Bone Loss & Dental Implants

When natural tooth roots are missing from the upper or lower jaw, the bone that was once their foundation begins to shrink. Over time, this bone loss can cause many problems.

A common frustration of denture wearers is uncomfortable rubbing or slips while eating. This is because the bone ridge that the denture was designed to fit is shrinking. Even with adhesives and pastes, a flattened bone ridge can make chewing with a denture difficult. Relines may help for a brief time, but eventually, they seem to do little good.

To place Dental Implants, a sufficient amount of upper or lower jaw bone must exist. Once the implants are in place, your bone grows around them. This secures them firmly in place, giving a dependable foundation like that of the tooth roots you once had.

In the lower jaw, a nerve runs horizontally through the bone. Placing implants must be done so there is no risk of interfering with this nerve. And, because the upper jaw connects to the sinus cavities, upper placement must be done so each implant avoids close proximity. This is why sinus augmentation, or a ‘sinus lift,’ is occasionally necessary.

A key to implant success is not just in the selection of the implant, but where the implant is placed. When too much bone loss has occurred, bone rebuilding techniques are necessary. Although these extend the treatment time and add to the overall cost, the ability to eat and laugh without worry or discomfort is well-worth the procedure you have, even if added steps are necessary. This is why it is better to have Dental Implants placed before this extent of bone loss occurs.

Some implants are specifically designed for people who have had a great deal of bone loss. We’ve had excellent results with the ‘All-On-4’ implant system. These are placed at unique angles so they require less bone depth. Another benefit of All-On-4 is their ability to support a full arch using just four implants. Because the cost of implant treatment is largely determined by the number of implants used, this helps to keep overall expenses down.

Today’s Dental Implants are highly-successful and tremendously advantageous for those who once struggled with dentures or partials. To discuss Dental Implants (or any tooth replacement option), call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a Free Consultation.

Facial Changes As Result of Tooth Loss

I’m always surprised by how much men and women invest in facial plastic surgery in order to achieve a younger-looking appearance. Since your smile has such a significant place on your face, having an attractive smile greatly improves one’s appearance and can shave many years off.

This is especially true for people who have missing teeth and wear dentures, partials or a bridge. Because of missing tooth roots, bone loss begins. As the jaw shrinks, deep wrinkling occurs around the mouth. The corners of the mouth turn downward, even in a smile. Jowls form as facial muscles detract from the shrinking bone. With severe bone loss, the chin looks more pointed while the mouth seems to collapse into the face. This gives a ‘granny look’ that ages the individual far beyond their actual years.

Dentures and partials tend to ‘fluff up’ the face when in place. They can camouflage areas of bone loss. For a true look at the extent of bone loss that has occurred, you should look in the mirror when your denture or partial is removed.

When Dental Implants are placed, they are intended to become a part of you, bonding with existing bone to halt the progression of bone loss. Dental Implants restore a stable foundation for biting, chewing, speaking and laughing. An added benefit is how they give your facial appearance a healthy, appealing look!

If you wear dentures or partials and are considering facial rejuvenation, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation. Not only can Dental Implants enhance your overall health and appearance, they are designed to last a lifetime. They are a wise investment with benefits for your entire body!

Overuse Of Antibiotics Complicates Periodontal Therapy

We live in a day and age where, in an attempt to fend off (or minimize the severity of) illness, we can take a pill as soon as we feel its onset. Modern medicine may be wonderful, but this easy access to antibiotics has created a problem for the medical and dental fields alike.

Over time, people build a resistance to antibiotics, typically from taking them too often. Today, hospitals are becoming more challenged with patients who are failing to respond to ‘traditional’ antibiotics (penicillin, amoxicillin, etc.). As a Mother, I’m cautious about any medications I give to my sons, especially antibiotics. This is why I allow a low grade fever to do its job (combat infection) rather than rush to give them antibiotics.

As a Dentist, I am seeing a complication with resistance to antibiotics, especially with some patients in Periodontal Therapy. We are fortunate, in our office, to have a dental laser that helps to eliminate periodontal bacteria. This reduces the amount of antibiotics patients require after treatment. However, the ‘normal’ amount that is effective for some is insufficient for a growing number.

As your Dentist, I am just as concerned about your overall health and well-being as your smile. Before you ask your MD for a prescription for an antibiotic, ask if there are other ways you can help your body overcome infection on its own steam. Although there is a limit to avoiding medication that is needed to overcome sickness, over-indulging can have devastating results as well.

Have Dental Implant Placed Immediately Following Extraction

Let’s say you crack a tooth below the gum line. It’s too late for a crown and removal is required. There are several reasons why it’s more beneficial to place a Dental Implant at the time of extraction.

By combining the two procedures, you save treatment time and the numbing process of a second procedure. This also allows for the implant to be positioned into the same place as the just-removed tooth root, so drilling a slot in the jaw is not needed.

Another benefit is the preservation of the natural contours of your gum tissue. Each tooth is bordered by gum tissue that slightly arches its top. Additionally, there are gum ‘points’ that dip just a bit in-between teeth. Immediate implant placement helps preserve these natural gum contours. This means you avoid the shrinking of these tissues, which gives a flat look.

Many of today’s implants can have teeth attached immediately. If you find that a tooth will have to be extracted, consider the many advantages of having your implant placed as part of the procedure.

Getting A Tax Refund? Put It Towards An Everyday Pleasure!

When I hear folks talk about how they’ll spend an anticipated tax refund, it’s often about ‘splurges,’ such as a cruise, new furniture, or down payment on a car. I always wonder if these indulgences end up providing as much pleasure as the individual envisioned.

As a Dentist, I see how the lives of people change as a result of having Dental Implants. For those who have suffered for years with an ill-fitting denture, I can’t think of a wiser use of money. Regaining the ability to chew comfortably and dependably is priceless to them. They savor foods they haven’t been able to enjoy in years, such as corn-on-the-cob, thick steak, and hard pretzels. They can laugh again in social settings without worry. Plus, they tell me they feel more outgoing and smile more.

For those who have a partial or a bridge, replacing these with implanted teeth assures them they have halted bone loss that occurs when natural tooth roots are missing. Dental implants also helps to protect their remaining natural teeth.

Your smile is a precious part of every day. We need stable teeth to eat, speak, smile and enhance our appearance. If you could benefit from Dental Implants (or know someone who can), convert this year’s refund into an everyday pleasure that will last a lifetime! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation.