How old, dodgy dentures have given way to beautiful, permanent replacement teeth
Truly transformational: the full arch titanium/acrylic fixed implant bridge:
Times (they are) a changing. I’m actually not listening to Bob Dylan as I write this, but times are definitely changing in the world of UK dentistry, and where dentures are concerned, the change is accelerating.
20 years ago if you had lost all your teeth, false teeth or ‘falsies’ were your only option. Cheap and cheerful, available free on the NHS…and utterly hopeless as a functioning pair of teeth. Some of them looked ok and even stayed in when you were talking, sometimes!
20 years ago dental implants were in their infancy, only a few brave dentists with hugely rich patients ventured into such unchartered territory..
Fast forward 10 years and things had changed dramatically:
10 years ago if you had lost all your teeth (or a complete top or bottom set) then it was possible to find a few dentists with the ability to replace a whole set of top or bottom teeth – but the costs, although vaguely affordable for those with serious property equity, were still somewhat eye-watering. A full set of porcelain teeth needed 10 implants to support them and each tooth was lovingly crafted – the dental technician would spend days or even weeks making them.
Some dentists realised that there must be ‘another way’ and started to use fewer implants to fix dentures in place: the implant-denture was born. The beauty of the implant denture is that instead of needing 10 implants to hold a complex custom made porcelain bridge in place, with the extra support that the implant denture gained from resting on the gums, the implant dentists could use fewer implants to hold these teeth in place:
Result! Dentures that stay put and can be used for eating most food without any fear of them falling out when discussing the latest episode of the Simpsons [Grandpa should have implant-retained dentures by now surely? -ed]
The only problem with implant retained dentures is that in patients’ eyes they are still dentures! They need to be removed for cleaning purposes every night….and no matter how well they stay in with their super-duper implant-connectors, they still have the ‘false teeth’ label.
Enter the new era of ‘full arch’ implant dentistry [full arch: aka a top set, bottom set or complete set of implant-teeth].
Combining the ease of construction of implant-dentures with the satisfaction of having a set of fixed teeth that really feel like your own, without resorting to using 10 implants at a time and without the days and weeks of painstaking construction time at the dental lab…..it has become possible to completely replace a top set, bottom set or both for a rather less eyewatering fee than those huge ceramic bridges….
This has been made possible by using digital scanning/CNC technology to produce titanium ‘backbones’ with micro-tolerances that are screwed into place on as little as 4 implants for a full set.
Top quality acrylic teeth are then firmly attached to the titanium backbone and the full arch titanium/acrylic fixed implant bridge is complete.
How do they look? The photographs speak for themselves.