Posts for: May, 2016
First introduced in the 1980s, dental implants are a popular and reliable tooth replacement option. Numerous studies show that after ten years 95% are still in place. Much of this success owes to the implant’s titanium post imbedded directly into the jaw, which then attracts bone growth. This additional growth securely anchors the implant in place for an unrivaled durability among other replacement options.
Still, a small percentage of implants fail — some in the first few months and others after a few years. Here are 3 reasons why, and how you can overcome them.
Poor bone quantity and quality. Implants need a certain amount of existing bone to succeed. Sometimes, though, there isn’t enough because prolonged absence of a tooth causes bone loss around the empty socket. Conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis or tobacco use can also compromise bone health. It’s often possible to increase bone volume with grafting, especially right after tooth extraction.
Teeth grinding habits. This occurs when you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth, usually during sleep. The habit can create forces far in excess of what’s normal when we bite or chew and can damage or even break the crown attached to an implant. Besides reducing stress (a major factor for teeth grinding), you can also alleviate the abnormal force generated by wearing a night guard.
Periodontal (gum) disease. Although your implants are impervious to disease or infection, supporting gums and bone aren’t. Plaque, a film of food and bacteria that builds up on tooth surfaces, can cause gum disease that weakens the supporting tissues (gums and bone) of the implant. This can give rise to a specific condition with implants known as peri-implantitis where the infected gum tissues and bone around it deteriorate, leading to the implant’s catastrophic loss. To avoid this, practice consistent daily hygiene, including around the implant. And see us regularly for checkups and cleanings, or as soon as possible if you see signs of gum problems.
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.”
Do missing, chipped or unsightly teeth have you feeling as though your smile is too far gone to repair? If so, you don’t have to give up on your smile yet. Restorative dentistry could help you get your smile back, boost your confidence and make you feel great about your grin again. Find out more with help from your Downingtown, PA dentist at Chestnut Dental Associates.
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry procedures restore the structure of a damaged or weakened tooth, providing a normal appearance and proper chewing surface. Teeth are most often damaged due to tooth decay or trauma to the tooth. Additionally, old restorations may wear down or become damaged over time, requiring replacement.
What can restorative dentistry do for me?
Restorative dentistry is versatile, with many procedures available. Some popular restorative dentistry procedures offered by your Downingtown dentist include:
- Fillings: Dental fillings are usually made from tooth-colored composite materials, though other options like silver amalgam and gold are available. A filling is most common when your dentist removes a cavity from a tooth. The composite materials fill and seal off the tooth, preventing further infection.
- Bridges: Dental bridges replace a missing tooth. The bridge itself is essentially a row of false teeth which attach to the surrounding natural teeth using either dental crowns or metal clasps. Bridges also keep the surrounding teeth from moving to compensate for the gap between them.
- Crowns: Crowns cover a weakened or damaged tooth to stabilize, protect and strengthen it. Crowns are often used after root canal therapy or to protect the tooth after a large filling.
- Implants: Dental implants replace a missing tooth’s root. A tiny titanium post surgically implanted into the jawbone beneath the missing tooth integrates into the bone over time. This provides a sturdy foundation for a dental crown, which fits over the implant and replaces the tooth itself.
- Dentures: For patients missing all of the teeth on an arch, traditional or implant-supported dentures replace the whole arch of teeth. Depending on the type of denture, they may be permanent or removable.
For more information on restorative dentistry procedures to help you love your smile, please contact Dr. Carl J. Horchos at Chestnut Dental Associates in Downingtown, PA. Call (484) 364-4292 to speak with an associate about scheduling your consultation for restoration dental procedures today!
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”