Replacing missing teeth
Implants, Bridges and Dentures
For individual missing teeth people most commonly choose a fixed bridge or implant. These function and look just like your original teeth.
When there are several missing teeth that cannot be replaced with bridges or implants, removable dentures are typically used.
Occasionally a denture is used as a temporary replacement while awaiting the placement and integration of an implant.
Your dentist will guide you in the best option for your situation and budget.
An advanced treatment option for missing teeth
Restore your smile and your confidence – laugh, relax and eat apples again!
Over the last few decades dentistry has been transformed for people who have missing teeth. The latest dental implants are now allowing us to restore beautiful smiles and quality of life, with a more natural look and faster healing time.
At Lotus Dental we use advanced technology and the latest in dental implants, including titanium or ceramic (metal free) implants, or a combination of both, depending on your individual needs.
So what exactly are dental implants?
The dental implant is a small screw-in post that fuses to the jaw bone (osseointegration) to form a strong and stable base for the artificial tooth or crown, by replacing the root of the missing tooth. The post has an abutment on the top to which the crown is installed later.
It’s the strength of the bond and integration into the bone structure that allows us to provide a solution that is permanent and restores full functionality.
Implants are also used to anchor bridges and dentures for better biting ability and to reduce soreness and ulcers, and can be used to replace full dentures completely.
The procedure for dental implants
The procedure is normally in two stages: the implant is placed and then left to heal for approximately 12 weeks, prior to loading them with a crown on top.
This is to ensure adequate healing, which is important for the integrity and strength of the tooth-implant combination. Implants for front teeth can have temporary crowns during the healing phase so that your smile isn’t compromised.
About the materials used in our implants
As holistic dentists we are committed to using only bio-compatible materials.
Titanium is non-toxic and well-tolerated by the body and has been used safely in medical devices for many decades.
If you prefer a metal-free alternative high-strength ceramic implants are designed for maximum functionality and aesthetics. For some people, particularly where the gums are thin or recessed, ceramic implants may be a better option than titanium.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants offer some advantages over bridges and dentures.
Preserving the jaw bone and facial structure
When teeth are lost, the chewing force stops being transmitted to the jaw, resulting in bone deterioration over time and changes in the shape of the face. Dental implants work the same way as the original tooth and its root, so that the chewing forces continue naturally.
Ease of care
Implants don’t need any special attention. You take care of them just like other teeth, with flossing, brushing and periodic visits for a regular dental check-up.
Resilience and comfort
They stay put! And they are strong and reliable. You can confidently reclaim your life… eating, smiling, kissing, singing…
They look and feel natural
Implants are hard to spot. Of all the options for the treatment of missing teeth, dental implants look the most natural and also function and feel most like natural teeth.
Adjacent teeth are not affected
Larger gaps can be treated without affecting the neighbouring teeth, because implants are self-supporting.
Sometimes a fixed bridge may be the best option to replace your missing tooth.
In this case a crown, or cap, is placed on one or more adjacent teeth and the false tooth (pontic) is joined to this and cemented in place as a fixed unit.
Indications for a fixed bridge rather than a stand alone dental implant are
- when there is insufficient room between the teeth for an implant, or
- there is not enough bone to support an implant.
Some people prefer not to have anything implanted in their jawbone, especially if they have certain medical conditions.
In addition, if the teeth either side are heavily filled but the roots are healthy, crowns on these teeth supporting the pontic will also strengthen the heavily filled teeth.
At Lotus Dental all our crowns and bridges are metal free, using a Zirconia base with porcelain layered over the top to create beautiful, natural looking replacement teeth.
Removable partial dentures
As a temporary replacement or when there are insufficient teeth to support a bridge we have a variety of biocompatible materials that we can use for replacing your missing teeth with removable partial dentures.
These include flexible metal- and acrylic-free alternatives such as Valplast and ThermoSens, and titanium or gold frameworks for more intricate partial dentures.
Gaps in your teeth can reduce your sense of security and confidence, and stop you enjoying life fully. Some people also find them embarrassing. Modern dental implants or bridges may be the solution you’re seeking.
Call us at Lotus Dental in Sydney on 02 9953 5153 or send us an email to make an appointment. We’ll assess your bone density, determine if dental implants are a suitable treatment for you and discuss the options with you.