"I felt such a sense of relief knowing I could smile again with confidence"
Franco is a self-employed builder. He enjoys eating out at pubs and restaurants and frequently treats himself and his wife to spa days. For several years he had suffered from decay, resulting in tooth loss particularly in the bottom right-hand side of his mouth. His front teeth were also very worn down and as a result, he was gradually losing the ability to chew.
Because his bite was collapsing Franco had to be careful what he ate. The loss of function was making it difficult to eat many of his favourite dishes, including steak. The worst thing was having to wear an upper partial denture, which he did not like but felt he had to put on to avoid anyone seeing him with gaps. The situation got very depressing, until Dr James Main was able to offer Franco some hope that his smile could be transformed within his budget.
After an initial consultation, Franco agreed to go through with a clinical assessment. Upon examination, James found that Franco had several missing or failing teeth in the back of his mouth. Many of his teeth had been heavily restored with amalgam fillings. There were areas of advanced decay and severe tooth wear in the upper and lower front dentition.
Dental implants to replace missing and failing natural teeth
It was at this point that James first began to talk to Franco about the possibility of dental implants to replace his missing and failing teeth. James explains, “Franco had been missing his upper lateral incisors since he was 14 and had conditioned himself not to smile, or to give a very tight-lipped smile. We discussed replacing the amalgams and restoring the back teeth with a natural-looking filling material. I also gave Franco the option of bridges and another denture, but he wished to have fixed teeth rather than a removable appliance.”
The agreed treatment plan included replacement of the upper side incisor teeth with crowns, which would be secured with tiny titanium anchors acting as tooth roots. The patient’s bite would be adjusted to the correct height by building up the teeth so that his chewing function would be restored. James continues, “The chosen course of treatment would repair the unsightly wear, especially in the front teeth, and stabilise the bite - all within Franco’s budget.”
Over the following months, Franco underwent a course of treatment that involved the placement of dental implants to fill old gaps or where the existing teeth were unsalvageable. His worn teeth were built up and finally, implant crowns were fitted on the small molars, and implant-retained crowns placed on the upper side incisors.
Franco no longer has to wear a denture. Having implants to provide a solid foundation for the crowns meant that invasive treatment to any healthy adjacent teeth was avoided. He was ‘over the moon’ with his new smile, commenting “I felt elated when I saw my teeth after the treatment was completed. Knowing that I could finally smile with confidence and my bite was improved gave me such a sense of relief.”