Your Intro to Dental Implants

Your Intro to Dental Implants

info about dental implantsDental implants are the latest & greatest in dental technology that allows dentist to replace missing teeth permanently. You may know that implants can replace teeth & are used in complete smile reconstructions & makeovers. But you may also not be sure exactly what dental implants are, & how they work.

That’s why we’ve written this simple & quick intro to dental implants. If you want more detail about the implant procedure or want to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, please call us to schedule an implant consultation visit.

First, we want to familiarize you with how natural teeth work. Natural teeth consist of a crown, which is the visible part of tooth that’s outside the gums, & a root, which is under the gums & attached to the bone of your jaw. Your smaller front teeth tend to have one root each while the larger teeth toward the back of your mouth (molars & bicuspids) tend to have more than one. The root of your teeth contain the nerve & the pulp, which nourish the inside of a healthy tooth. When this pulp becomes damaged or infected, that’s when the dentist tells you you need a root canal, a procedure which can save your tooth even when the pulp is compromised.

Traditional tooth replacement options such as bridges (partials) & dentures only structurally replaced the crown part of your missing tooth. Bridges or partials replace your tooth by attaching an artificial tooth to the healthy teeth nearby. Dentures replace an entire upper or lower arch of teeth & visually replace the gums too for a natural look. Neither of these options anchor replacement teeth in your jaw or gums, which means that people with these appliances have to avoid many foods & may experience slipping or discomfort when eating or speaking.

With the quickly-advancing technology of dental implants, we can finally offer a restorative dentistry option that replaces your missing teeth both visually & functionally.

Dental implants actually consist of two parts, just like your natural teeth. The implant itself acts as an artificial tooth root & is secured in the bone of your jaw just like a real root. Implants are made of a special kind of bio-safe titanium. Both this special metal & the screw-like shape of the implant’s lower portion are designed so that bone will grow around it, keeping it tightly in place.

The second part of the dental implant is the crown. This is an artificial tooth that is made of porcelain & is custom designed by a dental technician to match the color, size & shape of your natural teeth. It is attached to the metal implant using a permanent dental adhesive.

Once the procedure is complete & the patient has healed, they will have fully functional teeth that are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. The result is a return to eating any of the foods you want, speaking naturally, smiling confidently & being free of dental pain.

It’s true that dental implants cost more than most tooth replacement options such as bridges or dentures. If your biggest concern is cost, you may consider these other options. However, if you biggest concern is your longterm comfort, health & quality of life, implants are your best option.

The Facts of Gum Disease

The Facts of Gum Disease

Discussion of facts of gum diseaseEveryone knows about cavities & how they affect your teeth and your oral health, but you never hear very much about gum disease. What is gum disease? How can you protect your gums and teeth from gum disease? And what causes it anyway?

The Facts of Gum Disease

Gum disease (officially called periodontal disease) is the infection of the gums. It is caused by bacteria getting under your gum tissue & eroding your gums & teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to many health issues, including tooth loss, heart disease, stroke & diabetes.

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that manifests as inflammation. Your gums might be swollen & red, & they might bleed when you brush your teeth or floss. Gingivitis can be treated by maintaining your oral health with regular brushing, flossing & visits to your dentist.

Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that erodes the bone & tissues surrounding your teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can cause you to lose your teeth!

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up on your teeth, so the best thing you can do to combat it is to clean your teeth regularly!

Gum disease is caused by a variety of factors & has been linked to illnesses that affect your immune system. You are at a higher risk for gum disease if you have cancer, diabetes & HIV, because your immune system can’t fight the bacterial infections that might lead to periodontal disease as well.

Smokers, pregnant women & people with high stress levels are also at risk, & some medications that cause dry mouth can put you at risk as well.

How to Treat Gum Disease

In its early stages, gum disease can be managed & prevented by regular brushing & flossing. Visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning goes a long way toward keeping your gums & teeth healthy as well! If your dentist sees signs of gum disease during your dental exam, they can do deep cleanings called scaling & root planing to remove plaque & tartar from your teeth & keep your gums healthy. If your gum disease is more serious, it might require surgeries, such as gum tissue or bone grafts.

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

If your gums bleed when your brush or floss, or if you notice your gums are red, swollen or painful, please tell us right away at your next appointment. But keep in mind that many people who have the early stages of gum disease experience no obvious symptoms or pain.

Please note that there is no cure for gum disease. Once you have gum disease it can be treated & managed, but not cured. This makes prevention & early detection of the disease vital to keeping your mouth as healthy as possible.

Dentists & hygienists are trained to detect the signs of gum disease. That’s why controlling gum disease through regular cleanings is such a good way to take care of your teeth—& your overall health!

The Difference Between Cleanings, Deep Cleanings & Periodontal Maintenance

The Difference Between Cleanings, Deep Cleanings & Periodontal Maintenance

dentist ready to perform scaling and root planingThere is more than one type of dental procedure that may be casually referred to as a cleaning. For example, there is a regular cleaning & then there is what is referred to a deep cleaning. It’s important to understand that there is a big difference between these procedures & implications that each of these procedures have when it comes to your oral health. Read more