Below are a few common uses of dental implants:
1. Retaining or replacing dentures
Implants can be used to retain and support dentures which will stop your dentures from moving.
If dentures are uncomfortable because they are bulky, move around, click or are painful, then implants can be used to retain and support them and hence improve your chewing and so, aid your digestion as well as give you greater self-confidence. This is a very cost-effective solution to an age-old problem of loose dentures.
2. Supporting crowns and bridgework
Of course, using implants it is possible to replace all the teeth and get rid of dentures altogether. This depends on availability of bone for implant placement. In cases of deficient bone, we will need to rebuild the lost tissues. Various innovative surgical techniques are available for dealing with even the most complex problems.
Some people who cannot wear dentures because they gag, find the denture too bulky in their mouth or indeed dislike the thought of anything foreign in their mouth are ideal candidates for implant therapy provided they satisfy the relevant criteria.
Implants are so strong that they can be used to permanently replace bridgework.
Implants do not pull on the surrounding teeth, nor do they have the disadvantages of increasing decay, gum disease and the chance of root-fillings or loss of teeth used to retain conventional bridgework.
3. Replacing unstable or infected crowned teeth
If an existing crowned tooth is becoming problematic and further expenditure on this tooth may only delay its demise for a short while, many patients are now choosing to have the problem tooth carefully removed and replaced with a much more reliable and stronger dental implant.
In hindsight, many patients may wish that they had gone straight for the implant option after spending their money on a root-filling, post and crown only to need the tooth taken out a short time later.
4. Replacing missing second teeth
Six percent of children have some second teeth that never develop. Professional help is advised as soon as missing teeth have been identified. Liaison between an orthodontist and an implantologist enables planning to minimise the impact of the missing teeth.
Missing back teeth are less problematic as baby teeth can be left in situ for many years and may well last until the age of forty.
Commonly, upper lateral incisors (second from the front) fail to develop. This situation requires careful planning with an orthodontic / implant team coordination.