In a perfect world, we would all have strong and healthy teeth. This would be achieved through excellent home cleaning, regular professional dental supervision and just a little of luck in avoiding accidents. For most of us though, this isn’t the reality.
Some of us will only arrive at the conclusion that we should have looked after our teeth better when we were younger, a little too late.
Few of us will avoid accidents altogether and some of these may, unfortunately, result in tooth loss. This applies especially if we play certain sports such as football or rugby.
Although some people may reach middle to older age with their teeth more or less fully intact, this will not be the case for everyone and a number of us are likely to have lost at least one or two teeth, and possibly even more.
When we lose a tooth, or a number of teeth, the first thought is often to turn to dentures. These are still one of the most common methods of replacing missing teeth and can provide a suitable solution for some. They can be problematic for some wearers though and whilst they now look more natural than was once the case, there are a number of relatively common issues that some wearers find. These include:
What are the alternatives?
Dental bridges are one possible alternative to dentures but these often do require invasive treatment including the shaping of teeth either side of a gap. Not surprisingly, quite a few people are not keen to have this done to healthy teeth.
At Imperial Dental, we are pleased to offer another alternative, and one that is increasingly becoming the ‘go to’ option for people who have suffered tooth loss. We are talking of course, about dental implants. Implants are now widely used after first being introduced in the 1960’s. As they have gradually become more refined and techniques have evolved, this is now a very safe and effective way of replacing a missing tooth. What is probably less well known though, is that teeth implants can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth as well as individual ones.
Not just individual implants
If you are not familiar with the procedures used, you might presume that replacing multiple teeth would mean replacing each one with an individual implant. Whilst this could possibly be done, it would require the patient to undergo quite a lot of invasive treatment and would also be a very costly option. An equally suitable option, and one that is faster and cheaper to do, is the All On 4 dental implant procedure. When we perform this procedure to replace multiple missing teeth; instead of replacing each tooth with a dental implant, we place a few, usually 4, implants into the jawbone. These, in effect, act as ‘anchors’ which are then used to secure a fixed bridge of teeth into place. A similar technique can be used to stabilise dentures as well.
Not only does this procedure cost less than replacing each tooth individually, but it can sometimes be carried out in just one day. In fact, unlike individual implant placement where a 3-month period is necessary to allow the implant to fuse with the bone, you can, in theory anyway, use your new teeth to eat straight away. We say ‘in theory’ here, as it is inevitable that there will be some residual discomfort from the procedure. This shouldn’t be severe and you should be able to manage it using your usual pain killing medication. It does make sense though, not to use your new teeth to ‘crunch’ down on something hard and instead, allow your new teeth a little time to bed in. We will of course advise you in detail during your free consultations with us.
We recommend starting with softer foods to allow the procedural site to heal and as you start to feel more comfortable and confident in eating with your new teeth, you can start to introduce some of your favourite foods back into your diet. A gradual and cautious approach is advised for the best experience. If you would like to discuss the use of implants, either for individual or multiple tooth replacement, please book a FREE consultation with us, today. We’ll be delighted to help!