What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a procedure that involves a metal fixture (usually a screw) being fixed into the jawbone, which then acts as an anchor for a new false tooth.
It seems straightforward, but this form of cosmetic dental surgery is quite an involved process, so it is in your best interests to fully understand the procedure, costs involved, and to speak with a dental implant expert prior to making a decision.
Are missing teeth making you feel self-conscious about your smile, or keeping you from eating comfortably each day?
Having dental implant treatment allows you to benefit from a brand new tooth that looks and feels natural. Smile by Design offers comprehensive dental implant treatment all in our specially equipped dental implant treatment centre.
The most common questions we field are about why you should get a dental implant and what are the options surrounding dental implants, as well as the costs involved. Below, Sydney-based implant dentistry expert Dr. Michael Tam explains most of the questions regarding dental implants to help you make a more informed choice when it comes to dental implants.
Why Should I get a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are beneficial over several other more traditional forms of tooth replacement because of the following reasons:
They last longer than bridges or dentures
They prevent bone loss, which is often associated with missing teeth
They are an ideal replacement option to removable dentures
There is no wear and tear on surrounding teeth
They look natural and will only be identifiable by dentists
They allow you to eat hard foods without any issues
They can improve your self confidence
There is no age restriction: anyone can have dental implants
Is a Dental Implant Right for Me?
Dental implants, unlike teeth whitening, isn’t a one size fits all procedure, so you will need to spend some time with your dentist assessing whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
The three most important aspects of eligibility are:
You must have a reasonable amount of dense bone tissue in your jaw
You must not have periodontal disease (this is a form of gum disease)
You must not be a smoker, or at least be willing to give up smoking
The Different Types of Dental Implants
Most tooth implants are make from titanium, which is commonly used in many surgical applications due to its ability to avoid corrosion and because it’s lightweight and non-magnetic and will not be rejected by the body as a foreign object.
Unlike other ‘foreign objects’, the bone will grow around the implant in a process called osseointegration
In layman’s terms, osseointegration helps the implant remain sturdy long after it has been inserted.
Which type of dental implant you get will depend on your individual case. The main types of implants are as follows:
These are placed within the bone and are typically shaped like a screw or cylinder.
They’re the most popular option, however the bone must have enough depth and width to be successful.
These implants are placed on top of the bone, but underneath the gumline.
They involve a metal frame that works well if the patient doesn’t have deep enough bone.
A metal pin or U-shaped frame is passed through the jawbone and into the gum tissue for these types of implants.
What is a Mini Dental Implant?
As the name suggests, these are the small dental implants that are used in place of a traditional, larger dental implants and can be utilised in the instance of medical, financial or anatomical reasons.
Mini dental implants are most commonly used to replace small teeth, front teeth, pre-molars, teeth in narrow areas or for patients who have low bone tissue density.
What are the main differences between mini dental implants and dental implants?
The main size difference is in the diameter of the screw, which is less than 3mm across, where as dental implants measure 4 to 5mm in size.
Because they are smaller, mini dental implants cannot take the chewing forced that a traditional implant can, so they are not suitable to replace molars.
3. Insertion Process
The process is faster and healing often happens more quickly because of their smaller size
The smaller implants can be as much as half of the price of a standard dental implant, making them a more affordable option for those with financial restrictions.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure Like?
While the procedure for a dental implant can change to suit the type of dental implant, the number of replacement teeth required and the health of your mouth, in general it will involve the following steps:
Step 1: Removal of the damaged tooth by tooth extraction surgery or, in the instance of no tooth, the gum is surgically cut open to allow the bone to be drilled for the implant.
Step 2: The implant is fitted into the jawbone and covered while the bone fuses to the implant (osseointegration).
Step 3: Several months later, following osseointegration, a second operation may be required to uncover the top of the implant and the crown or bridge is fitted.
Dental Implants: As easy as 1, 2, 3.
What are the most common dental implant problems?
In over 20 years as a cosmetic and implant dentist, Dr. Michael Tam is happy to report that he has seen very few issues with his dental implants patients.
Occasionally we see implants that have failed to integrate with the bone. We replace these with a larger implant, which usually resolves the problem.
On very rare occasions, gum infections or broken implants can occur, but with proper care the risk of these issues are almost entirely eliminated.
How Much do Dental Implants Cost?
The table below exemplifies the costs of dental implants in Australia. This is to be used only as a general pricing guide, as each case is unique and the amount may vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned above.
|Dental Implant Type||Price|
|Uncomplicated single dental implant||$5000 - $5500|
|More complex single dental implant||$5500 - $6500|
|'All-on-4' dental implant procedure||$20,000 - $30,000|
Complications such as a weak or shallow bone structure requiring bone grafting may increase the listed prices. The only way to determine this is by having booking a consultation with our dental team.
The cost can vary greatly due to several factors, but you should keep in mind the following when comparing the price of different implants:
Do you need work to be done prior to the implant?
Tooth extraction, for instance, is a separate cost. However, damaged teeth don’t always necessarily need to be removed. Book a free consultation and we can see if its viable to save a ‘dead’ tooth through root canal, which is a far simpler procedure compared to a dental implant.
Are you being quoted for the entire implant?
Some dentists may create separate quotes for the titanium anchor and the porcelain tooth, so ask exactly what each quote you receive entails before committing to one. At Smile by Design, we’ll ensure you’re fully aware of all costs, and we also offer payment plans to make it even easier for you.
Is your situation more complex than a standard case?
While most cases are relatively straight forward, some patients may need more work which can add to the cost.
How many dental implants do you need?
If you need more than one implant, we can discuss dental bridges that can support multiple teeth and the cost difference between that and individual implants.
|Number of Dental Implants||Number of Teeth Supported|
Instances where the cost is higher can involve bone grafting in the instance of a narrow, shallow jawbone, longer healing time, rejection of an implant, the type & quality of your crown and the number of dental implants you require.
Shopping Around for Dental Implants
Dental implant will be an investment regardless of which dentist in Sydney you visit. It is something you want to visit a reputable dentist for, as it does require extensive training.
Dental implant pricing can vary, but you have to consider what you’re paying for. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. With something as precious as your teeth, which are used non-stop, every day, it is worth making the investment in quality.
The main reasons for differences in pricing include:
- The expertise and experience of the dentist (years experience, where they studied, affiliations/memberships/credentials)
- The origin of your crown (a laboratory, mass production centre or overseas)
- Your current oral health (some issues may need to be addressed prior to implants)
If saving money is critical to you, talk with your health insurance provider or compare different private health insurance options to find the best one. Be specific with your questions as some health insurance providers will class a dental implant as cosmetic dentistry, which isn’t considered essential.
Dr. Michael Tam and Smile by Design are
Proud Members of these Dental Institutions
Dental Implant Payment Plans & Financing
- Dental Payment plans up to $70,000
- Plans up to 84 months to suit every budget
- No stress – the whole process is managed privately by our expert consultants
- Flexible options – any additional repayments or rebates from Medicare/Private Health can be added back on to the payment plan at no extra charge
- Fast efficient approvals, simply apply online
To find out more about our dental implant payment plans, please arrange a consultation by calling us on (02) 9389 3333 (Bondi Junction) or (02) 9460 3566 (North Sydney) or click here to book an appointment online.
Dental Treatment Payment Plans by MAC Credit
How much do dental implants cost?
Implant treatment can cost $2,000 and upward per implant. We understand that financial investments in your smile can be a big determining factor, which is why we offer payment plans and help accommodate your dental insurance coverage to maximise benefits related to your care.
How fast can I get my implants put in?
Patients with healthy mouths can have their implant placed as soon as they schedule the appointment. If bone grafting is necessary, you may need to wait between several weeks and three months before the implant placement.
How many appointments do I need to go to?
Healthy patients typically only require two treatment visits. The first is the surgical placement of the implant. If necessary, a follow up assessment may also be conducted to monitor your healing. Approximately three to six months later you will return for the placement of your permanent crown on top of the implant.
Will my implants look like real teeth?
Yes. Implants use the same tooth-coloured crowns used in other types of Smile by Design treatments, and are designed to blend in with your other teeth.
How many teeth can I replace with implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace one, several, or all of your teeth at once.