What is a Denture?WA denture is a replacement for missing teeth and can take the form of a crown, an inlay or a prothesis.
When are crowns, inlays or bridges used?
We use crowns and inlays to repair very damaged teeth. We use implants and bridges to replace missing teeth.
What is the procedure for fitting crowns, inlays and bridges?
After careful examination, the damaged tooth will be filed down. Then an impression of the filed tooth or teeth will be taken together with an impression of the corresponding teeth on the opposite side. The dental laboratory will then manufacture the crown, inlay or bridge using this impression, and the patient can attend the surgery just two weeks later to have the tooth/teeth replacement fitted.
Immediate Ceramic Crowns (CEREC)
Using this innovative procedure we can spare the patient the discomfort of having a traditional-style impression taken, because the filed tooth is scanned using a digital camera and the complete ceramic crown or inlay image is produced by the machine in our surgery within 12 minutes. This also means that the patient only needs to attend the surgery for one single session lasting about 90 minutes. There is no doubt that the full ceramic crown is more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional metal and porcelain veneer. As yet, we cannot produce entire bridges using this method, but we are confident that it will not be long before this procedure is also available.
What is the procedure for fitting a prosthesis?
To fit a prosthesis we first need to take impressions of the teeth so that the dental laboratory can manufacture the prosthesis. There are 2 different types of prosthesis, composed of either a synthetic substance or of metal in combination with a syntactic substance. Loose-fitting prostheses can also be repaired and fixed using implants.
What is an implant?
An implant is a screw implanted in the bone in order to enable a replacement tooth to be fixed.
When are implants used?
Implants are used when the root of the tooth has been removed and there is no tooth left, or when various teeth are missing. Implants are also used if it is not possible or desirable for a bridge to be fitted.
What is the procedure for fitting an implant?
First of all we have to establish if it is possible to fit an implant in the patient’s mouth. This depends on the quantity and the quality of the jaw bone as well as on the general health of the patient and other personal factors. It is possible to carry out the initial fitting of an implant using a local anaesthetic, followed by a healing phase during which the implant bonds with the bone. In the next phase of the procedure the implant is once again exposed and a cap is fitted over it, thus enabling the surrounding gum area to grow around the implant. The final phase involves the fitting of a crown, bridge or push-button removable prosthesis.
You mention various different stages; how long does it take for an implant to become fully embedded?
Using conventional dentistry, this would usually take 3 months in the lower jaw area and 6 months in the upper jaw area. However, with our latest technology, we are now able to reduce this time period by almost half; the healing process is considerably accelerated by the use of autologous blood during the procedure – this is a recent medical innovation whereby a patient’s blood is injected into the affected area to promote bone-structure growth, for example, when treating gum disease.
I understand that the healing process takes longer in the upper jaw than in the lower jaw. But how long does the complete procedure actually take?
Using the latest technology, the healing process in the lower jaw takes between 9-10 weeks and between 18-20 weeks in the maxillary jaw. This results in an enormous reduction in time for the patient.