Dental Implants are the best replacement for missing tooth, once placed they behave the same way as a real tooth. An implant can be a single tooth or combined into several tooth via a bridge or overdenture.
Patients with missing teeth are vulnerable to gum disease, loss of bone, and potentially negative changes in facial structure. Dental implants provide an innovative way to minimize or eliminate these and other problems, while restoring function and beauty to patients' smiles. Unlike traditional treatments for tooth loss, such as dentures and bridges, dental implants are actually fused to the jawbone, providing the most durable, long-lasting way to replace missing teeth.
Getting dental implants is a multi-step process beginning with the surgical placement of titanium posts into the jawbone. After several months of healing, these posts will have permanently fused to the jaw, enabling them to function like the roots of natural teeth. Next, general dentist will attach and secure metal-free artificial teeth to the titanium posts. Specially designed to match the color and appearance of the rest of your smile, dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
Time required for treatment
With treatment of implants each case is different; therefore it is hard to evaluate any case without an oral examination. In most of the cases the schedule of an implant is the following:
If tooth extractions are needed, 3-4 month should elapse before the implant can be placed. As for the operation, a 2-4 day visit is enough. 2-4 months after the placement of the implants, the healing abutments can be placed which is a one-day visit. These healing abutments should remain for minimum 2 weeks, after which we can build up the implants and have the crowns or denture made. This visit should be one week long.
An overdenture is similar to a conventional denture except it has precision dental attachments underneath that give it much better retention. Overdentures can be made to fit over implants or in some cases over natural teeth. It is a way of providing extra stability for dentures so that they behave much in the same way as natural teeth, and patients can be confident that they won’t move around or fall out, alleviating the need to use messy adhesives. It’s an ideal solution for anyone who has a lot of trouble keeping dentures in place due to lack of retention, and the overdentures can be removed for easy cleaning.
The most secure way of supporting an overdenture is using implants, and a full denture can be made to have separate attachments or a bar attachment underneath which will lock onto implants attachments in the jaw and feel completely secure. A full denture will need to have several implants to lock onto, with more implants being required in the upper jaw as the bone is softer.
Having an overdenture made to fit over implants may seem quite expensive but the results are extremely good. It is considerably less expensive than having a bridge made to fit over implants to replace a full arch of missing teeth.
The life of an overdenture and the implants can depend on several factors, but implants can last a lifetime with current studies showing them lasting 20 years or more. Factors which may affect the life of implants include general oral hygiene habits, overall health and other habits such as teeth grinding and smoking. It’s possible that parts of the implant may have to be replaced periodically due to wear and tear or deterioration. It also depends as to whether the overdenture is for the upper or lower jaw, and how many implants it is supported by.
Advantages and disadvantages of overdentures
In general the life expectancy of an overdenture is pretty good, and although the process is quite complicated the benefits far outweigh the cost and time involved. This is because overdentures are very stable and feel more like natural teeth than ordinary dentures. They are also more retentive and help preserve the remaining bone. There is less pressure on the alveolar ridge than with conventional dentures and patients generally feel a lot more confident and can enjoy better health through being able to have better nutrition.
Fixed Full-Arch Bridge
An implant supported fixed full-arch bridge is an alternative option to a full denture. This option might require bone augmentation procedure to help grow substantial bone to support the implants. The implants will be inserted along the jawbone to provide adequate support for the fixed bridge.
The fixed full-arch bridge requires a more complex planning to execute and for it your dental surgeon will conduct a careful diagnosis and with the help of a CT Scan he/she will determine the position where the implants are placed and identify if you have enough bone to support it. This is an important step as everything required being perfect for the correct support and requirements to provide a life lasting solution.
The number of implants that will be required for supporting the full-arch fixed bridge can depend on the patient as many factors that will determine and taken into account such as the size of jaw, the opposing teeth, number of teeth being replaced and the type of bridge required.
If in any chance existing teeth remaining that are required to be extracted then further investigation required. This is important, as it is not always the case that the implants can be placed immediately after extraction.
After implants are placed there is an option for temporary bridge to be placed for the duration of the healing period. The temporary fixed bridge will allow the usual chewing, speaking and smiling without feeling embarrassed. If in chance temporary fixed bridge cannot be placed, then temporary dentures a possibility.
This once again also very carefully prepared as in the 3-4 months of healing period the most important is to protect the implants to not to move out of place.
Your dental surgeon will provide all advice you need to follow during healing period to allow your mouth, gums and bone to heal without receiving any further trauma.