If you’ve lost one or more teeth, you never really adjust. The gap can make you self-conscious, avoiding smiling, laughing, and even talking. Mealtimes become a nightmare. Food gets trapped in your gums, and some of your favourite things might be off the menu.
But the lost teeth don’t just affect the aesthetics and function of your smile. Gaps between teeth are havens for bacteria, putting you at risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, your remaining teeth could start to drift without any neighbours to block the movement, and the jaw beneath may deteriorate, affecting your facial structure.
Dental implants are the most effective way to replace missing teeth; however, different options are available depending on your circumstances.
In this guide, we’ll compare the options and discuss which dental implants are best for you.
Dental implants are small posts used to replace the root of your teeth. They are most commonly made from titanium, as this metal is lightweight, biocompatible, and won’t degrade.
Just like titanium implants used elsewhere in the body, dental implants fuse to your jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. Once fused, your new root will give full support to a replacement tooth or teeth.
Although any crowns and dentures fixed to your implants might deteriorate and need replacing after many years of wear and tear, your titanium roots should last a lifetime.
Single-tooth implants consist of a titanium post that’s placed into your jawbone. This supports a natural-looking crown that matches the colour, shape, and size of your remaining teeth. Every crown we place is made-to-measure, so it won’t look out of place in your smile.
Before we can perform implant placement surgery, we need to make sure you’re a suitable candidate. Although there are a few factors that can affect the decision to place implants, the availability of jaw bone mass is one of the most important.
Using the latest digital technology, we’ll scan your teeth and jaw to evaluate the bone that will support your implant. If there is insufficient bone, a bone graft can help.
We’ll place your dental implant over several appointments. Once the implant has been accepted by the jaw, we can fix your permanent restoration in place.
If you’ve lost several teeth, having single implants to support them all is expensive and impractical. Here are the alternative options.
While the placement of single-tooth dental implants can take several months, All-on-4 implants take just one day, and we can replace up to an entire arch of teeth while giving them exceptional support.
To support your new smile, we’ll use four or six strategically placed implants. We’ll place two implants vertically at the front of your mouth and one on either side toward the rear at an angle.
As with single-tooth implants, we’ll need to assess your bone dentistry to ensure your jaw can support them.
Before the implant surgery, we’ll prepare by extracting any damaged teeth that need replacing. Next, we’ll place the implants before placing temporary replacement teeth. These short-term teeth will look good and function well. If you like them, wait and see what the lab makes for you!
Then, we’ll get the lab to custom-make the perfect smile for you and ask you to return another day to fit them.
Another option for replacing several teeth is to have implant-retained dentures. One of the biggest problems denture wearers face with their removable dentures is that they can slip or move occasionally. This problem is made worse by jawbone resorption.
Although the custom dentures available these days are better than the ill-fitting ones of years gone by, using implants to support them adds so much more support. Once in place, your implants will stimulate the jaw and reduce deterioration.
Like with All-on-4 implants, we’ll plan the perfect positions to place implants where they’ll give the best support. The number of implants we’ll use will depend on your circumstances and we’ll advise you of our recommendations after we’ve assessed your smile. Again, we’ll need to assess your jaw to check it’s strong enough to hold the dentures.
Unlike All-on-4s, implant-retained dentures are removable. Just like other dentures, they are easy to take out and clean.
The option you choose will depend on your circumstances. However, to find out which dental implants are best for you, it’s always advisable to come in for a consultation. At Durham Dental, we’ve rebuilt countless smiles using dental implants while restoring the ability to smile, eat, talk, and laugh with confidence again.
Call us today to schedule your appointment.
Unit 10, City West Business Park Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8ER
Mon: 9:00 - 17:00
Tues: 8:00 - 18:00
Wed: 9:00 - 17:00
Thurs: 9:00 - 17:00
Fri: 9:00 - 14:00
Sat: By appointment