If you want to replace a missing tooth or teeth, don't want dentures or a bridge but something that looks and functions like your natural teeth, you’re probably considering dental implants.
Naturally you will have questions about what is involved, just as many of my patients did who are now thrilled with their results.
When you call Designer Smiles, in Cremorne on Sydney's lower North Shore, we immediately begin to assess your concerns. You will find there are many options available to suit your individual dental needs, as well as your budget and schedule. Dental implants and many other procedures are performed on site by myself, Dr Sarkis Nalbandian. I am an aesthetic reconstructive dentist. Here are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions that I receive, to help you inform your decision.
Dental implants are artificial roots, usually made of titanium, which are fused into the jaw bone and form the foundation on which to attach a crown, replacing one or more missing teeth.
There are several treatment options available, depending on whether one or several teeth need to be replaced, or whether all the upper or lower teeth need replacement, including the exciting new procedure - Same Day Teeth.
Dental implants will be a great solution if you:
Surprisingly very little! Placement of dental implants does involve minor surgery. The procedure is very gentle and often done under Intravenous (IV) Sedation provided by a medical doctor specialised in emergency medicine and sedation. Under sedation people are not aware of the procedure itself. All post-operative medication is provided to reduce inflammation-swelling and discomfort.
Modern dental implants have been around for over 45 years. Research shows that the success rate for dental implants can be over 90 percent, one of the highest of any dental procedure.
My personal success rate is 93.5 percent. I have placed more than 3000 implants.
With dental implants, bone heals against titanium. In about 3-10 percent of cases the bone will not do so. In this case the implant is removed and we wait for 3-6 weeks for the site to heal then a new implant is placed at this site.
Because my success rate is high, I regard this as a small incidence. Therefore I provide the second implant free of the implant cost. A small fee is charged for surgical set up costs.
Following the procedure itself and depending on what was performed, we encourage you to avoid using the healing area for the first few weeks. This may include having a soft but nutritious diet. Once the final teeth are placed, there are no restrictions and you can certainly eat efficiently and with confidence as you would with natural teeth.
As with any surgical procedure you may expect some discomfort and swelling. The amount will vary between different people. Some people experience nothing whilst others may have some discomfort for up to a week or so. Medication is available to help you through this period.
Once I have successfully placed your new teeth, an appointment is scheduled with our dental hygienist who will explain the correct use of brushing and flossing. If any special brushes are needed, we will explain these to you. Generally speaking, you should care for your implants the same way as your natural teeth.
Fees for dental implants vary depending on how many implants are required, what the final teeth are to be made of as well as the quantity and quality of the available bone and gum tissue.
There are many different treatment options available for dental implants. It is difficult to recommend which one without studying your individual requirements through diagnostics at Designer Smiles.
Diagnostics help me determine whether you are a candidate for treatment and which options fit your circumstances - such as time and budget.
But keep in mind they are a good investment. The long term success of dental implants is often superior to the discomfort and expense of repeated temporary measures.
During a consultation at Designer Smiles you will see how I can tailor a unique solution to fit within your budget and circumstances.
If you are insured by a private health fund, parts of the fees are reimbursed. In addition, part of the fees over a certain amount may be claimable on your tax return. Please talk to your tax accountant and/or financial planner for final confirmation of this.
Your first step is a consultation with me at Designer Smiles, where I can start working on your specific needs. Important diagnostic information may include:
Once we have discussed your treatment needs, treatment may begin. Treatment time depends on what we do. Sometimes you can have a new tooth or several teeth fitted in one day. Many options range within one visit or over 3 to 6 months. Sometimes, if we need to augment the bone, treatment may take about six months.
I go to great effort to assure my patients that they will have at least temporary teeth at missing teeth sites, where the implants are placed. We rarely allow our patients to leave our rooms without any form of teeth replacement, following an implant placement.
Your implants may fail for the same reasons you lost your natural teeth – that is, periodontal disease that is not followed up, tooth grinding (bruxing) and, notably, poor oral hygiene. The build-up of dental plaque and debris around the teeth means an increase in bacteria and toxins which cause destructive inflammation and infection.
This may lead to swollen gums and loss of bone that supports the teeth and dental implants. Excellent oral hygiene is necessary and vital for the long term success of your implants and permanent teeth. Wearing a night guard may be necessary to protect your new teeth.
It’s important to also have regular check-ups at with us to keep your teeth and oral health – and all the benefits they bring – in tip top condition.
Thank you for taking the time to understand my diagnostic process and the technologies and techniques i use. I hope this gives you an idea of what I can do for you if you are having difficulty and need help, because there is always hope.
Dr. Sarkis Nalbandian
Visiting Professor YSMU
Specialist Prosthodontist & Implant Surgeon
B.D.S. (Hons), Dip. Clin. Dent. (Oral Implants) Uni Syd, M. Clin. Dent (Prosth) King’s College, Uni London
D. Clin. Dent (Prosth) Uni Syd, FRACDS, MRACD (Prosth) FIADE, FPFA