Cairns Dental Implants

Dental implants can reconstruct your smile

Dental implants are used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. The implant consists of an artificial tooth root that an oral surgeon or periodontist places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. As such, they provide a durable and long-lasting solution, and far surpass dentures as the ideal option for the replacement of missing teeth.

Do you hide your smile because of gaps left by extracted teeth?

Or perhaps your dentures don’t feel secure or they give difficulties chewing? Implants overcome all these problems. Implants are teeth that look and feel just like your own. In fact, they are so natural-looking and feeling that you may forget you ever lost a tooth. Under proper conditions, such as placement by an oral surgeon or periodontist, and diligent oral hygiene practices, implants can and will last a lifetime.

What can dental implants do?

  1. Replace a tooth without affecting bordering teeth. Implants are actually far more tooth-conserving compared to a conventional bridge. Implants don’t sacrifice the quality of the adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighbouring teeth are not altered to support the implant
  2. Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture
  3. Provide support for a full denture, making it far more secure and comfortable. They will allow you to once again speak and eat with confidence, providing freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures

Who makes a good candidate for dental implants?

Ideally, implant patients should have good quality and quantities of bone in which to seat the implant and have a healthy mouth free of gum disease and infection.

If you have been missing teeth for many years, you may not have sufficient bone to allow for successful placement of an implant. In this scenario, you may require bone grafts to the area via procedures known as sinus augmentation and ridge modification. Bone grafts greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for a lifetime.

To be a good candidate for implants, you will need to have excellent oral hygiene. Implants are just like your own teeth and require conscientious at-home care – in order to keep your implant clean, brushing and flossing still apply. After treatment, we will work closely with you and periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled in order to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to ensure they remain healthy.

Dental Implant FAQ’s

How do I treat an infection around my dental implant?

Peri-implantitis is a dental infection that can impact the area around your dental implant.

Signs include inflammation, redness or swelling in the area, halitosis, bleeding after brushing, pain and a bad taste in your mouth. Do not try to treat this on your own. As soon as you identify the issue get in touch with your dentist. They will prescribe the best course of treatment which can include dental cleaning, oral medication and possibly surgery. This depends on how severe the infection is and is different for different patients.

Can I eat normally once my dental implant has been placed?

Yes. Once you have recovered from your implant procedure, you will be able to bite and chew properly. In fact, dental implants function just like natural teeth so you should have no trouble eating normally. Implants are much more secure and comfortable than dentures, and you will be able to eat with confidence knowing that your implant won’t move out of place.

How long does a dental implant last?

Under the proper conditions, such as placement by an oral surgeon or periodontist, as well as diligent oral hygiene practices, dental implants can last a lifetime. It’s essential that you take care of your implant in the same way as your regular teeth by brushing and flossing every day. You should also see your dentist for regular check-ups to ensure that any issues are identified as early as possible.

Will an implant affect my other teeth in any way?

Your dental implant won’t affect the bordering teeth, and won’t sacrifice the quality of the adjacent teeth like a dental bridge does. This is because the neighbouring teeth are not altered in any way to support the dental implant.

How should I take care of a dental implant?

Dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth, and need to be cared for in the same way. Good oral hygiene is essential when it comes to looking after your dental implants — keep them clean by brushing and flossing each day and make sure that you come in for follow-up visits and check-ups so that we can ensure your implant, teeth and gums remain healthy in the long term.

Will I need a bone graft in order to have an implant placed?

In some cases, a bone graft may be required before an implant can be placed. If you have been missing teeth for many years and don’t have enough jaw bone in which to seat the implant, a bone graft may be necessary. Bone grafts often increase the chance of a successful implant procedure, and can also improve the appearance of the final result.

Are dental implants comfortable?

Yes! Dental implants feel just like your natural teeth once they have been placed. They are much more secure and comfortable than dentures, and can restore oral function very effectively without ever slipping or sliding out of place.

Is the dental implant procedure painful?

The dental implant procedure is typically performed under a general anaesthetic but sometimes under local anaesthesia, so you should not feel any pain during the surgery. Some discomfort and swelling may occur after the procedure, but this can be managed with pain medications prescribed by your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Overall, most patients report minimal pain during and after the implant placement.

Who places dental implants?

There is no Dental Professional who can place dental implants as well and reliably as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, (OMF Surgeon). This is proven by the extremely high success rates after many years. An implant placed this way has the best chance of lasting for the rest of a patient’s life.

At times, an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist may be used, and there are a few General Dental Practitioners who quite competently place implants.

With over 40 years of restoring implant experience, Dr Gibbins routinely ensures the highest possible success rate by working in conjunction with our own local OMF Surgeon, whose success rate is as high as any in Australia.

There is no method of replacing a missing tooth or teeth with a success rate comparable to a well-placed dental implant.

Can any missing tooth be replaced with an implant?

No. The quality and health of the patient or the bone  may at times preclude use of an implant. 

A poorer prognosis may occur in a patient who smokes or has diabetes. A patient taking bisphosphonate medications for osteoporosis may not be able to have implants placed. Some less common conditions influence implant success.

Depth of bone and proximity to the sinus and major jaw nerves and blood vessels is a factor that determines where and whether an implant can be placed.

In the upper jaw, the position of the sinus will often mean a procedure to graft bone into the sinus floor may be required to allow a future implant to be used.

It is in particular in this situation where no other dental professional can perform these services as well as an experienced OMF Surgeon.

What does an implant involve?

There are different elements in each implant. 

The implant itself is only the foundation for the dental prosthesis that is attached to it. The other elements involved in having teeth replaced with implants are the Abutment that joins the prosthesis to the implant, and the  Prosthesis itself. These elements are typically joined together by a screw that is tightened to a precise pressure to ensure it does not come loose in function. 

Sometimes, several teeth can be affixed to a single implant.

Sometimes multiple implants are placed allowing for a full set of teeth to be attached. These may be attached in a permanent manner where it may require your dentist to remove it periodically for maintenance, and sometimes it may be attached so the patient can remove it to clean it and place it back themselves. 

Sometimes a fixed bridge with a number of teeth may be attached to several implants where natural teeth are still present in the mouth.

One of our most common applications is where extra anchorage is required for good function of a full lower denture. This usually involves the placement of only two implants with “Locators” placed into each implant and a female element in the lower denture that grips the “Locator” a bit like a towbar and ball on a vehicle.

Competition and convenience among some Dental Professionals leads them to use a concept of “ All On Four”, a method of attaching a full set of upper or lower teeth to only four implants.

Future Dental, in conjunction with our own local OMF Surgeon have always avoided this technique because it is a very expensive exercise where the entire prosthesis is lost by the failure of just one implant.

This is made far safer, albeit at a proportionately higher initial cost, by the use of either 5 implants in the lower jaw or 6 implants in the upper jaw. In this case, the unfortunate loss of function of one implant still allows functional support of the entire prosthesis.


What happens if the patient needs a sinus bone graft, or a bone graft to a site where the width or depth of bone is inadequate?

Occasionally the OMF Surgeon may be able to place an implant at the same time as a small bone graft, but more frequently the graft needs to be left undisturbed for a period of 4 months before an implant can be safely placed. This is especially so where a sinus graft is needed. Once an implant is placed into a grafted site, it typically needs to be left for a further 4 months before the prosthesis can be attached to it.

How long does the implant process take to complete?

This depends on the site. Individual implants not placed into a grafted site can usually be restored with the final prosthesis at 3 months.

Remember it may take some few months from the time you enquire about implants, or are informed you may benefit from implants to the time you see the OMF Surgeon.

Can an implant be restored immediately on placement?

This is called Immediate Loading. 

Intrinsically, Immediate Loading of an implant is something done purely by a practitioner seeking a popular solution for their patient out of competitiveness with other dentists.

It introduces a significant risk of implant failure and for this reason, both Future Dental and our local OMF Surgeon have never been tempted to offer this service out of protection for our patient and our own reputation. We very rarely see failures.

It takes about 3 months for the bone to become fully integrated with an implant, and 4 months into grafted bone.

Loading any time under that is a significant risk.

An implant done properly is the most likely dental procedure to last a lifetime, so why quibble over a few months at the start of this process?

Individual implants in healthy bone including implant that will take a “Locator” to anchor and stabilise a full lower denture, are usually restored in 3 months from implant placement and 4 months into grafted bone, so the process may well drag out to 8 months or longer. 

Does health insurance cover the costs of implants?

Dental Private Health Insurance cover may cover some of the cost of the different elements of your implant restoration, but don’t rely on it to cover more than a fraction of the cost.

The Australian Dental Association officially recommends that it is not worth having private dental cover due to the low rebates and annual limits the insurance companies place. 

If it looks like it might require sinus bone grafting, the cost of the best donor graft material into tonsil is thousands of dollars. As such, if contemplating teeth be placed onto implants where the sinus is grafted, get the absolute highest level of our Hospital Cover with your health insurance fund. This requires at least 12 months continuous coverage before you can claim on it, and those huge costs are covered. 

Enquire at Cairns Oral Surgery at 07 40513838, as to the type of cover you will require if needing sinus grafting.

How soon after tooth extraction can I get a dental implant?

The timing for placing a dental implant after a tooth extraction can vary depending on various factors, including the health of the extraction site and the quality of the surrounding bone. In general, it is recommended to wait for the extraction site to heal completely before placing a dental implant, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

At times, the health of the bone allows the implant to be placed at the time of tooth removal.

Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will evaluate your specific situation and determine the optimal time for implant placement. They may also recommend bone grafting or other procedures to prepare the extraction site for the implant, which can affect the timeline. It’s essential to follow your dentist’s recommendations for the best outcome.

Make an Enquiry

  • Phone (07) 4051 4580
  • Fax (07) 4031 5226
  • Email
  • Address Ground Floor "Accent on McLeod"
    93-95 McLeod St

    Cairns QLD 4870
  • Hours
    Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Tuesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Wednesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Thursday8:00am - 5:00pm
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