Dental Implant & Tooth Replacement
Implant dentistry is regarded as the preferred form of tooth replacement as it allows a permanent fixed alternative to removable dentures and functions like your own teeth. It is comfortable, feels natural and allows you to enjoy your food better. With new surgical techniques and intra-venous sedation, it is now a much simplified and almost painless procedure.
Dental Implant Surgery
Teeth serve an important role in our daily lives as it affects our speech, our ability to eat well and the way we look. Its loss through disease or trauma sets in motion the loss of underlying bony support resulting in tooth loss. This in turn affects support for our lips and cheek leading to a more aged appearance. Failure to replace missing teeth often leads to the opposing teeth overgrowing and the adjacent teeth tilting resulting in areas of food trapping which in turn may result in gum disease tooth decay.
Implant Crowns & Bridges
Implant dentistry is a 2-step procedure in which the implant is placed at surgery and the replacement tooth connected after bone healing 4-6 months later. The term prosthodontics refers to tooth replacement and can be either a single crown connected directly to the implant, an “implant bridge” to replace 2 or more missing teeth or even an “implant denture” to replace the full set of teeth when mounted on 4 or more implants. The term “implant overdenture” is used when the replacement denture is supported mainly by gums and underlying bone rather than by the implants placed.
Same Day Teeth Replacement
Losing a tooth, especially one of our front teeth can be very distressing for most patients. In addition to the effect on appearance and confidence, it affects our speech and on the long-term, the gums and the supporting jawbone will also shrink. A common request from our patients is to get a replacement for their missing tooth immediately, hence the advent of protocols for "same day teeth replacement". This could be done by partially loading the implant on the day of the surgery, or more commonly by using the adjacent teeth as temporary supports.
Bone Grafts & Regeneration
A bone graft is a procedure where bone is transferred to an area which is deficient in order to create the bulk necessary to place an implant. Bone graft material can either be harvested from near the implant site, or processed from synthetic or other calcified sources. (for example, specially processed cow bone). They serve as the supporting framework in areas of missing bone. Whatever the source, even if it is your own bone, the body would then initiate its healing process and remodel the graft material into fully functional bone.
A dental bridge is a long-term replacement for spaces between teeth as the result of tooth loss. The teeth on both sides of the gap are prepared to support a framework on which new teeth are mounted. This is then fixed in position using a special cement and does not need to be removed at night, unlike removable dentures. Dental bridges are also more stable, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing than dentures. Bridges can be used on natural teeth or dental implants. Bridges last on an average between 7-10 years though some may last for up to 15 years or more.
Dentures or “false teeth” are a simple and low cost method of replacing missing teeth. They are classified into partial and complete dentures based on whether any teeth remain in the mouth to support and retain them while in use. Prefabricated teeth are attached to a plastic base which may be strengthened by a metal mesh or base and are held in place by wires which grip lightly to the sides of remaining teeth. If all teeth have been lost, the denture will have to rely on a close fit with the gums and soft tissue of the mouth to produce a “suction” effect to keep it in position.