If you’ve lost a tooth or more, don’t worry. A number of corrective measures are available to have your tooth replaced. Dental implants are popular right now, but are you a good candidate for this procedure?

Dental implants are gaining significant popularity as advancements in technology improve patient outcomes and reduce waiting times. Dental implant procedure is often preferred by adults as it provides a replacement tooth that is very similar in its look and function to your natural tooth. Dental implants are very durable and can even last up to 25 years if taken care of. This dental procedure has restored confidence and beautiful smiles to people around the world, is it the perfect option for you?

What are dental implants?

A dentist performs a short surgery to insert one or more small titanium screws into your jawbone, depending on how many teeth you need replacing. These titanium implants act as tooth roots and give the crowns (replacement teeth) a firm anchor. The materials chosen to create the replacement teeth are as close to the look and feel of natural teeth as possible. Dentists use local anaesthesia for this short surgical procedure so you don’t feel a thing during it.

You can have one tooth or multiple teeth replaced. Some candidates even have implant treatment for their entire upper jaw or lower jaw, or both.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

Dental implant treatments are commonly done for adults (of any age) but in some cases, this procedure can be performed for adolescents from the ages of 16 and 18 as well. Dental implant surgery enjoys a high success rate and is relatively permanent as the implants can last for years if they are cared for well.

Dental implants are preferred over other corrective dental solutions because it overcomes the disadvantages that the other solutions present. For example, dentures often move around while you’re eating or talking and conventional bridges can fall out. But dental implants act as roots to the replacement teeth and hold them firmly in place so there is no danger of any of this happening.

A dental implant procedure is commonly chosen by older adults who may have lost some teeth due to age or gum disease. This dental correction is useful to adults who have lost teeth due to injuries or illnesses.

Dental implants my not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions. For example, people taking osteoporosis medication should be aware of potential risks associated with bone necrosis, but a consultation with your dentist will reveal whether there are any risks for your case.

Why are dental implants popular? What are the advantages?

As we’ve mentioned before, dental implants overcome the disadvantages of dentures and bridges by staying firmly in place as you go about your daily life. They feel very natural and can be brushed, flossed and used just like your real teeth. Many who have dental implants often say that they forget that they have replacement teeth. This helps to restore their confidence.

These implants are also extremely long lasting and with care, can stay in good shape for decades. So when you consider the cost, think of it as a long term investment in your dental health.

Once you lose one or more teeth, leaving the gap for prolonged periods of time can cause the jawbone to deteriorate. But inserting a tooth implant prevents this.

What is the cost of dental implants in NZ?

The cost of dental implants depends on the complexity of your case. Apart from the implant procedure cost, suppose you need a tooth extraction, bone grafts or multiple teeth replaced, the prices would vary.

For a single tooth replacement i.e. a dental implant, the crown on top and any basic surgical charges, you could be charged anywhere between NZ$5000 to NZ$6000. If you need more than one tooth replaced, the cost isn’t necessarily just double or triple this number.

This is largely because it is not as straightforward as one implant per tooth. For instance, if you’re having three teeth in a row replaced, then your dentist may only need to put in two implants that anchor the three crowns in place with an implant-retained bridge. The cost for something like this in your upper jaw would be around NZ $11,000 to NZ $13,000.

A full set of dental implants and replacement teeth for the upper or lower jaw could be anything between NZ $18,000 – NZ $30,000.

If you want dental implants, how do you start the process?

If you have decided that you would like to get dental implants, you need to consult a dentist first. Speak to a practice that specialises in the procedure of dental implants. Take a look at our complete guide to dental implants in New Zealand to understand exactly what this procedure involves and contact us for more information or to get a quote for your specific needs.

Whoever you choose to perform the procedure, it is important that you trust them and have confidence in their work. Speak to them about all your options before weighing the risks and benefits. Done right, these teeth will last a lifetime, and choosing the right dentist means you get confidence, comfort and beautiful, natural-looking teeth.