Dental Implant Guide
Dental implants provide a great way of restoring the health and stability of your mouth. If you’re feeling self-conscious about lost teeth, this dentistry procedure can allow you to smile confidently once again.
But what are dental implants? How do they work? And how much do they cost? In this dental implant guide, we answer all of this, and more. We offer an overview of how a dental implant procedure actually works, what kind of results to expect, and how you can ensure your treatment is successful.
Qunomedical makes it easy to find information, book treatments, and reach world renowned doctors.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is screwed into the jawbone to replace a natural tooth and root. An implant consists of three parts: The implant device itself that serves as a substitute for the tooth root, the overlying crown or denture, and the abutment, which connects the implant device to the crown or denture.
What Is a Dental Arch?
A dental arch is the term used to refer to a row of teeth. There is one arch on the upper jaw (also known as maxilla or superior dental arch), and one on the lower jaw (also known as mandible).
The upper arch is slightly larger than the lower one. This allows the teeth in the maxilla to overlap the teeth on the mandible, both at the front and at the sides.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting involves the placement of either natural or synthetic bone material to an area where natural bone is not sufficient. During the procedure, the dentist will take a section of bone from another area of the body (usually the hip) or use synthetic bone material to graft it onto the jaw bone. Bone grafting needs to take place before the actual dental implant procedure can start, and it can take up to several months for the graft to create new, strong bone.
When only a minor bone graft is needed, it’s possible to undergo the procedure at the same time as the implant surgery. A panoramic dental X-ray and a CT scan helps to check the amount of bone available, allowing the dentist to determine whether bone grafting is needed.
In combination with bone grafting, additional procedures such as a sinus lift may be required. When grafted bone is added between the upper jaw and the maxillary sinuses (one of the sinuses located near the nose), the sinus membrane may then need to be moved upward (or “lifted”) to make room for the bone.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a prosthetic tooth that is placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape. Crowns are custom-made and fitted to match the surrounding natural teeth in colour, size, and shape.
What Is a Bridge?
A bridge is a prosthetic tooth that closes a space created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges are made up of individually-crafted crowns and, an artificial tooth in between, to replace the lost teeth. Bridges can be used with either implants or natural teeth as their anchor points.
Who Is Eligible for Dental Implants?
When considering whether someone is eligible for dental implants, there are a few things that your dentist will look at. We’ve outlined these below.
You should have sufficient bone density in your jaw, since the implant needs to be fused together with the bone and become stable. If your bone density is lower than required, bone grafting may be a viable solution.
Any signs or symptoms of advanced gum disease can stop you from being able to undergo a dental implant procedure. This condition must be treated before any dental implants can be fitted.
If you smoke, you may not be eligible for dental implants due to a lower chance of success of the treatment. Your dentist may recommend that you quit smoking before undergoing the treatment.
In cases where there is serious tooth decay, corrective measures might need to be taken before the treatment commences.
If you are taking steroids, or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments, you may not be eligible for dental implants due to increased infection risks and other possible complications.
If you’re interested in pursuing dental implants, you should discuss your treatment options with a dentist to determine your eligibility for the treatment. If you’re unsure, you can also contact a Qunomedical Patient Manager via email, phone, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger.
The Dental Implant Procedure: Step by Step
Each dental implant journey is different, as the length and complexity of the treatment can vary from patient to patient. However, there are common steps involved and we’ve outlined these below so that you can know what to expect when it comes to your treatment.
1. Planning Your Treatment
Before jumping into treatment, it’s important to plan it out, together with your dentist and your Qunomedical Patient Manager. Your dentist will take an updated X-ray of your mouth and may also recommend additional examinations such as a CT scan to check your bone mass.
2. Preparing For Surgery
Initial examinations will allow your dentist to determine whether or not you need any additional treatments before surgery, such as a bone graft. Depending on the quantity of additional bone mass necessary, a bone graft can be performed at the same time as implant surgery or in a separate session.
3. Attaching the Implants
This step can vary from patient to patient, depending on how many implants they need and the complexity of their individual situation. Typically though, this implantation stage can take anywhere between 1-6 hours. You’ll be given local anesthesia to numb the area of your mouth that will be worked on. To attach the implants, the gum tissue is opened, exposing the bone area in which the implant is placed. Your dentist will then use a specialist drill to create space for the implant, with it then being placed into the jawbone. The gums are then stitched closed over the implant.
4. The Recovery Phase
Once the procedure is complete, the next step is to allow the implant to become part of the jaw. This process is known as osseointegration, although it’s often also referred to simply as the healing period. Osseointegration usually takes around 4-6 months in total.
5. Attaching the Abutment and Crown
Once your gum has healed, your dentist will attach the abutment to the implant. They will then take some impressions of your mouth in order to create a unique crown to match the rest of your natural teeth. This typically takes around 4-10 days. Once it’s made, the custom-made crown is fitted to create a natural-looking prosthetic tooth.
6. Post-Treatment Care
It’s common to experience some bruising and swelling following a dental implant procedure. This is usually a short-term side effect though and the long-term success of your new implant is reliant on keeping up good oral hygiene. Make sure that you have a good brushing technique, both for your implant and the surrounding gum tissue. Regular check-ups with your dentist — every 6-12 months — are also key to a long-lasting implant.
What Are All-On-4 Dental Implants?
A common question when it comes to this treatment is “Can I replace all my teeth with dental implants?” Well, for those looking to replace multiple teeth, all-on-4 dental implants are a solution. This technique involves a full-arch rehabilitation where all the teeth are supported by four implants. These implants — which need to support 10-14 custom-made crowns — are placed either in the maxilla, the mandible, or both.
For patients who have a larger number of missing teeth, the all-on-6 technique may also be a viable option. This works similarly to all-on-4, but involves the placement of six implants, rather than four.
These methods are recommended for patients who suffer from significant tooth decay or loss, or for those who have low bone density in the jaw area, preventing them from getting individual dental implants.
What to Expect After Treatment: Dental Implant Risks and Benefits
Before undergoing your dental implant procedure, it’s important to be aware of both the benefits that the treatment can bring and the risks associated with it.
Dental Implant Benefits
98% of dental implant procedures are considered a success. The treatment provides a long-term solution for those looking to replace lost teeth. There are some key benefits to undergoing this treatment.
Increased comfort and confidence while smiling, eating, and talking.
A stable and long-lasting solution unlike other dental treatments like dentures.
An overall healthier jawbone, thanks to growth stimulation caused by osseointegration.
Dental Implant Risks
While dental implants can bring great benefits, as with any surgery, there are also some risks associated with it. It’s important to be aware of these before undergoing the procedure. The main risks include:
Infection at the implant site.
Injury or damage to surrounding structures (teeth or blood vessels).
Nerve damage during the placement of the implant, causing pain or numbness.
Health complications caused by dental implants is a rare occurrence and most of them can be solved with minor interventions. Choosing from Qunomedical-approved dentists will help to minimize the chance of any complications, as these dentists have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they carry out treatment at a consistently high quality.
How Much Is a Dental Implant?
The cost of dental implants depends on where the surgery is performed and how many implants are fitted. The pricing differential between countries is usually due to different living and labor costs, rather than quality.
Below are starting prices across a variety of countries, based on the cost for one dental implant. These prices are not fixed or guaranteed and they may vary from patient to patient, depending on a number of different factors.
For more detailed information on pricing, check out our dedicated dental implant cost guide.
How Do I Get Started?
If this dental implant guide has got you thinking that implants might be the right fit for you, the next step is to contact us for a 100% free, non-binding assessment. One of our Patient Managers will be in touch to get to know you, your individual situation, and carry out this assessment. We’ll ask you for some photos of your teeth and mouth, which can be used to give dentists an initial look at your specific situation. Your Patient Manager will also discuss a number of dentists and clinics with you, including options for undergoing the treatment abroad. Wherever, you choose to go, you'll only ever be presented with information about high-quality, affordable dentists.
Why Choose Qunomedical?
With Qunomedical, you can be sure that you’ll get high-quality healthcare at a fair price. We’re an independent company that always puts patients first. Our 100% free assessments are non-binding, so there’s no pressure to commit to booking a treatment through us after you receive it. If you do decide to move forward though, we’ll never push you into a treatment that you’re not comfortable with, just to make a sale. Whatever you choose to do and wherever you choose to go, your Patient Manager will be alongside you for support and advice. From the initial consultations, through to your successful recovery.
Find the Right Specialist at a Fraction of the Cost
Qunomedical only lists clinics and doctors that have been thoroughly vetted with quality and affordability in mind. Contact us for your 100% free, non-binding assessment.