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How long do dental implants and their associated dentures normally last?

With good oral hygiene, good health, and periodic check-ups by your dental professional, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. Implant assisted dentures and bridges require check-ups and maintenance in order to make sure they are in good working and fitting order. The materials used in the construction and maintenance of the dentures will determine how long they last. Each patient is assessed, and their circumstances are considered when determining which materials should be used to maximise the life of their natural teeth, oral health, soft tissue, dentures and implants. There are no specific timeframes on how long an implant assisted denture will last, as the denture material used will vary from patient to patient, as well as the usage between patients (e.g. grinding, diet, maintenance, hygiene) but a typical premium acrylic denture made and serviced by us should expect to be used for no less than 7 years before a replacement is considered. A zirconia supported bridge can expect to last over 20+ years. Locator Retention sleeves (which hold the denture in place on implant retained dentures) are generally changed on average 12 months to maintain proper retention. Denture relines are on a case-by-case basis.

Is dental implant surgery painful?

During the surgery, the treatment area is anaesthetised in virtually the same way as normal dental treatments (such as tooth extractions). However, we offer sedation for those who have anxiety about the surgery. Patients will normally experience only mild discomfort after the treatment. This can be controlled by over the counter or prescription medication.

Will I be without teeth until the implant assisted denture is fitted?

If you currently have a suitable denture, you will be able to continue to wear it, generally without any modification or issues. If you do not have a denture which is suitable to wear during the healing stage after implant surgery, you can be fitted with a temporary denture following the surgery (This may incur an additional cost). This will allow you to maintain your normal daily routine without the inconvenience of not having any teeth.

Why should I get dental implants instead of conventional dentures?

Dentures can become loose and even move around in the mouth. The bulkiness and movement of conventional dentures feels unnatural to most which make them uncomfortable for the person wearing the denture. With dental implants the denture will have more stability in addition to looking and feeling more natural, as well as preserving your jawbone. With implant assisted dentures, the denture is thinner, stronger and covers less of the mouth. Preserving your jawbone and gums is another main benefit of using dental implants, as the implants provide direct stimulation to the jawbone, helping to preserve them.

How do I know if I am a candidate for dental Implants?

A thorough examination by our team at Dental Implants Illawarra will determine, based on several factors, whether you are a candidate for dental implants. Not every patient is suitable for implants; however, most patients who have lost teeth can have implants placed successfully. Good health and bone density are two of the main factors in making that determination. A consultation and examination will assess and evaluate your dental needs and requirements.

How soon will I be able to go back to work after receiving dental implants?

Recovery times vary from patient to patient, but most patients return to work and resume normal activities after 2 - 4 days following implant surgery.

What is Platelet Rich Fibren (PRF) technology?

PRF is a technology that aids in bone and gum tissue regeneration. The main benefit of PRF is that the recovery and healing process following dental surgery is faster, and the risk of post-surgical complications, such as infections, implant failures, and even pain is lessened. This process can be used on most patients. It is especially recommended for those with healing problems, people who smoke, and even diabetics. A quick ‘google’ search will result in many studies showing that PRF can accelerate bone regeneration in artificial defects and improve the integration of titanium dental implants into a patients bone.

How many visits does it take until I get the final restoration?

There are many visits involved in an implant assisted restoration. Generally, a total of 8 -10 visits are needed for the completion of an implant assisted restoration. The visits include an initial consultation, examination, diagnostic stage, implant placement, abutment placement, the construction of the prosthesis and an adjustment visit.

Are there cheaper alternatives to dental implants?

The most basic alternative to dental implant assisted dentures and bridges, is a conventional full or partial denture.

What is a sinus lift?

A sinus lift is a procedure that adds bone to your upper jaw by lifting the sinus wall and placing a bone graft. There are many reasons you might have experienced bone loss that causes your need for a sinus lift, some of which include:

1. Bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease
2. Lost teeth in your upper jaw – particularly your back teeth or molars
3. Reabsorption of bone into the body due to tooth loss