Posts for tag: Dental Implants
You’ve invested quite a bit in your new dental implants. And it truly is an investment: because of implants’ potential longevity, their long-term costs could actually be lower than other restorations whose upfront costs might be less.
But to better ensure their longevity, you’ll need to keep your implants and the natural tissues supporting them clean of bacterial plaque, a sticky biofilm that can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Although the implant itself is unaffected by disease, the natural tissues around it can be. An infection could ultimately weaken the bone supporting the implant and lead to its failure.
Such an infection involving implants could advance rapidly because they don’t have the natural defenses of the original teeth. Our natural teeth are connected to the jaw through the periodontal ligament, a collagen network that attaches to both the teeth and the bone through tiny tissue fibers. This connection also provides access to antibodies produced by the body to fight infection.
By contrast, we place implants directly into the jawbone. While this creates a very secure attachment, the implant won’t have the same connection as teeth with the body’s immune system. That means any infection that develops in surrounding tissues can spread much more rapidly—and so must be dealt with promptly.
Treating this particular form of gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) is similar to infections with natural teeth and gums, with one important difference involving the tools we use to remove plaque from them. While natural teeth can handle metal scalers and curettes, these can create microscopic scratches in the porcelain and metal surfaces of an implant and create havens for further bacterial growth. Instead, we use instruments made of plastic or resin that won’t scratch, as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose.
To avoid an infection, it’s important that you brush your implants and surrounding tissues just like you would your natural teeth (be sure you use a soft-bristled brush). And keep up regular dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any developing gum infection. Maintaining your dentures will help ensure they continue to brighten your smile for a long time.
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 Implant Maintenance: Implant Teeth Must be Cleaned Differently.”
Are you in need of a dental implant?
Dental implants are not just a restorative procedure but are vital for providing your jawbone with its necessary strength. Your dentists in Jericho and Burlington, VT, Dr. Paul Dunkling and Dr. Greg Penney, are here to help and advise you!
What's a dental implant?
If you're suffering from tooth loss, it's vital to deal with this problem as soon as possible. Tooth loss can lead to the deterioration of your bones without the support it needs. If you decide to get a dental implant, here's what you need to know about the 4-step process:
- A local anesthetic is applied to the area that will undergo the procedure.
- Your dentist will remove any tooth left and insert a titanium post into the jawbone. The titanium post acts as the new tooth root and is biocompatible, so there is no worry of tissue rejection.
- The doctor will then surgically close the area and allow it to heal for a period of 3 to 6 months, while the process of osseointegration takes its full course (titanium fuses to the jawbone to provide reinforcement).
- When you return, your Jericho and Burlington dentist will re-open the area, insert an abutment, and place a crown over the abutment that matches the rest of your teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
- Dental implants look natural and can give you a beautiful smile.
- Implants can have a high success rate, reaching 95 percent.
- You won't have to worry about being able to bite into and chew your favorite foods.
- They don't slip out of place like dentures, which makes them comfortable and practical.
- They provide your jawbone with the support it needs so that it doesn't shrink.
- They can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
- They are used to anchor dentures.
- They are used to fill a single gap in your teeth, a few gaps, or all of your teeth.
If you have questions or concerns, Dr. Dunkling and Dr. Penney can help you out. Call their offices in Jericho and Burlington, VT, to make an appoint today!
A duller smile or missing teeth don't have to be unavoidable consequences of aging. Burlington and Jericho, VT, dentists Dr. Paul Dunkling and Dr. Greg Penney of Dunkling and Penney Dentistry explain how you can transform your smile with dental implants and veneers.
Dental implants restore missing teeth
Missing teeth don't just affect your smile now, but can continue to affect your appearance and oral health for years. Missing tooth roots cause your jawbone to recede. If the bone becomes weak enough, some of your teeth may loosen and your facial muscles may begin to droop, enhancing the effects of aging. Losing a tooth can also increase your risk of cavities if your remaining teeth begin to shift. Shifting teeth often overlap and trap cavity-causing plaque in the overlapping sections. Dental implants prevent jawbone recession and shifting teeth.
Dental implants rebuild missing teeth starting from the roots. Implants are actually tiny titanium posts that are placed in openings made in your jawbone. Once the implants are in place, they slowly begin to bond to your jawbone, a process that normally takes about three to six months. Implants replace your tooth roots, while an artificial teeth called crowns are used to replace the portion of teeth visible above the gumline. When the two pieces are joined together, you'll have a replacement tooth that's just as strong as the one you lost.
Veneers transform your smile
Sometimes the best way to address a problem is to conceal if from view. Dental veneers are thin layers of porcelain that hide many types of tooth flaws. After a small amount of tooth enamel is removed, the veneers are cemented to your teeth in our Burlington or Jericho office. Caring for veneers is easy and only requires flossing and brushing with a non-abrasive toothpaste.
Veneers are very resistant to stains, which makes them an excellent alternative to teeth whitening treatments. If you use veneers for this purpose, you can even pick the ideal shade of white for your smile. In addition to teeth whitening, veneers are used to cover discolorations, cracks, bumps, chips and gaps between teeth. They also provide a simple way to change the shape or length of a tooth.
Ready for a big change in your smile? Make an appointment with dentists Drs. Paul Dunkling and Greg Penney of Dunkling and Penney Dentistry by calling (802) 863-3479 for the Burlington, VT, office or (802) 899-3973 for the Jericho, VT, office.
In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?
“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.
How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.
With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.
In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.
While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.
Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”