Posts for tag: dental implants
A fair number of people with total tooth loss have arrived at this point after a long history of dental issues. It's quite likely they've had a series of bridges or partial dentures over the years to accommodate lost teeth at various times before moving to full dentures.
For many, it often seems easier to extract any remaining teeth at some point and simply move on to a total restoration. It's often better for oral health, however, to preserve any remaining teeth for as long as possible and update restorations as needed. Dental implants could make this type of staged restoration strategy much easier to manage.
Implants are tiny metal posts surgically imbedded in a patient's jawbone. Over time, bone cells grow and adhere to the implant's titanium surface, creating a strong and durable hold. Its most familiar application is as a replacement for an individual tooth.
But because of their strength and durability, this advanced dental technology is also used to support other restorations like bridges and partial or full dentures by way of a few strategically placed implants. And it's in that role that they can be useful in planning and implementing future restoration upgrades when needed.
Under this strategy, we add implants to supplement pre-existing implants from earlier restorations to support the updated dental work. For example, we might have previously placed an implant supporting a single tooth or a small bridge. When the need later arises for a partial denture, we can add additional implants to be used with the earlier one to support the new denture.
If the earlier implants have been well-placed, we need only to add enough implants necessary to support a full denture when the time comes. How many will depend on the particular type of denture: A removable lower denture may only require one additional implant with one already in place. A fixed upper or lower denture will require enough to bring the number to between four and eight.
Taking this long-term approach can be more cost-effective in the long-run. More importantly, it can make for a smoother path for the patient and help preserve remaining teeth for as long as possible.
If you would like more information on restoration options for lost teeth, 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 “Replacing All Teeth but Not All at Once.”
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.”
Have you thought your smile is beyond repair and that you're stuck with gaps and ill-fitting partials forever? Think again. At Southern Oaks Family Dentistry in Easley, SC, your dental implant dentist is Dr. David Phelps. He restores smiles with these predictable and long-lasting artificial teeth. Read on to learn how dental implants can give you a beautiful new smile.
The basic dental implant
It's a titanium metal screw, abutment post, and porcelain crown. Inserted into the jaw, the implant and bone adhere to each other through a gradual process dentists call osseointegration. No other tooth replacement offers this secure bonding process nor the realistic chewing, biting, and smile appearance that it creates.
Osseointegration takes time, but once finished, your Easley dentist can bond the post and crown in place. Then, each time you use your new tooth, it exercises the jaw bone, countering the extensive bone loss common to dental extraction.
Other benefits of dental implants
Besides osseointegration and improving jaw bone structure, your dental implant:
- Feels real, acts real, and looks real
- Keeps adjoining teeth securely in place
- Allows you to eat whatever you like
- Retains your natural facial contours (no loss of volume, no skin sagging or wrinkling)
- Improves your speech clarity
- Never decays
- Should last for the rest of your life if you brush, floss and see your dentist semi-annually for a cleaning and check-up
The dental implant surgery is uncomplicated, needing only locally-injected anesthetic and sufficient healing time.
Qualifying is easy
Dr. Phelps examines his possible dental implant patient and X-rays the jaw to determine oral health and bone structure. For an implant to take hold, there must be enough bone to anchor it.
Also, you should have good oral hygiene habits and if possible, be a non-smoker. Cigarettes degrade implant sites—both soft and hard tissues. In fact, Dear Doctor reports implant failure rates double in smokers. So, if you're considering dental implants, also consider a tobacco cessation program with your primary care physician.
Care is easy, too
Besides your daily hygiene routine at home and your semi-annual visits to Southern Oaks Family Dentistry, be sure to:
- Wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth because bruxism wears implant sites
- Avoid hard foods and biting your fingernails
- Drink water to stay hydrated
- Consume a healthy, tooth-loving diet
Contact our office
We'll be happy to arrange a personalized dental implant consultation with your dentist, Dr. David Phelps. Phone Southern Oaks Family Dentistry at (864) 850-9100.
If you're missing teeth, you can replace them – and you can get permanent, perfect teeth to complete your smile. Dental implants are a popular option for many individuals to restore confidence to speak, eat and enjoy life with a healthy smile. Dental implants act as a replacement for the roots of missing teeth. Led by Dr. David Phelps, Southern Oaks Family Dentistry in Easley, SC offers full-service, state-of-the-art dental care to their patients. Keep reading to learn more about dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple missing teeth. Dental implants are posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone, where they function as sturdy anchors for artificial teeth. They are made of titanium and other materials that are easily accepted by the human body. After the jawbone has bonded to the dental implants, artificial teeth are secured to the top of the implants.
Why choose dental implants?
Dental implant restoration is one of the best ways to achieve a natural-looking, beautiful smile once again. The replacement teeth are indistinguishable from your original teeth. Implants can be a better alternative to dentures. Dental implants also help to stabilize your jawbone and prevent bone loss. Moreover, implants behave like real teeth, allowing you to speak, eat, and live life as normally as possible.
How do I care for dental implants?
You must practice good oral hygiene before, during, and after placement of implants to keep them in tip-top shape. Dental implants are like your original teeth and will require great at-home oral care and visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings. In order to keep your dental implants plaque-free, brushing and flossing your teeth still apply. Well-placed and cared for implants have the potential to last for decades.
Start living your best life today. Call Southern Oaks Family Dentistry at 864-850-9100 today to schedule an implant consultation in Easley, SC and get the smile you deserve. Dental implants can have a huge impact on the quality of your life.
You’ve invested quite a bit in your new dental implants. And it truly is an investment: because of implants’ potential longevity, their long-term costs could actually be lower than other restorations whose upfront costs might be less.
But to better ensure their longevity, you’ll need to keep your implants and the natural tissues supporting them clean of bacterial plaque, a sticky biofilm that can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Although the implant itself is unaffected by disease, the natural tissues around it can be. An infection could ultimately weaken the bone supporting the implant and lead to its failure.
Such an infection involving implants could advance rapidly because they don’t have the natural defenses of the original teeth. Our natural teeth are connected to the jaw through the periodontal ligament, a collagen network that attaches to both the teeth and the bone through tiny tissue fibers. This connection also provides access to antibodies produced by the body to fight infection.
By contrast, we place implants directly into the jawbone. While this creates a very secure attachment, the implant won’t have the same connection as teeth with the body’s immune system. That means any infection that develops in surrounding tissues can spread much more rapidly—and so must be dealt with promptly.
Treating this particular form of gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) is similar to infections with natural teeth and gums, with one important difference involving the tools we use to remove plaque from them. While natural teeth can handle metal scalers and curettes, these can create microscopic scratches in the porcelain and metal surfaces of an implant and create havens for further bacterial growth. Instead, we use instruments made of plastic or resin that won’t scratch, as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose.
To avoid an infection, it’s important that you brush your implants and surrounding tissues just like you would your natural teeth (be sure you use a soft-bristled brush). And keep up regular dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any developing gum infection. Maintaining your dentures will help ensure they continue to brighten your smile for a long time.
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 “Dental Implant Maintenance: Implant Teeth Must be Cleaned Differently.”