Nearly all adults will need tooth replacement at some time in their lives. There are many options for single tooth replacement; but none are as long-lasting and natural-looking as dental implants. Like natural teeth, dental implants are rooted in the bone beneath the gums. They are customized to each patient’s natural tooth shape, size and color, making for a more functionally and cosmetically appealing tooth replacement option than bridges or partial dentures can offer.
know that missing one or more teeth puts you among the majority of adults in America? The American Associate of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons reports that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults are missing at least one tooth by ages 35 – 44. Young to middle-aged adults can expect to require at least one tooth prosthetic for up to 50 years or more. Instead of visiting the dentist frequently to replace or re-fit a partial denture or bridge, many people choose dental implants, which are designed to last a lifetime.
You may be a candidate for single tooth replacement if you are missing one or more teeth and are in search of a long-lasting prosthetic that will most closely resemble the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth. You’ll need an initial consultation with your oral provider to determine whether you have sufficient bone to support an implant. If you wait too long to get an implant after losing a tooth, the bone that once supported it may begin to deteriorate beneath the surface of your gums.
A dental implant is placed over the course of multiple appointments. After the initial consultation, you’ll return to your dental provider to have the implant – which is made of a titanium rod – surgically placed into the jawbone. The gums will be sutured shut, and the implant will be left to fuse with the bone over a period of 6 to 9 months. After that time, you can return to your provider to have a crown placed over the implant.
It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling following an implant procedure. Your oral surgeon may prescribe medications to help prevent infection and alleviate pain. Expect to require a soft foods diet for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Once you receive your crown, you’ll probably find that keeping a dental implant clean is much like cleaning your own teeth. Because they are not removable, you can brush them and the gums around them like you would your surrounding teeth. Continue to visit the dentist regularly for dental cleanings and examinations.
Losing one or more teeth can be devastating to one’s self-confidence and ability to talk or chew. Tooth decay, gum disease, and physical traumas are just a few of the reasons patients require tooth replacement. In the past, the only options were removable prosthetics or fixed devices bonded to other abutment teeth. But now, dental implants are making it possible to provide patients with a fixed prosthetic without the support of surrounding teeth. With a full fixed prosthetic implant, patients enjoy permanence, strength and an aesthetic appearance that closely mimics the features of natural and healthy teeth.
that many people in the U.S. are edentulous, that is, they have no teeth? Approximately 1 in 4 adults over age 60 has no teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Rather than rely on removable prosthetics, millions have turned to fixed implants as a tooth replacement option. Like natural teeth, fixed implants are permanently anchored in the mouth, lasting several decades when properly cared for.
You may be a candidate for a full fixed prosthetic implant if you have no teeth on your upper arch, lower arch, or both arches. Full fixed prosthetic implants are available to patients with sufficient jaw bone to support an implant, which is placed into the jaw as a prosthetic tooth root. To find out if full fixed prosthetic implants are right for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Dental implants consist of two parts: the implant and the prosthetic teeth. The implant is a titanium rod placed inside the jaw, where it fuses with surrounding bone. Once it has healed – a process that can take several months – a patient is fitted for a permanent tooth replacement. For patients with only one or a few missing teeth, a single dental implant and corresponding crown may be used for each individual tooth replacement. But patients replacing a full arch may have a single full fixed prosthetic anchored to only a few dental implants around the upper or lower jaw.
You may have some dietary restrictions in the weeks immediately following your implant surgery. In most cases, patients can resume normal eating habits once fitted for a permanent fixed prosthetic. Though most people get a lifetime of wear out of their dental implants, we strongly recommend that patients avoid smoking and tobacco use, which can significantly affect the permanence of dental implants.
Crown lengthening is a very common procedure used for functional and cosmetic purposes. In restorative dentistry, crown lengthening is used to prepare the teeth for dental restorations, such as caps and crowns, which require a sufficient amount of tooth structure above the gum line in order to support new restorations. Other patients may elect to undergo crown lengthening in an attempt to cosmetically treat a ‘gummy’ smile. Careful contouring can remove excess gum tissues surrounding the teeth, revealing a more aesthetically appealing smile.
that crown lengthening is not only functionally and aesthetically efficient, but also beneficial to patient health? Gums that extend too far over a natural tooth can be more difficult to clean and keep free of pockets that harbor harmful bacteria. A lengthened crown is more hygienic and easier to clean, reducing the chances of gum disease later on. Untreated gum disease can advance, causing inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss.
If your teeth appear short, you may be a candidate for crown lengthening to expose more of your natural teeth. If you visit your dentist for a restoration, you may be referred to a periodontist for crown lengthening treatment if your visible tooth structure is inadequate to support a restoration. Schedule a periodontal consultation to find out more about your eligibility for crown lengthening.
Crown lengthening is performed in a periodontist’s office under local anesthetic. During the procedure, the surgeon gently removes gum tissues and bone to expose the underlying tooth. The surgical site will be rinsed, cleansed, and sutured shut. Procedure length depends on the number of crowns being lengthened. If you are undergoing crown lengthening to prepare for a restoration, your permanent crown will not be placed for at least 3 months following the procedure.
Yes. You’ll experience some swelling and soreness in the initial days following a crown lengthening procedure. Use ice and pain relievers to minimize discomfort, and be sure to take any prescriptions as directed by your periodontist. Be prepared to consume a diet composed of soft foods in the days following your procedure.
Modern dentistry has made it possible for everyone to enjoy a beautiful, white smile. Many patients choose Lumineers to achieve esthetic goals, as the entire procedure is painless, fast and easy. In fact, most patients get the smile they have always wanted in just two dental visits. Lumineers are very thin and customized patient-by-patient. Each unique set is created to bond directly to natural teeth, leaving as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. There is no pain or sensitivity following placement of Lumineers, and the results are proven to last for more than 20 years.
that Lumineers are less painful and much less invasive than getting veneers? Patients who get veneers are choosing an irreversible procedure that strips away a significant portion of the natural teeth. Patients require shots to be anesthetized, and many are left with pain and sensitivity. With Lumineers, there are no shots and no drills, and patients get to keep nearly all of their original teeth without having them reduced. What’s more is that Lumineers leave patients with a bright and beautiful smile in just two visits – without any post-treatment pain and sensitivity.
Lumineers can be used to treat teeth with gaps or teeth that are discolored, misshapen or otherwise cosmetically unappealing. If you wish you could change the imperfections in your teeth without damaging your natural teeth, Lumineers treatment could be right for you. Call your dentist for more information and to find out if Lumineers are the esthetic solution you’ve been looking for.
At your first visit, an impression will be taken of your teeth. That impression is used to fabricate Lumineers just for you. Your dentist will ask you to return at a later date, during which time he or she will carefully texturize the teeth in preparation for bonding. The Lumineers will then be bonded to the teeth using a curing light. You’ll walk out of your dental visit with the brand new smile you’ve always dreamed of having.
Lumineers are made of very thin porcelain. Caring for them does not require a special diet, but it is recommended that wearers avoid biting down on hard objects, such as ice. Like natural teeth, Lumineers are also subject to staining; so avoid repetitious consumption of highly pigmented foods and beverages.
Dental veneers – also known as laminates – are used to cosmetically enhance the appearance of one or more teeth. Veneers are very thin, porcelain or resin shells that are customized for a desirable color and shape. They are bonded to the surface of the teeth to reshape broken, misshapen or irregular teeth, as well as provide a solution for discolored teeth that do not respond to traditional whitening treatments. Patients with veneers typically achieve a natural tooth appearance that is well-tolerated by the gums and also resistant to future stains.
that dental veneers are a conservative way of completely making over your smile? In fact, veneers are a go-to cosmetic procedure that has become popular with celebrities who want a brighter and more symmetrical smile. Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff and Ben Affleck are just some of Hollywood’s elite who have seen a cosmetic dentist for laminates. Fortunately, affordability and accessibility make it easy for anyone to get dental veneers – including patients.
Dental veneers may be right for you if you are looking for an alternative to crowns and caps. Veneers can help you if you have gaps between your teeth or teeth that are broken, chipped, irregularly shaped or misaligned. To find out more about whether dental veneers are right for you, contact a cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation.
Before dental veneers can be placed on the teeth, the surface of the teeth must be prepared for bonding. After administering a local anesthetic, your dentist will buff away approximately half a millimeter from the surface of the teeth. You’ll then bite into a mold that will be used to form your veneers in a dental lab. When the veneers are ready, you’ll be asked to return to have them fitted, bonded and adjusted for shape and color.
There is no special care required for dental veneers, and normal brushing and flossing can be resumed immediately. Because veneers are usually placed over the course of two appointments, it is normal to experience some sensitivity between the first and second visit when the teeth have been reduced in preparation for bonding.
A prosthodontist performs reconstructive and cosmetic dental treatments that are designed to enhance the appearance and functionality of the teeth. A person who undergoes prosthodontic treatment will typically experience long-lasting results that look natural and restore the patient’s ability to chew and speak normally.
that prosthodontic treatment is useless without first treating the cause of oral health deterioration? In cases where the teeth have become damaged or gums have receded due to decay or disease, these problems must first be treated and effectively managed before prosthodontic treatment may begin.
The only way of knowing which types of treatment is right for you is by consulting with a prosthodontist. However, many patients who wish to improve the aesthetics of their teeth and gums do so using dental crowns, which are prosthetics designed to mimic the natural appearance of a tooth. Veneers are also a popular option, which allows patients to retain their natural teeth, covering them with a thin ceramic shell that is bonded to the surface of the tooth. Veneers work well for treating stains, chips, and unevenness.
Many patients visit prosthodontists because they are in need of a total or partial smile reconstruction. There are several ways of treating severely damaged or missing teeth, one of which is by replacing them with dental implants. A dental implant is placed within the jaw bone, where it acts as a prosthetic tooth root. Implants can be used to anchor crowns, bridges, or event partial and complete dentures. When properly cared for, dental implants can last many decades and in many cases, a lifetime.
Yes. Prosthodontists often work with other dentists and oral specialists to synchronize treatment progression and ensure the best possible outcome for their patients. If you think you could benefit from prosthodontic treatment, contact our office to find out how you can schedule a consultation as soon as possible.
For years, dental x-rays have been used to diagnose oral health complications and detect decaying or damaged teeth. X-rays provide a unique view of the mouth that isn’t possible with a visual exam alone. When x-rays are taken, the teeth and bones absorb the majority of the ray, making them highly visible on film or on a screen. Nearly all new dental patients are x-rayed, although you may instead request that previous x-rays be transferred from another dental provider to your new dentist. By comparing your x-rays with your full mouth examination and dental history, your dentist can prescribe effective treatment and recommend a plan for preventative care.
that dental x-rays deliver very low levels of radiation and are considered completely safe? In fact, x-rays are even considered safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding so long as a leaded apron and collar are used to protect your body from exposure. If you are pregnant or think you may be, tell your dentist so proper precautions can be taken.
Yes. Dental x-rays are capable of identifying tooth decay and damage beneath the surface of the teeth where caries are less visible during an examination. Furthermore, x-rays provide a reference point for the progression of decay in your mouth over time. You should have x-rays taken on a regular basis, but especially if you are experiencing oral health complications or are planning to undergo a dental procedure, such as a root canal.
Getting traditional dental x-rays can take several minutes. A thick paper tab is placed into the mouth, which you will be asked to bite down on. Most patients find that dental x-rays are completely painless and do not inflict any level of discomfort. In some cases, dentists intraoral x-rays, as well as extra-oral x-rays that snap images of the face, jaw and skull. Extra-oral x-rays are typically used to identify impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth.
Your x-rays will be saved either on film or digitally. In the future, your dentist may request additional dental x-rays every few years to monitor the health of your teeth, gums and jaw over time. If you are considered to be high risk for oral disease or are exhibiting symptoms of complications, your dentist may prefer to take x-rays more frequently.
Because prosthodontists specialize in the replacement and restoration of the teeth, patients are often referred to them by general dentists or other oral health specialists, such as a periodontist. A prosthodontist carries out complex treatment plans that require accurate diagnostics and exact pre-treatment planning. The diagnostic process guarantees complete precision during the treatment phase, ensuring that patients achieve complication-free results.
that prosthodontists work closely with other dental specialists to reconstruct their patients’ smiles? There are many reasons that patients require the expertise of a prosthodontist, whether to restore deteriorated teeth, repair mouth traumas, or even provide cosmetic oral enhancements.
Prosthodontists have a broad understanding of many conditions that affect the mouth and surrounding tissues. You may be referred to a prosthodontist for a diagnostic work up if you have problems such as TMJ, severe snoring, or sleep apnea. A prosthodontist may also treat you if you need reconstructive oral surgery due to oral deterioration or treatment for oral cancer.
Prosthodontists have a wide array of tools available that are capable of diagnosing even the most complex conditions. From traditional x-rays and visual examinations to highly advanced digital oral mapping and oral cancer screening technology, your prosthodontist’s goal is to identify the cause of oral deterioration and develop the most effective treatment plan to prevent its progression, restore oral function and aesthetics, and prevent future recurrences of the disease.
Prosthodontists specialize in esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. You may benefit from a diagnostic appointment if you want to improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile, have damaged teeth, have missing teeth, are interested in dental implants, experience difficulty when chewing, wear dentures, or need a total mouth makeover/reconstruction. Contact our office today for more information and to schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms.