Gaps or holes in your smile caused by missing teeth can cause embarrassment and difficulty eating or speaking. Dental implants have been developed as a reliable and natural method of tooth replacement. It involves implanting an artificial root into the jaw so that it ultimately becomes part of your jawbone, and placing a crown on top to create a new tooth. The procedure has become very popular, but as with most things there are both good and bad qualities about the treatment. Consider these pros and cons as you make your decision whether implants are right for you.
- Look, feel, and function like real teeth
- Do not slip, even during eating and speaking
- No embarrassing sounds or messy pastes
- Don’t affect neighboring teeth
- Titanium material allows normal biting force
- Permanent restoration
- Restore confidence and youthful look
- Risks exist as with any surgery
- Pain, bruising, or swelling can occur at implant site
- Temporary bruising or swelling can occur to face and gums
- Damage to adjacent nerves may result in pain or numbness in the area
- Infections sometimes occur
- Requires several dental visits to complete the process
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As we age, our birthdays tend to bring new oral health issues along with them. It’s a fact of life that our teeth and gums are impacted by our age. Here are some common problems to watch for, and suggestions for treatment.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are vital to avoid gum disease. The first stage is called gingivitis and it’s reversible. If untreated, it can lead to a very serious advanced stage called periodontitis. You may not experience signs of gum disease, so practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist are the best ways to keep it at bay.
If cold or hot foods cause you discomfort, you have a common problem called tooth sensitivity. It can result from decay, worn fillings, gum disease, broken teeth, or exposed roots. Your dentist may recommend toothpastes designed to reduce sensitivity, or other treatments based on the cause of your problem. Good oral hygiene can help with sensitivity also.
If you are missing any teeth, it not only looks unappealing but it can also affect your ability to eat and speak. Your other teeth may move, and bone loss can occur. Discuss treatment options with your dentist because you might be able to restore your smile. Bridges, implants, and dentures are a few of the dental advances that might help.
Medicines and some health conditions often cause your mouth to be overly dry. Having a dry mouth is uncomfortable, but it also can seriously impact your teeth and gums. Without saliva to naturally clean your mouth, the risks of tooth decay and other problems increase. Ask your dentist to look for signs of decay, and to help you identify the cause for your dry mouth. Be sure to tell your dentist about your medical history and medications.
Oral cancer can include your gums, lips, cheeks, tongue, jaw, throat, or soft palate. It sometimes begins with just a tiny spot or swollen area, so regular dental checkups can help catch this disease early. A variety of treatment options are available, but early detection makes a difference.
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Dental work can involve time and expense, so taking good care of your dental bridge is key to keeping it in ideal condition so that you don’t have to replace it. Diligent cleaning and care will allow you to enjoy the benefits of your bridge for as long as possible. Here are some tips for cleaning your dental bridge to keep it in tip-top shape.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush at least twice daily, so that both your teeth and the bridge are cleaned. Brush around all sides of the bridge to remove food particles. Your bridge is not immune to plaque buildup and potential decay, so cleaning it as well as your natural teeth is important.
Flossing is especially necessary with a dental bridge. It is recommended that you floss twice daily, usually before brushing. Use a bridge floss threader to clean around and under the bridge. Many dentists recommend using superfloss, which is made of stiff end threaders, spongy parts, and regular parts of floss. The stiff end threaders make it easier to floss under the bridge, while the spongy floss is helpful in cleaning the wider areas. The regular portion of the floss helps remove plaque from the teeth near the dental bridge.
Mouthwash such as Listerine kills germs that your toothbrush may miss, and also reaches areas that other tools can’t. Rinse with mouthwash at least once a day.
Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. This will ensure that your bridge fits properly and remains in good shape, as well as helping you maintain overall oral health.
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You may not realize it, but estimates suggest that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth. While many people think that it’s not a big deal, just one missing tooth can compromise your oral health and appearance. Alignment problems, bone degeneration, and additional tooth loss are common issues that occur from missing teeth. Dental implants offer solid replacements for lost teeth.
Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are small posts inserted in to the gums, functioning as the bases for prosthetic teeth. A skilled surgeon will securely place the implants so that these restorations will withstand the rigors of speaking, eating, and daily living. Implants can replace one or missing teeth as well as serve as the anchor for dentures or bridgework.
For optimal results, you need a full evaluation of your oral health. Your dentist will evaluate your whole mouth to make sure you have sufficient bone structure for the implants. If the doctor has concerns, he or she may suggest a bone graft to solidify the supporting structures.
With dental implants, a trained specialist will surgically place the small posts into your jawbone. After surgery, your mouth will heal and the bone will fuse with the posts to create artificial tooth roots, a process called osseointegration. In three to six months, you dentist will permanently attach prosthetic crowns to the implants, giving you a complete, beautiful smile. Care for the implants as you would your natural teeth, which includes brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.Read More »