This patient had wobbly front teeth, gaps further into the mouth and was unhappy with the appearance of her smile. Treatment required the extraction of three front teeth, a bone graft, and the placement of four implants followed by an implant retained bridge. The result dramatically improved both aesthetics and function of the patient’s teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be the best solution for the replacement of missing teeth, helping you to eat, talk and smile with confidence. Implants are some of the most predictable dental restorations and will last for many years if they are well planned, executed, and maintained.
Before and After
This patient had a tooth extraction and wanted to fill the space. The treatment consisted of a dental implant and crown to fill the space, restoring both function and appearance.
How They Work
To replace a missing tooth the dental implant is placed under the gum in the space where your tooth used to be. The implant is a small screw-like fixture and its role is to act as a man-made tooth root. This then allows a new artificial tooth, called an implant retained crown, to be fitted into the implant. Implant retained crowns achieve a natural looking finish as they are made individually to match your own teeth.
Dental implants can be utilised to replace a single tooth, or multiple teeth, and the end result is a healthy smile and improved bite, with functioning teeth that look and feel natural. Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment, and with correct care over 95% of modern implants have a lifespan lasting many years. *
Fitting a Dental Implant
Implants can be placed using a simple local anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the day, or days, after surgery. The implants need to integrate with the bone after they have been inserted, which usually takes at least 3-6 months. However, sometimes the implants are stable enough for crowns to be attached immediately, or soon after placement (an immediate implant).
In most cases a healing cap will be placed in your mouth to protect the area and contour the gum during the healing phase. During this period the gaps in your teeth may be hidden by a bridge or denture to temporarily improve the aesthetics of your smile.
Once the implant is integrated with the bone, an abutment is fitted into the implant to hold the crown in place. There is a choice of implant crown options, so the abutment and the base of the crown may be made of metal or solid porcelain. We recommend solid porcelain abutments and crowns to achieve the most natural looking results, for example, when replacing teeth towards the front of your mouth.
*MS Howe, W Keys and D Richards “Long-term (10-year) dental implant survival: A systematic review and sensitivity meta-analysis.” J Dent. 2019 (84) May pp 9-21.
Fitting a Dental Implant
MINI DENTAL IMPLANTS
For When Traditional Implants Are Unsuitable
If you’re missing teeth but traditional implants aren’t an option, mini dental implants may be the solution.
Traditional implants are fantastic replacement teeth options because they most closely mimic natural teeth, but not everyone has strong enough bone in their jaw to get traditional implants and that’s where mini dental implants come in. Mini dental implants are much smaller than traditional implants and simpler in design, consisting of a post with a ball at one end and a rubber O-ring that secures the crown or dentures.
A single mini dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth. They are most suitable for the front teeth or premolars, but one of the most common uses for mini implants is securing a denture in place.
People who wear dentures often have trouble with them slipping out of place, so implants can make wearing dentures much less inconvenient. If you already wear dentures, you may be able to have your existing set adapted to be secured by mini implants.
Mini Dental Implants
What To Expect
To fit mini implants we take a panoramic x-ray to make sure your mouth is suitable for a mini implant. The procedure is a minimally invasive surgery, and typically takes about 1-hour to place 4-6 implants. We normally attach a temporary crown or denture and after a healing process you will return for an appointment to fit the permanent prosthesis.
For a day or two after your implant placement you should eat soft foods and take care to keep the implant site clean, we will provide information about this during your appointment.
Mini Dental Implants
How Long Will They Last?
Mini dental implants are a permanent option for replacing one or more teeth and can, in theory, last a lifetime. That being said, they often do not last as long as regular implants because they have a lower bite force tolerance and are more likely to break with continued use. Other general factors that will determine how long your mini dental implant lasts include smoking, your oral hygiene and Osteoporosis.
DENTAL IMPLANTS AND DENTURES
A Hybrid Alternative
Dental implants and mini dental implants are alternative, permanent solutions for replacing missing teeth. Additionally mini dental implants may be placed in conjunction with dentures to form a hybrid teeth replacement option by fixing the denture securely in place. This eliminates one of the big concerns many people have about conventional full dentures – that they will slip out of place, particularly on the lower jaw where there is not much for them to hold onto.
An implant supported denture is far cheaper than having 8 to 10 dental implants fitted in each of the lower and upper arches. Thus, in an implant-supported denture between 4 and 6 implants are used per arch, making them a more affordable alternative to traditional implants.
How can we help you?
We’d love to hear from you! Contact us to book a routine appointment, arrange a consultation, or just for an informal chat about your treatment options.