Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm
  01458 253888

What is a dental implant?

An artificial root made of Titanium/ Titanium Zirconium is placed in to the jaw bone, replacing the root of a missing tooth.  The implant acts as a base for fixing an individual crown or multi-tooth bridge.

Missing teeth can affect your bite as well as your ability to smile, speak and eat properly. Their loss can increase the load on your remaining teeth, affecting your appearance and confidence.

Implants can secure a denture and eliminate the discomfort often associated with ill fitting or loose dentures.

We can place just two implants in the lower jaw, or four implants in the upper jaw to anchor securely your denture.

Is it painful?

Implant placement procedure is undertaken routinely under local anaesthesia. This is a comfortable procedure that results in a small swelling and some discomfort that subsides shortly after surgery.

Will I be without teeth during treatment?

You will not be without teeth at any stage during your treatment. A partial, provisional denture or bridge can be fabricated for you whilst the implant integrates into the bone and the final restoration is fitted.

When will I have my teeth back?

For routine single tooth replacement, treatment time is usually 12 weeks. Complex cases can take longer due to additional procedures that might be necessary. You will be given accurate detailed explanations regarding your treatment plan and schedule of appointments.

Will my teeth look natural?

Using modern techniques and materials gives you an implant restoration that often hard is hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. This will improve appearance, comfort and function.

The new tooth will look and feel like your own tooth.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Your new dental implant crown/ bridge will look and feel like natural. You will have the confidence to smile and enjoy eating again.

By replacing lost teeth with an implant your natural adjacent teeth do not need to be altered in any way.  Dental implants stop your gums and bone from shrinking reducing the ageing effect caused by tooth loss.

Am I too old for dental implants?

There is no upper age limit for having dental implants. You will need sufficient and good quality bone and you providing that are in good general health you can have dental implants. If there is insufficient bone, we can add extra bone by grafting procedure.

Are dental implants successful?

Research from over three decades and over a million patients treated suggest that 95 to 98% of implant retained dentures and bridges remain in function for at least 5 years. With careful maintenance they can be a life long solution.

How much do they cost?

Fees depend on factors such as the number of teeth to be replaced and the number of implants needed to support them. Detailed written treatment plan and fees will be provided.

Do I need to do anything after my implant restoration is fitted?

We recommend that you see us once a year to check that your implant restoration is healthy and trouble free. You must attend regular dental examinations with your own dentist and hygienist. Advice on care and maintenance and a Discharge from care letter is provided at treatment completion.

How should I take care of my immediate dentures?

Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the extraction of natural teeth, and adjusted for normal use after the initial shrinkage of the gums. Some patients believe they can wear these dentures without any further adjustment after they are first fitted. However, irreparable damage can be caused if you do not return for a relining to restore a correct, comfortable fit after the initial shrinkage of the gums.

How long will it take me to get used to my new dentures?

You should expect it to take some time to adjust to your new dentures and return to a normal way of talking, eating and drinking. Immediately after your new dentures are fitted, your mouth will feel different as it gets used to the new shapes of your lips, cheeks and tongue. Your speech may be temporarily altered and eating with your new dentures may be difficult. While your new dentures might seem awkward at first, you will soon become accustomed to them.

Any involuntary action, such as coughing, yawning and sneezing, may displace your dentures. A good precaution in this case is to cover your mouth with your hand or handkerchief. If you experience motion sickness, nausea or vomiting, remove your dentures at once and keep them in a safe place until you recover. (It is always advisable to keep a spare set with you when travelling, in case of emergencies.)

If you have neglected your old dentures and worn them for many years without maintenance, they will have changed shape due to excessive wear and tear. Your mouth and jaw will also have altered in order to adjust to your old dentures. This will make getting used to your new dentures much harder, and could take many months of patient re-learning. (Any adjustment necessary to correct for soreness will be provided but only you can make the adaptation required for the effective use of the dentures.)

As an elderly patient, do I need to do anything different to look after my dentures?

As you age, the tissues in your mouth can become very irritable and sore, and overly sensitive to the pressure of dentures. Healing also tends to be slower than in younger patients. It will take you longer to adapt to your new dentures and extra patience will be needed.

What else can I do to care for my dentures?

As with any delicate object, your denture needs to be handled with care. Just like natural teeth, dentures can chip and break if subjected to stress. A natural tooth can be broken or chipped when bumped on a hard object, and your denture is no different. Your denture should be safe whilst in your mouth, provided you avoid biting into hard or brittle foods.

What problems are associated with poor fitting dentures?

If too much shrinkage occurs in the gums supporting your dentures, the lower jaw can end up out of line with the upper jaw. This can lead to a number of problems. Your facial muscles can virtually collapse, making your face look old and wrinkled. A carefully designed denture can often improve your appearance, helping you look younger than before.

It is up to you to make sure your dentures are in the best condition possible, and fit comfortably and snugly. Regular check-ups with your dental professional will ensure everything is in good working order.

Other symptoms which may occur due to wearing an old or worn out denture include:

  • Impaired hearing
  • A dull pain in or around the ears
  • A clicking or snapping noise when chewing
  • Headaches
  • Cracked or continually sore corners of the mouth

Can I wear my dentures at night?

Generally, it is better to remove your dentures at night, to give the tissues in your mouth time to recover. If you find that your jaw or face muscles ache by over-closing your jaw without your dentures in, it may be better to leave them in. On the other hand, if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep, removing your dentures will reduce the breakdown of your gums. If in doubt, talk to your dental professional.

How should I take care of my partial dentures?

Partial dentures need as much attention as full dentures, and sometimes even more. The care and hygiene of partial dentures is very important to the wellbeing of your remaining teeth, as partial dentures can trap food which will decay your natural teeth. Always remove the denture after eating, and then brush both it and your own teeth to remove all traces of food particles before they have a chance to damage your natural teeth. If your partial denture is a bad fit, it can severely damage the gums supporting your natural teeth. A poor fit can cause bleeding, soreness and swelling of the gums and you should replace it with a better fitting denture as soon as possible.

When removing your partial denture from your mouth, never force it out by pulling on the delicate clasps, as you will risk ruining the shape of your denture or even breaking it.

What can I expect from my dentures?

If you have lost some or all of your teeth, then a partial or full denture will restore your natural appearance, helping you speak more clearly and chew your food more comfortably. Many people wrongly believe that their ability to eat hard foods like apples or “fiddly” foods like corn-on-the-cob will be unaffected when they become denture wearers. Unfortunately, fulfilling such expectations with dentures is difficult at best, and can be impossible when faced with an unfavourable mouth. After all, your natural teeth were anchored in bone, while your dentures are only sealed on top of your gums.

In order to prevent disappointment, it may help to understand a little more about dentures, and why creating successful dentures is recognised as one of the most difficult tasks in dentistry.

What is gum shrinkage?

When you lose your natural teeth, all that remains are the bony ridges which once held the roots of your teeth. Your dentures will rest on those ridges. Your mouth will change during your lifetime, perhaps only a little, perhaps a lot. Shrinkage of the ridges is known as resorbtion or atrophy (wasting of the bone). It is an inevitable process that begins with the loss of your teeth and continues throughout your life, and is often the main reason why people have difficulty in wearing dentures.

How do ridge shapes differ?

Because of the changes to your mouth, the ridges alter in shape, size and alignment to each other.

Some ridges are square or rounded in shape (through the cross section) with smooth regular surfaces. These are generally the most favourable shapes for dentures. Other shapes, such as flat or v-shaped, offer little or no denture support and are less favourable. Furthermore, sharp bony irregular surfaces or soft fleshy mouths offer poor support for dentures, and can cause denture wearers discomfort.

How does my palate shape affect my ability to wear dentures?

The shape of your palate also influences the fit and suction of your upper denture. A square or rounded section is more favourable than a small, flat or deep v-shaped palate.

Why do I have a problem with my lower denture?

Most complaints about dentures usually concern the lower denture. This is because the lower denture has to operate in a far more mobile environment. Complex muscle movements within the lower jaw, created by the cheeks, lips and tongue, will have a tendency to displace the denture. Your lower ridge is much smaller than your upper ridge, and does not have the benefit of a palate to help with balance and suction. Your lower ridge is also prone to excessive shrinkage, up to four times greater than the upper ridge. As your lower ridge reduces in size, the total denture support area diminishes, causing the lower denture to move about much more. This makes it easier for food to find its way under the denture.

With all lower dentures there is initially a tendency for the tongue and lower jaw muscles to displace the denture. Try to rest your tongue in the floor of your mouth so that the tip just touches the lower front teeth. This will help keep the lower denture in place, particularly when you open your mouth widely. If you practise this positioning with your new dentures, correct placement of the tongue will soon become automatic.

It is important to understand that muscles and muscle actions are important in every phase of denture use. Patients who wear dentures successfully and comfortably do so because they have learned to control them with their lips, cheeks and tongue. The development of this skill is essential for the effective use of dentures – especially if you lack good fit due to a poor ridge shape.

What are dentures made of?

Dentures teeth are made from porcelain or plastic, and are specially selected to conform to your facial characteristics in terms of size, shape and colour. A plastic or metal base usually holds together and supports these teeth on your gums. Better quality bases not only look more natural, they are also more hard wearing.

How long should my denture last?

Many people believe their dentures will last forever, but this is not the case. Generally a denture should be reviewed every four or five years and be adjusted or replaced if necessary.

Apart from being worn down by continually cleaning, a denture base will not significantly change shape. However, your supporting tissue is actually changing all the time. Even when your dentures feel quite comfortable, they should be inspected regularly to ensure no permanent damage is being done. If a growth is discovered, you should seek advice immediately. A growth may be quite harmless, and only require minor adjustment, but only a dental professional can evaluate and rectify the situation.

How should I look after my dentures?

When your dentures are first inserted they should fit perfectly your gums. But as the gums shrink, many people tend to use adhesives and self liners from the chemist. Without professional knowledge and experience, these DIY kits can result in more rapid breakdown on the gums and eventually lead to broken down, ruined mouths. There is no substitute for a well fitting denture, and you should have yours checked regularly to make sure you have no problems. If your dentures become loose, The Bow Denture Clinic can reline them, and it usually only takes a day.

How should I clean my dentures?

Keeping your dentures clean is important for the health of your mouth. It is a good idea to get into the routine of cleaning your dentures each day. Brushing with a soft brush and a non-abrasive denture cream after each meal plus a ten minute soak in one of the specialist denture products, which should be available at your local chemist, is all that is necessary.

The above treatment, carried out regularly, will:

Prevent denture breath
Eliminate the need for harsh damaging cleaners

Many dentures are broken while being cleaned, but it is very simple to prevent this. When cleaning, half fill the wash basin with water so that if your denture slips, the water will cushion the fall. Never hold the fragile lower denture in the palm of the hand as you could squeeze it and break it in half. Instead, hold your lower denture with two fingers and thumb.

NEVER clean your dentures by soaking them in bleach or boiling hot water. Do not use an abrasive toothpaste or a toothbrush which is too hard. This results in unnecessary wear and tear on the plastics and can eventually lead to a loose set of teeth. If your dentures do become heavily stained they can be professionally cleaned and repolished for a small charge.