Dental implants replace natural teeth
Did you know that there is no hope for patients who suffer from advanced gum disease or missing teeth or both ! Dental implants are quickly becoming a popular choice for those patients who are struggling to keep their natural teeth. Gum disease affects the tissues and bone which hold natural teeth firmly in place. With advanced gum disease the surrounding bone recedes and makes the natural teeth mobile.
Many times there is no hope for such mobile teeth and the patient has no choice but to have these teeth removed. The dentist may offer the patient an alternative to natural teeth like removable dentures or dental implants. Unfortunately removable dentures are still the most common solution for a full arch of missing teeth. For several reasons, cost being only one of them, patients usually opt for removable teeth as a 'suitable' replacement for fixed teeth. The mere mention of this doesn't make sense. It is impossible how removable teeth can be a good replacement for fixed teeth.
Dental implants on the other hand offer a safe and predictable alternative for natural fixed teeth. Dental implants have been around for more than 30 years and have become more and more popular as more patients being to see the benefits that dental implants can provide. First of all dental implants can be used to provide fixed teeth in many cases in just one day.
It is difficult to imagine this but most of the implant procedures carried out today in modern dental clinics offer same day teeth solutions. This means that the dental implant can be placed into the jaw bone and fixed teeth are loaded onto the implant on the same day. The teeth that are used are not the final teeth but provisional ones while the implants heal. During this time the patient will be able to benefit from improved function, speech and appearance. Dental implants need about 4-6 months to heal while they integrate with the jawbone.
After the healing period the dental implants will have effectively fused with the jaw bone and new permanent teeth can be made in order to fit onto the healed implants. The process of an implant fusing with the jaw bone is called osseo-integration.
We have a case today showing how dental implants helped a gentleman who had suffered from periodontal disease for many years. Gum disease can be caused by several reasons, smoking, age, stress, diet, and hereditary factors ( to name a few ) Too many times patients try to hold onto their teeth in order to avoid having to have dentures. In these cases the teeth become increasingly mobile over time. During this period the patient may undergo several infections and discomfort as a result of the gum disease. Repeated attempts at seeing periodontists ( gum specialists ) may not yield any improvements. At some point the teeth need to be removed and the alternatives considered for future.
As discussed above the options for this patient were either remove all the teeth and have full upper and lower dentures or dental implants. The patient was unable to cope with any sort of moving prosthesis in his mouth so he chose to have dental implant treatment. The teeth were removed during a short operation and the implants placed the same day. The suitability of each patient is assessed prior to any treatment starting. By means of xrays, ct scans, photographs and models we are able to assess accurately if the treatment will be possible and predictable.
Luckily for the patient he was a good candidate and we carried out the dental implants during the operation. The patient was fitted with fixed provisional