Posts for tag: dental implants
Even in the 21st Century, losing most or all of your teeth is still an unfortunate possibility. Many in this circumstance turn to dentures, as their great-grandparents did, to restore their teeth. But today's dentures are much different from those of past generations—and dental implants are a big reason why.
The basic denture is made of a gum-colored, acrylic base with artificial teeth attached. The base is precisely made to fit snugly and comfortably on the patient's individual gum and jaw structure, as the bony ridges of the gums provide the overall support for the denture.
Implants improve on this through two possible approaches. A removable denture can be fitted with a metal frame that firmly connects with implants embedded in the jaw. Alternatively, a denture can be permanently attached to implants with screws. Each way has its pros and cons, but both have two decided advantages over traditional dentures.
First, because implants rather than the gums provide their main support, implant-denture hybrids are often more secure and comfortable than traditional dentures. As a result, patients may enjoy greater confidence while eating or speaking wearing an implant-based denture.
They may also improve bone health rather than diminish it like standard dentures. This is because the forces generated when chewing and eating travel from the teeth to the jawbone and stimulate new bone cell growth to replace older cells. We lose this stimulation when we lose teeth, leading to slower bone cell replacement and eventually less overall bone volume.
Traditional dentures not only don't restore this stimulation, they can also accelerate bone loss as they rub against the bony ridges of the gums. Implants, on the other hand, can help slow or stop bone loss. The titanium in the imbedded post attracts bone cells, which then grow and adhere to the implant surface. Over time, this can increase the amount of bone attachment and help stymie any further loss.
An implant-supported denture is more expensive than a standard denture, but far less than replacing each individual tooth with an implant. If you want the affordability of dentures with the added benefits of implants, this option may be worth your consideration.
If you would like more information on implant-supported 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”
Over 26 million Americans have diabetes, a systemic condition that interferes with maintaining safe levels of blood sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, diabetes can begin to interfere with other bodily processes, including wound healing—which could affect dental care, and dental implants in particular.
Diabetes affects how the body regulates glucose, a basic sugar derived from food digestion that's the primary source of energy for cell development and function. Our bodies, though, must maintain glucose levels within a certain range — too high or too low could have adverse effects on our health. The body does this with the help of a hormone called insulin that's produced as needed by the pancreas to constantly regulate blood glucose levels.
There are two types of diabetes that interfere with the function of insulin in different ways. With Type I diabetes the pancreas stops producing insulin, forcing the patient to obtain the hormone externally through daily injections or medication. With Type II diabetes, the most common form among diabetics, the body doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond adequately to the insulin that's present.
As mentioned, one of the consequences of diabetes is slow wound healing. This can have a profound effect on the body in general, but it can also potentially cause problems with dental implants. That's because implants once placed need time to integrate with the bone to achieve a strong hold. Slow wound healing caused by diabetes can slow this integration process between implant and bone, which can affect the entire implantation process.
The potential for those kinds of problems is greater if a patient's diabetes isn't under control. Patients who are effectively managing their diabetes with proper diet, exercise and medication have less trouble with wound healing, and so less chance of healing problems with implants.
All in all, though, it appears diabetics as a group have as much success with implants as the general population (above 95 percent). But it can be a smoother process if you're doing everything you can to keep your diabetes under control.
Have you been considering dental implant treatment? As the most reliable and longest-lasting tooth replacement option available today, it comes as no surprise that many patients have questions about whether this procedure is right for them. Read on to learn the answers, and call Myers Family Dental in Augusta, GA, to schedule a consultation with your dentists, Drs. Alan and Eliza Myers.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a tiny titanium post that is inserted into your jawbone, right below the gums. This piece becomes the "root" for an artificial tooth, which is affixed to the top of the implant. These implants are used as replacements for either a single missing tooth or multiple lost teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Unlike dentures, dental implants stay firmly in your mouth. They are not removed for sleeping or cleaning, and they don't need any adhesives. Dental implants are also inconspicuous, blending in with your natural teeth to give you a full, attractive set of teeth. Additionally, dental implants should last you for decades or a lifetime.
Dental implants are convenient because you care for them as you would natural teeth: simple brushing and flossing. With dental implants, you will also be able to reclaim your full chewing ability.
What is the procedure like?
Securing the implant to your jawbone requires a minor surgery, but don't worry—your dentist will fully apply anesthesia to the area, making you as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Following the surgery, a healing period ensues, during which the artificial tooth naturally fuses to the jawbone to create a permanent, stable bond. To help alleviate pain or soreness, your dentist may recommend an over the counter pain reliever. Eating soft foods can also reduce discomfort.
Interested? Contact us
Your Augusta dentist is happy to answer any other questions that you may have, including cost or insurance coverage. Schedule your consultation today by dialing (706) 738-7742.
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Dental implants have helped millions of people enjoy the benefits of a renewed smile. Replacing teeth singly or supporting fixed bridges or full/partial dentures, dental implants from Myers Family Dental in Augusta restore oral function and smile aesthetics with accuracy and realism. Drs. Alan and Eliza Myers will help you determine if these innovative artificial teeth would work for you.
What are dental implants?
The dental implant itself is screw-like or cylindrical. Made of biocompatible titanium, it resides in the jaw bone and fuses with it through something called osseointegration.
If you qualify, an oral surgeon will surgically place the implant into the alveolar ridge on your jaw bone. The area will then be allowed to heal for approximately three months. At this time an abutment and crown will be made and attached to the implant. Myers Family Dental features beautiful and resilient e.max and zirconia crowns.
Many people can readily receive dental implants if, through examination and X-ray imaging, their dentists determine they have sufficient bone in their jaws to receive the implants. Overall health should be good, too. The oral surgery and implant restoration (placing of the crown or other prosthetic) takes place entirely in-office with benefit of local anesthetic.
The benefits of dental implants
Dental implants help partially or fully edentulous patients in many ways. Dear Doctor says they help people avoid the many catastrophic side effects of tooth loss--namely, marred physical appearance, lowered self-esteem, weakening of teeth adjacent to smile gaps, bone loss and impaired biting, chewing and speech.
In addition, dental implants look and feel real. Patients report that they feel no difference between their natural teeth and their implant-supported teeth. They enjoy very natural biting and chewing, eating the foods they love without restriction. They brush and floss normally and visit their dentists for preventive examinations and cleanings every six months.
Some words of caution
Statistics from the Institute of Dental Implant Awareness indicate dental implant surgeries succeed more than 95 percent of the time, and the devices are retained for decades--even a lifetime. However, some factors can threaten implant success and long-term retention. They include:
- Insufficient bone to support implants (that's why Dr. Myers will examine you carefully and may recommend bone augmentation procedures as needed)
- Teeth grinding or clenching (a bite guard can help with this)
- Tobacco usage (smoking in particular degrades underlying gum tissue and bone)
- Poor oral hygiene (plaque and tartar cause peri-implantitis which is very like advanced gum disease)
Find out more
We're in a new and exciting era of modern dentistry, and dental implants play a large role in it, giving people their smiles--and their lives--back. For a personalized dental implant consultation with Dr. Alan Myers or Dr. Eliza Myers, please contact Myers Family Dental for an appointment in Augusta, GA, at (706) 738-7742.