Teeth, Gums, Plaque & Nutrition
If you have lost a complete arch of teeth, it is important to consider your options… Whether a tooth has been lost as a result of injury or disease, it is important to get it replaced with your choice of dentures, bridges or implants in a timely manner. Not only does it affect the health of the mouth, but it will cause a significant issue with the patient’s own self-esteem and confidence.
Many people judge you on the appearance of your smile, and if you have a large gap it’s not going to create a good first impression! The gap can also adversely affect your dental health and lead to food packing, tooth drifting, tooth tilting, gum disease and difficulty eating or speaking. In order to replace your missing tooth or teeth, which option is best: Dentures, bridges or Implants?
Dentures are the traditional means of solving tooth loss and work by inserting an acrylic arch of false teeth in the space usually retained by small wire clasps. This then provides improved appearance and is a cheaper option for resolving tooth loss than the alternatives.
The problem with dentures is that they have a tendency to move during use when you are chewing leading to soreness of the gum due to rubbing, and the wire clasps can cause damage to fillings and tooth structure. In view of the denture movement, they do little for a patient’s confidence and self-esteem.
They are also a foreign body in the mouth and have the effect of increasing the amount of dental plaque you grow. Other problems include difficulty speaking and the production of excess saliva. Dentures are often nowadays considered out of date with several other options now available.
Bridges replace missing teeth using the teeth adjacent the gap to support a dental prosthesis made of Zirconia, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal, that is bonded to the teeth. The main benefit is that a bridge does not move during chewing. They can look very natural and with modern materials, a match is possible to the adjacent teeth.
Bridges work well and restore a patients’ confidence. The downside is that the adjacent teeth generally must be cut down into crown preparations by the dentist to make room for the bridge and this can damage the healthy teeth to support lost teeth. This is a major short-coming! However, if the adjacent teeth have large fillings in already, then placing a bridge may allow these weak teeth to be strengthened with a full coverage of the crown and bridge materials.
Generally composed of biologically inert titanium, dental implants are a modern alternative to the traditional dentures and bridges and are surgically inserted into the jawbone. The implant then integrates with the jawbone as it heals to provide a strong foundation for a dental restoration such as a crown or bridge.
Since the implant “fuses” with the jawbone, it acts just like a natural tooth’s root, which means you can enjoy the foods you like and have the confidence to smile knowing the teeth look natural and are firm like the natural teeth they replace.
If patients have been affected by extensive gum disease then they will need a course of gum disease treatment to ensure they are free from active gum disease. Failure to treat gum disease would leave implants susceptible to bone loss and this could lead to the failure of the implants. Patient with active gum disease should definitely not embark on implant treatment.
Meeting in the middle…
At NQ Surgical Dentistry located in Townsville, we are able to provide implant over-dentures for those who have suffered extensive tooth loss. This involves having dentures attached to dental implants, using “two-part” precision devices called “precision attachments” that are used to keep the denture in place and prevent it from moving whilst eating, speaking or laughing. The first part of the device is screwed onto the dental implant once the implant has integrated into the jaw, the other part of the attachment is fitted to the denture to secure it into place.
Over-dentures are most commonly used in the lower jaw, where dentures are more prone to the movement being surrounded by moving lips, cheeks and a tongue. Upper complete dentures are generally more retentive and if they are well made on accurate impressions, they rarely need implants to retain them in the mouth.
There are cases where upper dentures are not successful and in these cases, we can use multiple implants to both retain and support the denture. There are several techniques and many designs available for this treatment.
If you have trouble wearing your dentures, this may be the solution you have been looking for! If you are interested in what implant treatment may be able to achieve for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can explain the process in order to enhance your quality of life.
To discover more about our tooth loss solutions or to book a consultation at our Townsville dental practice, please do not hesitate to contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812
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