Dentists can now provide beautiful smiles and confident oral function for millions of patients who have lost their natural teeth.
Every general practitioner can offer edentulous patients a permanent solution, in partnership with a local implant clinic backed by Dentsply Implants.
Around three million adults in the UK have no teeth remaining.
Despite decades of improvements in oral health, some patients end up with only a few teeth left that are no longer viable. Many edentulous patients wear loose dentures which rest on the gums and need to be regularly relined or replaced.
They find the plate uncomfortable or have a gagging reflex. Often denture wearers struggle to talk or laugh with confidence and to eat the food they want.
Denture adhesive does not provide a durable solution.
Dentsply Implants has a wide choice of implant-supported restorations for treating edentulous patients and full arch clearances. The company’s proven dental implant systems are backed by decades of clinical studies and practice worldwide.
Treatment options include same-day teeth or delayed loading with fixed and removable prostheses.
Patients can be offered implant-supported full arch bridges and overdentures, or implant stabilisation of an existing denture.
Patients arrive at the implant clinic in the morning and leave in the afternoon wearing an implant-supported overdenture or full arch bridge. The provisional prosthesis is manufactured by the laboratory on the same day, and the patient’s general dentist can provide the final restoration.
Patients who are unsuitable for immediate loading are provided with a temporary conventional denture, while the implants integrate with the mandibular/maxiliary bone. The final prosthesis is then attached, once the implants have integrated.
Fixed or removable
Patients can be provided with an implant-supported full arch bridge or overdenture that is permanently fixed or removable for cleaning. A cheaper alternative is two dental implants to simply stabilise a conventional denture, which continues to be supported by the patient’s gums.
Computer-guided surgery ensures predictable results for dependable success of implant treatment with the maximum of convenience. Usable with any implant system, ExpertEase software enables the precise planning of the implant positions, taking into account all anatomical structures. It gives a complete picture of the patient’s anatomy with its axial, cross-sectional, panoramic and 3D views of CT/DVT data.
The new SmartFix concept for ANKYLOS implants helps practitioners to provide screw-retained prostheses for their patients. This procedure avoids critical anatomical structures and provides a stable prosthetic fit using tilted implants. Dr Andrew Moore explains: 'SmartFix enables me to provide cost effective fixed teeth in a day for my patients using the ANKYLOS implant system. The need for sinus augmentation can be avoided by placing the distal implant at an angle.'
For cases requiring individually fabricated suprastructures, ATLANTISTM ISUS has the solution for all major implant systems. The new technology from DENTSPLY Implants provides patient-specific, implant-supported CAD/CAM bars for partial or complete, fixed or removable prostheses.
According to Steve Campbell, managing director at Ambridge Ceramics: 'ATLANTIS ISUS is a genuine win-win. It offers time savings for the laboratory, a superior result for the implant dentist, and restorations with no compromises for the patient.'
The ANKYLOSÒ SynConeÒ system provides the security of a fixed implant-supported bridge which is removable for cleaning.
Dr Tim Eldridge, of myFACE in Cheltenham, describes the benefits: 'Patients like the confidence they gain from having a rigid bridge but with a lot less in the mouth. It is much cheaper than a fixed bridge, not as fiddly for the clinician and more convenient for the patient. The teeth are completely implant-supported, so there are no forces or pressure on the gums.'
General practitioner implant case restoration
In the 21st century, practitioners should consider offering dental implants as an option as soon as a patient loses their natural teeth. Advocating implants as a last resort, only after all other options have been exhausted, can be more expensive for the patient and clinically more challenging.
Learning to restore implants is easier than ever with the DENTSPLY Implants ‘R£LAX’ programme, which provides free training at events around the UK. Attendees qualify for three hours CPD and a free mini prosthetics kit to complete their first restored case, plus ongoing local support from their implant surgical partner and DENTSPLY Implants. The full calendar of ‘R£LAX’ events and a directory of implant surgery partners are available at www.dentists4implants.com.
Having a local implant dentist as a mentor provides referring practitioners with the confidence to undertake the restoration themselves and the opportunity to learn more about the process.
Dr Mike Barnard in Glasgow says how working with implant dentist Dr Allan Pirie is good for his practice: 'My patients are comfortable that the referring dentist is hands on with the restorative stage. I am delighted to have the back-up of advice and mentoring from an experienced practitioner.'
The latest training initiative from Dentsply Implants is ‘Building Bridges’, complimentary evening seminars to demonstrate the latest advances in CAD/CAM technology. The programme covers titanium and chrome bars, overdenture bars, hybrid designs and custom abutments, diagnostics and final restoration.
For practitioners who want to expand their clinical skills to treat edentulous patients using dental implants, there are plenty of courses listed on www.courses4implants.com. Dentsply Implants also provides marketing materials, practical support and advice to help practitioners grow their implant business and treat more cases.
* Based on data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre Dental Health Survey of 2009, which indicated that 6% of the adult population of England, Wales and Northern Ireland was edentulous.