you can walk out of the dental office with your perfect smile.


  • Discomfort.
    Tenderness and pain can be expected during the days immediately following the surgery. An analgesic and an anti-inflammatory are usually prescribed to address them.

  • Bleeding.
    It is normal for you to notice some residual bleeding at the implant site as it heals. It should not last more than a day or two. A blood clot should form at the implant site to quell the bleeding. You can apply cold compress to promote vasoconstriction too.

  • Swelling.
    Swelling around the implant site is expected as the body’s inflammatory process activates in response to the minor trauma from the surgery. It can occur around the face and cheeks.

  • Infection.
    Just like with any surgery, infection is always a possible – albeit rare – complication. Antibiotics can help avoid infection. One should also observe proper dental hygiene. Your dentist will outline helpful tips to cleanse your mouth gently.

  • Possible Nerve damage.
    The x-rays will serve as guides for your dentist to plot your implant sites. It is crucial to avoid the bony passages where your nerves exit. Nerve damage can have lasting effects, so careful planning is required to avoid this complication.


Barring any unforeseen complications, the installation of a single dental implant can take between 1 to 2 hours. Osseointegration can take 3 to 9 months, depending on how your body heals. Following the insertion of implants, you will still also need to have your abutment installed and the artificial teeth fitted. All in all, the entire dental implant procedure can take several months to a year. Although you’re in for the long haul, the benefits of dental implants can last you a lifetime.


Most studies concur that the rate of success for a dental implant over the course of the initial five years following the procedure rests in the high 90th percentile ranging from 95% to 100% for removable prostheses and 97.1% for fixed prostheses. The most common long-term complication found among the study participants was the fracture or chipping of the ceramic artificial tooth. The metal implant rod was still intact in most of the patients.

A different study was conducted that focused on the 10–year survival rate of dental implants that supported single crowns. Even then, the success rate of the implants averaged 95.2%, depending on the tooth material option used in dental crown fabrication.

Generally, studies suggest that dental implants are exceptionally durable and provide an excellent foundation for tooth restoration. However, the visible component (dental crown, bridge, or denture) may need replacing over time as they are subjected to daily wear and tear from use.


With proper care and maintenance, a dental implant screw can last you a long time. However, the dental crown may need to be replaced after 10-20 years due to normal wear and tear.

To maintain your dental implants, proper dental hygiene needs to be observed. Ideally, it would help if you brushed your teeth after every meal, but twice a day is an acceptable minimum. Pay special attention to your tongue, cheeks, and gums too. Additionally, you should also floss regularly to remove food debris between your teeth. The space between two teeth is a common site for cavities. Food debris commonly gets stuck in areas that are hard for the bristles of your toothbrush to reach. These are breeding grounds for bacteria and can lead to the formation of dental cavities.

Lastly, remember to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist every six months. The condition of your dental implants needs to be evaluated. If you experience any concerning complications, immediately reach out to your dentist for a consultation.


Thankfully, dental implants do not get cavities. Dental cavities usually stem from the accumulation of bacteria on your teeth. The bacteria eat away at the tooth, weakening its structure. The materials that make up the dental implant do not respond to bacteria the same way. While staining can occur over time, bacteria will wash away when brushing your teeth and gargling with mouthwash.


The treatment cost for dental implants will vary depending on the most suitable type of implant for the patient and whether additional procedures need to be done to prepare the patient to receive the implant. Each type of dental implant is priced differently as there are slight variations in the procedure and materials used. Talk to your dentist about your budget and goals so that the right treatment option can be matched to you.

A single dental implant and crown can cost between $2,500 to $4,000. This type of dental implant is used when there is only a single tooth that requires replacement. Each natural tooth root is replaced with a screw-like metal post and topped with a dental crown.

In some cases, a partial row of teeth will need to be replaced. Your dentist can suggest you have an implant-supported bridge done. This type of implant uses two metal rods implanted at the site of the outer teeth as the support system for the bridge. The middle tooth does not have its own implant. It is generally more cost-effective than replacing three of the missing teeth with individual crowns and can cost $6,000 to $10,000.

All-on-4 dental implants involve unique dental implants that use a replaceable denture for visible artificial teeth. It is ideal for patients who need to replace an arch of teeth but have traditionally insufficient jawbone density but are unwilling to have a bone augmentation or grafting procedure done. Patients can refuse the preparatory procedure due to financial constraints or concerns regarding recovery time. Scans of the patient’s x-rays are taken by a computer program. It then plots out the ideal dental implant placement in the compromised jawbone. This entire procedure typically costs between $20,000 to $40,000 in Western Australia.

It is advised that you call your dentist’s office regarding treatment costs as the prices mentioned above are general estimates. The cost between dental clinics can differ based on the materials available and the expertise of their dental professionals.


Dental implants can be life-changing in terms of their benefits to patients who have experienced tooth loss. Nevertheless, the entire process requires an extensive healing period and can be costly. A patient who can commit to a few months of dental appointments and procedures will definitely enjoy the lifelong benefits of stable and hardwearing dental implants.

If you are interested in getting dental implants, you can contact our dental clinic by calling Comfort Care Dental at (08) 9349-0800. Our experienced dentists and friendly clinic staff would love to answer all of your concerns and questions.


Dr. Karthik Lakkaraju

For Dr Karthik, dentistry is the complete package. He most enjoys the feeling he gets when he sees a patient achieve a beautiful smile, or can put an end to pain and increase the quality of life. He believes oral health is a mirror of general health and reflects the person’s personality and confidence.

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