Having missing teeth can be a major source of embarrassment. It makes many people coy about their smile, prone to hiding it away. Losing teeth can also cause problems with eating, with many of your favorite foods suddenly off the menu, particularly healthy foods including fruit, nuts and seeds, which can have negative effects on your general health. You may even find that losing your teeth affects how you speak, a further dent to your confidence.
There are lots of reasons we see patients who have lost a few, several or all of their teeth, and we treat all of our patients in a respectful, non-judgemental way. Obviously if there’s an underlying dental health problem such as gum disease, we’ll make sure we treat that first before offering you tooth replacement solutions.
Dentures are one of the most common replacements for missing teeth, and the materials, technology and techniques involved in fitting them are continuously advancing. For a few missing teeth, you will need a partial denture, while if all your teeth are missing in one or both jaws, you will need a full denture.
Modern dentures are made from materials that look very similar to natural teeth and gums. They are designed to fit snuggly against your gums and are easily removable for cleaning.
Over time, unsecured dentures are prone to become loose as the gums recede. One solution to this is to have implant-retained dentures (also known as denture stabilisation). For this, you’ll need to have dental implants (artificial tooth roots made from titanium) placed in your jaw with a minor surgical procedure. This can usually be done under local anaesthetic, although we can also use conscious sedation if you’re nervous.
After a healing period, your dentures can be attached to the implants using a variety of special attachments, meaning they can still be removed for cleaning, but won’t slip out at an inappropriate moment.