After losing one’s teeth, it is very common to consider restoring or replacing the lost teeth. Advancements in dental restoration techniques have allowed various types of patients to consider varying treatments for teeth restoration and replacement.
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Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jawbone underneath your gums. This surgical process will require several appointments to complete. As implants are fused to the jawbone, they are very stable and can feel almost identical to normal teeth during activities like eating or talking. However, dental implants are not for everyone, as it is necessary for the patient to have healthy gums and sufficient bone to support the implants.
How are dental implants placed?
First, a metal implant is placed under the gums and within the bone. Next, depending on the type of implant system and the patient’s treatment requirements, the prosthetic abutment, which connects the implant to the artificial teeth, may be placed immediately or during a second surgery which can take up to half a year’s wait. Lastly, after the gums have sufficiently healed, the artificial teeth are fabricated and fitted onto the implant. This procedure can take up to 2 months.
How long can dental implants last?
Dental implants are expected to last for about 10-15 years, if proper care, such as good oral routine, is taken to maintain them.
All-on-4 ® Treatment
All-on-4 ® refers to the replacement of all teeth on four dental implants. It is an innovative treatment solution designed to help patients who have failing teeth to regain proper functioning and a brand new smile in the shortest period of time.
Who is this suitable for?
Patients with failing upper or lower teeth
Patients with existing full/partial dentures
How is it done?
This treatment involves a strategic placement of four implants. 2 implants will be placed in front of the arch and the remaining 2 will be placed in the back at 45 degrees. Together, these form the required foundation to support the prosthesis.
By placing 2 implants at an optimal angle of 45 degrees, available bone can be utilized, hence eliminating the need for a bone graft.
The placement of these implants is carried out under local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia.
What are the benefits of All-on-4 ® treatment?
Studies have shown that 98% of patients would recommend the All-on-4 treatment ® concept. As compared to traditional methods of teeth restoration, this treatment has a shorter downtime and a lower cost.
As this procedure requires only 4 dental implants, it will take only a few hours after your surgery for the bridge to be fabricated and functioning. This means an almost immediate improvement in function, aesthetic and self-esteem.
Unlike the traditional implant treatment, fewer implants are used, thereby reducing the cost. There is also usually no need for bone graft for All-on- 4 treatment ®. Not only does this reduce the treatment time, cost can also be substantially reduced.
Will there be any risks involved?
As All-on-4 ® is a minimally invasive treatment, there are usually no major risks involved. However, some patients may suffer from some minor bruising and discomfort during the healing stage. There may also be temporary numbness in your lip after the surgery.
Dental Crowns and Bridges
Also known as fixed partial dentures, dental bridges consist of 2 crowns that are fitted onto existing teeth adjacent to the missing teeth, and artificial teeth connected between the crowns that ‘bridge’ the gap. Additionally, the anchoring of the bridge can also be done with dental implants.
How are dental bridges made?
First, the natural teeth that will be used as support will be reshaped to make space for the crowns. These teeth are called “abutments”. Next, an impression of the abutments and gums (where the missing teeth are) will be made, which will be used to customise the bridge to fit the patient’s mouth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where professional technicians will create the customised bridge by hand or through computer-assisted manufacturing processes. The laboratory usually takes one to two weeks to fabricate the bridge. Once the bridge is ready, the patient will come for a follow-up visit to mount the bridge precisely.
How long can dental bridges last?
A dental bridge is expected to last about 10 years, if proper care, such as good oral routine, is taken to maintain.
Dentures are detachable appliances that usually consist of artificial teeth connected to a pink plastic base.
What is the procedure for fabricating dentures?
Generally, dentures are made in 3 steps:
Step 1: Registration of Impression
In this step, a primary impression of the structure within your mouth will be made. Your dentist will apply a thick fluid over your teeth, which will harden in minutes. The impression will be sent to a laboratory, which will design and fabricate a denture prototype that fits you well.
In addition to a primary impression, your dentist may also suggest for you to do a master impression and bite registration. A master impression will ensure that a record maximum denture bearing area is taken, and also to develop an effective border seal. A bite registration ensures that the dentures will fit and function properly by diagnosing potential movement related problems.
Step 2: Try-in
You will be required to ‘test’ the prototype to see if any adjustments have to be made. Once you are happy with the alignment and fit, the prototype will be sent back to the lab to finish off the aesthetics.
Step 3: Issue
The finished product will be issued to you.
What is the procedure like?
They are secured to your natural teeth either by attachments of metal clasps. Dentures come in the form of partial denture or complete denture. The former can be used if there are existing natural teeth for the clasps to attach to them. The latter is required if there are no natural teeth left.
How long should I wear my dentures each day?
Generally, dentures can be worn throughout the day. However, as our teeth are more prone to bacteria attacks at night, dentures should be removed before sleeping. This is to prevent the trapping of plaque and bacteria that can result in further complications like gum disease and dental decay.
How do I take care of my dentures?
You should brush your dentures once a day to get rid food and plaque residues with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This would prevent permanent stains or built up of plaque. While cleaning your dentures, it is also advisable to place a bowl of water underneath it to minimize the risk of impact in the event of it dropping. Dentures can last up to 7-10 years if proper care is taken.