Dental Implants: Replacing Missing Teeth 

 

Dental Implants have become the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Over the last 40 years the techniques and procedures have been refined to make dental implants one of the most predictable and successful ways of replacing teeth. They help improve your appearance and function by looking, feeling and functioning like natural teeth. This means that you will be able to smile, eat and speak with confidence.

A dental implant is a post that is inserted into the gum where the root of the tooth used to live. Once the implant is placed and has been allowed to heal, a replacement tooth (crown), denture or bridge is secured on top. Dental implants provide a fixed non-moveable solution which look and feel like natural teeth.

 

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Dental Implant Restorations

Dental implants are used as foundations or anchor points for a restoration to be attached to them. The technology behind these treatment options has evolved over the last forty years to become an incredibly predictable and very effective way of replacing missing teeth. Implants often provide the most life-like stable replacements for missing natural teeth. They allow a comfortable and secure solution to replace your missing teeth and give you back the confidence in your smile that you need.
They will usually follow the sequence outlined below but there can be situations where the implant and teeth are placed on the same day.

 

Before Crowns After Crowns

1. Missing Tooth

2. Site carefully prepared

Before Crowns After Crowns

3. Implant gently placed and allowed to mature

4. Implant Restored with tooth/teeth

a few months later

 

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Implant Crowns

These restorations are similar to dental crowns in appearance as they can perfectly simulate the shape and function of a tooth/teeth. Instead of using a tooth to support them they use a dental implant. They are used to replace single missing teeth and are often an alternative to a dental bridge or partial denture.

 

Before Crowns After Crowns

Before

After

 

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Implant Bridges

These restorations are used to replace multiple missing teeth in a row. They use two or more implants to support multiple prosthetic teeth. They can be used to restore the appearance and function of teeth and make your mouth look and feel great. These restorations can completely eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.

 

Before Crowns After Crowns

Before

After

 

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Implant Dentures

These types of restorations can be broadly divided into two categories; removable and fixed prostheses.
 
Removable implant dentures use 2 or more dental implants to secure a removable denture in the mouth. They can virtually eliminate denture movement and the resultant discomfort and embarrassment this can cause. The level of security of these prostheses usually depends on the number of implants. Two implants will stabilise a loose denture and provide tremendous comfort but will still allow some slight movement. These are usually called simple implant overdentures.

 

Simple Overdentures:

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After

 

Four or more implants will allow a virtually immobile solution that will completely restore function and aesthetics yet still allow the easy cleaning and maintenance of the prosthesis. These are usually called complex implant overdentures.


Complex Implant Overdentures:

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After

 

Fixed implant dentures require at least four or more implants to provide a rigidly fixed prosthesis. This means that a patient with no teeth can once again have a permanent fixed replacement for all of their teeth. This can give the patient a whole new lease of life and allow them to enjoy the benefits of fixed immobile teeth for the first time in years.

Photos

 
These implant restorations can be used in combination with each other such as a fixed lower and removable upper.

 

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Partial and Complete Dentures

Partial dentures are an effective way of replacing multiple missing teeth. Certain circumstances necessitate the use of a single removable prosthesis to replace missing teeth. A custom made precision partial denture that is supported by natural teeth or crowns can fulfil both the functional and aesthetic requirements of these situations.

 

Before Crowns After Crowns

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After

 

Complete Dentures:

Complete dentures are used in patients who have lost all of their natural teeth. The psychological and functional impact of this situation cannot be underestimated. A correctly constructed complete denture is a customised prosthesis that will provide both the function and aesthetics needed to rectify this debilitating condition. Properly constructed dentures (or implant dentures) can restore collapsed facial support that happens as a result of tooth loss.

 

Before Crowns After Crowns

Before

After

 

Often these prostheses are all that are required to restore a missing dentition. However dental implants can be used to elevate the functional capabilities of these prostheses to new levels.

 

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