Total Dental Implant Solutions
The procedure of placing implants to support replacement teeth demands a complex and meticulous type of dentistry. It can not only deliver dazzling results, but also change lives - and change them dramatically.
The dental profession recognises the use of implants as the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing way of replacing missing teeth. They are permanent solution for lost teeth, the implant being a substitute for a natural tooth root. Replacing missing teeth has been shown to have a dramatic effect on improving quality of life. Confidence and self-esteem are raised, chewing becomes more comfortable and efficient so nutrition is improved and the correct support for the checks and lips gives a more youthful appearance.
Jonathon Pugh BDS MSc, Total Implant Solutions’ principal dentist, heads up the implant team. For more than 20 years he has pursued an interest in implant dentistry and his primary patient-focused goal is to improve people’s life-quality with his skills using minimally invasive techniques.
In a modern, highly technical, supportive environment we can offer all types of implant therapies from single tooth replacement to the delivery of immediate function implant-supported bridges using the All-on-4™ treatment concept.
What are dental implants?
Implants are an incredibly versatile dental ‘tool’. They can be used in different combinations to support a single tooth, several teeth or a complete set of teeth. The test of time has shown implants to be both predictable and extremely reliable, providing teeth which look and feel totally natural whilst delivering excellent function.
Implants are small titanium threaded pins that screw into the jawbone and are effectively replacement tooth roots that support fixed or retain removable tooth replacements. Titanium is well tolerated by the body, which means over time the bone in your jaw can bond with the implant - a process known as ‘osseointegration’ - creating a solid and strong base. This integration not only creates a stable foundation to attach single and multiple teeth or dentures to, it also slows bone loss, the natural process that occurs as a result of missing teeth.
What treatment options are available?
Single tooth replacement
If a single tooth has been lost due to an accident a dental implant can provide a reliable long-term solution in many cases. This treatment does not require any cutting of the adjacent teeth – such as would be the case with a traditional bridge.
Dental implants can also be used to support multiple teeth. This usually involves the placement of two implants, which are used to support a fixed bridge.
As an alternative to a denture it is possible to replace all the teeth in an arch, anchored by several implants. The number of implants required is dependent on the clinical assessment of each individual case.
A loose fitting denture is a common problem for thousands of people. Securing dentures using dental implants restores chewing function and reduces irritation of the gums, leading to an enhanced quality of life. The additional support and stability gives the wearer confidence to eat what they want and smile and laugh without being self-conscious.
What does the treatment involve?
Once you have been referred to us for treatment Jonathon will carry out a complimentary consultation to determine the right course of treatment in your particular case. An assessment and in-depth examination will be carried out and photographs and X-rays taken to assess the condition and amount of bone in your jaw. In some cases if there is not enough bone or it is not healthy enough some bone grafting may be required to build up the gum and bone before treatment can take place.
Once the implants have been placed there is a period of around 6 to 12 weeks for osseointegration to take place before the replacement crown, bridge or denture is secured to the implant. In some circumstances implant treatment can be completed in just one day.
As everyone’s case is different there is no set amount of time that implant treatment will take. The placing of dental implants is normally completed under local anaesthetic, or for more nervous patients or lengthy procedures, intravenous conscious sedation. Every stage of implant treatment in carried out within our practice and at no stage will you need to be referred out of the practice.
Dental implants and implant-retained restorative dentistry
Overdentures are very stable but removable replacement teeth retained by dental implants that help both partial and fully edentulous patients regain a far better quality of life. The replacement teeth are retained by implants placed in the upper and/or lower jaw and the overdenture is secured to the implants through special attachments incorporated into the denture.
Key features of overdentures:
- A far more cost-effective way of replacing missing or failing teeth
- Provide significantly improved retention when compared to conventional dentures
- No need for a palate in the upper denture which improves both taste and temperature perception
- Being removable allows for easy cleaning of both the denture and implant abutment
- Easily maintained and repaired
Implant-supported crowns and bridges
The replacement of a single tooth with an implant-supported crown has many advantages over other treatment options and is used to restore the shape, function and appearance of natural teeth. When more than one tooth is missing implant-supported bridges can be used as an alternative to multiple implant-supported crowns and to span gaps where teeth have been lost.
Key features of implant-supported crowns and bridges:
- No need to wear a removable partial denture as a long-term solution to missing teeth
- No need to cut down healthy natural teeth to support a conventional bridge
- Aids bone preservation
- They are a long-lasting solution to improving your appearance and bite
For dental implants to be successful there needs to be enough jawbone to support them. If it is found there is not enough bone you will first need a procedure to add bone to your jaw before implants can be placed.
A bone graft is the addition of bone, or special bone-like material, to increase the volume of bone in the jaw and is placed and allowed to heal before any implants can be placed. There are many different types of bone grafts and the type given will depend on the individual case and amount of bone required. In some cases bone grafts may be placed at the same time as the implant.
If teeth have been missing in the upper jaw for any length of time the bone and surrounding tissues start to disappear. A sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars when there is not enough bone, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw for implants to be placed.
Caring for nervous and phobic patients
At Parksdale Clinic and Total Implant Solutions we understand that many patients are nervous or anxious about undergoing any dental procedure, which is why we offer our most anxious or dental phobic patients the option of conscious sedation to help to overcome their fears and make treatment a more pleasant experience. It is effective, predictable and very safe, and as well helping the most nervous of patients in routine treatments, it is also used to help others undergoing more complex or prolonged treatment sessions.
Sedation will make you feel sleepy and relaxed and is administered only by our specially trained team members. You will not be completely unconscious, though you’ll have little or no recollection of the treatment, you will be monitored at all times throughout and recovery is generally quick and uneventful.
What should I expect after treatment?
Our team is always on hand to help you after your treatment, but here is some useful general advice:
If you are experiencing bleeding
The anaesthetic used during treatment will make your jaw feel numb and it may be hard to speak. You may also experience some swelling and a little bleeding from around the implant area. This is perfectly normal and normally eases off within 24-hours and can be controlled by biting onto a folded piece of gauze for an hour.
If you are experiencing pain
You should not feel any pain during implant surgery, but you may feel some discomfort in the days that follow. If any pain occurs you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. Do not exceed the recommended dosage given on the packaging.
During the first 24 hours
Be careful not to disturb any clot that forms on the implant site as this will prevent further bleeding or risk of infection. Do not rinse you mouth or brush your teeth during this time and avoid hot drinks.
During the first 10 days
When brushing teeth avoid the implant area and use the antibacterial mouthwash as prescribed. After 10 days a toothbrush with special soft bristles can be used for cleaning the area around the implant site.
Diet and smoking
It is important to stay well nourished and hydrated to promote healing so continue to follow a normal healthy diet. It is recommended to avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking for at least two or three days to reduce the risk of bleeding and to encourage healing. We strongly recommend that if you are a smoker you do not smoke during the course of implant treatment as there is a heightened risk that the surgery may fail.
Please contact us immediately if:
- The anaesthetics fails to wear off after four hours
- Swelling gets worse
- You have swelling in the floor of your mouth below the tongue
- The implant continues to bleed after the first 24 hours
- You experience fever, chills or redness around the area of surgery