OPTION 1 – Dental Implants – Several teeth missing
A better solution than a partial denture
Easy step by step guide.
OPTION 2 – Partial Denture – Several teeth missing
Partial dentures can also be used to replace missing teeth
Full and partial dentures are also used to replace missing teeth, although they are not as effective as dental implants. If you have lost all your teeth you will need full (or complete) denture. If you still have some of your own teeth then you will need a partial denture to fill space where the missing teeth once were. Partial dentures are mainly used if the gap is too large for a bridge or if you feel that dental implants are not for you. We provide a full range of cosmetic treatments at the Birmingham Periodontal and Implant Centre.
Why do I need replace my missing teeth
The main reason is to improve your appearance and your ability to chew food. The denture partials will also stop your remaining teeth from moving, a process that can cause serious dental complications in later life, and support your jaw joints preventing painful and debilitating conditions such as TMJ dysfunction.
For people who have SOME of their own teeth the alternatives are:
- Crowns and bridges supported by implants and/or teeth
- Partial dentures secured by implants and/or teeth
- Partial dentures supported by teeth
- Bridges supported by teeth
For people who have NO remaining teeth the alternatives are:
- Complete dentures
- Implants which secure their denture in place
- Implants which support crowns and bridges
Different denture types and cost of partial dentures
A partial denture may be all plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have clips (clasps), to help keep the denture in place in the mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may show when you smile or open your mouth. Plastic partial dentures are the least expensive; however, unless they are designed very carefully they can damage the teeth they fit against.
Metal partial dentures are usually from an alloy of cobalt and chromium and they are much stronger. They are lighter to wear and can be supported by the remaining teeth. Although the base is metal, they have gum-coloured plastic and natural-looking teeth fixed to them. They are more expensive than the plastic partial dentures. If you do not wish to have any clasps showing then the teeth next to the gaps can have special crowns made (called attachment crowns) onto which the partial denture locks in place. This type of partial denture produces the best cosmetic result and take up less space in the mouth. They are also the most secure type of partial denture.
Caring for your dental health and partial denture
You must keep your dentures clean. Dentures may break if you drop them. The general rule is: brush, soak, brush. Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them. Brush your dentures before soaking, to help remove any food debris. The use of a fizzy denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Do not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface. Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush at night and in the morning. This removes plaque and helps the circulation in your mouth. If you wear partial dentures, it is even more important that you brush your teeth thoroughly every day. This will help stop tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to you losing more of your teeth. You will be seen by the hygienist to have your remaining natural teeth cleaned regularly.
Problems with partial dentures
The upper denture usually has much more suction to hold it in place. The gum support in the lower jaw is much less and the lower denture may feel more wobbly as it has to be balanced between your cheeks and your tongue. So long as you treat your dentures well, they should last several years. However, your dentures will need to be relined or re-made due to normal wear or a change in the shape of your mouth. Bone and gum ridges can shrink, causing your jaws to meet differently.
This could lead to a procedure called bone grafting, which may require a CT scan and treatment from one of our specialists at the Birmingham Periodontal and Implant Centre. Loose dentures can cause problems, including sores and infections, not to mention discomfort. A loose or ill-fitting denture can also make eating and talking more difficult. It is important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems.
Most people find the thought of having to wear dentures very distressing but with the advances in dental implant treatment options even patients who have lost all their own teeth can be provided with fixed teeth. In some pre-planned situations we can even place the tooth implant and the fixed teeth at the same appointment when the diseased teeth are removed so you never have to wear a denture at any stage of your treatment!
OPTION 1 – Implant procedure a more detailed explanation
1. Examination of area to place the dental implants
The first step of dental implant procedure is a discussion with the specialist dentist, followed by a thorough dental examination. The jaw is x-rayed to check the condition of the bone tissue and to determine the placement of the implant. An impression is made of the jaw and existing teeth, forming an important platform for the treatment.
2. Dental implant surgeon/Periodontist places the supporting implants
There are two options for dental implant placement, depending on your clinical situation. In a one-step procedure, the implant is placed and then a temporary healing abutment is attached. (An abutment is the part of an implant that acts as a connection between the implant and the crown.) In a two-step tooth procedure, the implant is inserted and then covered over by the gum. The healing abutment is attached at a later date usually about 3-6 months later.
3. The abutment is fixed to the titanium screw.
In a one-step procedure, the temporary abutment is replaced by a permanent one after the tooth implant has bonded with the bone tissue. The second part of a two-step procedure involves making a minor incision to open the gum and put the abutment in place. The permanent abutment will retain the missing tooth.
4. Producing the crowns and bridges
When the abutment is in place, a new impression is made, this is almost the final stage of the dental implant procedure. Based on a final model, a dental technician carefully crafts the crown and bridgework. These are the artificial teeth that will be attached to the implant abutment. Special attention is given to ensuring the right colour and shape so that the new teeth look like your surrounding natural teeth.
5. Fitting the bridgework and crowns.
When the artificial teeth are ready, your dental implant dentist simply attaches them to the implant supporting structure. That’s all there is to it! This is usually followed by a few follow-up visits to check functionality and esthetics. In short, to make sure you are completely satisfied with your new teeth.