Monday, September 25, 2017
   
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Implants and Bridges

 

Dental Implants have caused a revolutionary change in dentistry. Implants are man-made replacements for missing teeth and can be used instead of bridgework. They are positioned into the bone of the jaw and behave similar to roots and even bond naturally with the jawbone. This action is known as osseointegration. A crown or other restoration is then fitted on top to match with the rest of your teeth.

The patient may be required to have radiographs taken or have a CT scan done to determine the amount and thickness of the bone available and to identify any structures which may be an obstacle to the placement of the implant. Dr Algra will be able to advise a patient if they need a CT scan.

Placing an implant is usually done with local anesthetic, much like when having a filling.

After dental implant placement, most patients experience minor discomfort after the anaesthesia has worn off and this is usually controlled by simple painkillers. The patient's pharmacist can also give advice on such medication. It is unusual to have significant problems.

Implants can be placed either immediately after a tooth has been removed in the open socket or can be placed much later after the extraction site has healed. It may be necessary, however, in the later case to do a site preservation procedure to speed up the healing of the wound site and to prevent bone loss of the site in the first four months after extraction of the tooth and placement of the implant. This procedure would normally be done by Dr Algra or Dr Birdi.

The Mini Implant System consists of a miniature titanium implant that acts like the root of your tooth and fits into a retaining fixture that is incorporated into the base of a denture, The head of the implant is shaped like a ball and the retaining fixture acts like a socket that contains a rubber O-ring. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture at a predetermined level of force. When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue. The implant fixtures allow for micro-mobility while withstanding natural lifting forces. The most effective use of this unique dental product is stabilization of a lower denture. Denture patients all over the world have experienced relief from loose dentures from doctors who are trained to place the MDI. Uniquely, the MDI can be utilized to stabilize a denture in a couple of hours by an implant doctor, with the patient leaving the clinic with a stabilized prosthesis. This process can also be done with certain designs of conventional implants as well, depending on the case involved.

Once the dental implant has been placed; which is basically a titanium artificial root; it is allowed to fuse with the bone surrounding it over a period of three to four months, sometimes longer depending on the site involved in the mouth. A small metal disk called a healing cap is screwed on top of the implant and sticks out around the surrounding gum. This allows the gum to heal around the incision site to form a nice border around the future crown to be placed on the implant. This is later replaced with a core piece which will support the future crown or other attachment. Usually the area is left open to heal, but in certain cases involving for example the front of the mouth one may be able to wear either a temporary denture or bridge until the area is ready for the final restoration.

When the patient returns for the second appointment it may be possible the dental surgeon may need to do a smaller minor procedure to uncover the gum, if it has grown over the healing cap to allow for the fit of the new artificial tooth.

When you lose teeth, your jawbone may start to shrink. Implants can help slow down this process. Implants are not appropriate for everyone. You need to be in good general health, have healthy gums and there must be enough bone present to place the implant. There are, however, surgical procedures to increase or stabilise the amount of bone in your jaw, as mentioned in the above paragraph. Implants are more likely to be successful if you don't smoke. Dr Algra will be able to advise whether implants are a suitable treatment for you. Implants may not be an option for people with chronic conditions such as poorly-controlled diabetes or osteoporosis. They may also not be an option for patients who smoke.This is because the jaw may not heal properly and the implants may not fuse with the jawbone. Such patients may be at a higher risk for side effects and complications such as infection and non integration of the implant to the bone resulting in the implant remaining mobile after the healing period.

Implants can last for many years and it is advisable to visit the oral hygienist regularly for maintenance and advice on the care of implants. Ms Chana and Mrs Inwood can advise patients on the care of implant restorations. Providing the implants are still in a good condition, one can often just replace the crowns, bridges or dentures supported by implants when then have worn out after a number of years.

 

Alternatives to implants

You may choose to accept the space where a tooth is missing and do nothing. However, you may be at risk of your teeth drifting or over-erupting near the extraction site. This can lead to occlusuale (bite) trauma resulting in dental pain, headaches and further loss of teeth. The worst drifting happens in the first five years, unless the patient has a very stable bite. The alternatives to implants are dentures or bridges.

Dentures are removable restorations for a few missing teeth (partial denture) or a whole set of teeth (complete dentures). There are a variety of types of dentures, but they usually include a metal and/or acrylic (plastic) framework with plastic, composite or porcelain artificial teeth. Dentures may sometimes become loose, making it difficult to eat and speak.

Bridges like implants, are fixed restorations, but unlike implants they are fixed to the adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth. This process involves reshaping the adjacent teeth into a narrower and shorter core shape to allow the placement of crowns with one or more false crowns attached to them.

Bridge materials have also come a long way since they first used traditional all metal and porcelain fused to metal veneer bridges, which could later leave metal showing under the retaining teeth due to wear or gum recession. The latest materials allow Church View Dental Clinic to now place bridges made of porcelain fused to either an aluminium glass or zirconium(diamond) core. The result is bridges which are more translucent and natural looking, which do not look opaque or show metal around the edges after a number of years. Dr Algra, Dr Patel or Dr Wilcynski will be able to advise patients if they are suitable for these bridge procedures.

 

 

Further information:

Association of Dental Implantology UK

020 8487 5555

www.adi.org.uk

British Dental Health Foundation

0845 063 1188

www.dentalhealth.org.uk

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