An alternative to dentures: implant-fixed teethWed, 31st May 2023
Losing most or all of your teeth can be an overwhelming and difficult experience. Many denture patients tell us they find it hard to eat, they can’t taste food, their mouth is uncomfortable, and, for some, their confidence and well-being have taken a knock. We are very lucky to have an implant surgeon, Duncan Weir, on the Gentle Touch team. Duncan recommends implant-fixed ‘teeth’ for those looking for a more stable long-term solution that is truly life-changing.
This blog will give you a bit more information on implant solutions which are available to our members as well as to non-members. We offer no-fee no-obligation consultations to patients considering this treatment – do get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
What are implant-fixed teeth?
Implant-fixed teeth are an alternative to dentures. New teeth are secured to dental implants, and these are placed in your jawbone. These small titanium posts fuse with your bone over time, creating a strong and stable foundation.
What are the benefits of implant-fixed teeth compared to dentures?
Implant-fixed teeth have many benefits, including:
- Improved stability: The teeth are completely secure because they are anchored to dental implants. This means that they won’t slip or move around in your mouth like dentures, providing greater comfort and confidence to the wearer.
- Improved function: These implant-secured teeth allow for better chewing and speaking ability than traditional dentures. Patients report they can bite into apples and enjoy steaks again. There is good evidence that an unrestricted diet, such as being able to eat fruit and salad, etc, leads to improved long-term health.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants mimic the function of natural teeth and stimulate the jawbone to prevent bone loss. This can help prevent other oral health issues down the line.
- Improved appearance: Implant-fixed teeth can also improve the appearance of your face by restoring the natural contours of your jaw and cheeks. This can lead to a more youthful and vibrant appearance, which can have a positive impact on your self-confidence and overall well-being.
- Improved taste: Implant fixed teeth don’t require a palate-covering for support. This enables the full use of your taste buds so that you can enjoy food and flavours the way they should be.
What are the different types of implant-fixed teeth?
You have two options: removable or fixed.
- Removable implant-fixed teeth. These are also known as snap-on teeth, can be easily removed for cleaning and maintenance.
- Implant-fixed teeth. Also referred to as an implant bridge, this is attached to the implants and cannot be removed by the individual.
What is the process for getting implant-fixed teeth?
There are several steps to getting implant-fixed teeth at the Gentle Touch. The treatment is available to members of the practice, and also to those who are not members.
- Initial call or meeting: with Beth McNeil, our Smile Advisor & implant care nurse.
- Consult with implant practitioner Duncan Weir: Duncan will meet you for a consultation where he will take time to listen to your concerns. During this consultation, Duncan will evaluate your oral health and determine if you are a good candidate for implant-fixed teeth. If you are, he will take some special measurements.
- Implant placement: If you are a good candidate, the next step is for Duncan to place the dental implants in your jawbone. He will do this through a surgical procedure that typically involves a local anaesthetic. There is a healing period of approximately three months during which the implants fuse with the jawbone.
- Abutment attachment: Once the implants have fully fused with the jawbone, we attach abutments to the implants. Abutments are small connectors that protrude from the gums and allow the denture to attach to the implants.
- Teeth/ bridge fabrication: A dental laboratory fabricates the teeth, custom-fit for your mouth. We are extremely fortunate to have one of the best dental labs in the country, Vision, right on our doorstep. We offer a bespoke service by involving the award-winning technician Wayne Flack at every stage.
- Follow-up visits: We’ll invite you back for follow-up visits with Duncan Weir to ensure that the denture is functioning properly. We can also make any necessary adjustments at this visits.
What are the drawbacks of implant-fixed teeth?
While implant-fixed teeth have many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider as well, including:
- Cost: Implant-fixed teeth are more expensive than traditional dentures.
- Lengthy process: The process for getting implant-fixed teeth takes several months and requires a number of appointments.
- Additional procedures: If you have significant bone loss in your jaw, you may require additional procedures. This could include bone grafting to create a sufficient foundation for the implants. Bone grafting is one of Duncan’s special interests.
Who will be responsible for my treatment?
Duncan Weir is the Implant Surgeon at the Gentle Touch and he is responsible for implant-fixed treatments. We are very fortunate to have him on our team and his clinical time is almost entirely implant related.
As well as working at the Gentle Touch every Tuesday, Duncan travels to different practices throughout Scotland. He also mentors candidates who are doing implant training and is a key opinion leader for Southern Implants. In addition, Duncan teaches implants to dentists at Edinburgh Dental, and he lectures around the UK on dental implants.
Duncan’s special interests include:
- The aesthetic zone – implants for the front teeth
- Bone grafting – creating additional support to allow implant treatment.
- Full arch implants – a fixed bridge solution instead of dentures.
Can I book a consultation?
Yes! The best starting point is to have a quick chat with our implant care coordinator, Beth, to see how implant-fixed teeth may help. You can get in touch whether you’re a member or not a member of the Gentle Touch. If you’d like to take things further, we will book you in for an initial consultation with Duncan Weir, our implant surgeon.
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