Dental Implants

Dental Implants are a durable, long-lasting and more natural way to replace a missing tooth. They are considered a more ideal way to restore function and aesthetics without the need to involve healthy teeth beside the gap, or to resort to removable dentures.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants are a durable, long-lasting and more natural way to replace a missing tooth. They are considered a more ideal way to restore function and aesthetics without the need to involve healthy teeth beside the gap, or to resort to removable dentures.

To check whether an implant retained crown might solve your missing tooth problem, please make a booking to consult one of our experienced dentists.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium ‘screw’ inserted into the jawbone under your gums. The bone grows into the titanium on a microscopic level and holds it in place. The implant then acts like the root of a tooth to support the replacement tooth or teeth.

Why do I need an implant?

When a tooth or teeth have been lost to decay, gum disease or trauma, dental implants can be used to support, stabilise or retain the replacement teeth.

Common examples of when an implant is needed is when a front tooth is knocked out, or a back molar has cracked.

They are often a preferable treatment to dentures, bridges or extensive root canal and post therapy.

When are they used?

Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth on two or more implants, to replace an entire upper or lower set of teeth on 4 or more implants, or to help hold a full denture in place.

What are they made of?

Implants are made of titanium or titanium alloys. We use Straumann dental implants at Pymble dental practice, which have increased strength from a zirconia addition, as well as a patented surface coating to encourage faster healing.

What happens if I don’t replace a missing tooth?

When a single missing tooth is not replaced, there are several possible and usual consequences.

These include:

  • Drifting of the teeth either side of a gap
  • Overeruption of the tooth which used to bite against a missing tooth
  • Recession of the gum of the adjacent teeth
  • Loss of bone in the jaw where the tooth used to be
  • Diminished chewing function
  • Facial collapse when many teeth are lost and not replaced.
  • Compromised look and smile.
What are the alternatives to a dental implant?

Dental implants are the preferred way to replace missing teeth. However, there are alternatives to dental implants, each with pros and cons. The more common alternatives to implants are

Dentures: removable devices to replace a single or several teeth

Bridges: either bonded (made from filling material) or indirect (porcelain, gold, zirconia) bridges, are a suspended tooth or teeth supported by natural roots either side of a gap. Simply put, it is three or more crowns fused together with natural teeth only supporting the outer crowns.

No treatment: Sometimes, understanding the risks and complications is enough. It may not always be necessary to replace a missing tooth. At Pymble Dental Practice we pride ourselves on honesty, and will never undertake a treatment unless absolutely necessary and beneficial to our patients.

What is the process of having a dental implant?

Dental implants require a number of appointments over a period of weeks to months to complete. These appointments include:

1. Treatment planning including 3D x ray of jawbone, models, discussion of expectations, risks, complications and success rates.

2. Implant surgery. This is done at Pymble Dental Practice under local anaesthetic and with or without sedation. Each surgery is unique and will be explained in great detail before commencement, and is planned to be the least invasive in order to get the best result. Temporary teeth by way of a bonded bridge or removable device can be used to disguise the gap in the healing phase

3. Review appointment- 2 weeks after the surgery we like to ensure good intial healing by way of a 15-30 minute review/

4. “osseointegration”- a healing phase where the bone knits to the implant screw. The patient does not need to come into the office during this phase.

5. Impressions for the crown or dental prosthetic. Putty or digital moulds are taken to help our Sydney based technicians craft a beautiful and naturally congruent tooth or set of teeth to be attached to the implant.

6. Insertion of the dental implant prosthesis. There is normally no injections required at this appointment.

Who should place implants?

Dental Implants can be placed by appropriately qualified general dentists, periodontists, oral surgeons and oral maxillofacial surgeons. Dentists at Pymble Dental Practice always operate within their scope and competency, to ensure a safe and quality treatment. We work closely with specialists in order to provide the best treatment plans carried out by the best professionals.

Caring for your new implant, porcelain crown or bridge

  • TODAY: Have a soft diet for the next 24 hours and avoid sticky foods, get used to chewing on this tooth again.
  • FIRST FEW WEEKS: The Bite: It is normal for the new implant crown to feel “high” for the first few weeks, as the Implant is connected directly to the jaw bone. If the crown continues to feel high after two weeks, please contact the surgery for a minor adjustment.
    Strength: Although much stronger than a normal filling, Porcelain can chip if hit with hard objects such as a fork, nut, ice, bones etc. You’ll need to be mindful of this when chewing.
    Occlusal Splint/Night Guard: You may need to be provided with an occlusal splint (night guard), which is designed to protect the implant from tooth grinding during sleep. Decay: A Dental implant will not decay due to its construction being Titanium, however, inadequate cleaning will result in gum disease.
    Gum Disease: Whilst an implant is not a tooth, its attachment to the bone can be weakened by gum disease. Good oral care, with brushing and flossing are just as important for your implant as your teeth.
    Also, the natural recession of gums with time may mean the junction between the gum and the implant, which is generally under the edge of the gum, may become exposed as the gum recedes. Careful cleaning and flossing will help to reduce the recession.
    Health: The survival of your implant can also be affected by your overall health. Conditions of concern include Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Radiation treatment and Smoking.
    Maintenance and Checkups:
    It is vital the implant crown be thoroughly cleaned and flossed. Most problems with Implants are due to inadequate cleaning and brushing. Also, regular checkups (including x-rays) allow any developing problems to be detected and corrected early.
    Avoid using any brushes etc. which have metal in them as this can damage the surface of the Implant.
    The bite on an implant needs to be checked every 6 – 12 months. An implant is a rigid structure, therefore if the bite changes and is not adjusted to accommodate this, it can contribute to some of the problems mentioned below.

Common Maintenance Problems:

  • Porcelain chip or fracture (4% of cases) This can be smoothed if small of if large it may need to be replaced.
  • Implant crown feels loose (7% of cases) The gold screw that attaches the crown to the Implant just needs to be accessed through the filling in the top of the crown and retightened.
  • Implant crown falls out (2% of cases) The screw attaching the crown to the implant has broken and needs to be replaced with a new screw.
  • Major Problems:
  • Biologic – Implant un-integration – Implant Failure (1% of cases): (the part in the bone) The implant separates from the bone and becomes loose. The only treatment for a failing implant is removal and either replacing the implant or consideration of a different treatment option.
  • Structural – Implant Fracture (1% of cases): The actual implant breaks resulting in the loss of the implant which is due to excessive load and it will need to be replaced.

Our Other Services


Do all your dentists do implants: No, only Dr Farrington is surgically trained in dental implant placement. Dr Lehane is excellent at restoring them with his knowledge and skill with crowns

No, there are several medical and psychological conditions which prevent the placement of implants. Similarly, there may be better options in come cases than an implant which our dentists can explain. Sometimes we are prevented from placing an implant by anatomy; i.e. not enough bone in the right places!

Implants vary in cost between dental practices for several reasons. The brand and quality of the implant, the difficulty of the surgery, a need for grafting procedures, and the quality and material of the crown to go with the implant all complicate a set price. We are very forthright with our costs and will volunteer them appropriately when we can determine all these factors by patient.

Please note:

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Any information that is provided is not a substitute for professional dental advice. Any advice offered or information provided is to be considered general in nature and not reliable until a full physical professional examination has been undertaken by an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Until such time you should not undertake treatment without a second opinion or without seeking further advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.