As is our dental philosophy, we strive to retain your natural teeth wherever possible – In situations where there are missing teeth, or the teeth are unsalvageable, dental implants provide an excellent solution.
Dental implants were regarded as the ‘last resort’ treatment option for people who could not get on with their dentures. We see it differently; for most of our patients we would consider dental implants to be the optimal choice of treatment for replacing missing teeth.
We have a great deal of experience, able to treat most cases, including those patients who have more challenging circumstances .
To avoid problems later on, there is also the commitment from our patients, to keep their teeth and mouths healthy; we will help with the best possible maintenance support from our hygienists, and regular review.
Many patients of ours tell us that our dental implant treatment has been life-changing – making a huge difference to their appearance and improving their self esteem. They are delighted at being able to eat, speak, socialise and have a quality of life they haven’t had for years.
Dental Implants options- Replacing your missing teeth
If you have one or more missing teeth, a single implant or implant supported bridge is an effective solution that will also help preserve your remaining teeth and bone. A single implant looks and functions like your own tooth.
Replacing a missing tooth with an implant avoids having to cut into adjacent healthy teeth to support a dental bridge.
An implant-retained crown has a similar appearance to a normal crown and appears to emerge through the gum naturally.
The presence of the implant will slow the change in shape of the bone and gum where teeth have been lost.
It is often easier to keep the independent implant-retained crown or bridge clean than a tooth supported bridge extending over several teeth. As a result, the adjacent teeth may lead a normal uncompromised life.
After treatment with Dental Implants, maintenance and ongoing hygiene care is of fundamental importance. Our hygienists are experienced in the care of implant restorations and in training implant patients in how to care for them – this is an ongoing important commitment if you are to avoid implant problems later on.
Replacing a single missing tooth is a highly conservative treatment. A single implant is very similar to your own natural tooth root, which means it is not necessary to prepare adjacent teeth (drill them down) to create a bridgework support as would be traditionally done. The implant tooth and crown restoration can be looked after just like your own natural teeth.
The implant procedure itself is often straightforward. The final implant restoration is usually made with a combination of computer-aided design and 3D manufacturing technologies, and hand finished to produce a beautiful natural looking appearance.
Groups of missing teeth can be replaced with an implant supported bridgework. For example, two implants can support a bridge replacing three – four teeth.
If your missing teeth are in an area of the mouth where the biting forces are heavy, more implants may be added and a larger bridge may be required.
Once again, treatment is highly conservative as it is not necessary to prepare teeth to support bridgework; the implant construction simply replaces the missing teeth without further compromising any remaining teeth.
The Science behind Dental Implants
Implants vary in design, length and width dependent on the bone volume available. They are made from high grade biocompatible titanium alloy (so inert in the body), forming a metal ‘screw’ which is surgically inserted into the jawbone. The biologic process known as ‘osseointegration’ takes place in which the implant and surrounding bone fuse together.
This allows the implant to act as an anchor for the dental prosthesis, replicating the function of the natural root in providing support when we replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth. The prosthetic replacement can be a fixed crown for a single tooth or a bridgework prostheses using two or more implants for up to a whole set of missing teeth.
There are no contraindications to implant treatment- you need to be in good health, and have sufficient height and width of jaw bone to hold and support the implant post. At Sorriso dentistry we can assess you and discuss whether this is an option for you.
Implants are showing to be durable, long lasting solutions for missing teeth, with excellent success rates. They provide our patients with chewing ability and natural looking smiles all with confidence.
Bone Grafts/Sinus Lifts
In certain cases where there has been extensive infection, or missing teeth have caused the jaw to diminish, bone and gum may be added ( we refer to this as grafting or augmentation procedures) in order to provide improved fixation for the implant, or to improve the appearance. A Sinus Lift is performed when the quantity of bone separating the maxillary jaw from the sinus is too thin to anchor an implant.
Implant supported dentures
These offer more stability, comfort and retention.
The gum and jawbone were never ‘designed’ to support dentures. Typically dentures rest upon the gums, and any remaining teeth, and for many patients, dentures will tend to adversely affect these tissues. In time, the bone losee bulk , and the gum covering the jaw becomes reduced in quality which can lead to the loss of more teeth. Inevitably as these supporting tissues are lost, the dentures become less steady and more difficult to wear. This results in irritation to the gums, the risk of the dentures slipping out, difficulty in chewing, unwanted sounds and most of all, a loss in confidence.
Dental Implants are used as a very effective method of stabilising loose or uncomfortable dentures that cause discomfort or impair speech and eating.
Advantages of Implant Supported Dentures
Placing implants to support and retain a denture will generally offer much more stability and predictability, as well as improving comfort, retention, and most importantly helping to retain the jawbone bulk.
We consider using implants to support full dentures as a minimum standard of care that we like to offer our patients. When teeth are still present, a tooth supported metal-based partial denture may be an effective way to replace a few missing teeth.
An implant supported over-denture has key advantages for some of our patients who find that they can be a little easier to maintain; for instance brushing or flossing around the implants is easier with the denture or bridge part removed. This may be important where access is really difficult; where there is massive bone loss, or when patients lack the dexterity.
With our excellent laboratories and specialist prosthodontics, we will carefully construct beautiful dentures to complement your face. This treatment can be used as a first stage to planning both the position for implant bridges and over-dentures.