Multiple Tooth Replacement With Dental Implants
Losing a number of teeth doesn’t mean that dentures are the only solution for our Chelmsford patients
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 bit 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:
- Discomfort – One of the most common sources of discomfort when wearing dentures is that they can rub against the gums. This friction, especially if regular, can cause soreness and make wearing them uncomfortable, especially when eating. As losing a tooth or teeth will lead to bone loss in this area, this creates subtle changes in the shape of the jaw and this can cause your dentures to fit less well and move around, creating friction.
- Embarrassment – As dentures move around, they can become quite noticeable, and may even fall out altogether during a conversation. Although this is relatively rare, movement of your dentures can create some speech difficulties when you are speaking.
- Limiting – One thing that some wearers find is that they start to be more careful about what they eat, especially when they are dining out with others. They may well turn down the steak that they really want because it is more difficult to chew and opt for something that their dentures will handle more easily.
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 Blue Sky 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 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 call Blue Sky Dental at our Chelmsford practice on 01245 211070. We’ll be delighted to help!