Dental implants have revolutionised the world of dentistry, replacing dentures, bridges and single tooth gaps with a lifelong solution. Here, Dr Peter Sanders explains how dental implants can change the lives of those wearing dentures, offering a permanent solution to loss of teeth, lack of confidence and limitation on lifestyle…
Whether it’s a fear of eating in social environments, a loss of self-confidence or the feeling that you have aged prematurely, wearing dentures can cause regular discomfort in a number of ways.
Whilst some become resigned to a life of such inconvenience and discomfort, an increasing number of people are realising that there is an alternative. The alternative is dental implants, the use of which has completely transformed the world of dentistry over the last 35 years.
Dental implants look, feel and function like ordinary teeth. They are, in fact dentistry’s closest replacement to the natural tooth and furthermore they offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. With a natural invisibility, implants allow denture wearers to speak, laugh and smile with confidence, as well as re-introduce them to foods they would have otherwise been unable to eat.
With a higher success rate than any other complex dental procedure, implants are fast becoming the answer to the embarrassment and challenges that dentures cause.
How the implant works
The implant consists of a titanium screw that effectively acts as an artificial tooth root and is inserted into a small hole in the jaw bone. With four to six implants, dentures can be secured with great stability providing significant long term improvement. After precise planning the implants are placed in the jaw bone then the full denture or new bridge is fixed in place.
It’s a common misconception that dental implant treatment is painful. In actual fact, most patients are amazed at how little discomfort is felt throughout the entire treatment procedure. Dental implants are fixed under local anaesthetic, therefore the most you are likely to feel throughout the procedure would be a slight vibration or feeling of pressure. However, some patients do opt for sedation during a treatment, which is something that can be discussed with your dentist.
After the treatment, gums may be sensitive, however most patients will not even require pain relief and can freely return to their everyday lives the following day.
After that, the previous restrictions caused by dentures are gone. You no longer need to hide your smile, be conscious of speaking socially, ignore the food you would love to eat or contain your laughter. You are able to permanently enjoy a life free from further discomfort or embarrassment.
“Over the years, the dentures I wore had become so loose that they often slipped down or dropped when I laughed, or when I spoke. I found this very embarrassing, and despite using various unpleasant denture adhesive products, it became harder and harder for them to stay in place. After a consultation and x-rays with Dental Confidence, several implants were placed fixing the dentures in for good. The whole procedure was very straightforward, and I didn’t feel any pain at all. Now I feel as though I have all my own teeth again. Unlike the dentures, these feel like they really do belong to me. Also, there are no foods that I have to avoid now. It has changed the way I feel and look. Since having my dental implants, my husband has chosen to have them fitted too.”
Margaret Brook, Romsey, Southampton
Dental Confidence Ltd, 24 Westwood Road, Southampton, SO17 1DN
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