Posts for tag: dental implants
Upgrades can be exciting—moving on to a larger house, the latest smartphone, or maybe a new car. And, the same can apply with tooth replacements: Maybe you're ready now to upgrade your existing restoration to a dental implant, the most advanced tooth replacement method now available.
But you might encounter a speed bump in your plans: whether or not you have enough bone available for an implant. Here's why your bone may not be adequate.
Like any other cellular tissue, bone has a life cycle: older cells die and newer cells form to take their place. This process stays on track because of the forces generated when we chew, which stimulates new growth.
But that stimulus disappears when a tooth goes missing. This slows the bone growth cycle to the point that bone volume can gradually dwindle. You could in fact lose up to a quarter of bone width in just the first year after losing a tooth.
And, you'll need adequate bone to provide your implants with sufficient strength and stability, as well as the best possible appearance alongside your other teeth. If you don't have enough bone, we must either enhance its current volume or opt for a different restoration.
Fortunately, we may be able to do the former through bone augmentation or grafting. With this method, we place a graft of bone tissue in the area we wish to regenerate. The graft becomes a scaffold upon which new bone cells build upon. It's possible for grafting to produce up to 5 mm in additional width and 3 mm in height to supporting bone.
We can also use this method to prevent bone loss by placing a graft immediately following a tooth extraction. Some studies show the graft can help preserve bone up to 10 years, giving patients time to consider or prepare for a dental implant.
There are circumstances, though, where bone loss has been too extensive to make up enough ground to place an implant. If so, there are other effective and life-like restorations to replace missing teeth. But there's still a good chance augmentation can restore the bone you need for a new smile with dental implants.
If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants After Previous Tooth Loss.”
Dental implants have revolutionized restorative dentistry. Not only are they the top choice for individual tooth replacement, implants also improve upon traditional dental work.
Dental bridges are a case in point. A few well-placed implants can support a fixed bridge instead of natural teeth, as with a traditional bridge. Furthermore, a fixed, implant-supported bridge can replace all the teeth on a jaw.
But although convenient, we can't simply install an implant-supported bridge and forget about it. We must also protect it from what might seem at first an unlikely threat—periodontal (gum) disease.
Although the bridge materials themselves are impervious to infection, the natural tissues that underly the implants—the gums and bone—are not. An infection plaguing the gums around an implant can eventually reach the bone, weakening it to the point that it can no longer support the imbedded implants. As the implants fail, so does the bridge.
To guard against this, patients must regularly remove any buildup of plaque, a thin biofilm that feeds disease-causing bacteria, adhering to the implant surfaces in the space between the bridge and the gums. To do this, you'll need to floss—but not in the traditional way. You'll need some form of tool to accomplish the job.
One such tool is a floss threader. Similar to a large needle, the threader has an eye opening at one end through which you insert a section of floss. You then gently pass the threader between the bridge and the gums toward the tongue.
Once through, you release the floss from the threader, and holding each end, you work the floss along the implant surfaces within reach. You then repeat the threading process for other sections until you've flossed around all the implants.
You might also use a water flosser, a device that directs a spray of water between the bridge and gums. The pressure from the spray loosens and flushes away any plaque around the implants.
Whatever the method, it's important to use it every day to reduce the threat of gum disease. You should also see your dentist regularly for further cleanings and checkups. Keeping your implants clean helps ensure gum disease won't ruin your fixed bridge—or your attractive smile.
If you would like more information on keeping your dental work clean, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”
Losing teeth can make it more difficult to eat, not to mention the effect it can have on your smile. But that could be just the beginning of your problems. Missing teeth can contribute to extensive bone loss within your jaws and face. Here's why.
Bone is like any other living tissue—cells develop, function and eventually die, and new cells take their place. Forces generated during chewing stimulate this new growth, helping the jawbone maintain its normal volume and density.
But you lose this stimulus when you lose teeth. This can cause a slowdown in bone cell regrowth that can eventually diminish bone volume. And it can happen relatively quickly: you could lose a quarter or more of jawbone width around a missing tooth within a year.
As this loss continues, especially in cases of multiple missing teeth, the bone can eventually erode to its base level. This loss of dental function can make chewing more difficult, place more pressure on the remaining teeth and adversely affect facial appearance. It could also prevent an implant restoration to replace missing teeth.
Dentures and other forms of dental restoration can replace missing teeth, but not the chewing stimulus. Dentures in particular will accelerate bone loss, because they can irritate the bony gum ridges they rest upon.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can slow or even stop bone loss. Implants consist of a metal post, typically made of titanium, imbedded into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth with a life-like crown attached. Titanium also has a strong affinity with bone so that bone cells naturally grow and adhere to the implant's surface. This can produce enough growth to slow, stop or even reverse bone loss.
This effect may also work when implants are combined with other restorations, including dentures. These enhanced dentures no longer rest on the gums, but connect to implants. This adds support and takes the pressure off of the bony ridge, as well as contributes to better bone health.
If you've lost a tooth, it's important to either replace it promptly or have a bone graft installed to help forestall any bone loss in the interim. And when it's time to replace those missing teeth, dental implants could provide you not only a life-like solution, but a way to protect your bone health.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”
Are you considering tooth replacement? Then, ask Dr. James Murphy at Proven Dental in Waukesha, WI, about dental implants, the finest prosthetic option available. Whether you have lost one, two, or a complete arch of teeth, dental implants really can help. Our experienced team will give you all the details about this amazing smile restoration service.
What do dental implants look like?
Made from biocompatible titanium metal, the dental implant itself is screw-like or fashioned like a cylinder. Sized like a natural tooth root, the implant resides in the alveolar ridge of the jaw and adheres to it through osseointegration (fusing to the bone). After surgical insertion of a dental implant, osseointegration stabilizes it over the next several months. Then, your dentist can add a metal alloy extension and porcelain crown. If you need more sizeable tooth replacement, you may receive multiple implants to anchor a bridge or even a complete denture.
The benefits of dental implants
Dental implants truly resemble real teeth. Patients testify to it, saying their implants allow them to eat and speak normally. In fact, they actually forget they have implants.
Plus, dental implants stop the harmful effects of tooth loss, including:
- Bone and gum recession
- Facial aging due to bone loss
- Inefficient biting and chewing
- Poor digestion
- Shifting of remaining natural teeth, both to the sides of the smile gap and above or below it
Dental implants exercise your supporting bone and gums, avoiding the problems associated with tooth loss. Finally, placing dental implants is a simple, comfortable procedure. You will heal quickly from it, too.
Caring for dental implants
Dental implants are no more difficult to care for than your real teeth. Brush two times every day, and use floss once daily as your dental hygienist directs. Refrain from hard menu options such as nuts and taffy which can place excessive strain on your new teeth.
Wear a nightguard if Dr. Murphy recommends one. These comfortable appliances cushion the impact of teeth clenching and grinding. Known as bruxism, this habit can cause jaw pain and loosen dental implants.
Finally, see your dentist at his Waukesha, WI, office for a cleaning and exam semi-annually. Or call any time you have a question about your implants and general oral health.
Contact Proven Dental
Dr. Murphy and his team are experts in dental implant placement and after-care. You can have a fully restored and attractive smile. Phone us in Waukesha, WI, to schedule an appointment at (262) 650-3000 today.
Dental implants offer a long-term tooth replacement for adults dealing with tooth loss.
Are you an adult who is missing one or more teeth? If so, then chances are good that you could be a candidate for dental implants. Our Waukesha, WI, dentist Dr. James Murphy has helped countless patients restore their smiles after tooth loss with the next best thing to real teeth.
Now that we know that you are dealing with tooth loss here are some questions to consider,
- Do I want a restoration that could last me the rest of my life?
- Am I comfortable undergoing minor surgery to get a dental implant?
- Do I want to replace current bridges or dentures with something more long-term?
- Do I want to be able to eat whatever I want without worrying about my teeth?
If you said “yes” then dental implants may be the right option for you. After all, here are some of the benefits that you’ll enjoy when you get dental implants here in Waukesha, WI,
- A long-term tooth that could last decades
- A false tooth that mimics the function, feel and appearance of a real tooth
- A restoration that prevents bone loss, and supports a healthy jawbone and the muscles of the face
- Gaps between teeth are filled to prevent natural teeth from shifting into these gaps
- Eat what you want and speak confidently without worrying about teeth moving or shifting around
Most healthy adults are ideal candidates for dental implants; however, our Waukesha, WI, family dentist will need to examine your mouth and take X-rays to make sure that the jawbone is strong enough to support the implant. Even if there is significant bone loss this doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t a good candidate for implants, we may just need to perform bone grafting prior to placing the implants.
Factors that will determine your candidacy for dental implants include,
- Your oral and general health
- Your lifestyle
- Your habits
- Your oral hygiene
- Your age
Are you ready to sit down with your dentist here in Waukesha, WI, to find out whether dental implants are right for you? The sooner you treat your tooth loss the better for the long-term health of your smile. To schedule a consultation, contact Proven Dental at (262) 650-3000.