With nearly 40 million Americans having lost some or all of their teeth, dental implants are a popular option for replacing lost teeth. Dental implants, a long term alternative to bridges, partials, or dentures, can feel and function like natural teeth.
Made of titanium, the implant serves the root of a tooth, anchored securely and integrated in the jaw bone. This anchorage provides firm support for the artificial tooth replacement. Typically, dental implants are not covered by insurance. However, the investment of a healthy smile can be priceless.
Dental Implants: A Better Solution
With the introduction of dental implants, the need to suffer with uncomfortable restorations has been eliminated. As our lifespan has been increasing, the need for some type of highly functional dental replacement system has become increasingly important. Dental implants serve as a permanent dental tooth replacement that are both natural looking and highly functional. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene habits, implants should last a lifetime.
Our bodies offer the amazing process of regeneration and healing, which takes time and can be considered lengthy. In order to provide the best aesthetic outcome with long term results, the process of implant surgery and healing can take 4-12 months to complete, which involves a major investment of time and funds. As with any complex surgery, there is always the risk of complication even after a thorough examination and consultation prior to care. Dental implants are a dependable and life long solution to missing teeth. Compared with dentures, which can be loose and unstable, implants provide a permanent solution that is both functional and natural in appearance, giving you confidence to show your brightest smile.
Dentures vs. Implants
There are several options to consider when replacing missing teeth. Dentures and dental implants are the two most common solutions. The two differ in longevity, comfort, confidence while wearing and effect on your pocket book.
Many people with missing teeth wear conventional upper and lower dentures or partial dentures and many are unhappy with them. Lower dentures never fit or feel like natural teeth. They become loose fitting due to shrinking gum tissue, which then causes irritation to the mouth, sores and pain. Lower dentures also restrict your ability to eat or talk as you had with your natural teeth. The only relief is in using messy dental adhesive to improve the fit.
Upper dentures are a bit different. They are easier to wear because the suction in upper palate (roof of the mouth) helps keep the denture in place, but having the palate covered can also reduce the taste of foods that you are eating. Sores and pain in chewing and talking are quite frequent as the gum tissue shrinks, and many people suffer from having to use dental adhesive with upper dentures as well.
Removable partial dentures might be used when only several teeth are missing. A partial denture anchors to the teeth on either side of the empty area using a metal clasp. This can be very damaging to these teeth. Removable partial dentures can also be hard on the gum tissue when chewing and talking.
The advantage of upper and lower dentures is that they can be constructed quickly and they initially cost less than implants. They may last a lifetime, but over the years with aging, new sets need to be made to fit the changing gum tissue and chewing surfaces of the teeth in the dentures.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem, there is a shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged , the sulcus develops into a pocket. Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.
How do I know if I have the disease? It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. However, several warning signs can signal that you have a problem with periodontal disease.
If you notice any of the following see your dentist:
The effects of bruxism can be damaging to your teeth. It can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity, erode gums and supporting bone, break fillings or other dental work.
Self Help Suggestion: Learn how to rest your tongue, teeth and lips properly with your tongue upward, teeth apart and lips shut. Relax clenched muscles by massaging your face or holding a warm, moist washcloth to your cheek. Avoid chewing gum. Talk to your dentist about other steps you can take to relieve the discomfort of bruxism.
Symptoms to look for are:
Oral piercing involving the tongue, lips or cheeks has become a popular practice. Many side effects, ranging from discomfort to serious health hazards, can result from these procedures. Anyone thinking about oral piercing should consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
The risks of oral piercing:
Serious infections such as hepatitis B and HIV, can be transmitted during oral piercings if the instruments have not been properly sterilized. Also, the mouth is full of bacteria and is difficult to sterilize.
Pain and bleeding: Because there are major blood vessels inside your tongue, piercing can cause prolonged bleeding.
Dental problems: Jewelry in your mouth can chip or break your teeth, and fillings and erode your gums.
Heart problems: According to a study of 445 Mayo Clinic patients with congenital heart disease, nearly 1 of 4 developed an infection of the heart after body piercing had been done.
These are just a few of the many problems oral piercings can cause.
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I have been a patient of Dr. Carroll for many years. He and his staff are Top Notch in service and how they have handled my Dental care. I highly recommend his services to anyone.
Mar 20, 2015
Fluoride, often called ‘Nature’s Cavity Fighter’ is a naturally occurring mineral present in all water on the planet including oceans. The actual element is called fluorine and is abundant throughout nature. Fluoride, however, exists only in combination with other elements as a fluoride compound. The advent of adding this compound to our drinking water has...