Dental Implant Benefits
Made to look and feel like your natural teeth, dental implants make for a great alternative to dentures! Implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth in the mouth and have a very long lifespan.
Dental implants look great as they are designed to resemble your natural teeth. Since they aren’t bulky, you have the ability to speak, smile and laugh without the concern of something falling out of your mouth.
Dental Implant Materials
Dental implants are made up of two components; a medical-grade titanium fixture which is placed in the bone where your tooth root once was, and a porcelain crown which is attached to the fixture with a tiny screw housed inside the crown. What you see from the outside is a natural tooth that looks like any other.
There are many cheap implant components on the market which are used by some dentists offering lower cost implants. The concern with these inferior products is the lack of research and development leading to a weaker and less compatible product in your mouth. We only use quality implant components from leading brands.
Types of Dental Implants - Single or Multiple Units
Single Unit Implant
Replacement of any tooth in the mouth is possible if one of your natural teeth requires extracting.
Once the tooth has been removed, a titanium fixture can then be placed. Occasionally this will be at the same appointment as the extraction, but mostly it will be done after a period of healing. This titanium fixture usually takes about 3 months to integrate (or fuse to the bone). After this time, the fixture is checked to make sure it is solid and then we are ready to prepare for the placement of a porcelain crown which replicates the missing tooth.
After taking an impression of the implant fixture, we send the impression to our local dental laboratory where your crown is constructed. A short time later, we will fit your new crown and you’ll have a brand new tooth to perfect your smile.
One of the most common questions we are asked is “Do I have to be without a tooth that whole time?” Simply, the choice is yours. If the tooth is in an area that you see when you smile or talk, then we can easily construct a temporary tooth. Simply discuss with your dentist whether or not you feel the need for a temporary tooth.
Multiple Unit Implant Bridges
Dental implants can be placed where implant fixtures can support more than one crown.
For example, if a patient is missing an upper central and lateral incisor, a large implant fixture can sometimes be placed to support the crowns of the two missing teeth.
Another example would be if a patient was missing their front four upper teeth and was wanting an implant replacement, a two implant fixture could be placed to support four crowns.
Multiple crowns can be supported by a fewer number of implants but not always. Our dentists are highly trained and have the experience to advise whether this is possible. Sometimes trying to overload implant fixtures can lead to failure.
Types of Dental Implants - Full Bridge or Implant Supported Dentures
Full Arch Implant Supported Bridge
In under a week, we can give you a full set of teeth that are fixed to as little as 4 implants, giving you a natural look, comfortable feel and the confidence that your teeth will not fall out.
Full arch implant replacement is suitable for people with badly broken down and misaligned teeth or people that are losing their teeth to gum disease. It is also an excellent alternative for patients that are not happy with the feel or fit of their existing dentures.
Initially, we take a lot of time to discuss options, suitability and costs. There are a number of ways we can construct your teeth on the implants; with an acrylic, cobalt chrome or titanium base and either acrylic or porcelain teeth. We discuss the pros and cons and work within your budget
Once we have a plan in place, the next step is to go under a general anaesthetic, have any remaining teeth extracted and implant fixtures placed in the appropriate sites. An impression of your mouth is taken while you are asleep.
A day or two later, we establish your bite and have a set of teeth constructed that we can try to check for the correct aesthetics, bite and speech. Adjustments can be made to make sure you get the smile you want
Within the week, we will fix the full arch implant bridge to the implants and you can walk away with a new set of teeth. Following this, there will usually be follow up review appointments to make minor adjustments and make sure you are happy with your new teeth.
Depending on the type of fixed bridge to be placed, there may be some additional appointments required in the coming months, but rest assured that all the hard work has been completed in this first week.
Once completed, it is very important that you maintain your regular dental check ups so that we can maintain your smile for the coming years.
Implant Supported Dentures
Particularly for those patients who struggle to wear their existing full or partial removable dentures, there is an option to stabilise them and provide further support.
Partial or full dentures can be supported by 2,3 or 4 implant fixtures. On top of these implant fixtures, we can attach bars or ball joints that your removable dentures can click on to in order to provide more rigidity and more confidence when chewing. You won’t see these attachments as they sit underneath the denture.
Using implants to support partial dentures, we can reduce the need for or even eliminate clasps that wrap around your remaining teeth for support.