Posts for tag: dental implants
While celebrating all that a new year brings, take a moment to remember the New Year's Day birthday of a true American patriot: the legendary Paul Revere. Ironically, he became a legend some 80 years after his midnight trek to warn colonists of approaching British troops, thanks to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1861 poem “Paul Revere's Ride.” He was much better known to his fellow Bostonians as a prosperous silversmith, engraver—and “artificial teeth” maker.
That's right. Among his many business endeavors, Revere's résumé also included dental prosthetics, specifically custom dentures made of ivory. For the time, his work was state-of-the-art technology that far surpassed older tooth replacement methods.
But when we compare Revere's foray into the dental arts and today's restorations, his high quality 18th Century dentures were the proverbial “horse and buggy,” while modern denture technology seems like “supersonic transport.” Not only are today's dentures made of superior materials that are more “toothlike” in appearance, the means to create them using digital technology gives wearers a more secure and comfortable fit.
The modern denture—an appliance that replaces multiple or all lost teeth—is composed of a polymer base, usually acrylic that is colored to resemble gum tissue. Attached to this base are the prosthetic (“false”) teeth that replace those lost along the jaw. These new teeth are usually made of a durable dental material like porcelain that looks and functions like real teeth.
The basic design of today's denture hasn't changed much in the last century. What has changed is our ability to create dentures that follow an individual jaw contours much more precisely. Using the latest digital technology, we're able to obtain highly accurate impressions of the mouth to guide the manufacturing process. Fit is critically important for how dentures feel and function in the mouth. If they are too loose, they become uncomfortable and limit which foods you can eat.
If that weren't enough, recent advancements with dental implants have taken dentures to an entirely new level, beyond anything imaginable in Revere's day. We're now able to create dentures that connect or are permanently affixed to implants set within the jaw, which makes them more stable and secure. An implant-supported denture also helps prevent bone loss, a weakness of traditional dentures, causing them to loosen over time.
As amazing as they are, we wouldn't have the modern version of dentures without craftsmen like Paul Revere who helped advance the cause of dental restoration. So, lift a glass of holiday cheer this season to this hero of the American Revolution—and of American dentistry.
The circumstances surrounding tooth loss vary from person to person, and so do tooth replacement needs. Here at White Flint Dental Associates in Rockville, MD, Dr. Ghassan Jacklis and Dr. H. David Allick offer dental implant solutions as unique as your oral health requirements. Read on to learn here how these inventive prosthetics help people regain their smiles after tooth loss.
A smile is worth saving
When teeth are lost through periodontal disease, decay, or trauma, the mouth and face change in significant ways, including:
- Bone and gums recession—up to 25 percent in the first year post-extraction, says Dear Doctor.
- A development of premature facial wrinkles.
- Speech changes
- Dramatic diminishment in biting and chewing ability—even with the loss of a single tooth
As such, when extraction or other forms of tooth loss are unavoidable, the professional team here at our Rockville office often recommend dental implants as the premier tooth loss solution.
How dental implants work
Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are placed into the jaw bone at the site of the lost tooth, thereby replacing the structure from root to crown. That's right—implants give you a totally new, functional, and attractive tooth! Additionally, patients report that dental implants are practically indistinguishable from their healthy natural teeth.
To begin your dental implant journey, you will visit your Rockville dentist for a consultation. There, he will evaluate your remaining teeth, gums, and overall health, as well as take an X-ray screening to determine the condition of your jaw bone (adequate bone density is essential to implant success). If you lack enough bone, the doctor may advise bone augmentation procedures before starting implant placement.
Once cleared, the implant surgery takes about an hour to complete. During the procedure, the dentist inserts the device into the jaw, and something called osseointegration begins. Over time, the bone cells fully meld with the titanium screw, forming a sturdy bond well able to withstand the substantial pressures of chewing and biting. Then, you can receive the metal alloy post and porcelain crown which complete your customized dental implant.
How dental implants last
Most implant procedures succeed—to 98 percent of them, studies show. However, longevity depends on good oral hygiene habits, a tobacco-free lifestyle, and gentle treatment (no teeth clenching or grinding). Additionally, you should get your usual semi-annual exams and professional cleanings at our Rockville office.
Remember—being proactive about your oral health keeps all your teeth (implants or not) strong, bright and healthy!
For more information...
Please contact White Flint Dental Associates for a one-on-one implant consultation. Bring all your questions, and Dr. Allick or Dr. Jacklis will answer them completely. Phone us today at (301) 881-6666.
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
There are several reasons why dental implants are so popular. Perhaps the most important, though, is their longevity: if maintained properly implants can last for decades. However, they’re not indestructible—certain mouth conditions could put them at risk for early failure. But if you address emerging problems early, you may be able to prevent that unfortunate outcome.
Your implants may be in danger, for example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This occurs when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth when not chewing or speaking. Usually triggered in adults by high stress, teeth grinding can subject both natural teeth and implants to damaging levels of force. Over time this can cause bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could also cause a direct break in an implant.
But there are ways to stop or at least reduce the effects of teeth grinding. One effective way is a custom-made bite guard you wear while you sleep. Made of hard plastic, the guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other, reducing the amount of force generated.
A more prominent problem is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection caused by built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when it persists for an extended period of time can damage tissues and supporting bone. It can also cause a specific form of gum disease related to implants called peri-implantitis, in which the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, leading eventually to possible implant failure.
If you have implants, then, you should brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease, as well as see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. And if you notice anything like reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dentist immediately. The sooner you undergo treatment, the better the outcome for your implants as well as your overall health.
Dental implants can give you years of great service and can prove to be well worth the cost. But you’ll have to stay on your guard against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger them down the road.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method that Rarely Fails.”
There are a number of ways that a dentist can fix gaps in your smile after you've lost one or more of your teeth, including specialty dentures, partials, and bridges. But the most reliable and long-lasting solution is dental implants or implant-supported tooth replacement devices. All of these options are available from Dr. H. David Allick and Dr. Ghassan Jacklis at White Flint Dental Associates in Rockville, MD.
Why You Should Close Smile Gaps
Some patients decide to settle for a smile that has missing teeth and they don't consult their dentist about restoration treatments, but this isn't the wisest choice for a number of reasons. Consider the loss of dental function when there are multiple gaps between the teeth. If a gap is on one side of the mouth, it could cause you to start chewing in one place instead of distributing food to both sides. The open space could be more vulnerable to gum infections. Also, you might stop smiling as much when you have tooth loss, which could have an impact on your emotional wellness.
The Best Solution: Dental Implants
While some patients default to the idea of wearing a temporary denture after tooth loss, there may be a better option. A dental implant will provide much more stability and aesthetic appeal. It is also permanent and non-removable. The implant, made of biocompatible material, is surgically installed into healthy bone tissue by your Rockville, MD dentist, so it doesn’t move or shift. It will eventually be capped with a high quality, durable porcelain crown that looks just like your natural teeth.
Dental Implants Are a Long-Term Fix
One of the key benefits of getting dental implants is that you get a solution that will last for an extended period of time. You don't have to think about the tooth once it's placed. It doesn’t require ongoing maintenance besides your standard at-home care (daily brushing and flossing). If you commit yourself to maintaining excellent oral hygiene, your implant could last a lifetime.
Get More Information About Dental Implants
Your dentist can answer every additional question you may have about getting dental implants. Call (301) 881-6666 today to schedule an appointment at White Flint Dental Associates in Rockville, MD.