In both complex restorative and cosmetic dentistry, dental implants are now an established way to replace missing and severely damaged teeth that are beyond repair. They are designed to look and function like a natural part of your mouth and can achieve long-term restoration that, with the correct care and maintenance, do not require retreatment. For the right candidate, dental implants from our experienced dentist can be an indistinguishable tooth replacement option that restores both the aesthetics and the biting function often lost with extracted or missing teeth.
What Can Dental Implants Do For Me?
In simple terms, dental implants can vastly improve your quality of life and confidence. Worry no longer about whether others notice that you have missing teeth, and eat what you like at restaurants and parties! In addition to causing self consciousness, gaps caused by missing teeth often lead to an array of dental and general health concerns. Not only can chewing and speaking become more difficult, but the risk of complications—such as oral diseases, poor nutrition from an inability to eat certain foods, and the shifting of remaining teeth—is also greatly increased. Plus, the longer an absent space between teeth remains unfilled, the more bone deterioration can occur where the tooth was once supported. Dental implant treatments performed by Dr Hughes and his colleagues can be an effective solution to these problems, generally offering the following benefits:
- Act as a long-lasting tooth replacement
- Enhance your confidence and quality of life
- Prevent the shifting and misalignment of surrounding teeth
- Prevent further bone loss
- Restore proper biting and chewing function
- Avoid slippage and gum irritation often caused by traditional dentures
Dental implants are most successful for individuals who have an adequate amount of jawbone density to support the implant. If you do not have enough bone to reinforce the implant, you may require a bone grafting procedure before implant placement is possible.
How is the Dental Implant Procedure Performed?
Dental implant treatment involves placing a small titanium post that functions like a natural tooth root underneath your gum tissue. This will anchor the implant in the jawbone and provide a secure base for eventual placement of a dental crown or dental bridge. After a sufficient amount of time has passed and the implant has fused itself to your jawbone (osseointegration), a natural-looking crown or bridge can be placed on top of the implant for a fully functional and beautiful cosmetic result.
If you have numerous missing or damaged teeth that are adjacent to each other, or if you lack the jawbone density to attain a full set of dental implants, implant-supported dentures may be a highly effective option to replace absent teeth. Commonly thought of as an upgrade from traditional dentures, this procedure can provide enhanced comfort and security by using dental implants to anchor a set of partial or full dentures to your mouth. This advanced prosthodontic technique typically restores full function of your teeth, as well as significant smile enhancement.
What Can Implant-Supported Dentures Do For Me?
Traditional dentures have many limitations that can be inconvenient and troublesome. Even with the pastes and adhesives necessary to anchor them, dentures are often ill-fitting and prone to slipping uncomfortably along the gum line. Additionally, dentures typically limit an individual’s dietary choices and can cause self-consciousness when speaking or eating. When stabilised with dental implants, many of the hassles and inconveniences of wearing dentures can be greatly minimised. Implant dentures can generally:
- Provide greater security for significantly decreased gum slippage
- Provide a more comfortable fit when wearing dentures
- Allow more confidence when eating, drinking, or speaking
- Minimise the risk of food slipping between gum tissue and the denture
- Cancel the need for messy pastes and adhesives
How is the Implant-Supported Dentures Procedure Performed?
Depending on the technique used, the implantation process is very similar to the dental implant procedure outlined above. Small titanium posts that act like a natural tooth root will be placed where necessary to provide a comfortable and natural-looking fit for your dentures. After the implants have fused with your jawbone, abutments are attached to the implants, allowing your dentures to snap in and out of place with ease.
When a whole denture arch must be sustained, Dr Hughes—in conjunction with his surgical dental colleagues and highly-trained clinical dental technicians—can utilise the revolutionary All-on-4® system, which can secure a full denture arch using only four strategically placed implants. This technique is also called “same-day teeth” or “teeth-in-a-day.”
While six to ten implants are usually necessary to maintain a full denture arch, All-on-4® can provide optimal security and support for the restoration using only four implants positioned at specific angles. This technique can anchor a full denture arch with less invasive dentistry, as well as a faster treatment time, than is traditionally required for implant-supported dentures.
When multiple missing or severely damaged teeth exist in the same row, an implant bridge can be an exceptional way to restore the full integrity of your bite and smile. An implant bridge is a series of interconnected porcelain crowns that function as natural-looking tooth replacements and can “bridge” the gap between healthy teeth. Unlike regular dental bridges, an implant bridge is affixed to your jawbone using dental implants. They are designed to act as a natural part of your mouth and are commonly utilised when a patient requires more than one tooth replacement in the same row. This issue can usually be addressed with dental implants alone; however, when teeth clenching or grinding is a concern, an implant-supported bridge can help distribute the pressure across the bridge rather than imposing it on individual implants.
How is the Implant Bridge Procedure Performed?
Similar to the dental implant process, the implant bridge procedure begins with a consultation to determine whether you have the necessary bone density to accommodate the implants to which the bridge will be attached. An impression of your teeth will be made to allow a natural and comfortable fit for your custom-designed dental bridge. If additional bone growth is required, Dr Hughes can discuss further options with you— for some patients, a bone grafting procedure can be a great way to regenerate new bone and strengthen your oral structures.
Once it is confirmed that your jawbone can adequately withstand implantation, small titanium posts will be placed where necessary to successfully anchor the dental bridge. This usually occurs in the absent space left by your missing teeth. The implants will then be left to fuse with your jawbone. After sufficient time has passed and the posts have successfully integrated with your bone structure, healing caps will be placed at the heads of the implants to facilitate proper healing of your gum tissue. Once the bridge is ready to be attached, abutments are used to connect the porcelain crown bridge to the implant. At the end of the process, you should have beautiful restorations in place of your missing or damaged teeth for supreme oral rehabilitation.
If you have any questions or concerns about dental implant solutions, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Dr Hughes today.