More and more people who are losing all their teeth are choosing to replace them with dental implants rather than dentures. Dentures wobble around after a while because they cannot stop the jawbone from shrinking. The jawbone needs tooth roots in it to stay strong and healthy. The roots act as transmitters, vibrating with the impact of the teeth coming together when we eat, talk and laugh. Without those vibrations, the jawbone thinks it’s no longer in use and it starts to dissolve itself so it can use the nutrients from the bone elsewhere in the body.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. They are embedded into the jawbone and provide the vibrations the jawbone needs to stay strong.
All-on-4 implants is a special technique that allows the implant surgeons here at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry to replace a whole arch of teeth on just 4-6 implants.
We put 2 normal sized implants in vertically at the front of the jaw. These each hold a bridge of teeth. Then we support the teeth at the back of the jawbone on implants that are extra-long and go in at the back of the jawbone, coming forward at an angle to provide support and vital stimulation all along the side of the jaw.
The upper jawbone needs a couple more implants to hold the replacement crowns in place against gravity.
The crowns are handmade from dental porcelain. If you have a good photo of your natural teeth in their heyday, we can use it to reproduce them. We can also use impressions, so if you have any, hang on to them.
It will take a few months for your implants to integrate with your jawbone, and while this is happening, you will have to eat a liquid and then a soft food diet. But when integration is complete, you can go for your life with steaks and roast potatoes, nuts and apples.
Maintenance is a matter of making sure to avoid plaque build-up, with diligent brushing and flossing and regular trips to the hygienist for plaque removal. Do that and your All-on-4 implants in Glasgow could last for decades.
If you have an entire arch of teeth that are finally giving up the ghost, you are probably feeling rather wobbly. Teeth are vital for our survival. They are what we use to process our food, to talk clearly and they are also vital to our looks. The toothless look has never really caught on in the world of high fashion, or even High Street fashion, so you are going to have to replace your teeth. But how?
Well, you could have dentures, but you may not fancy having to go back to your dentist every year to get them relined when they start to come loose. And they will start to come loose, because your jaws and gums will be receding under them because there is nothing in the bone to stimulate it to renew itself. It won’t take many years for you to develop that funny, pointy chin and thin jaw that goes with complete tooth loss.
It’s not a pleasant thought and there is another way to get all your teeth replaced, and that is with dental implants. Here at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry in Glasgow, we can replace all your teeth with only 4-6 dental implants on each arch.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots and each one can hold up to 3 teeth on a bridge.
But we also use a technique called All-on-4 implants that uses extra-long dental implants that go in at the back of the jaw at a 45° angle and then run along the jawbone to support your arch. These are coupled with 2 normal-sized dental implants at the front of your jaw. You will probably need a couple more implants for the top jaw, so that your replacement teeth can defy gravity.
We insert the implants under local anaesthetic, and if you are very keyed up about the procedure, you can also have oral or intravenous sedation to deeply relax you. We give you a set of temporary crowns so that you leave the surgery with teeth in place, then, when your implants have integrated with your jawbone, we attach permanent, handmade porcelain crowns.
Much as we would all like to have teeth for life, life does not always work out that way. Sometimes we have accidents that damage our teeth, or even knock them out. Sometimes decay gets the better of some of them and they have to be removed.
Mind the gap
It can be tempting to leave a gap where your teeth used to be but that doesn’t do the remaining teeth any good. Teeth are not set in stone but can very slowly wander around in our jawbones and over time they can tip into the gaps and come out of their sockets. Teeth need other teeth to prop them into place.
So, if you are missing 2 or more teeth in a row, then you may need to consider having crown and bridge work with us at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry in Glasgow.
What is crown and bridge work?
This is one way to replace lost teeth by suspending replacement crowns on a metal bridge between 2 healthy teeth. Attaching the bridge to 2 healthy teeth gives them stability so that you can chew on them like natural teeth.
The replacement crowns are usually made of precious metal so that they will last a long time. Remember gold teeth? Well these days you don’t have to have anything so obvious. Instead, we cover the metal with dental porcelain coloured, sized and shaped to blend in with your own teeth.
The way that the bridgework is attached to your neighbouring teeth is to create 2 more crowns that act like buttresses. They fit over your healthy teeth and are cemented into place. Doing this requires that your buttress teeth are reduced in size so that the buttress crowns are flush with your existing tooth line.
You can also have bridges fixed into your mouth with dental implants if your jawbone is strong enough. This negates any need to grind down existing teeth to act as buttresses. Dental implants can last for at least 15 years, and often last for decades, sometimes even the rest of your life.
Tooth roots are not just there to keep your teeth stable for eating and talking, they also keep your jawbone strong and healthy. Lose the root and the area of bone around it quickly stops renewing itself. Not only that but the bone actually starts to dissolve itself so that it can use the nutrients elsewhere in the body. Your jawbone shrinks back, and pretty quickly too.
That’s one reason why it’s a very good idea to keep your natural teeth going for as long as possible, even if the white part is falling apart or looking more grey than white after one too many fillings.
We can protect the now fragile upper part of your tooth with a crown. Back in the day crowns were usually made of metal. You’d see people with gold teeth. That’s not so usual these days because the dental porcelain used to make tooth restorations is so much stronger and more durable.
So, you can get your teeth protected and their life extended by quite a few good years with crowns that have been custom-made for you to blend in with your existing teeth.
What happens to your teeth with crowns
At The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry in Glasgow, we prepare your tooth for a crown by removing any redundant material. We then also have to reduce the size of your own natural tooth so that we can fit a crown over it that will line up with your existing teeth. We put a temporary crown on while we get a permanent one custom-made for you in a laboratory. When you come back, we paste your new crown into place and if it’s a good fit, we will cement it there. If not, it is adjusted until it does fit well.
We also make crowns when we replace lost teeth with bridgework. This is when false teeth are suspended on a metal bridge between 2 healthy teeth, which act as supporting buttress teeth. To do this, they are reduced in size and crowns with the bridge attached are fitted over them.
If you have got failing teeth or already have lost all your teeth, you can now get a whole new set fitted on dental implants in one day.
Previously, if you wanted to replace your teeth with dental implants, you would have to wait a good few months between having the dental implants fitted and having replacement crowns attached to them. This was so that the titanium implants could integrate with your jawbone to create a stable chewing base. A safe way to go about making sure the implants were successful, but it meant people were having to spend some time with gaps in their mouths, and while that might have been alright if the gaps were at the sides, if you were waiting for implants to replace all your teeth, the last thing you wanted to do was be toothless for all that time.
Now, at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, we have solved that problem with a technique called All-on-4 in Glasgow, which means you can leave the clinic with a whole new set of teeth in place after your implant surgery. Here’s how it works:
Most of our patients come in with very loose teeth due to advanced gum disease, or teeth that are badly broken down. We remove these teeth under local anaesthetic.
We place four dental implants into your jaw, two on the upper jaw, two on the lower jaw. Then we attach a set of brand new teeth to these so that you walk out of the door with a great new smile and can go back to work and live your life. The teeth are often a temporary set, and you will come back to us after six months to get your custom-made porcelain crowns fitted.
Are you suitable for All-on-4?
When you come in for a detailed consultation we will use our cone beam CT scanner to look at your jaw to see if it will be able to hold dental implants. If it is, we will use the scans to plot where to put the dental implants.
Remember how it used to be when you had a full set of natural teeth? How you would get up in the morning, give them a brush and go about your day. Then you’d brush them again before going to bed. But in between you could forget about them. How is it now with your dentures? Not like that, we’re willing to bet.
We expect you have your dentures quietly at the back of your mind nearly all the time you are wearing them. You can feel them sitting on your gums, maybe sliding a bit on them, despite all that messy dental adhesive you put on them only a few hours ago. You wonder if they are going to let you down this evening when you’re out to dinner either by not staying still or by amassing a tonne of food under the plate. And what if your hosts serve up something your dentures can’t cope with, like roast potatoes. Maybe you should just cancel.
Or maybe not. Maybe what you need is artificial teeth that act like real ones. If only you could have afforded dental implants. Well, maybe you can when you come to The Scottish Centre for Dental Excellence in Dentistry for All-on-4 same day teeth.
What is All-on-4?
This is a brilliant dental implant technique that allows us to place an entire arch of teeth on only four implants (maybe six for the upper jaw, there’s gravity to take into account after all).
We put two implants in vertically at the front of the jaw and two longer implants in at a 45° angle at the back of the jaw. Running the implants along the jaw in this way means you can support around the arch. We can then put a set of teeth on that very day.
Why same day teeth?
Instead of having to wait for at least two months before we can fit you with replacement teeth, we give you temporary dentures and you walk out with teeth already in place, coming back in six months for us to fit your permanent porcelain crowns on a denture that you don’t take out at night.
If someone said to you, ‘You only have to put up with this for half a year’, most people could get through almost anything. What about straighter teeth in 6 months in Glasgow? Could you put up with delicate brackets and wires on your teeth for half a year if it meant a lifetime of beautifully straight smiles? At The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, we’re willing to bet you could. And you can, if you have only mild to moderate alignment issues affecting your front six to eight teeth.
Known as the social teeth because they are the teeth other people see the most when you are talking and laughing, these teeth are that bit easier to move than the molars because they have only one root to anchor them in place.
How teeth move
Getting the teeth to move in the jawbone can be done at any age, so even if you are 99 and have a yen for straighter teeth, we can help you. Shifting the teeth requires sustained pressure. They won’t even start to move in the jawbone until that pressure has been going for 72 hours (three days). Then the bone cells kick into action to relieve the pressure, and they dissolve bone cells on the side of the tooth that is being pushed against and build it up on the side that it is being pushed away from. If the pressure stops for a few hours, so does the bone rebuilding and dissolution process and then you have to start all over again with the 72-hour beginning period.
This is why for a lot of people, wearing bracket and wire braces makes a lot of sense. The wires create a pulling pressure and this is kept up 24 hours a day, so the process does not stop. The wires are adjusted every few weeks by your dentist to keep up the pressure too.
After braces, the retainer
Once your teeth reach alignment, they need to go through a settling in period of several months. You will need to wear a retainer, either bonded to the back of your teeth, or a removable one overnight, to keep them in alignment.
People have this idea that getting their teeth straightened is a long process that takes a good couple of years, if not more. This is true for those who have very complex alignment issues that may involve realigning the jaws so that they meet together properly as well as realigning their teeth. However, for the majority of our patients here at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, treatment times are much shorter.
If you would like to have straighter teeth but are put off by the idea of having to wear braces for ages and ages, it is worth coming in for a consultation. You may be happily surprised to find out that you could have straighter teeth in 6 months. In Glasgow, we have been straightening teeth for many years and have brought together an excellent range of devices to cover all alignment issues and also offer some real lifestyle pluses.
As well as being able to give some of our patients’ straighter teeth in six months in Glasgow, we also know that for many of you, comfort, discretion and being able to eat what you like are also key.
What takes the time
Teeth are moved by having a constant pressure exerted on them in a particular direction. In order to relieve the pressure, the bone breaks down in front of this direction and builds up again behind the tooth. All braces and aligners work to exert gentle pressure to initiate and keep up this process. This is why you have to wear them constantly. Removable devices still have to be worn for at least 20 hours a day, otherwise the bone break-down and build-up process stops and has to start all over again, which takes three days.
The length of time it takes to move your teeth will very much depend on your alignment issues. If your teeth are mildly to moderately misaligned, we may well be able to move them in six months, but we will need to carry out a consultation to make sure. This type of treatment is most often possible when dealing with the front six to eight teeth.
Losing for a possession you think you have lost is a frustrating feeling, especially when you tell yourself that it cannot be found. You can trace your steps, wondering if you left it behind at café or the supermarket. Unfortunately, with a missing tooth, it leaves a gap in your smile that is not as easy to replace as a pair of specs of a set of keys.
At The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, we can help you forget about the teeth you once lost. By giving you natural-looking replacements for one tooth or many. You don’t have to any longer mourn the missing tooth that stole away your smile and self-confidence. If you are looking to fill in the gaps left behind, then why not consider dental implants in Glasgow?
Happy and healthy replacements
If you have a missing tooth, it can have a negative impact on both your self-esteem and your oral health. It is not uncommon for missing teeth to affect your face, giving your cheeks a sunken appearance if the bone structure is not retained. It may be that you are limited to soft foods and you are no longer able to eat the food you love.
By receiving dental implants to replace your missing teeth, you can smile with true confidence, eat what you like and reduce the risk of future complications like tooth decay and gum disease. In other words, dental implants give you a smile to last you many years, so long as you look after them the way you would your natural teeth.
To give you an idea of how the treatment works, dental implants are small titanium screws which are fitted into the jaw where the tooth is missing. Over time, the screw will heal and integrate with the jawbone and act as the root. From there, the artificial root can secure a number of new teeth. These replacements are made especially for your mouth, designed to match the exact colour of your remaining teeth.
Although the treatment causes some temporary discomfort, it is certainly worth it to know that you will be equipped with a full and healthy smile to last you a long, long time.
Losing a tooth can do some damage to your confidence, let alone losing several of them. While it may seem simple to leave the gaps as they are, this will only give you more issues to deal with in the future. The gaps left behind will affect the remaining teeth as they try to fill in the gaps, shifting naturally at an angle over time. It is important to look after yourself and the teeth that are left behind, and by considering dental implants in Glasgow, you are also seeking the smile that was taken away by your missing teeth.
Your smile is like a puzzle, it is only complete once it holds all of the pieces. At The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, we want to help you find those pieces by filling in those frustrating gaps to your smiley picture.
Getting to know you
If you are considering dental implants, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible with your chosen treatment. Before the treatment can begin, we ask that you arrange a consultation. That way, your dentist can examine your mouth and review your medial history. Before or after your mouth has been examined, you can ask us any questions or voice any concerns you might have so that we can put your mind at rest. If you are feeling particularly nervous, you can discuss your preferences for sedation. This pre-treatment consultation is for you to feel at ease, and for your dentist to form a care plan suited to you.
Secure and reliable replacements
Understanding the treatment can often alleviate the fear of receiving dental implants. This treatment can fill the gaps of a single tooth or several teeth. Your dentist will fix a small titanium screw into the jawbone, acting as a replacement root for the tooth lost. Once this screw has integrated with the jawbone, it is then ready to secure a single replacement tooth or as many as you need. These are natural-looking replacements, customised to match your remaining teeth in both appearance and feeling.
Now the fear of the unknown is no more and you are already on your way to a beautiful and confident smile!