If you have several missing teeth, or all of your teeth are missing, our implant treatments can feel amazing. If you cannot eat some foods due to an insufficient number of teeth implant treatment may enhance your quality of life. This is also true if you currently find eating is uncomfortable or embarrassing due to loose dentures. Depending on where missing teeth are located in your mouth, we are likely to be able to replace several teeth, with a smaller number of implants. The very popular ‘All-On-4’ treatment is a good example. With this approach, we can replace all of your teeth using just four implants in your top jaw and four implants in your lower jaw: unlike a denture, the replacement teeth are fixed in your mouth. The technique of bridging across implants to provide more teeth on less implants is common and successful.
Like for single implants, we routinely use a 3D scan of your jaws and planning software. This ensures your implants are placed in the optimal position for the best outcome. Combining a 3D scan with virtual prototypes of your future new teeth often means we can place your implants using a very minimally invasive approach akin to key hole surgeries. This way the treatment can be done on the dental chair and your recovery time is expected to be extremely quick. Even after having multiple implants placed, patients are typically back to their usual daily routine the following day. Traditionally, you would then wait three months before your new teeth are placed on your implants. This gives the implants time to form a bond with the bone called osseointegration. However, due to current implant designs and techniques, it is increasingly possible to put temporary teeth on your implants the very day your implants are placed. This is known as ‘same day teeth’. The temporary teeth are plastic for easy adjustability. Three months later, the temporary teeth can be replaced with definitive ones which are usually ceramic for the beauty and durability it offers.
Many long-term denture wearers suffer sinking of the face. This is because the bone that once supported their missing teeth gradually dissolves and disappears (known as resorption). The result is the gums shrink away and the face sinks in. If implants are placed in a timely manner, they can significantly reduce this shrinking and sinking in. Occasionally, patients who have worn complete dentures for a very long time do not have sufficient bone to place enough implants for a fixed bridge or crowns. Some of these patients decide to have bone grafting with a local maxillofacial surgeon before having their implants placed. In other cases, people with a severe lack of bone opt to have a smaller number of implants and a new secure removable denture. For example, in the lower jaw it is possible to secure a removable denture with just 2 implants. In this instance, a new lower denture is made with press-stud like attachments to clip onto your two implants. The resultant improvement to your denture experience can be phenomenal. In fact for patients who wear complete dentures having two implants to stabilise the lower one has long been considered the minimum standard of care by dentists (McGill 2002).
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