Posts for tag: dental implants
It’s time to find out what makes someone a good candidate for this tooth replacement.
Are you an adult who is missing one or more teeth? If so, then you may be wondering what your options are in terms of a tooth replacement. Here in McDonough, GA, our dentist, Dr. Robert Brooks, wants to make sure that you get the proper dental care you need to fill gaps in your smile and improve your oral health after tooth loss. Are you wondering if dental implants are the right option for you?
Here are some of the factors that our McDonough, GA, implant dentist will need to consider before deciding whether you are a good candidate for this restoration:
Your oral health
We will examine your teeth and gums to make sure that everything is healthy and that your mouth is ready to receive dental implants. If we find cavities or active gum disease, we will need to treat the issue right away before you can get implants.
Furthermore, the health of your jawbone is crucial since it needs to be able to support your implant. This means that we will also take x-rays to check the density of your jawbone since bone loss occurs with tooth loss. In some severe cases, bone grafting may be required before getting your implant.
Your oral hygiene
Not only will we thoroughly examine your mouth to make sure that it’s ready for a dental implant, but it’s also important that you are providing your teeth and gums with the proper care they need each and every day. This means brushing twice a day and flossing daily. We will be able to tell just by looking at your teeth and gums whether or not you are providing your mouth with the care it needs to support an implant for the long term.
Your general health
Yes, your overall health can also impact the health of your implant. To do this, we will go through your medical history with you. You’ll provide us with information about the medications you are taking, the conditions you’ve been diagnosed with, and any surgeries or hospitalizations you’ve had. There are certain chronic health problems that could affect your candidacy so it’s important that we discuss this beforehand.
Adults of any age can benefit from implants; however, this treatment is not meant for children and teens because their jawbones haven’t fully developed yet. Placing an implant in a child or teen’s mouth could end up stunting the jawbone’s growth.
If you are ready to take the plunge and get dental implants, the next step is to schedule a consultation with one of our McDonough dentists to make sure that you are an ideal candidate. Call Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today at (678) 583-0330 to learn more.
In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?
“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.
How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.
With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.
In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.
While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.
Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”
Unlike the natural tooth it replaces, a dental implant is impervious to decay. But don’t think that means you can relax your oral hygiene habits — even though the implant itself can’t be infected, the surrounding gum tissues and bone can. And if they’re not properly cared for you might eventually lose the implant.
In fact, implants may be more susceptible to problems from impacted food that becomes wedged between the gums and teeth than their natural counterparts. Natural teeth are connected to the jaw by way of a resilient, elastic tissue known as the periodontal ligament: the ligament resides in the space between the tooth root and the bone and attaches to both through tiny fibers. The bone and ligament are protected by an attachment of gum tissue that covers all of the surrounding bone and attaches to the root surface. The outer gum tissue surface is covered by a protein called keratin that makes it resistant to wear.
On the other hand, these periodontal ligament fibers don’t exist when implants are present as the implant is fastened directly to the bone. Because it doesn’t have this ligament attachment, and the gum tissues around can’t attach to the implant as with natural teeth, it may be more vulnerable to bacteria or trauma caused by food impaction. So, cleaning and caring for dental implants is just as important, if not more so than with natural teeth.
If the gums around an implant become infected and inflamed it could lead to peri-implantitis, a condition that can destroy the bone attachment between the implant and the bone. In other words, the loss of bone support can weaken the integration of the implant with the bone. As more and more attachment is lost, the implant can loosen and eventually be lost.
The best way to avoid this is with consistent daily hygiene and regular dental checkups. And, if you notice any signs of swelling or redness of the gums around an implant, contact us as soon as possible. The sooner we begin treatment to alleviate the infection, the less danger there will be of losing your implant.
If you would like more information on how to care for dental implants and other 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 “Infections around Implants.”
If you're considering dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth, you'll need to undergo a minor to moderate surgical procedure (depending on the number of implants) to install them. Depending on your current health status and medical history, you may need antibiotics before or after the procedure to help ensure a successful outcome.
Although implants have a high success rate (over 95%), they can still fail — and bacterial infection is a major culprit. Installing implants requires surgically accessing the bone through the gum tissues; you may also need other invasive procedures like tooth extraction or bone or gum tissue grafting. These disruptions to the soft tissues can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream.
In certain individuals, this can increase infection risk not only around the implant but also in other parts of the body. You may be at higher risk, for example, if you have serious health problems like cardiovascular disease or diabetes, a weakened immune system, you use tobacco or you're over or under normal weight. The American Dental and American Heart Associations both recommend antibiotics before dental implant surgery as a preventive measure against infection if you have a prosthetic heart valve, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or some congenital heart conditions.
For other patients with low to moderate risk for infection, there's vigorous debate on administering antibiotics before implant surgery. There are some side effects to antibiotic use, ranging from diarrhea to allergic reactions, and an increased concern in general to the developing resistance of many infectious agents due to the prevalent use of antibiotics. Many dentists and physicians are becoming more discriminate in the patients for which they prescribe antibiotics before surgical procedures.
It really comes down, then, to your particular case: not only the specific procedures you need but also your general health. After weighing these factors against the possible benefits for protecting your health and improving your odds of a successful outcome, we'll recommend whether antibiotic treatment for implants is right for you.
Dental implants are rapidly becoming one of the most popular tooth replacement options. No matter how many teeth you've lost, implants offer an excellent way to restore your smile. McDonough, GA, dentist Dr. Robert Brooks of Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry shares a few facts about dental implants.
If you take good care of your implants, they may just last your entire life. Implants are made of titanium, a metal that is capable of fusing to the jawbone. Dental implants function as substitute roots. Once they bond to your jawbone, they're there to stay. The bonding process starts after you receive the implants during a minor oral surgical procedure. In about three to six months, full bonding will occur. When it does, you're ready for the next step, the attachment of a dental crown in our McDonough office.
The crown will not only fill in the gap in your smile but will also make eating much easier. Your new crown will be attached with a special connector, called an abutment, that will be added to the top of the implant.
Dental implants are very comfortable
Poorly fitting dentures can slide around in your mouth when you take a bite of food. Painful irritation tends to occur when the bottom of the dentures slide against your sensitive gum tissue. Although irritation is less likely to happen with bridges, it can occur if they don't fit well. Dental implants offer a much more comfortable chewing experience because your crowns don't rest on your gums, but are attached to the implants. For many people, implants feel just like real teeth.
Dental implants can prevent other oral health problems
Other teeth may be affected by the loss of a tooth. One problem occurs when the teeth begin moving toward the open space in your mouth. As the teeth drift, they overlap, which makes it difficult to remove plaque, a sticky film that causes cavities.
Root replacement offers important benefits for your smile. The loss of a tooth causes your jawbone to weaken. As it shrinks, it may no longer be able to hold other teeth firmly in place. Facial sagging can also occur as a result of receding jawbone. When you replace lost roots with dental implants, the implants continue to exert pressure on the bone, preventing these unfortunate consequences.
Keep your smile strong and healthy with dental implants. Call McDonough, GA, dentist Dr. Robert Brooks of Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at (678) 583-0300 to schedule an appointment.