Posts for tag: dental implants
Could you be the ideal candidate for this lifelong tooth replacement?
Not providing your mouth with the proper care that it needs now means that your smile could be in trouble in the future. Everything from cavities and gum disease to tooth loss can happen. If you are an adult who is missing one or more permanent teeth the good news is that our Mount Airy, NC, dentists, Drs. G. Bennett and Lynette Smith, offer a solution that will restore your missing teeth and give you a full smile again: dental implants!
More about Dental Implants
Most adults who are missing at least a single tooth can be candidates for dental implants; however, there are several factors that determine whether or not you are right for the treatment at this moment. Some of the things that our Mount Airy, NC, general dentist will discuss with you include:
- The health of your jawbone: We will need to run x-rays to make sure that there isn’t significant bone loss (a complication of tooth loss). However, if there isn’t enough healthy jawbone to support the implant, don't fret! We will just need to perform bone grafting to rebuild the jawbone before you can get an implant.
- Your overall health: Are you dealing with diabetes? Do you have other chronic health issues? If so, it’s important that you have your condition under control before getting implants. For example, uncontrolled blood sugar can affect the healing process and increase your risk of infection. Proper medication is key!
- Your oral health: Are you currently dealing with gum disease? Has our dentist discovered a cavity during your checkup? Again, these are things we will need to treat first and foremost before performing any restorative dentistry, but afterward, you will be all set for your new tooth replacement!
If you want to find out if dental implants are the right treatment option for replacing your missing teeth, call our dental office in Mount Airy, NC, to schedule a consultation! Turn to Blue Ridge Dental to treat your tooth loss: (336) 789-5306
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.”