Dental Implants

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Implants

Last fact-checked: 5 May 2022

If you are looking for a permanent, natural-looking way of replacing missing teeth, dental implants may be right for you.

This page looks at what dental implant treatment entails, the different types of implant-based restorations available, patient suitability, prices and recommended global dentists where you can save up to 70% when booking with Dental Departures.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a metal post, usually made from titanium, that is surgically inserted into your jawbone beneath the gum and acts as an artificial root. The implant is threaded to allow an abutment to be screwed into it.

Once in place, your dentist can then use an abutment to mount a crown (replacement tooth) securely onto the implant to provide an identical match to the rest of your natural teeth. In some cases, multiple implants and crowns may be required.

There are also different types of dental implant, and your dentist will decide which is best for you depending on the condition of your mouth and viable bone density.

• Endosteal implants, the most common type, are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone.

• Subperiosteal implants are fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue.

• Zygomatic implants are used in cases where patients lack sufficient jawbone density, with this longer type of implant instead surgically placed into the zygomatic bone.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Zygomatic Implants

Dental implants can also be used to replace a whole arch of missing teeth, with a custom-made fixed bridge securely attached to 4, 5 or 6 dental implants. Find out more about what these more complex "All-on" treatments involve by scrolling down this page.

Should I Have Dental Implants?

Simply having missing teeth is not necessarily reason enough to have dental implants. Alternatives, such as dentures, might be more appropriate. During your initial examination, your dentist will consider: 

• The overall condition of your mouth

• The quality and quantity of bone remaining in your jaw

• Your dental hygiene routine

• Your general health

To ensure a successful outcome with implants, the condition of your mouth needs to provide a stable working environment. Any broken teeth, gum disease or dental decay will need to be remedied first before dental implants can be inserted.

Your dentist will assess your bone volume and density to ascertain whether the existing bone in your jaw can support dental implants. This process usually involves X-raying the jawbone together with the use of CAD/CAM technology; in some instances, you may need to undergo a cone beam CT scan (not scary, this is simply a specialized x-ray that provides more detailed information on your jawbone and precise placement of implants).

Your personal dental hygiene regime might also affect your suitability for a dental implant procedure. You need to be committed to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, as a healthy mouth is essential to successful treatment.

Your general health can also impact whether you can be considered for dental implants. Medical and lifestyle variables, such as diabetes and smoking, might affect your suitability. Each case is different; your dentist will discuss these considerations with you in greater detail.

What Does a Dental Implants Procedure Involve?

There are three stages in the dental implants process:

  1. Fitting the implant
  2. Fitting the abutment
  3. Attaching the crown

The fitting of the implant is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. Your dentist will make a small incision into your gum, then painlessly insert the implant into your jawbone.

If you’ve had any teeth extracted prior to the surgery, it may be possible for your dentist to fit the implant directly into the existing tooth socket. However, before having the abutment attached, patients generally need to allow around three to six months for the bone to fully adhere to the implant – a process called osseointegration.

The abutment – a small post onto which a crown can be fitted – screws directly into the dental implant that was inserted into your jawbone.  

Once the abutment is in place, attaching the crown is a straightforward process, usually carried out during the abutment fitting.

Full-Arch "All-on" Implant Restorations

While dental implants are commonly used to replace single missing teeth, edentulous patients with a mouthful of missing or failing teeth can also benefit from more advanced dental implant systems with full-arch fixed prosthetics.

Treatment systems like the All-on-4® treatment concept or All-on-6 use just four or six dental implants to support a complete arch of replacement teeth (crowns) affixed to a bridge. The treatment can be used to replace all of the teeth in the upper, lower jaw or both jaws at the same time (dual surgery).

Different brands, such as Nobel Biocare’s All-on-4® treatment concept or the Straumann® Pro Arch may be used, but the general concept is the same, with the two rear implants placed at near-45-degree angles so as to improve stability. For some patients, this negates the need for bone graft surgery. 

While the planning stage will involve a few hours of consultation during your initial trip to the dentist, the surgery (on the same trip) can be carried out in just one session. This allows you to leave with your new temporary set of teeth on the same day. 

After a healing period of around four (during which time you’ll need to avoid hard foods while back at home), patients can return to the same dentist to have their permanent fixed bridge attached to the implants, which will have by now fused with the jawbone. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to All-on-4

Other Types of Dental Implant

Alternative types of implant and systems include:

• The innovative "3 on 6" (three adjoining bridges are attached to six dental implants to create a full arch of teeth).

• Implant-retained overdentures that, while removable, don't have to be taken out every night like traditional dentures.

• Mini implants

• Zirconia ceramic implants (non-metal)

What Should I Expect After My Dental Implant Procedure?

During your first visit, and once the effects of the anesthetic have worn off, you will be allowed to go home. It can take several hours for feeling to fully return to your mouth, and you may require pain relief to counteract discomfort. Avoid any hot food or drinks until feeling has fully returned, and eat only soft foods the first few days following your dental implants procedure.

You may be given antibiotics or an antiseptic mouthwash, along with special brushes to help clean the gaps between your teeth. During this period (and always), you will want to maintain good oral hygiene to avoid any potential infection. 

Once you have fully recovered, your replacement teeth and dental implants and replacement teeth should work exactly the same as your natural teeth. And you've got your smile back!

If you're not already in the habit, brush and floss twice daily and make regular visits to your dentist or hygienist to ensure that your new teeth remain healthy.

How Do I Find a Reputable Dentist Abroad?

Dental Departures has compiled comprehensive listings of quality-checked dentists and clinics from all over the world. We carry out background checks to ensure that professional memberships and qualifications are legitimate. Site visits are undertaken and patient reviews are conducted to guarantee that facilities and services are of the highest standard.

In fact, many of our dentists are members of globally-recognized organizations such as the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, so you are assured the standard of care you receive meets the same high standards that your dentist practices at home.

Best Countries and Clinics for Dental Implants

Take a look below at some of the most popular places in the world for high-quality yet affordable dental implants. These background-checked clinics offer a range of implant-based solutions, including full-arch restorations of 4, 5 or 6 implants:

Top clinics in Mexico for dental implants:

• Supreme Dental Clinic

• Sani Dental Group Platinum

• Sani Dental Group

> See all: Dental implant clinics in Mexico

Top clinics in Turkey for dental implants:

• BergeDent Clinic

• All on Dental Clinic Istanbul Turkey

• Beyaz Ada Clinic

> See all: Dental implant clinics in Turkey

Top clinics in Hungary for dental implants:

• Evergreen Dental

• Digital Dental Art

• Fehér Dental Team

> See all: Dental implant clinics in Hungary

Top clinics in Thailand for dental implants:

• Bangkok International Dental Center (BIDC) - Main Headquarters

• Bangkok Smile - Dr. Paulo Malo Global Network Headquarters (Soi Sukhumvit 5)

• The Ivory Dental Clinic

> See all: Dental implant clinics in Thailand

How Much Can I Expect to Pay for Implants?

Prices vary greatly from country to country, so it’s possible to enjoy substantial savings by comparing your hometown fees to the costs for the same treatment in other countries:

United States: A tooth implant costs around $4,000, compared to USD $1,250 in Mexico, USD $1,900 in Thailand or USD $1,600 in Bali.

Australia: You will pay around AUD $5,100, compared to AUD $1,650 in Mexico, AUD $2,500 in Thailand or AUD $2,100 in Bali.

United Kingdom: Similarly, a tooth implant costs about GBP £3,000 compared to GBP £1,000 in Mexico, GBP £1,500 in Thailand or GBP £1,300 in Bali.

Please note: Prices were calculated based on average estimates at our partner clinics in each respective country at the time of writing.

Dental Implant Quotes

At Dental Departures, you can choose from thousands of clinics and implantologists around the world who deliver top-quality dental implants at a fraction of the price that you would pay at home.

Dental tourism is an expanding industry across the globe, and increasing numbers of international patients are discovering the world-class facilities and treatments readily available in countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand and Bali.

Our website contains all the information you need to research top clinic locations and start comparing dental implant quotes. We host a Best Price Guarantee to ensure that you get an unbeatable deal, and we also enjoy close affiliations with several independent insurance providers who can provide medical insurance for extra peace of mind.

How to Book an Appointment with Dental Departures?

If you have any queries, our Customer Care Team is always happy to answer your questions via our online chat facility, by e-mail or on our toll-free telephone number. Or if you're ready to book, you can schedule your appointment right here any time of the day or night at no charge to you.

Sources:

Dental Implants: An Option for Replacing Missing Teeth. American Dental Association. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_47.pdf?la=en

Wong, Natalie, DDS, FAAID, DABOI/ID, Cert Prostho, FRCD(C). Implants FAQ American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. https://www.aaid-implant.org/faqs/

Raghavendra, S. Jayesh and Dhinakarsamy, V, "Osseointegration", Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences, April 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439679/

International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. http://www.icoi.org/

Nobel Biocare. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. https://www.nobelbiocare.com/en-int/all-on-4-treatment-concept

Zygomatic Implants. For.org. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. https://www.for.org/en/treat/treatment-guidelines/edentulous/treatment-procedures/surgical/surgical-protocols-maxilla/zygomatic-implants

Sandilands, Tracey. CAD/CAM Dentistry: What is it? Colgate. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/cad-cam-dentistry--what-is-it-

Implant-supported Full Arch Restorations. Consumer Guide to Dentistry. Website accessed: 5 May 2022. https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/implants-full-arch/