DENTAL IMPLANT CASE STUDY

Implants have helped me to eat, bite and chew without hesitation

Dr Alan Carter

Making the decision to have dental implants is an important one. Patients often need time to think about the procedure, the cost, and some even try other options first. In this case study, a patient with a small partial denture delayed his decision to have dental implant treatment. The problems he encountered with denture use eventually helped persuade him to have implants. He is pleased with their durability and is doing well with his new teeth.

Over the last few decades, David has been a regular patient of Dr Alan Carter. Some years ago, he lost his lateral incisor and a small, two-unit bridge was fitted. The tooth supporting the bridge was his upper central incisor. Due to a very strong bite and the tendency for David to grind or clench his teeth, this tooth eventually fractured and was extracted. This left a large, visible gap.

David was given a temporary, small partial denture while his mouth healed. He was advised by Dr Carter that implants in this case were the best restorative option going forward.

Dr Carter explains, "David delayed the decision to accept the implant treatment plan, so the optimal period of time for implant placement after extraction was lost." David comments, "I agreed with Alan, but was not sure about the procedure. I had to think hard about that."

David disliked having to wear the denture. Although he had no problem smiling, he found that it affected his speech and his ability to pronounce the letter ‘S’. Food would also become trapped behind the denture plate. Dr Carter says, "Cost was also a consideration for David, as he is retired, but the prospect of years of partial denture misery can be a very powerful motivator."

After a few months, David decided to go ahead with dental implants. Dr Carter explains the treatment, "I determined that I was going to have to place two implants to carry the load of his opposing teeth. The reduced bone available, after months of shrinkage, was the main factor. But by so doing, we have now provided a final result which is going to be much stronger than the original bridgework it replaced."

                             

During the procedure David felt no discomfort. He states, "I had an odd feeling when the screw was inserted, but no pain." He adds, "I was comfortable with the procedure and it seemed very straightforward."

David has no regrets about having had the treatment. "Implants have helped me to eat, bite and chew without hesitation. Previously, the plate would have moved. I don’t think twice about eating anything and putting pressure on the implants."

Dr Carter explains, "David has had two linked teeth fitted to two implants, which are easy to clean from all positions. The forces are now evenly spread between the implants and they will feel just like his natural teeth."

David is pleased with the stability of his new teeth and comments, "It’s worth having implants. I have just turned 70 and feel that they will last a considerable amount of time – it’s my other teeth I worry about."