Implants and Dentures
Teeth may be missing due to disease or because they have failed to develop
Although it is not always necessary to replace missing teeth, it is often done for appearance reasons or because of problems with speech or eating.
There are a number of ways to replace teeth and these include dentures, bridges, and implants.
The dental implant has gained considerable acceptance as the gold standard choice. For many patients, dental implants can be an effective way of filling those gaps, giving you back a natural looking smile that you’ll want to show off.
These are metal screws placed within the jaws on which artificial teeth can be supported. The process involves the surgical placement of a titanium screw in the jaw bone. The operation is usually carried out using local anaesthetic. Sometimes a sedation drug may be advised to make the patient feel more relaxed.
The implant is left for between three and six months to allow the bone to fuse to it, before it is used to support false teeth or crowns. Implants may be used for a variety of dental restorations. These include dentures, bridges, and single teeth.
The success rate for treatment is high (90 percent). Age is not an important factor, although implants are not generally recommended for growing individuals. Smoking has also been conclusively shown to reduce success.
Not everyone is suitable for this form of treatment. Enough bone is necessary to hold the implant in place and an excellent standard of oral hygiene is necessary for long-term success.
How dental implants work
Dental implants are small titanium screws that are placed directly in the jaw bone to replace the root portion of missing teeth. This requires a minor surgical procedure that is carried out here at the practice, under local anaesthetic or sedation.
Over a period of a few months the implants integrate with the bone. They are osseoconductive, which means they support bone growth, helping to prevent the problem of bone shrinkage. When your implants have firmly meshed with the bone, permanent replacement teeth are attached on top. These will look and function much like natural teeth and, with proper care, will last upwards of 25 years.
Why should I replace my missing teeth?
If you have lost several teeth, your confidence in your smile may have been dented. In addition, any remaining teeth may start to move into any gaps, becoming crooked and difficult to clean. You may also find that your ability to bite and chew is affected, causing your diet to be restricted and putting healthy foods off the menu. Replacing your teeth with dental implants prevents all of these issues, enables you to enjoy a healthy diet and restores your confidence in your smile.
Bridges or crowns?
A consultation with our implant dentist will reveal the best implant option for you. Implant-retained bridges are used when two or more adjacent teeth are missing. If you have several teeth missing in different locations in your mouth, you may need a single implant with a crown attached in each location.
What are the benefits of dental implants over other tooth replacement products?
A dental implant is the only permanent way to replace a missing tooth. Research has shown implants to have a very high success rate with proper care (up to 98%), which means that they can last you a lifetime. Traditional bridges often need to be replaced and do not provide as much stability as a crown secured by a dental implant. Implants are the closest option to natural teeth, unrivalled for appearance or function.
Another problem with traditional bridges is that they require your adjacent teeth to be strong enough to support them. If your teeth are weak or have large fillings, it may be difficult to place a traditional bridge. These bridges use crowns or wings attached to your adjacent teeth to provide support for a replacement crown, which can also weaken these surrounding teeth. Because a dental implant is anchored in the jaw bone, it provides very firm support without any work on surrounding teeth.
To book a dental implant consultation, please contact a member of our reception team. We offer free initial implant consultations with one of our Customer Care Advisors, and a complimentary clinical examination to assess your suitability for dental implants.
Dentures may be used to replace one or all teeth, except the very back molars because to do so would make wearing the dentures more difficult.
Dentures that replace a few teeth are called partial dentures while those replacing all the teeth are called complete dentures. Complete dentures stay in place by suction and muscular control. When complete dentures are worn for the first time many people may find them strange and difficult to control. However, with guidance from a dental professional, within a short time control is usually acquired.
Partial dentures are made of acrylic or metal and acrylic. Sometimes they incorporate wires which are attached to remaining teeth to help to keep the dentures in place.
Partial dentures made of metal are more easily designed to rest on the remaining teeth. This is healthier than covering the gums. Metal is stronger than acrylic and is therefore thinner and often more comfortable to wear, however it is much more difficult to add additional teeth to a metal denture if more teeth are lost.
It is most important that dentures and the remaining natural teeth are kept very clean to prevent the damaging effect of plaque.
If you have lost all of your natural teeth, you may be struggling with unsecured dentures. While dentures are a great way to replace your missing teeth, traditional dentures do not address other common problems associated with tooth loss, including bone loss and shrinking gums, which can cause your dentures to become loose and uncomfortable.
What is denture stabilisation?
Denture stabilisation uses dental implants to secure your dentures. You will still be able to remove them for cleaning, but there is no danger of them becoming loose and uncomfortable, or of them slipping out at an inopportune moment.
How many implants do I need?
The good news is that if you replace all your teeth with dental implants, you will not need as many implants as teeth. Our implant dentist will carefully plan your treatment and, after taking detailed x-rays, scans and impressions as necessary, will tell you how many implants you need.
For denture stabilisation, we commonly place four or six implants, which are carefully positioned so that they can withstand the forces created by biting and chewing. After a period of healing (usually a few months) your permanent dentures will be attached to your implants using special fixtures.
The implant process, step by step
Initial implant consultation, where our implant dentist will assess your suitability for treatment with dental implants.
X-rays, scans and impressions will be taken as needed, to aid in treatment planning.
Implants are placed here at the practice, under local anaesthetic or sedation.
Your implants are left to heal in a process called osseointegration, during which they form a firm bond with your bone.
When healing is complete, your permanent dentures are attached.
In some cases, it is possible to attach restorations at the same time as placing your implants. See our Same Day Smiles page for details.
Single Tooth Missing
At our Stoke-on-Trent dental practice we see patients who have lost a tooth for many reasons, including injury, accident and decay. Whatever the reason for losing a tooth, it can be very distressing and can affect your self-confidence. At Synergy Dental & Implant Centre we have several options for patients who have lost a tooth, and often recommend a dental implant – the only permanent tooth replacement option.
Multiple Teeth Missing
Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are the only permanent tooth replacement solution, and as well as addressing the problem of gaps in your mouth can help to prevent the bone loss and gum recession that is common in patients who have lost teeth.
At Synergy Dental & Implant Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, our implant dentists can replace one, several or all your missing teeth using dental implants. For multiple missing teeth we offer two options: implant-secured bridges or multiple single implants with crowns.