Dental implants are one of the best way to replace missing teeth. Generally, they are titanium screws that are placed in the position where teeth are missing. Titanium has proven to be a metal that the human body generally accepts, and the bone will bond and adhere to, locking it in place. Titanium is the same metal that has been used for many years for procedures such as hip and knee replacements. Dental implants have been in use for many years, and the technology has constantly improved to where there is a very high success rate. our dental implant doctor gives a lifetime guarantee for the implants he places.
Advantages of dental implants:
1. Unlike a fixed dental bridge, the surrounding teeth do not have to be ground down to use as abutments for a bridge. The implant replaces the missing tooth, separately from the surrounding teeth.
2. When a tooth is extracted, at the extraction site, bone loss begins to take place. After a years, the loss will begin to compromise the roots of the surrounding teeth. An implant acts like the roots of a tooth and holds the bone, by stimulating the surround bone tissue to regenerate.
Disadvantages of implants:
1. Implants are more expensive than a fixed bridge, especially if a bone graft is needed.
2. Implant treatments take more time. If a bone graft is needed, often times it has to heal before an implant can be placed, (especially for molars). Once the implant is in place, it will need to heal for 3-4 months before the abutment and crown can be put in place. The whole treatment usually takes from3 months up to 8 months, depending on whether a bone graft is needed, and the location of the implant. A fixed bridge can be done, generally, in just a couple of days.
For those who have had to live with dentures, a denture that is held in place by some implants, can make all the difference. With just 3 or 4 implants, you can have an upper denture that has no plastic covering your pallet, and which is held firmly in place. Likewise, with 3 or 4 implants, your lower plate will not flop around when you talk. This procedure has been a life changer for many people.
How it works:
The implants are placed in the jaw bone, and after 4 months, they are normally ready to activate. rather than an abutment being placed on the implant, a “locator” is put on top. The locator has a little knob, or nipple that fits into an “O” ring connector that is put inside the denture. The denture simply snaps into place on the locators.
Zirconium ceramic crowns are the best crowns we offer. The inner crown is made of a super hard, white ceramic material, called zirconium. These are high tech crowns. After a precise preparation of the tooth, an impression is made, and from that, a plaster casting. A 3-D laser scan is made of the casting, and then a cad-cam program on the computer drives a milling machine to cut a zirconium block to form the inner crown of the tooth. The cap will now fit very exactly, over the abutment tooth. Porcelain is then bonded to the zirconium, to give shape and luminescence to the crown. A zirconium crown, as well as bridges, are very strong. They also look great, and because they have a very good seal, they will last for a long time.
Emax is a branded process used by the dental lab to make all porcelain crowns and veneers. These teeth restorations are made of a very highly luminescent porcelain material, that is also very chip resistant. The difference between veneers and crowns is that veneers only cover the front and sides of the tooth, and crowns encapsulate the tooth. With veneers, less tooth is shaved off to prep the tooth, but crowns have less problems of getting knocked off.
These are traditional, standard porcelain crowns. although they are less expensive, they still do a good job, and can look very nice. the inner part of the crown is made of a metal cap. Porcelain is then fused over the metal to give the crown a real looking appearance and shape. There are two types of PFM, (porcelain fused to metal), crowns that we use. For molars only, we can use a crown that has a thinner metal edge, that fits well under the edge of the gum. The main complaint with this type of edge, is when the gum recedes through the years, a dark line can appear at the gum line. However, since the molars are in the back, it isn’t visible. 2. for teeth that are visible in your smile, we always recommend the “collarless” crowns, which have porcelain clear to the edges. These crowns are esthetic and can look very nice, for a lesser price.
When a tooth goes bad, and you are in pain, the cheapest way to fix it is an extraction. However, in the long run, when you loose teeth, you also start suffering bone loss, which in turn can effect the surrounding teeth, and you loose more teeth. A root canal, a long with a post and crown, will get rid of the pain, and restore your tooth, giving you many more years of service.
When decay creates a cavity, by eating away the enamel, the nerve first starts to get sensitive to hot, cold and sweets. Eventually an infection sets in, and then you are in real pain. When a root canal is done, the inner nerves and blood vessels of the tooth, called conduits, are cleaned out. The conduits are then packed with a material called gutapercha, and the tooth is sealed by placing a post and a crown.
A post is placed in a tooth that has been root canal-ed, in order to reinforce the now weaken, and hollowed out tooth. Is is like putting re-bar in concrete. Because a tooth with a root canal has no blood flow, it is technically dead, and will become brittle. With out the post, it could break off at the gum line.
There are two types of posts that we generally use:
1. The first is a prefabricated, fiberglass post. This type of post works best when the tooth still has a good structure, and hasn’t been weakened too much, after the decay has all been drilled out.
2.The other type of post is a cast post, made of metal by the dental lab, to fit precisely inside the tooth. This type of post is the strongest, and is almost always used on molars.
After placing a post, a porcelain crown is usually recommended to seal the tooth.
We offer several types of dentures and partial dentures. The traditional dentures are made of acrylic. But today, there are better materials available such as nylon reinforced Valplast, the thin and resistant Lucetone, and softer and flexible Megaflex. Our dentists can help you decide which type of denture will work best for you.
Because of the health concerns of many patients, we don’t use the old silver amalgam fillings. We use white composite resin fillings that match the color of your teeth. These fillings are made of a material that hardens in your mouth when the dentist shines a UV light it. He will then smooth it out and polish it, so that when he is done, you can’t even tell there was ever a filling in your tooth.
We have the latest version of the Zoom Laser whitening system, Zoom II, which gives the best results for teeth whitening.
Sometimes a tooth has been compromised to the point that when the decay is removed, part of the side of a tooth is down to below the gum line. In order to save the tooth, and place a crown on it, not only does the tooth need to be built up, but part of the gum, and sometimes even a little bone, has to be removed. This procedure is called a crown lengthening because in essence, more of the crown of the tooth is exposed. This allows enough tooth to be exposed for there to be a proper prep of the tooth to be able to seat a porcelain crown.
There are various types of bone grafts. all are designed to build up the bone that is missing. The type of graft, and the material used would be determined by your dentist.
1. Ridge or socket preservation graft. This type of graft does not mean you have inadequate jawbone for an implant. This type of graft is used to fill in the hole from an extraction site. When an extraction leaves a hole bigger than an implant, it has to be filled in, so there is no vacancy around the implant, which would cause it to fail.
2. Sinus lift. Sometimes the patient has suffered too much bone loss for an implant to be placed without building up the bone. A sinus lift is used in smaller areas of a few teeth, in the upper jaw, below the sinus cavity.
3. Sinus graft & block grafts. When there is a lot of bone loss in the sinus area, front of the mouth, and even in the lower jawline, the bone can be replaced with this type of graft. A block of bone material, which can be either artificial bone, cadaver bone, or bovine bone, is screwed into place with small titanium screws. After the bone has healed and integrated into the natural bone, it serves well to hold implants.