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Why Implants May be a Better Option than Crowns and Bridges

July 26th, 2019

Unfortunately, the two most common routes that people decide to take to address their missing and failing teeth are dentures or bridges. These are usually the most economic decision and this is why they are chosen initially. Implants, though more expensive, have become more commonplace and like all things in the market the price adjusts downward.

Today there is a lesser gap in the affordability of dental implants than one might think. 

Once you evaluate all your options it is important to note the drastic difference that implants have between dentures and bridges and why are they absolute worth the higher price. Dental implants are the ONLY permanent solution, working successfully 98% of the time after ten years, which cannot be said for dentures or bridges. Furthermore, many of the people that are looking for a satisfactory solution to their missing or failing teeth have already tried and bridges before they ended up visiting our office. As a result, we help people who feel like this is their last and final chance to make things normal for them.  A huge goal at our practice, is to educate people EARLY before they are shocked to realize the dissatisfaction and issues that bridges and dentures may cause.

What I tell all my patients about dentures: Many patients come to me initially only seeking interest in dentures. I always want to set realistic expectations with dentures so that patients know exactly what they are getting into so I tell them this story:

The best a denture will ever be is a wooden peg.

Think back to the Civil War days- when a soldier lost a limb the best prosthetic they could offer was a wooden leg and some crutches. Actually in this same era, if you had missing teeth, and you were lucky you would get dentures as well. Let’s fast forward to the future and take note of the differences. We have far surpassed the technology of a wooden peg and now offer titanium articulated joints that will take the place of what’s missing and what’s even more amazing is that many affected people do not let a missing limb stop them from remaining athletic and they may even have an advantage. This is the same for dental implants. They are the premium replacement and are built for the long run. 

It is disheartening when I see patients from different practices that were never given the proper expectations and are extremely frustrated and disappointed with the quality of their dentures, unaware that dentures can only do so much and are as I have mentioned the “wooden peg.” The most common complaints that I’ve received from patients about their dentures are that:

  • They often slip creating challenges for eating and talking, making it very obvious that they have dentures. This can cause many insecurities. 
  • When you are eating certain foods this can cause pain when biting down.
  • The problems associated with the taste and ease of use of denture pastes and creams can be awful; a minty flavor does not guarantee a refreshing taste.

At our practice, the complaints of our patients are certainly taken very seriously. The concerns we have not only coming from wanting our patients satisfied and confident in their smile, but also concerns with the adverse health effects of dentures. From a medical professional’s standpoint these can be very problematic and include: 

  • Deteriorating bone quantity and density which cannot be corrected. 
  • Atrophy of the muscles that are unused.
  • Restriction of blood flow to the mouth which can lead to even further complications.

Before I explain further, let’s do an experiment to demonstrate the impact blood flow has on gum tissue, specifically how it can be impeded by dentures, causing accelerated bone deterioration. Take your finger and press it into the back of your hand and lift it up after ten seconds. What do you notice? You will likely see for a short amount of time, a white off color area in the shape of your fingertip.  Why is there? Because you have restricted the blood flow to those areas. This is exactly what happens with dentures and partials, they restrict blood flow!

A healthy flow of blood can be compared to a luscious river providing water and nutrients to the land around it. If water flow is impeded the land around it begins to deteriorate and wither away.

Except the restriction of blood flow is now causing your muscles to break down and your bone to wither away causing an older more “sunken in” look. Cigarettes can also restrict blood flow to the mouth in an even greater degree. This is ultimately why dentures and partial bridges do not work. They actually create further tooth, bone and muscle loss causing a vicious cycle and accelerating the aging process. 

My goal is that each and every patient gets the solution that is best for them but that they are also aware of all of their options and the reality of the situation.

At the end of the day, I want you to go home extremely happy with your results and it is my job to inform you of all the pros and cons.

Top 10 Benefits of Dental Implants

July 22nd, 2019

I treat patients whose lives change dramatically from one day to the next solely because of dental implants.

Not only is there a great aesthetic advantage, but the improvement in your overall psychological and physical health is remarkable.  Here is a list of the top 10 benefits that can come from dental implants that I have personally heard from my patients and that are reported world wide: 

Ability to chew nutritious food and eat anything you like without pain or discomfort. An example of this would be a patient biting into an apple after years of not being able to do so. A wonderful patient of mine, who was also an employee of the company had struggled with failing teeth for years. She informed me about her avoidance of eating out with friends because she felt obliged to order soft foods to not show the discomfort she would display if she were to have ordered something harder like steak and vegetables. Over time, we were able to give her the gift of implants again and she was able to enjoy things that many of us may take for granted: like biting into an apple. 

Improving overall health because you are able to eat more solid and nutritious foods (fruits and vegetables). This same patient, and many other patients were able to eat foods like carrots, apples and meat for the first time in years. Expanding the variety in your diet once again is vital to improving the amount and quality of nutrients consumed.

Improvement of psychological health and well-being. In a world where we should be using our smile to change the world, we need to be mindful of how losing our smile can change us. I’m acutely aware of this every day when I go to work and meet patients with failing or missing teeth. Their confidence is deflated, and they cover their mouth when they smile. It is such a shame. However, once solutions are enacted to reverse these problems I literally see my patients change before my eyes. I've seen spouses cry when seeing their significant other with implants for the first time as they have not seem them smile in years! The radical improvement of confidence and increase in self esteem go hand in hand when receiving dental implants.

Instead of covering your mouth while laughing and smiling, you are eager to show off your new smile. This ties back into the psychological benefits we just discussed.

Dental Implants are more cost effective in the long run. It may seem that in the moment you are saving a lot more money on dentures and bridges, however you only have to change crowns about every 15 years and the dental implant itself could even last a lifetime.

You don’t have to have dentures or bridges fixed every five years anymore. Because of the constant deterioration of your bone and muscle loss that dentures and fixed bridges may cause, your bridges and dentures must be fixed to adjust to the form of your jaw. With dental implants this is not necessary because it STOPS this deterioration of bone and muscle loss leading to the next benefit.

Eliminating further bone loss and the “sinking in” of the jaw and stopping muscle atrophy of the mouth. This elimination is so detrimental as to why dental implants are the most superior missing or failing tooth replacement. Eliminating further bone and loss and muscle loss, literally stops the aging process from continuing and can even make you look ten years younger! Going from a sunken in jaw, to a jaw that is filled thick with healthy bone and muscle contributes to a far more youthful experience as demonstrated in the picture below. 

Not having to remove your temporary teeth every night. This is a given! Implants are permanent solutions that have a 99% success rate over a span of 10 years!

You are suddenly able to talk naturally, without concerns of “lisp like” sound or clicking of dentures. Many patients report a lack of confidence in their speaking abilities because of their dentures or missing teeth. Even when a dentures fits beautifully, it can still be daunting to learn how to speak again with a new structure in your mouth. Your body has adapted to the prior form of your jaw, so getting used to dentures can be a learning curve. Dentures cause your mouth to produce an extra amount of saliva and the excess saliva and the difficulty to control it causes lisps, gargling sounds, and whistling noises. Even when denture adhesive is applied correctly, they can slip causing quite an annoying clicking noise.

Reducing the risk of bad breath associated with dentures. If not brushed thoroughly twice a day, a film of lingering food can develop on the dentures causing the development of plaque and bacteria. This plaque buildup and bacteria can cause a very unpleasant smell that can become difficult to remove if not taken care of daily.

These are only eight of the benefits from dental implants that can be truly life changing. This process can transform our smiles which are often our signature, and a genuine smile carries through into the way we carry ourselves and even the spark in our eyes. It is a sign of friendliness, and kindness and is such an important factor in opening up opportunities for greater happiness and fulfillment.

What are Dental Implants?

July 22nd, 2019

Dental Implants are the absolute best solution to this date for failing and missing teeth.

With a 98% success rate, they are as close as you can get to the natural and beautiful teeth you were born with. With dental implants, patients are able to restore their ability to confidently eat nutritious foods, talk and pronounce words effectively, and show off a beautiful and full smile once again.

Imagine a dental implant as a small screw with a cosmetic crown on top. This screw is essentially what will replace the root of your original tooth, and is integrated flawlessly into your jawbone. The implant material and the bone in your jaw are compatible therefore the process of osseointegration will take place, a fancy word for the bonding of your implant and jaw bone. 

What are the parts of a dental implant?

1) The titanium implant itself (the screw).

2) The abutment or the “connector” of the implant and your crown.

3) The custom made crown itself (the ice cream on the cone).

The implant (or screw) is just one component of the cost of a total implant as the abutment and crown must be included as well.

What is the Implant made out of? 

Most dental implants are made out of titanium. The reason this particular metal is used over other metals, is that your bone and muscle do not reject it but rather respond to it, keeping the integrity of the surrounding tissue and bone.

This equates to the halt of bone loss and muscle atrophy, which is what causes your jaw and mouth to have a “sunk in” or older look. The halting of this process is truly what makes implants so special because your jaw is made to look fuller and younger once again.

History of Dental Implants: 

Even though Dental Implants are the most cutting edge tooth replacement technology these days, they are not a new concept. 

Documentation of dental implants goes back to the Ancient Egyptians where they used rocks, shells, and gold as dental implants: more than 3,000 years ago! 

Unfortunately the focus shifted from permanent solutions, to impermanent and less effective solutions like bridges and dentures for a long period of time, however, implants made their comeback in the 80’s. Initially, many people think that implants are exclusive to celebrities because of the high cost but with the ever improving development of dental technology and equipment dental implants have become much more affordable and attainable to anybody in this day and age.

Image result for dental implant

Welcome to Our Blog

July 19th, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about  the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

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