Historically, if you had lost all or most of your teeth, the only option was to have a denture. Thankfully, those days are gone.
If you find you cannot get on with dentures, find them wobbly, uncomfortable or embarrassing, it is possible to have a natural-looking removable denture that is firmly attached to a number of dental implants.
This is called an implant-retained denture and can be useful if you have lots of missing teeth or no teeth at all. Your dentures are secured with built in clips or press stud type fixings inside the denture that engage the dental implants, but can still be removed for cleaning and will stay put securely once in place. Typically, a full upper denture requires around 4 to 6 implants, and a lower denture just 2 implants.
The World Health Organisation states that the standard of care for any patient with all their lower teeth missing is that they should receive two implants and a implant supported lower denture
A big advantage of an upper implant supported denture is that often the bulky palate of the denture can be eliminated as the implants provide the stability for the denture and suction is not so important. This means a significant reduction in the bulk of the denture as well as not losing the taste of your food, which many denture wearers complain about.
As well as securing your denture, implants can also help improve your appearance. When teeth are lost the bone that held them in your jaw shrinks. Placement of dental implants can preserve this bone, maintaining the shape and structure of the lips and cheeks preventing the ageing ‘caved in’ look of older people with dentures.
What is a Dental Implant?
An implant comes in two parts. The first is an artificial root made from titanium that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It can be placed in either the upper or lower jaw and, in time (3-6 months), will bond or integrate with your own jaw bone. The implant is placed via a small surgical procedure that is carried out painlessly under a local anaesthetic (the area made numb).
The second part is what is visibly attached to the dental implant root. For those missing one tooth, a natural-looking crown will be created to perfectly match your existing teeth. If you have a full set of dentures, a full arch of teeth can be permanently attached to four or six dental implant roots - you don’t need one implant root for every missing tooth you have.
How long do implants last?
In a healthy person with a healthy mouth and bone, implant roots (the metal part) should last as long as your natural teeth. They need caring for as natural teeth do. The dentures supported by the implants can last a decade or more but will need some maintenance periodically to replace the clips and poppers that attach to the implants as they become worn.
Will treatment hurt?
All treatment is carried out under a local anaesthetic (the area made numb). Dental implant treatment is a minor surgical procedure that has been performed for many years, with excellent success rates.
When can dental implants be used?
Dental implants can be used for a wide range of treatment from one implant to replace one missing tooth, two implants to secure a bridge, through to multiple implants to replace all the teeth in the mouth with an implant supported denture or a fixed implant bridge.
How much do dental implants cost?
Implant supported dentures do vary in cost depending on the number of implants used and the style and construction of the dentures. All cases will be quoted individually, but as an example, patients at this practice who have had a removable lower denture stabilised with two implants have paid in the region of £8-9,000 and a full upper denture supported by 4 to 6 implants have paid in the region of £13-17,000.
Do you offer a free initial consultation?
Yes. You are invited to join us at Hook Dental for an initial free consultation to assess your suitability for dental implant treatment. At this 30-minute consultation we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each dental implant option so that you can make an informed decision about your care.