Dental Implants, Sinus Lift Surgery, Bone Augmentation

Dental Implants

Dental implants are today – without question – the best means we have available to replace lost or missing teeth. Whilst the traditional treatment options of:

a. removable partial dentures; and

b. fixed crown and bridge work

should still be considered viable treatment alternatives, increasingly more and more patients are opting for the use of implants to replace lost teeth.

Our practice provides the full scope of treatments that may be associcated with dental implant placement, including:

a. bone graft reconstruction to ensure adequate bone volume is available to anchor the dental implant to;

b. nerve transposition surgery in the lower jaw to avoid nerve damage when placing implants in the lower jaw;

c. maxillary sinus lift surgery and floor grafting to provide adequate bone volume in the posterior regions of the upper jaw for dental implant placement;

d. guided tissue regeneration;

e. connective (soft) tissue grafting to enhance gingival (gum) aesthetics

f. platelet rich fibrin application to speed healing following bone graft surgery.

FAQ's for Implants

1. What actually is an implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made out of: titanium (85%) and zirconium (15%). It is completely biocompatible within the human body and forms a direct bond to your natural bone. An implant is used to provide support for a:

- crown

- bridge or

- denture

- and has the look and feel of a natural tooth.

2. Are dental implants right for me?

Dental implants act to replace lost natural teeth. A patient who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat whatever they choose and have the confidence of knowing that their “new teeth” look and feel completely natural. You will be able to smile with confidence once more! 

Certain situations, however, may mean we need to proceed cautiously before deciding to offer an implant-based solution for your tooth loss. These include:

-- Poor oral hygiene and / or a history of poor attendance with your family dentist (implants require ongoing maintenance to ensure optimum function)

-- High levels of tobacco consumption

-- Certain underlying medical conditions (which we will review with you at your initial consultation)

-- Patients under the age of 20 years – as the jaw bones have not fully completed growth at this stage.

3. How successful are dental implants?

Dental implants have been used now since the 1970’s – so near on 50 years!

They are completely biocompatible (meaning our body’s tissues do not reject them – in fact human jaw bone actually quite “likes” titanium and unites with it very strongly.)

Reported success rates for dental implants over a 10 – 15 period range from 87 – 98 %. We see slightly higher success rates in the lower jaw than the upper jaw and can discuss why this is with you at your consultation. 

Of course, your ongoing role in maintaining your implant supported teeth in good condition is vital to their long-term success. We will discuss this issue with you in great detail when we meet. 

4. Can a dentist do my implant for me?

Whilst some dentists might be able to assist with implant therapy, it needs to be borne in mind that such work can be complex and technically involved. Implants need to be placed only after detailed analysis and planning – to avoid complications and even failure. Whilst complications of treatment are uncommon, it is important that you select a practitioner with suitable training and experience to manage these. Dr. Oliver has placed over 3000 dental implants, has completed advanced surgical training and has vast experience with the following implant systems:

-- Nobelbiocare

-- Straumann-ITI

-- Neoss

-- MIS

-- Southern

-- BioHorizons

Dr Oliver works closely with your treating dentist to develop a treatment plan that will best suit your needs with a close eye on affordability. We are here to achieve outstanding results for our patients no matter what your budget.

5. Do I have to go to hospital to have my implant surgery?

The answer – once again – is: sometimes.

Such decisions need to be made on a case by case basis, taking into account the complexity of the surgery, the likely time required for treatment and, of course, the patient’s wishes. Clearly, there are times when only a single implant is being placed and there is no need for any additional form of grafting/augmentation surgery – where I believe treatment can be adequately performed under local anaesthesia alone or in combination with intravenous sedation. 

6. What is a sinus lift?

Sometimes in the back part of the upper jaw it may be necessary to perform what is referred to as a: sinus lift procedure. This is required when the maxillary sinus extends downward toward the crest of the upper jaw bone – meaning there may be inadequate vertical bone height to place a dental implant. In these situations, a procedure is performed to elevate the sinus floor and place a combination of patient bone and synthetic bone between the newly repositioned sinus floor above and the underlying bone of the upper jaw below.

7. How much does it cost to put an implant in?

The fee to place a single implant at our practice is: $2600

-- Which includes the cost of the implant and all subsequent post-operative reviews for the following six (6) months to check on the progress of your healing and the integration of the implant to your bone. 

       Your family dentist will also have a fee for the placement of the final crown on the implant – and we recommend you discuss this with them directly. 

8. How long does it take for me to get my new tooth?

From start to finish: in the range of 3 – 6 months.

9. Can I have some sort of temporary tooth while I am waiting for my implant to unite with my jaw bone?

Yes – there are a variety of temporary solutions we can help you with to ensure you are still able to socialize as normal without the embarrassment of people seeing that you have a missing tooth.

10. Do I need a referral to see you for an implant?

-- In order for you to receive the full benefit from your Health Fund for you implant treatment – you will require a referral to us from either your family dentist or family doctor. 

-- Uninsured patients can contact us directly for a consultation regarding implant therapy without the need for a referral. We will, however, write back to your family dentist advising her or him that we have met with you and what was discussed.

Immediate Implant Placement Process

Step One: Clinical and Radiographic evaluation. Use of state of the art Trios Scanner and 3-Shape software to plan fixture placement.

Step Two - a: Implant placement with immediate loading (i.e crown placed immediately on implant)

Step Two - b: Implant placement with crown placement delayed (2 – 6 months following insertion of the dental implant).

Dr. Oliver will advise you which way is best to proceed given your specific clinical circumstances and expectations.

Immediate implant placement Case

Bone Graft Augmentation Case

Full Arch Implant Case with Bone Grafting