Category: Cosmetic Dental

Are dental implants a cost-effective treatment option?

Dental implants are a last resort treatment option and are recommended only when a patient is missing teeth, or the tooth cannot be repaired for the long term with other treatments such as root canal treatment. The question of whether dental implants are cost-effective is a good one. Dental implants themselves are not cheap. A single tooth dental implant made of titanium will cost you $4000. This includes a porcelain crown that is attached to the implant itself to replace the missing tooth. A patient that is suitable for dental implants may also be considering other options such as dental bridges or dentures.

The alternatives to a dental implant, like dentures or dental bridges, are of course of a lower immediate cost. The cost per tooth for a dental bridge for example is $1500. The cost of dentures can vary, depending on the amount of missing teeth, between $1000 and $2600. So just from these prices how cost-effective are dental implants as a treatment option?

Dentures and dental bridges are not designed to be permanent solutions for your dental health. They are effective treatment options, but they will not last forever and need to be repaired or replaced over time. A dental implant is designed to be a long term permanent solution. There are costs involved for the maintenance and replacement of dental bridges and dentures that you do not need to consider with dental implants. Dental implant crown components may need to be replaced over time, but provided you maintain good dental health, your dental implant itself is designed to last a lifetime.

Another option is to consider going without any treatment and just having missing teeth. This is not ideal. When you have an empty tooth socket, over time you risk bone loss in the jaw which can lead to problems for the adjacent teeth. It’s best to seek some form of treatment for missing teeth. Keeping severely damaged teeth also creates a higher risk of tooth decay and infections.

So, if you need to reduce your immediate costs for the short and medium term, a dental bridge or set of dentures may be the right choice for you. However the most cost-effective treatment for irreparably damaged teeth, and missing teeth, is dental implants.

Other advantages of dental implants

Missing teeth can cause your face to appear different, this can be caused by a sunken look around the areas where the teeth are missing. Dental implants can correct this by replacing the original tooth.

Dental implants are built to last and are the most natural way to replace teeth. You could have your dental implants for the rest of your life provided you take care of them with good dental hygiene.

A dental bridge can put strain on neighbouring teeth. This can lead to further dental issues with them. Dental implants do not put strain on neighbouring teeth.  Bridges also are tricky to clean as teeth are joined together.  Implants can be cleaned like normal teeth.

Dentures can also put stain on adjacent teeth and the underlying oral soft tissues. They can move in the mouth and rub on the supporting structures and cause discomfort. With dental implants none of these issues arise as they are permanently fixed in place.

How does Invisalign straighten your teeth?

Invisalign is a well known brand of clear aligners. Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are these days the more chosen approach by patients who want to straighten their teeth. The biggest difference between aligners and braces are that braces are a very visible form of treatment, versus aligners which are almost unnoticeable. Being thin plastic trays, aligners are more comfortable than the brackets and wires of traditional braces.  Because they can be removed, aligners also allow easier eating and cleaning of the teeth.

But how do Invisalign and other clear aligner brands actually straighten your teeth and what is the procedure for a patient receiving clear aligners? The entire aligner process can be broken down into six steps:

Step 1 – Initial Consultation

At Central Brisbane Dental, we provide the initial consultation for patients at no charge. Patients who wish to be evaluated for teeth straightening can book this free consultation at a time that suits. During this 30 minute consultation, one of our dentists will evaluate your mouth, specifically looking at your teeth crowding and spacing, the bite of your teeth, and determine if clear aligners are an appropriate orthodontic treatment for your case.

The dentist will discuss with you your options in detail, provide information sheets and case studies and treatment plans and quotes.  The price for clear aligners will be between $2599 and $6000 and the variation will come down to the complexity of the case and the number of aligners required. At Central Brisbane Dental, we allow payment arrangements to be made so that you do not need to pay the full amount in one payment. An example payment arrangement is 50% upfront, with the remaining balance paid in four installments over the course of your treatment.

During this consultation you will be provided with a referral form to get big orthodontic x-rays for further assessment of your case if you decide to proceed. While some dentists will charge patients for these x-rays, we prefer to refer you to a specific x-ray clinic, (we have one just a few of minutes’ walk from our practice,) which will allow you to be bulk billed for these x-rays under Medicare with no out-of-pocket charge if you have a Medicare card.

Step 2 – Photos and Impression Taking

Once you have decided that aligners are the right option for your straightening, we need to collect more records of your mouth for analysis.

This appointment usually takes around 1 hour.

Your dentist will perform the following;

  • Take impressions of your upper and lower teeth and gums
  • Take photos of your facial profile from the front and from the sides
  • Take photos of your teeth and how you bite
  • Analyze the x-rays you had taken at the x-ray clinic
  • Assess the impressions, x-rays, and photographic records
  • Develop your treatment plan alongside the specialist team from the aligner company that makes your customized aligners

Step 3 – Discuss Treatment

Your treatment plan is created by the dentist and the specialist team from the aligner company creating the aligners. Once the treatment plan is finalized you can come in and discuss it with your dentist. You also have the chance to make amendments to the plan if you so desire. The appointment will take approximately 30 minutes.

Treatment plans are comprehensive, they reveal the number of aligners you will use, and go into detail with regards to the straightening process.

Step 4 – Beginning Aligner Treatment

When your aligners are ready, you can come in for a 30 minute appointment and your dentist will assist you with insertion of the aligners. Using aligners is quite straight forward, but inserting your first set with a dentist allows you to ask any questions you have and ensure that you are using them correctly.

Your dentist will also provide you with advice on how to use your aligners, how to maintain your regular dental hygiene while using aligners, as well as general tips such as keeping the aligners in your mouth for at least 22 hours per day.

Following the instructions is very important as deviations can lead to complications which extend the amount of time treatment may be required.

Step 5 – Reviews

During the course of your aligner treatment you can schedule regular 15 to 30 minute appointments with your dentist where they can review the progress of your aligners and pick up on any deviation from the treatment plan. At Central Brisbane Dental we do not charge extra for any of these appointments. You can come in for as many as you want, though usually they are scheduled every four to six weeks.

Step 6 – Using Retainers

Congratulations, you now have straight teeth and a great smile. To ensure that your result is maintained, the dentist who will provide you with your retainers which need to be worn every night.

Retainers need to be worn to keep the teeth in their corrected positions. You can discuss your retainer maintenance with your dentist and ask any other questions you may have.

Should you get braces or Invisalign to straighten your teeth?

One of the most common questions from patients is whether they should opt for traditional braces or Invisalign to straighten their teeth. In the past, traditional braces would have been the more chosen approach, but the technology of “invisible” aligners has come a long way and, in most cases, clear aligners such as Invisalign are actually better for patient treatment.

What makes Invisalign or other clear aligns better then braces? The most obvious advantage is in the aesthetics. Traditional braces are a set of metal brackets that are placed on the patient’s teeth with an adhesive, and connected together by wire. It is easy to see when someone has braces in their mouth, and treatment typically lasts between 12 and 18 months. Clear aligners are referred to as “invisible braces” due to their unnoticeable appearance in a patient’s mouth. Clear aligners are a plastic transparent device worn over the teeth similar to a mouthguard but much thinner.

How much do clear aligners cost?

The cost of clear aligners is also often better than the cost of traditional braces. In the most complex case that can be treated with aligners, the cost will usually be somewhere around $6000. If a patient only needs tooth alignment on certain teeth the cost can be much lower. At Central Brisbane Dental we provide clear aligners starting from $2599. You can come in for a free consultation to determine your suitability and cost for your teeth straightening. Traditional braces will generally have a higher initial cost as treatment options for traditional braces usually start from $5000, but can get more expensive and require specialist orthodontic treatment which can become costly.

Do I have to use Invisalign?

At Central Brisbane Dental, we actually prefer to use a brand of aligners called ClearPath. We’ve found that ClearPath aligners are superior to other aligners for a few reasons. Most importantly, ClearPath has a patented grip technology that means we don’t need to glue any notches to the teeth in order to aid in the straightening process. This leads to a less invasive solution for patients and an even further “invisible” looking aligner treatment. ClearPath aligners also allow us to treat complex cases, however your specific treatment will need to be discussed with one of our dentists.

Frequently Asked Questions about Clear Aligners

How quickly do teeth move with clear aligners?

Your teeth will begin to move right away as soon as you start wearing your aligners. Every two weeks you will use a new set of aligners which will continue to gently move your teeth over the course of your treatment. Depending on the complexity of your case, you could have straight teeth in as little as 6 months.

Do I have to wear my aligners 22 hours a day?

It is important that you use the aligners as directed. Aligners should be worn even during sleep. It is ok to take aligners out during meal times and this accounts for the two hour window you have in each day. Wearing your aligners might feel a little strange at first, however this feeling should go away after a short period of time. Each time you start a new set of aligners you may experience a feeling of noticing the aligners but each time this should pass. If you feel that you are in pain or discomfort in anyway, you should consult your dentist.

Do aligners change your face?

Any orthodontic procedure will have some impact on the shape of the face. This of course depends on many factors such as the complexity of the straightening process. When your teeth are misaligned and crooked, this is actually also altering the shape of your face. Straightening your teeth will allow your face to rest in its more natural position so you will likely notice some changes to the shape, particularly around the mouth, but this should be for the better.

Straighten Your Teeth With ClearPath

The process of straightening your teeth with ClearPath aligners is very simple for the patient.  Let us discuss this process:

Free Consult

Come in for a 30 minute free consult and let us tell you if you are appropriate for ClearPath aligners. View Terms and Conditions. We will discuss thoroughly with you about the treatment, including what’s involved for your specific case and the treatment cost.  You will also receive information on other treatment options so you can best decide which treatment suits your situation.

Getting Dentally Healthy

If you haven’t had a checkup and clean within the past 6 months, you will need to have this done.  Orthodontic treatment can only start on healthy teeth and gums.  Any tooth decay or gum disease needs to be treated first or teeth straightening won’t give a good result.

Taking Records

When you are dentally healthy, exam notes, x-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth can be taken and sent to ClearPath for analysis.  ClearPath’s specialist orthodontists will provide a treatment plan for your case with projected before and after images.

Discussion of Treatment Plan

We will discuss your ClearPath treatment plan in detail.  We have a chance to request changes if desired.  Once this plan is accepted and the orthodontic consent form completed, your ClearPath aligners will be made.

Aligner Treatment

You will need to wear the ClearPath aligners as directed 22 hours per day, only taking them out to eat and clean your teeth.  You will wear each set for 2 weeks before moving onto the next set.  We will see you for reviews of aligner fit and teeth movement every 2 to 6 weeks as needed.  If there is not enough space for your teeth to straighten, a small amount of enamel, usually 0.30 – 0.35mm, may need to removed from a few teeth to create space before certain aligners.  This small amount of enamel removal does not cause any issues for the teeth as there are many more millimetres of enamel left.  It avoids the need for tooth extraction to create space.

Retainers

After completing all aligners, records of your mouth will be sent to ClearPath for analysis and retainers made.  You will have straight teeth, but will need to wear retainers at night time to keep them straight.  If you don’t, there is a risk that your teeth will try and move back towards their original crooked position.

Quick Straight Teeth Procedure

Quick Straight Teeth fast braces in most cases straightens front teeth in as few as 5 appointments over 4 months.

30 Minute Free Consult

You are given the opportunity for one of our accredited dentists to have a look at your teeth and see if Quick Straight Teeth is suitable for you.  We will discuss the options for your case and treatment costs using Quick Straight Teeth as well as any other options.

View Terms and Conditions.

1 Hour Record Taking

We comprehensively analyse your whole mouth with a full examination, x-rays, photos and impressions to form study models.  Some special orthodontic x-rays (OPG, Lat Ceph) need to be done at a x-ray clinic and you will be given a referral for these.  To reduce your treatment expense, Quick Straight Teeth specialist orthodontists help treatment plan your case and we the general dentists carry out your treatment with their guidance.

1.5 Hour Insertion

Clear ceramic brackets are bonded to your teeth.  A special wire coated in white is attached to the brackets with small elastics.  Your teeth move according to the shape and elasticity of the special wire.

1 Hour Reviews

There may be one or several of these review appointments depending on the complexity of your case.  The movement of your teeth are checked.  The elastics and special wire are removed and replaced with new elastics and a new wire to continue tooth movement.  If your teeth straightening has finished, impressions can be taken to make retainers to hold your teeth straight.

1 Hour Retainer Insertion

The elastics, wire and brackets are removed and the cement cleaned away.  A retainer wire is bonded to the back of the front teeth to hold the teeth in position.  A removable retainer is supplied for wearing at night time to protect your teeth from moving when sleeping.  You can now smile with straight front teeth.

What Are ADIN Implants?

Not all dental implants are made the same.  Dental implants are precision titanium tooth root replacements and need to be designed and manufactured with the utmost care for long term success.  At Central Brisbane Dental, after thorough researching of all the brands available, we choose ADIN dental implants.

ADIN dental implants have been available since 1992.  ADIN is today an international leader in implant design and manufacturing of dental implants and their associated components and equipment.  The company works closely with dentists and dental specialists in private practice, public hospitals and dental schools in leading universities.  They consistently produce high quality, innovative, technologically-advanced dental implant products at a reasonable price.

ADIN prescribes strictly to what they call a “balance of excellence”.  There are many high quality dental implants available on the market.  However, most of these come with a very expensive price tag.  ADIN’s philosophy has been to provide a high quality dental implant at a very reasonable price.  With their dental implants today, they have undoubtedly succeeded in balancing excellence in product with product affordability.  They are still continuing their research every day.  An accurate but well-priced intraoral scanner for implant planning and implant restoration is their latest effort.

An overly complex dental implant system can make an otherwise straight forward procedure a very stressful one.  With some systems, there may be a long list of steps, components and equipment.  ADIN removes the complexity from implant dentistry, with simplified steps, components and equipment.  Dentists and dental specialists alike find their system easy to use.  This can only lead to less risk of complications and higher long term success with use of the ADIN dental implant system.  Like their motto, the ADIN dental implant system and the dental implants themselves truly “leave limits behind”.  There are many factors that determine dental implant success.  With this system, every case has a great chance at success in terms of the implant, components and equipment.

Dental Implant Options

Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth.  They can also be used to replace teeth that need to be extracted.  In fact, dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or even all the teeth when teeth are missing or need to be extracted.

1. Replacing A Single Tooth

When a single tooth is missing or needs to be extracted, a dental implant can be placed in the jaw bone in that spot.  A crown can then be attached to the dental implant to replace that single tooth.

2. Replacing Multiple Teeth

You may have more than one missing tooth or more than one tooth that needs to be extracted.  Many single dental implants can be placed in the jaw bone at these different positions.  All of these implants can then have crowns attached to them to replace the teeth.

If you have 3 missing teeth or teeth that need to be extracted in a row, dental implants can be placed to support a bridge.  One implant at each end of the long space can be used to attach a 3 tooth bridge.  Several dental implant supported bridges can be used if there are several large spaces in the mouth.

3. Replacing All The Teeth

If all the upper or lower teeth are missing or need to be extracted, dental implants can be used to replace all the teeth.  14 single implants and crowns can get pretty expensive and require a lot of surgery.  Even several 3 tooth bridges is still a lot of money and a lot of surgery.  There is an option called All on 4 where only 4 dental implants are required to hold a full arch bridge to replace all the teeth in the upper or lower parts of the mouth.  For even less expense and surgery, dental implants can also be used to hold in a full denture.  This is usually done if a full denture by itself is a bit loose.

Dental Implant Procedure

Replacing a single missing tooth with a dental implant and crown involves diagnosis and thorough treatment planning, a surgical phase and prosthetic phase of treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Before a patient can get a dental implant and crown, they must be thoroughly assessed for suitability.  The patient must be medically and dentally fit and healthy.  Medical conditions and medications may affect proper healing of the jawbone around a dental implant.  Tooth decay and gum disease need to be treated first to limit risk of infection after implant surgery.  The patient must maintain good oral hygiene before and after the implant for success.

Besides a thorough dental examination, impressions of the teeth to form study models, photos and x-rays are analyzed.  In most cases a special 3D scan of your mouth called a Cone Beam CT is required for comprehensive planning of where the implant will go.  As this is a special scan, you will need to go to a nearby x-ray clinic for this.

Surgical Phase

Under local anaesthetic and sedation, the sterile dental implant is inserted into the jawbone.  The gum tissue is firstly opened to reveal the underlying jawbone.  A small precision hole is prepared in the jawbone and the dental implant gently threaded into the prepared hole.  A cover is screwed into the implant to protect it and the gum tissue stitched over or around the cover.

After letting the implant integrate with the jawbone for approximately 3 months, healing of the bone and stability of the dental implant in the bone can be checked.  Sometimes a second surgery is needed to uncover the implant if the gum tissue had to be stitched over the top of the implant.  This second surgery is not needed if the gum tissue was able to be stitched around the implant and its protective cover.  If the bone has healed and the implant has integrated with the jawbone and is stable, the restorative phase can commence.

Restorative Phase

The restorative phase is usually done without the need for local anaesthetic or sedation as everything has healed.  Impressions of the dental implant and the surrounding teeth and gums are taken to form models.  On these models, the dental implant crown is made.  At a second appointment, the crown is attached to the dental implant via a special connector.  The crown replaces the original missing tooth.

What’s The Difference Between Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits At The Dentist Versus The Shops?

Take-home teeth whitening kits from the dentist are much different than those you can buy from the supermarket or pharmacy.  You may choose supermarket or pharmacy products for their lower prices, but you are not getting the same whitening product as you are from the dentist.  In fact, the only thing that is the same is that you use the product at home.  Here is why take-home whitening kits from the dentist are better than a supermarket or pharmacy alternative:

Higher Strength of the Whitening Gel

All teeth whitening products contain some sort of peroxide as the main ingredient to bleach the teeth.  The main difference is the concentration of peroxide allowed in the product.  Obviously, the higher the concentration, the more effective the product is at whitening your teeth.  By law, only teeth whitening products given to you by a dentist can have the highest concentration of peroxide.  A dentist will examine your teeth and make sure a high concentration product is appropriate for your teeth.  Supermarket and pharmacy products have to be low concentration so there is less risk of adverse reactions from using the product.  However, it also makes the product much less effective.  You have to use a whitening product from the dentist to get the whitest result.

Professional Guidance

Take-home teeth whitening at the dentist is often termed professionally-guided take-home teeth whitening.  This is because the dentist examines your teeth before recommending the whitening option to you.  Pros and cons of the whitening option are discussed including risks for your teeth.  If any dental treatment is required before whitening it can diagnosed, discussed and completed prior to starting the whitening.  For example, a filling may be required due to tooth decay.  If the whitening gel got into the unfilled decay area, it would be very painful.  A dentist would not recommend you start teeth whitening until the filling was completed.

Custom-made Whitening Trays

For safety and the most effective whitening result, the trays in which you place the gel are very important.  A dentist will take accurate impressions of your mouth and make whitening trays specific to you and your teeth.  This ensures the best possible fit and comfort when wearing the trays and little risk of getting the gel in the wrong place.  The trays are trimmed to your gumline so there is little risk of irritating your gums or whitening the gums by mistake.  Supermarket and pharmacies kits use pre-made generic trays or self-made boil and bite trays where you heat up a generic one and bite into it before letting it set.  These are bulky, comfortable to wear and don’t provide the accuracy for safe and effective whitening.  When using these, patients tend to complain of teeth sensitivity and gum irritation due to the poorer fit of the trays and the whitening gel spreading to areas that shouldn’t be whitened like the gums.

Custom Dental Grills

When you want something for your teeth, be it a denture or a dental grill, the best place to go to is the dentist.  We have knowledge about your teeth and gums to ensure your custom dental grill looks great, fits well and won’t damage your teeth and gums.