If you want to replace missing teeth, but don’t want dentures or a bridge, a dental implant is an option that functions like your natural teeth.
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 dental needs, as well as your budget and schedule. Dental implants and many other procedures are performed on site by Dr Sarkis Nalbandian, an aesthetic reconstructive dentist. Here are some of our most common questions.
Dental implants are artificial roots, usually made of titanium, fused into the jawbone to form the foundation for attaching a crown to replace 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 procedures like All-on-4 Dental Implants and Same Day Teeth.
Dental implants are a great solution for you 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 per cent, one of the highest of any dental procedure.
The personal success rate of Dr Sarkis Nalbandian is 93.5 per cent. He has placed more than 3000 implants.
With dental implants, bone heals against titanium. In about 3-10 per cent 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 our doctor’s success rate is high, we regard this as a small incidence. Therefore, we provide the second implant free of the 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 we 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 will be the best for you without studying your individual requirements through diagnostics at Designer Smiles.
Diagnostics help us 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 we 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 session with our dental implant specialist Dr Sarkis Nalbandian at Sydney dental implant centre, where he begins working on your specific needs. Important diagnostic information may include:
• Composite mock-ups (trial restorations). When you are having a cosmetic dentistry or a reconstructive procedure, these special diagnostic measures help you visualise the end result
• Digital X-rays
• Models of your teeth
• OPGs - orthopantomogram, where an X-ray tube moves around the head to give a panoramic view of the jaw and teeth
• Cone Beam CT (CAT) scans – a revolution in diagnostics
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.
We put in plenty of efforts to assure our 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 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 nightguard may be necessary to protect your new teeth.
Thank you for taking the time to understand my diagnostic process and the technologies and techniques we use. We hope this gives you an idea of what we can do for you if you are having any difficulties or need help with your teeth. Remember, there’s 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