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How Dental Implants can rebuild your smile



Dental Implants are made up of a titanium screw that goes into the jaw bone. Sounds scary, but they are the strongest and most convenient option available to fix missing, broken, or unrestorable teeth.

At Hermitage Dental Practice, we specialise in offering high-quality dental implants to successfully rebuild your healthy and beautiful smile. But there are other options out there, and in order to feel confident about your choices, you should be aware of what they are and how they compare.


HOW DO DENTAL IMPLANTS WORK?


Your specialist dentist will place a titanium implant into the jawbone, the screw replaces the root of the missing tooth. After a healing period of three months, a custom moulded crown can be placed on top of the titanium implant. Cosmetically, dental implants look great in fact, no one will even be able to tell you’ve got one!

Your dentist should consider how much bone you have at the implant site. Some patients might require a bone graft ahead of fitting a dental implant.


WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO DENTAL IMPLANTS?

There are two main options for replacing missing teeth outside of a dental implant: 

DENTAL BRIDGE


There are several types of dental bridges and the most common is the traditional fixed bridge. The traditional fixed bridge is usually made from metal, porcelain, or ceramic teeth joined together. Fitting this type of bridge involves drilling the tooth down to a stump to get an impression of it, and then fitting the bridge on top.

Whilst this is more secure than other forms of dental bridge, the destruction of the natural tooth could lead to the need for root canal treatment. This is where we can enter what is called a restorative cycle: the more the tooth is “restored” and “repaired”, the more damaged it becomes until eventually this process will lead to the failure of our teeth.

Another common bridge is a Maryland bridge, also known as a resin-retained bridge. This is where a replacement tooth is glued into a gap, fixed in place by a wing-like structure which also supports the neighbouring teeth. 

Dental bridges can last for many years, especially with good oral hygiene. Over time, the cement can deteriorate, or patients to fall short of good oral hygiene. Both of these may lead to tooth decay and collapse of the bridge. In situations where there are multiple missing teeth, bridges are not recommended. 

One of the great advantages of dental implants is that the process never goes down this restorative spiral. And the more missing teeth you have, the more important it is to choose a treatment option that is strong and doesn’t cause further damage. 


DENTURES

The most important consideration about dentures is that they require more extensive hygiene care to keep them healthy because dentures trap plaque.

A clinical trial conducted in Newcastle which compared patients who had fixed teeth with those who had removable teeth found that patients with removable teeth had higher rates of gum disease. Other studies have supported this, finding that “subjects wearing removable dentures were significantly at risk for periodontal disease progression”. 

This is not to say that patients who have dentures are doomed! Of course not. However, if you do choose to have a denture, your oral hygiene must be pristine in order to protect your teeth. It is much harder to keep dentures clean than it would be an implant. This is because dentures might cover other teeth and cause a build up of plaque. 


If you would like to book an Implant consultation today with one of our specialists, please contact the Hermitage Dental Practice on 01530 510533 to arrange an appointment.



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