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What are my tooth replacement options?

The severity of each individual case and the number of teeth you need replaced play a factor in the type of treatment that best solves your needs. If your damaged tooth can be saved, Dr Ben Wilcox might recommend a root canal treatment instead of extraction and tooth replacement. If you require one or more teeth replaced, individual implants or a dental bridge might be the solution for you. In the case where you require a full mouth reconstruction, All-On-4 or All-On-6 dental implants might best suit. Dr Ben will discuss your options with you in your first consultation.


What is an implant?

A tooth implant is an artificial tooth root made from titanium, fitted into the cavity where your tooth once was. The titanium naturally fuses to your bone to form a strong new tooth root, ready for a dental crown or dental bridge to be placed on top as a replacement tooth.


What are the benefits of dental implants?

Unlike poorly fitting, removable dentures, or dental bridges that can wear down healthy teeth, dental implants offer permanent individual teeth replacements. Easy to care for, without affecting your surrounding teeth, teeth implants are made to be long lasting, and with the correct care can last a lifetime.


What are dental implants made from?

Teeth implants are made from titanium - a durable biochemical material that is designed to naturally fuse to your jaw bone. Because the titanium naturally attaches to your bone it is the strongest, longest lasting tooth replacement technology available.


Will my replacement teeth look natural?

Tooth implants are usually fitted with dental crowns that replace your missing teeth and restore your natural smile. These crowns can be made from a variety of different materials, which vary in look and feel. Speak to your dentist about the options available to you for the most natural looking smile.


How long do dental implant last?

Dental implants are designed as a permanent solution to tooth loss. With correct care and good dental hygiene they can last a lifetime. Tooth crowns are available in different materials, which vary in both cost and quality. The better the quality, the longer they will last.


Am I healthy enough for dental implants?

Good general health usually means you can undergo implant surgery. In rare cases there may be medical conditions that mean you cannot have implant surgery, however this will be assessed during your initial consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will advise the best form of implant suitable for you, usually determined by the location of the missing tooth and the amount of available bone for the implant to be fitted into.


Could my body reject dental implants?

While it's extremely rare that patients have an adverse reaction to titanium, it can happen. If your implant doesn't naturally fuse to the bone, or gets infected, your dentist will remove it and allow your mouth to heal. In most cases when the site is healed and a second implant is fitted, it fuses to the bone naturally.


What if my bone has receded and can't support the implant?

Dental implants need enough bone for a strong foundation or they may not be secure enough to support normal mouth function. If your bone has receded over time, a procedure called bone grafting is performed to build up the bone to the required level.


What are ‘Teeth in a day'?

This advertising slogan is sometimes used to promote All-On-4 dental implant procedures, and is typically misleading. Each patient's case is different, and while some straightforward procedures can be done in a minimal number of consultations, the majority of cases require treatment over a period of weeks or months. Learn more about what the All-On-4 implant procedure involves on our full implants page.


How do I care for my dental implants?

Tooth implants are the most natural tooth replacement option available because they look, function and feel like real teeth. Routine brushing and flossing combined with periodic dental hygiene checkups should be enough care to maintain your dental implants, often for a lifetime.


Are dental implants experimental?

No, dental implants are a highly researched and performed procedure - the best tooth replacement procedure available in fact. Specialist dentists have been replacing teeth with implants for many years with high rates of success.


How many implants do I need to replace two teeth side by side?

Generally each tooth that needs replacing should have its own implant. This allows your new teeth to be as strong and reliable as your other natural teeth. In the instance that you require a full set of new teeth, you will likely have four to six implants supporting your new teeth.


Is tooth loss genetic?

There are a number of factors contributing to tooth loss. If you have a family history of tooth loss and denture use, it is especially important to take good care of your oral health; cleaning, flossing and visiting your dentist on a regular basis. With good care, you many never need replacement teeth.


Do dental implants eliminate the need for denture adhesives?

Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution. Implant do indeed eliminate the need for messy denture adhesives because your implants cannot be removed. Once fitted, they act exactly as your natural teeth do.


Do I really need dental implant surgery?

Whether you're concerned about a damaged tooth, or have one or several missing teeth, it is important to consider all of your options. In your first consultation at Shore Dental, Dr Ben Wilcox or Dr James Cooke will assess your oral health and guide you through the best treatment process for you. Get in touch to book an appointment today.


Can my dentist perform dental implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery is a specialised procedure that requires further training. Not all general dentists have undertaken the further study required to perform the surgery. Dr Ben Wilcox has completed the Graduate Diploma in the Clinical Dentistry for Oral Implants from the university of Sydney. This allows him to plan his cases minimising risk and complications for his patients. Dr Wilcox or Dr James Cooke can provide tooth implant procedures for both individual implants and full All-on-4 and All-on-6 dental implants. If you are unsure, it is important to ask your dentist if he or she has the appropriate education and experience.


How successful in implant surgery?

Dental implants have been used to successfully replace teeth for over three decades. Because they are designed as a permanent solution, when cared for properly and with frequent brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist, they can last a lifetime.


What should I expect from dental implant surgery?

Prior to dental implant surgery, your dentist should explain your surgery to you, including any required preparation, what will happen during the surgery, and what you need to do afterwards to properly care for your new teeth. Some implant surgery can be completed in one day, while others may take many months depending on the complexity of your individual case. You can read more about what to expect from the procedure on our implants procedure information page.


Are teeth implants painful?

Most implant patients experience minor discomfort on the first day or two following their surgery. At Shore Dental, we discuss pain relief options with you prior to surgery to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. For more information, head to our dental sedation and pain reliefpages.


How long do dental implants take to be placed?

The dental implant process generally doesn't happen in one day. Following your initial consultation with your dentist, you can have you implants inserted and new dental crowns fitted in as little as four appointments. After having your implants fitted, a healing period of around 3-4 months is usually required before your new dental crowns or bridge can be fitted.


What can I expect when the anaesthesia has worn off?

Dental implant surgery is generally a clean procedure that leaves no open wounds. This means that your mouth should heal quickly and with minor discomfort. For any pain that you do experience, an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or one prescribed by your dentist should help with your pain.


Can I eat straight after implant surgery?

To aid in healing your implants as quickly as possible, it is important to avoid applying pressure to the area affected. The best way to do this is to eat soft foods and keep well hydrated. You dentist will be able to recommend some suitable foods to help with the healing process.


How long do implants take to heal?

Once your implants have been fitted it usually takes around 3-4 months for the titanium to properly fuse to the bone, forming a strong replacement tooth root. Once ready, your dental crowns will be made and fitted to your implants.


How much will dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants varies with the requirements of each individual patient. Factors that impact on cost include tooth extraction, whether bone grafting is required, the number of implants you might need and the materials chosen for your new teeth. You can read more about payment plans on our dental finance page and how costs are calculated on our dental implants cost page.


Will my insurance pay for dental implants?

Depending on your individual health cover, your implant procedure may be covered in part by your insurance. To find out what dental procedures are covered by your insurer, you will need to contact them directly.


Does your dentist use surgical stents or guides?

Modern technology now allows dentists and oral surgeons to perform implant surgery with a great deal of information, which makes the surgery extremely accurate. Surgical stents and guides are a tool used in conjunction with x-rays to ensure your implant is placed in the correct position.


Does your dentist use 3D x-ray imaging and technology to ensure the implant is place correctly?

3D imaging is vitally important in ensuring your dental implants are placed in the correct place. This technology allows your dentist to assess if there is sufficient bone for an implant to be placed, the angle the implant needs to be inserted, and how the finished product will improve the structure of your smile. It removes all guess work from implant procedures, ensuring a successful result. You can read more about the technology used at Shore Dental in our technology section.


How long has your dentist been performing dental implant surgery for?

To ensure the success of your implant surgery, it's important to have trust in your dentist. You have every right to ask your dentist how many implant surgeries he or she has performed and their success rate over 5 or 10 years time.


Does your dentist have any previous implant success case studies you can look at?

One way of gaining confidence in your dentist before implant surgery is by looking at some before and after photos of their previous patients. This will give you an idea of the look of your new implants and the difference they can make, as well as your dentist's handiwork.


Does your dentist use sedation for implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery can be a painful procedure. Many dentists offer conscious sedation such as intravenous sedation or laughing gas, as well as general anaesthetic for more severe cases. Ask your dentist what pain relief options they might offer. Click here to learn about the pain relief options available to your at Shore Dental.


How long will your implant surgery take?

In rare cases implants can be fitted almost immediately, whereas in others there may be a period of healing, depending on if you have sufficient bone for the implants and how many implants you required. It is important to ask your dentist when and why he or she will be fitting your implants, and how long the healing period is expected to take for your individual case. Click here to read more about what's involved in the implant surgery procedure.