Losing all of your teeth does not mean that dentures are inevitable.
There are a number of reasons why we might lose most of our teeth or perhaps even all of them. Poor long term oral health care is a likely cause but tooth loss to this degree can also happen due to serious accidents. Whatever the reason behind it, it is safe to assume that the person concerned will want to replace their missing teeth to restore their smile and mouth function.
The first thought that probably crosses most people’s minds when they are in this situation is that they will need to have dentures.
Whilst modern dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than their predecessors, they are not always ideal. Dentures have to be secured using a special adhesive and can feel unpleasant and be somewhat messy, especially at first.
Even those who have worn full dentures for some time would admit that there is room for improvement. As there is no tooth root left in the bone, this will gradually reduce in density and cause small changes in the shape of the jaw. This can cause dentures to become more unstable and can make eating certain foods quite tricky.
Fortunately dentures are not the only solution available to replace a full arch of missing teeth. Dental implants offer an excellent way of achieving this and these are available at our Woking dental clinic.
Implants for full arches
For those who don’t yet know, dental implants are artificial titanium tooth roots which are placed into the jawbone. The bone then grows around the implant, firmly bonding with it. This provides a very strong and stable foundation onto which a dental crown is added. This then leaves the patient with a very strong, long lasting and natural looking replacement tooth.
From this knowledge, it would be understandable if people thought that replacing a large number of missing teeth, such as in full arch loss, would mean undergoing invasive treatment for each of the teeth that needed to be replaced.
Whilst this could feasibly be done, it would be both challenging for the patient and also a very expensive way to achieve its aim. A different, far less expensive and invasive treatment can achieve the same result as this procedure. Instead of using individual implants for each missing tooth, a procedure is used that is sometimes called an ‘all on 4’, ‘teeth in a day’ or ‘same day implants’.
Why ‘all on 4’?
Instead of using an implant for each lost tooth, this procedure uses just a few implants instead. The number varies but is usually between four and six. Working on the assumption that four implants are used, two of these are placed towards the front of the mouth. These are regular implants like you would have placed to replace any missing tooth. The other two implants are placed towards the rear of the mouth and are slightly different in construction and are the main reason why this procedure works so well.
The rear implants are designed to be placed at an angle. Doing so provides immediate and extra stability, so much so that, unlike individual implant placement, there is no need to wait before the arch of replacement teeth is attached. Hence the “same day” phrase which is often used.
This providing a natural looking and secure set of teeth in just one visit to our practice. It is also worth mentioning that dentures can be stabilised in a similar way.
New teeth the same day!
Once the bridge has been attached, you will leave our Woking dental practice with a brand new set of teeth that you can use immediately. For your own comfort, we do advise that you give yourself some time before returning to your normal diet.
Whilst the bridge will be very secure, you are likely to have some residual soreness where the implants have been placed. Also, and especially if you have been without your teeth for some time, they may feel a little strange at first until you get used to them. For these reasons we suggest that you eat a soft food diet initially as this will be more comfortable for you and allow you to get used to your new teeth without the challenges of biting into harder food.
A soft food diet can include things like mashed potatoes and pasta with sauces. It won’t be long before you can return to your normal diet, perhaps having discovered a few new favourites along the way!
Your new dental implants do need to be looked after, despite both the implant and the supporting bridge being made of artificial materials. One very important aspect is to keep your gums clean and we will provide full advice on how best to do this when you have your consultation. It is also worth bearing in mind that while the replacement teeth won’t decay, left uncleaned they may stain over time and a buildup of bacteria on them could cause your breath to smell. With this in mind, you should brush them as you would natural teeth.
We understand that tooth loss can be traumatic and we are here to help patients restore their mouth in a way most appropriate for them. To help us do this we will need to hold a full consultation with you where we can perform an examination, determine the best solution and explain the procedures and costs with you.
If you would like to discuss this revolutionary treatment, please call the AJ Dental Group on 01483 766355 (Parkside practice) or 01932 352333 (Waterside Practice).