Dental implant complications are very rare. But that doesn’t mean they can’t occur. The most likely culprit to implant failure is infection, which is referred to as peri-implantitis. If you’ve made it through the initial recovery period without an infection, that doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. Implant infection is caused by bacteria, which can develop weeks or years after your dental implant procedure. Peri-implantitis is a form of gum disease, so neglecting treatment can jeopardize a lot more than just your dental implant investment.
Your gums are the soft tissues that keep your teeth in place. Just like your teeth, they need proper care to retain their health. Gum recession refers to the process of gums “shrinking” or pulling away to expose more of the tooth’s root. In turn, the tooth is more vulnerable to sensitivity, decay and infection. In severe cases, it may even cause teeth to lose stability. Many patients suffer from receding gums, but whether or not they disqualify you from getting dental implants depends on the cause of your gum recession.
The holidays are quickly approaching, and it is time to start thinking about the gifts you really want this year. If you are suffering the consequences of missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures, we invite you to consider the best gift of all – a stable and confident smile. Implant-supported dentures can be an excellent way to treat yourself this holiday season.
Implant-supported dentures, also called overdentures, are a remarkable way to stabilize traditional dentures, especially if the removable dentures are not fitting well, loose or fall out easily. Once the implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone, they become a permanent anchor for your prosthetic teeth (partial or full denture). While many patients choose to stabilize their dentures with implants from the start, others have the option of changing out their removable dentures for this more secure and upgraded treatment method.
The All-on-4® treatment concept was first used successfully by Dr. Paulo Malo in 1998. Since then, thousands of patients have gained the benefits of this revolutionary option in implantology and fixed oral rehabilitation. All-on-4® is most notably marketed as “teeth in a day” or “same day teeth.” It is a unique treatment approach that uses as few as 4 dental implants to support a whole arch of teeth. It is cost effective and can be used in either the upper or lower jaw to support immediate fixed replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The best part – it can be done in as little as 1 to 3 days!
It has long been established that smoking cigarettes can ruin your chances for successful dental implants. Patients are asked to stop smoking for a period of time before and after dental implant surgery. But what about “vaping”? Vaping refers to the use of e-cigarettes, the latest alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. It is said that vaping is a healthier and safer option, but is it enough to reduce your risk of implant complications?
While dental implants serve a primary purpose to replace the function of lost teeth, they are also meant to restore the aesthetics of your smile. It is understandable that patients not only want a complete smile, but one that is also white and attractive. Don’t worry; you can have both. However, the rules of teeth whitening aren’t the same if you have dental implants versus natural teeth – or some combination of both.
Can you whiten your teeth if you have dental implants? This is a simple question with a not so straightforward answer. The truth is, you can undergo teeth whitening (even professional treatments at your dental office) without harming your dental implants. However, you can’t expect the cosmetic treatment to be effective on your dental implant teeth.
The main goal of any good dentist is to save your natural teeth. However, tooth extractions are a part of general dental care – in the right situation. Removing a permanent tooth is never suggested without good reason. In fact, we only extract a tooth (or multiple teeth) if your overall smile health is at risk by leaving it in.
Preparing for Your Tooth Extraction
Don’t worry, modern dentistry offers plenty of ways to keep you relaxed and out of pain during your extraction procedure. However, an extraction is an oral surgery so you’ll want to be sure to communicate the following information with your dentist prior to your appointment:
- Your complete medical history
- Medications you’re currently
- History of heart issues or man-made heart valves
- Impaired immune system deficiencies
- Artificial joints or past surgeries
- A medical history of bacterial endocarditis
Dental implant placement is not what it was a decade ago – it is substantially better. For both the patient and the dentist, dental implants have dramatically improved with the integration of 3D Cone Beam technology. This advanced three-dimensional x-ray technology allows your dentist to see a complete and accurate depiction of your overall oral and facial bone characteristics as well as the nerves and sinuses that surround your jaw. This can be done prior to surgery so that your dentist can plan for the most precise and successful implant placement possible. The 3D Cone Beam allows for “guided implant surgery.” And if you are getting titanium posts inserted into your jaw to support a new set of teeth, wouldn’t you want your dentist to have this remarkable foresight?
If you have traditional (removable) dentures and struggle with the way they fit or feel, you are not alone. Many patients not only have to suffer from an uncomfortable set of teeth, but they end up restricting their eating habits and even their facial expressions due to the fear of their dentures slipping. That’s no way to live – especially when there is a solution!
It helps to understand why your dentures are failing to provide the stability, comfort and confidence you had hoped for. There is a primary reason why patients experience a multitude of denture woes. Traditional dentures replace missing teeth, but they do not replace the roots of the teeth that once existed. This is important because without the tooth root, the jaw and gum ridge fails to retain its form and your bite force is drastically reduced. In fact, denture-wearers may experience a reduced bite force by as much as 75%!
Once you lose a tooth, there is a critical need to replace it. Replacing a missing tooth ensures that your surrounding teeth stay healthy and aligned. It also means that you don’t lose dental function (chewing, speaking, etc). What you may not know is that you have two primary options when it comes to replacing a single tooth: a dental bridge and a dental implant.
In order to make the best choice for particular needs and goals, it is important to first understand what each of these restorative options involve.