Posts for tag: dental implants
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”
There's no need to live with gaps in your smile when dental implants offer a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. West Columbia, SC, dentists Drs. Peter and Brooke Stoltz offer implants that effectively replace any number of missing teeth.
Dental implants offer a total restoration option
Bridges, used to replace one or two teeth, and dentures, ideal for restoring an entire arch of teeth, have one important drawback. Both restoration methods only replace teeth above the gum line. If you don't replace tooth roots, changes to your jawbone can occur. It may also be more difficult to chew hard foods without roots. Dental implants are the only option that restores your entire tooth, beginning with the roots.
Titanium posts replace missing roots and are added to your jawbone during a minor oral surgical procedure. The implants eventually bond to your jawbone, a process that usually takes between three to six months. After your West Columbia dentist determines that your synthetic root is secure and stable, dental crowns will be added to the top of the implants to fill the gap in your smile.
Implants keep your jaw strong
Your roots don't just anchor your teeth in your jaw, but also keep the bone strong by exerting continual pressure on it. After the loss of one or more teeth, the underlying jawbone begins to shrink. The problem can lead to loose or lost teeth, a change in your bite and sagging facial muscles. Adding implants to your jawbone is an effective way to prevent shrinking or weakening of the bone.
You'll soon forget you lost a tooth
Dental implants are rooted in your mouth, just like natural teeth, and feel like the teeth you've lost. You won't notice any difference when you chew and won't have to worry about slipping or gum irritation, a common problem among denture wearers. Dental implants can be used to eat all of the foods you ate with your natural teeth. Even tough foods and corn on the cob aren't a problem when you have implants.
Caring for implants is simple
Daily brushing and flossing will keep your implants and crowns in good condition. If you grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you wear a nightguard to prevent loosening the implants.
Restore your smile with dental implants! Call West Columbia, SC, dentists Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz at (803) 755-0039 to schedule your appointment.
Say goodbye to those unsightly gaps between teeth when you say hello to dental implants.
It’s amazing how even just losing one permanent tooth can completely alter the look and shape of your smile. Of course, untreated tooth loss can cause a variety of complications for your smile, from shifting teeth to bone loss. Luckily, our West Columbia, SC, dentists, Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz, offer one tooth loss replacement that could prevent these complications and give you back a healthy tooth.
What are dental implants?
This artificial tooth root might not look like much at first glance, but this tiny metal post is actually going to replace the roots of your missing teeth. How? Our West Columbia restorative dentist will surgically place the implant into the jawbone to allow the titanium implant to fuse together with the bone and tissue over the course of a couple months. Just like a real tooth root, the implant will provide a long-term, reliable structure from which to support an artificial tooth (e.g. dental crown).
What should I expect when I get dental implants in West Columbia, SC?
It’s important to understand that getting implants is a process. You won’t get your restoration in just a couple of visits to our office. It can sometimes take several months or more to get your new teeth, particularly if you want to replace several or all of your missing teeth. Here are the common stages of getting implants:
- Diagnosis, X-rays and treatment planning
- Surgically placing the implant
- Placing the abutment (which connects the implant with the dental crown) on top of the implant
- Securing the dental crown or restoration over the abutment
Who should consider getting dental implants?
If you want a restoration that will truly last you the rest of your life then you should strongly consider getting dental implants. No other restoration acts and functions like real teeth in the same way that implants can. Plus, implants can replace several teeth and even support full dentures.
Of course, in order to deem you an ideal candidate for treatment we need to make sure you are healthy enough. This means running a series of X-rays and talking to you about your lifestyle and habits to make sure that you are right for this restorative dentistry.
Are you ready to find out whether getting a dental implant is the best way to replace your missing tooth for life? If so, then it’s time you called Three Fountains Family Dental in West Columbia, SC, restorative dentist today.
There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking. Here's one more if you're considering replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant: smoking increases your risk of implant failure.
By and large, dental implants are the most reliable and durable tooth replacement option, with more than a 95% success rate after ten years. But that still leaves a small percentage that fail — and twice as many of those failures are in smokers than in non-smokers.
To understand why, we need to look at how smoking affects oral health. Besides burning and thickening the surface skin cells inside the mouth, inhaled smoke can also damage salivary glands and lead to dry mouth. Reduced saliva creates an environment friendly to bacteria, which increases the risk of infection and disease.
The nicotine in tobacco also restricts the myriad of blood vessels that course through the teeth and gums. The resulting reduced blood flow deprives teeth and gums not only of nutrients but disease-fighting antibodies. The mouth takes longer to heal and can't fight infection as well.
The key to an implant's success lies with its titanium post imbedded in the jaw bone to take the place of the tooth root. Titanium attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to the post over a period of time and create a stronger hold. But the health effects of smoking inhibit this process. Furthermore, slower healing caused by smoking increases the risk of infection, the number one cause of early implant loss.
If you want to improve your chances for a successful implant — not to mention improve your overall health — you should quit smoking. The prospect of a dental implant could be a useful incentive to enroll in a smoking cessation program.
At the very least we suggest you stop smoking a week before implant surgery and then for at least two weeks after to help promote good healing. And you should pay close attention to your daily oral hygiene — brushing and flossing at least once — and regular, semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups.
Smoking can harm your health. If you're considering an implant, it could also harm your chances of a successful outcome.
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 Implants & Smoking.”
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.”