dentist and client looking the teeth of the client in the mirror in a clinic

If you’re missing teeth, you’re not alone. According to the results of oral health surveys, Australian adults aged 15 and older have an average of 5 missing teeth.

Missing teeth can cause a lot of different problems for patients. They can suffer from gum disease, bone loss, and even malnutrition. In some cases, missing teeth can lead to extreme embarrassment and social isolation. If you’re missing teeth and aren’t sure what to do, teeth replacement options are available for you. One of which is dental implants.

Dental implants are a popular choice for people who are missing one or more teeth. They are a long-term treatment option that looks and feels just like natural teeth.

If you’re curious about dental implants, this blog post will tell you everything you need to know. Keep reading!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that was first introduced in the early 1960s. They can replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of the teeth.

The implants are made up of three parts:

  • The metal frame or post, which is surgically implanted into the jawbone.
  • The abutment, which is a connector piece that attaches to the metal frame or post.
  • The dental prosthesis, which is the artificial tooth or teeth that are attached to the abutment.

Dental implant surgery involves placing a titanium screw in your jawbone where your missing tooth used to be. The titanium screw will act as the new root for your artificial tooth.

Dental implants are popular because they provide a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Plus, they can last a lifetime with proper care.

dental fillings hero

Why Do People Get Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is fairly common and is typically conducted by an oral surgeon, periodontist, dental prosthodontist or a general dentist.

There are many reasons why people may choose to get dental implants, including:

  • To replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth:
    Gaps between teeth can lead to a series of complications. Some of these are shifting of adjacent teeth, difficulty eating and speaking, and more. Dental implants prevent this, helping you maintain good oral health.

  • To support a dental bridge or dentures:
    Dentures and dental bridges are often supported by tooth implants. This helps to ensure that these prosthetic devices are secure and don’t slip or move around in your mouth, making them more secure and comfortable.

  • To improve the appearance of a smile:
    When teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of place. Dental implants help to prevent this from happening, which keeps your smile looking great.

  • To improve bite:
    When dental implants are placed in the jawbone, they fuse to the bone and provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth. This can help improve chewing function and prevent the shifting of other teeth, leading to bite problems.

  • To improve overall dental health:
    Dental implants do not require the reduction of other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because dental implants don’t rely on neighbouring teeth for support, more of your own teeth can be spared, improving long-term oral health. Dental implants also benefit the health of your gums.

Dental implants are considered a safe and effective tooth replacement option for most healthy adults. The success rate of dental implants is high, and they can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?

The dental implant process involves several steps and stages. The entire process can take several months to complete.

Here’s an overview of the different steps of the dental implant procedure so you will have an idea of what to expect.

Initial Consultation and Preparation

The initial consultation and planning stage of implant surgery is key to the success of the overall procedure.

During this time, the implant dentist will thoroughly examine the mouth and jaw, looking for any signs of damage or disease. X-rays and CT scans will be taken to get a detailed view of the bone structure. In some cases, a bone graft or sinus lift may be necessary before implant surgery can be performed.

Once all necessary preparations have been made, the implant dentist will formulate a treatment plan.

This plan will outline the steps that need to be taken to successfully place and integrate the implant into the jawbone.

Finally, any remaining teeth that need to be removed to make room for the implant will be extracted during this stage of treatment.

Implant Placement

The dental implant placement stage is the second stage of dental implant surgery. This is when the implant, which is a metal post or screw, is placed into the jawbone. The implant will act as an artificial tooth root, providing support and stability.

The dental implant must be placed in the jawbone to fuse with the bone and create a strong foundation. This is a process called osseointegration.

Once the dental implant has been placed, the jawbone will need to heal around it. This can take several months, during which time the dental implant will integrate with the jawbone. Once healing is complete, the next stage of dental implant surgery can begin.

Abutment Placement

During this stage, the abutment—a small connector piece—is placed on top of the dental implant. This will support the artificial tooth.

Once the abutment is in place, your dentist will take impressions of your mouth to create a customised dental crown.

Dental Prosthesis Placement

This typically occurs after the implant site has healed and the dental implants are securely in place. During this stage, the dental prosthesis or the artificial tooth, which could either be a crown, a dental bridge, or dentures, is placed on top of the abutment.

Once the prosthetic tooth is in place, it will be checked for fit and function. Adjustments may sometimes be necessary to achieve optimal comfort and function.


The recovery process following dental implant surgery is typically short and easy. You may experience some minor discomfort and swelling, which can be controlled with pain medication. Following your surgeon’s instructions for postoperative care is important, including eating soft foods, avoiding hard or chewy foods, and refraining from smoking.

Most people feel well enough to return to work the day after surgery. You should avoid strenuous activity for about a week, however. As you heal, your implant will fuse to the bone and become a part of your smile.

What Are the Risks of Dental Implant Treatment?

Dental implant surgery is a tooth replacement option that has many benefits. However, as with any surgery, there are risks involved. Here are eight risks of dental implant surgery:

  1. Infection:
    One of the most common risks associated with dental implant surgery is infection. The oral surgery involves placing metal rods into the jawbone, which can provide an entry point for bacteria. Signs of infection that you should watch out for are fever, chills, redness or swelling at the implant site, and pus drainage. To reduce the risk of infection, it is important to practise good oral hygiene and choose an experienced dentist.

  2. Nerve damage:
    Dental implants are placed in the jawbone, which means there is a risk of damage to the nerves that run through this area. This can lead to numbness or tingling in the lips, gums, chin, or jaw.

  3. Damage to neighbouring teeth:
    Another potential risk of dental implant surgery is damage to adjacent teeth. This can occur if the dental surgeon accidentally hits or applies too much pressure to a neighbouring tooth during the procedure.

  4. Sinus problems:
    Placing dental implants in the upper jaw near the sinuses can cause sinus problems, such as sinusitis.

  5. Bleeding and swelling:
    Bleeding and swelling are common after any surgery. However, if excessive bleeding or swelling occurs after dental implant surgery, it could mean that there is a problem with the implant. It could also mean an infection is developing on the gum tissue or the implant site.

  6. Pain:
    Pain is another common side effect of dental surgery. Most people report discomfort rather than pain, but some people do experience significant pain after the procedure.

  7. Allergic reactions:
    Some people may be allergic to the materials used in dental implants (such as titanium). In rare cases, this can lead to serious complications such as swelling or irritation of the gums.

  8. Implant failure:
    Although dental implants have a high success rate, there is always a risk that they will fail to integrate with the bone or become loose or infected over time.

It is important to remember that these risks are relatively rare, and dental implants are generally safe and effective.

If you are considering dental implants, you should talk to your dentist about all of the risks and benefits before making a decision.

man visiting dentist in clinic. conception of stomatology

How Do You Care For Your Dental Implants?

It’s important to take proper care of your dental implants for longevity. Here are some tips on how to care for them:

  1. Practise good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the implant.

  2. Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily to help reduce plaque buildup and kill bacteria.

  3. Go for soft foods and avoid chewing on hard, crunchy foods (such as ice or hard candy) on dental implants, as this can damage the implant or cause it to become dislodged from the jawbone.

  4. Avoid smoking, as it can increase the risk of gum disease and other infections.

  5. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings, as your dentist can remove any buildup around the implant that you may have missed.

  6. Wear a mouthguard if you play sports or indulge in other activities that could put your dental implants at risk of being damaged or knocked out.

  7. If you notice any changes in your dental implants, such as redness, swelling, or pain, contact your dentist immediately, as this could indicate an infection.

Dental implant surgery is a big investment, both financially and emotionally. But with proper care, they can last decades or even longer. Following these tips will help you get the most out of your dental implants so you can enjoy many years of happy smiles.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implant surgery is typically successful, and dental implants can last for 25 years or more with proper care. However, several factors can affect the longevity of dental implants, including:

  • The health of the gums and surrounding teeth:
    Gum disease and periodontal disease can lead to implant failure.

  • The quality of the dental implant:
    A high-quality dental implant is more likely to last longer than a cheaper one.

  • The skill of the dentist:
    An experienced and skilled dentist is more likely to place the implant correctly, reducing the risk of implant failure.

  • The aftercare:
    Proper aftercare, including brushing and flossing regularly, is essential for dental implant success.

  • Smoking:
    Smoking increases the risk of dental implant failure.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can help improve the chances that your dental implants will last for many years to come.

Are Dental Implants Expensive?

The average dental implant can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $9,000. Some of the main factors that affect dental implant costs include the following:

  • The location of the dental implant:
    Dental implants placed in the back of the mouth typically cost less than those placed in the front of the mouth.

  • The type of dental implant:
    Different types of dental implants vary in size and material. The type of dental implant you choose will affect the price.

  • The number of dental implants:
    The more implants you need, the more it will cost

  • The need for additional procedures:
    If you do not have enough bone to support the dental implant, you may need additional surgical procedures, such as a bone grafting procedure or a sinus lift, which will add to the overall cost.

  • The dentist’s experience:
    More experienced dentists who have performed more dental implant procedures will typically charge more for their services.

  • The location of your dentist:
    Dental implant prices can vary depending on whether you go to a dentist in a rural area or a major city. Major cities typically have higher costs for dental procedures than rural areas.

  • Your dental insurance coverage:
    As mentioned before, dental insurance does not always cover dental implants. Even if your insurance does cover part of the cost, you will likely still have to pay some out-of-pocket expenses. This makes dental implants an expensive option for some people.

All these factors play significant roles in determining how much getting dental implants would ultimately cost you. However, dental implants offer many benefits compared to other tooth replacement options, such as removable dentures. It is important to factor in these long-term benefits when considering dental implant costs.

Before making your final decision, consult multiple dentists to get quotes and compare costs across different dental implant providers.

Will Medicare Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

Medicare in Australia covers a range of dental services, but it does not cover the cost of dental implants. While Medicare may cover the cost of some implant-related procedures, it does not cover the cost of the actual implant itself.

Dental patients can expect to pay several thousand dollars for a single implant. Medicare does offer some rebates for dental services, but this rebate is generally only a fraction of the total cost. This means that patients who require dental implants will need to pay for the implants out-of-pocket.

Final Thoughts

A lost tooth is a common problem, but various dental treatment options are available. Dental implants are one such option; they can provide many benefits for those missing one or more teeth.

Aside from being durable and stable, dental implants can help preserve the health of the surrounding teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last decades or even longer.

If you’re looking for a long-term replacement for missing teeth, book an appointment through our website or call West Perth Dental Centre today!

Visit our dental clinic, and we would be happy to discuss your treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have.


Dental implants as a tooth replacement option are typically successful, with a success rate of 90% – 95%, as published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry.

However, there are a few factors that can affect the success of dental implant surgery, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral Hygiene
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disease
  • Radiation therapy to the head or neck
  • Chemotherapy
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Use of certain medications, such as steroids or bisphosphonates
  • Certain infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C
  • Poor blood supply to the jawbone

To prevent dental implants from failing, it is important to:

  • Quit smoking
  • Practise good oral hygiene
  • Take good care of your implants just like real teeth
  • Manage medical conditions
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Schedule regular dental visits for checkups and professional cleaning

Undergoing dental implant surgery, you may be wondering if it’s going to hurt. After all, no one wants to experience pain unnecessarily.

The good news is that dental implant surgery is generally a very low-pain procedure. Your dentist will numb the area around your implants before starting surgery, so you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure.

After dental implant surgery, you may experience some mild discomfort and soreness. This is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. In most cases, the discomfort subsides within a few days. Remember to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions for a smooth recovery.

So overall, dental implant surgery is not a particularly painful procedure. However, if you’re still feeling nervous about it, talk to your dentist about your concerns. They will be happy to help put your mind at ease.

The answer to this question really varies on a case-by-case basis. In general, however, patients are told that they need to wait two to three months after their tooth has been extracted before they can get an implant. This gives the bone and tissue time to heal properly.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you have had a complicated extraction or have other medical issues that may interfere with healing time, your dentist may recommend waiting longer before getting dental implants.

If you’re considering dental implants, the ideal thing to do is to talk to your dentist about it. They will be able to assess your case and give you a more accurate timeline for when you can expect to get your dental implants.

If you’re considering dental implant surgery, you may be wondering if you’ll be put to sleep for the procedure. The good news is that dental implant surgery can be performed while you’re awake, using local anaesthesia to numb the treatment area.

Sedation options are available if you’re feeling anxious about the procedure. The three most common types of sedation for dental implant surgery are the following:

  • Local anaesthesia:
    This numbs the area around the dental implant. This type of sedation does not put you to sleep but will help minimise any discomfort during the procedure.

  • General anaesthesia:
    This is used for more complex dental implant surgeries. It works by putting you into a deep sleep, so you do not feel any pain during the procedure.

  • Intravenous sedation:
    This type of sedation is somewhere between local and general anaesthesia. It will help you to relax and feel less anxious during the dental implant surgery, but you will still be awake and able to respond to questions from the dentist.

The type of sedation that is right for you will depend on several factors, including your medical history and the complexity of the dental implant surgery.

Dental implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, so you won’t need to stay in the hospital overnight. Recovery time is usually short, and most people can return to normal activities within a few days.

Dr. Michael Wu


Dr. Michael Wu

Dr. Michael Wu holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Western Australia. He never stops learning and regularly attends post-graduate education seminars, courses, and conferences to ensure he is providing his patients with excellent dental care.

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