Posts for tag: dental implants
You have a lot of options for replacing missing teeth, from state-of-the-art dental implants to affordable, but effective partial dentures. But if the teeth in question have been missing for a while, you may first have to undergo orthodontic treatment. Here's why.
While they may feel rigid and firm in the jawbone, teeth are actually held in place by periodontal (gum) ligaments. These elastic tissues lie between the teeth and the bone and attach to both with tiny filaments. This mechanism allows the teeth to incrementally move over time in response to biting pressures or other environmental factors.
When a tooth goes missing the teeth on either side of the space naturally move or "drift" into it to help close the gap. This natural occurrence can reduce the space for a restoration if it has gone on for some time. To make room for a new prosthetic (false) tooth, we may have to move the drifted teeth back to where they belong.
If you're thinking metal braces, that is an option—but not the only one. Clear aligners are another way to move teeth if the bite problem (malocclusion) isn't too severe. Aligners are a series of custom-made, clear, plastic trays worn over the teeth. The patient wears each tray, slightly smaller than the previous one in the series, for about two weeks before changing to the next one. The reduction in size gradually moves teeth to their intended target position.
Many adults prefer clear aligners because they're nearly invisible and don't stand out like metal braces. They're removable, so you can take them out for cleaning or for special occasions. And, we can also attach a prosthetic tooth to the tray that temporarily covers the missing tooth space.
Whichever orthodontic treatment you choose, once completed we can then proceed with restoration to permanently replace your missing teeth. While it can be a long process, the end result is a beautiful smile that could last for years to come.
If you would like more information on your dental restoration options, 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 “Straightening a Smile before Replacing Lost Teeth.”
Do you feel hopeless about your smile? Well, then you need to learn about how you can rebuild it with state-of-the art dental implants—the sure way to get a great-looking and fully functional smile! At our St. Louis, MO, office, Drs. Jeffrey and Jodi Johnson use titanium implants to replace single teeth, support multi-tooth bridges, and even anchor complete dentures. Are you ready to feel good about your smile?
Here's how implants work
A dental implant is a titanium metal screw that is placed directly into the empty socket where the natural tooth roots had previously been. The surrounding bone then bonds to the implant as the site heals. This bonding process is called osseointegration, and it is responsible for the implant's lifelike security and durability.
Once the device is fully integrated into the jaw, your St. Louis, MO, dentist attaches an extension post (abutment) and customized porcelain crown. Two, four, or more implants anchor prosthetics such as bridges or dentures. Whatever the case, osseointegration practically guarantees long-term retention of these amazing devices. The Journal of Oral Implantology estimates the dental implant success rate at about 98 percent.
Could you receive dental implants?
The best tooth replacement scenario is the insertion of a dental implant soon after dental extraction. This way, the underlying jaw bone does not have a chance to recede once the natural tooth is removed.
However, even people who have had smile gaps for years can receive dental implants. Dr. Johnson will evaluate you with examination and special X-rays to determine your jaw bone health, size, and density. The more bone you have, the quicker your dental implant will integrate into the jaw. Special augmentation procedures can also add bone to the areas which are deficient.
Caring for your implants
It's as simple as caring for your natural teeth. As the American Dental Association (ADA) advises:
- Brush twice daily with a quality fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily with and ADA-approved product your hygienist recommends
- Avoid bruxism, or teeth clenching, by wearing a protective mouth guard at night
- Avoid tobacco—both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco—because it leads to an infection that degrades the bone and gums at implant sites
- See your dentist semi-annually for a complete check-up and professional cleaning
Find out more
Drs. Jeffrey and Jodi Johnson love to see their patients smile! They offer dental implants as the best tooth replacement options around. Looking to rebuild your smile? Call their office for a dental implant consultation, and learn all the details. Phone (314) 427-7400 today!
Tooth loss continues to be a significant problem for millions of American adults. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) statistics suggest that more than 40% of adults are missing at least one tooth. There are a number of options available to replace missing teeth, depending on your oral health and lifestyle factors. Dr. Jeffery and Dr. Jodi Johnson offer dental implants and other restorative dentistry services for the entire family in St. Louis, MO.
Restore Missing Teeth with Dental Implants in St. Louis, MO
Implants are a full-service restoration option which replaces both the root and the crown of a missing tooth (other restorations only replace the crown). The implant, which is made of a small titanium screw that the dentist will surgically place in the socket of the missing tooth, acts as the tooth's root. Once in place, it fuses with the bone tissue in the gums and helps to prevent further bone loss, an unseen but serious side effect of tooth loss. After a short healing period, a cosmetic crown is attached to the implant and your smile will look and feel as good as new.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants have a number of advantages. They are secure, comfortable, aesthetically attractive, and a long-term solution to tooth loss. With good oral hygiene and follow up dental care, implants have a very high success rate, and look and feel just like a natural tooth. They can be used to replace a single tooth or to support and an entire set of dentures.
In order to qualify, adults must be in good general health and have enough remaining bone tissue to support the implant.
Find a Dentist in St. Louis, MO
For more information about how dental implants work and to find out if they are a good option for you, contact our office today by calling (314) 427-7400 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffery or Dr. Jodi today.
If you’ve just received a dental implant restoration, congratulations! This proven smile-changer is not only life-like, it’s also durable: more than 95% of implants survive at least 10 years. But beware: periodontal (gum) disease could derail that longevity.
Gum disease is triggered by dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that builds up on teeth. Left untreated the infection weakens gum attachment to teeth and causes supporting bone loss, eventually leading to possible tooth loss. Something similar holds true for an implant: although the implant itself can’t be affected by disease, the gums and bone that support it can. And just as a tooth can be lost, so can an implant.
Gum disease affecting an implant is called peri-implantitis (“peri”–around; implant “itis”–inflammation). Usually beginning with the surface tissues, the infection can advance (quite rapidly) below the gum line to eventually weaken the bone in which the implant has become integrated (a process known as osseointegration). As the bone deteriorates, the implant loses the secure hold created through osseointegration and may eventually give way.
As in other cases of gum disease, the sooner we detect peri-implantitis the better our chances of preserving the implant. That’s why at the first signs of a gum infection—swollen, reddened or bleeding gums—you should contact us at once for an appointment.
If you indeed have peri-implantitis, we’ll manually identify and remove all plaque and calculus (tartar) fueling the infection, which might also require surgical access to deeper plaque deposits. We may also need to decontaminate microscopic ridges found on the implant surface. These are typically added by the implant manufacturer to boost osseointegration, but in the face of a gum infection they can become havens for disease-causing bacteria to grow and hide.
Of course, the best way to treat peri-implantitis is to attempt to prevent it through daily brushing and flossing, and at least twice a year (or more, if we recommend it) dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups. Keeping its supporting tissues disease-free will boost your implant’s chances for a long and useful life.
If you would like more information on caring for your 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 “Gum Disease can Cause Dental Implant Failure.”
When it comes to replacing a missing tooth, you have several options, including a removable partial denture or a fixed bridge. But the premier choice is “the new kid on the block” at just over thirty years old: dental implants. Implants are by far the most popular tooth replacement choice among both patients and dentists.
But they also happen to be the most expensive option, at least initially. So the question is, why invest in dental implants over less costly choices?
Here are 3 reasons why implants could be well worth their price.
More Like a real tooth than other restorations. Implants can match the life-like appearance of any other replacement choice, often utilizing the same types of materials. But where they really excel is in function—how they perform while biting and chewing. This is because the dental implant’s titanium post imbedded in the jawbone replaces the tooth root. No other dental restoration can do that—or perform better when comparing the resulting functionality.
Best long-term solution. As we mentioned before, the initial implant cost is typically higher than either dentures or bridges. But you should also consider their durability compared to other choices. It could be potentially much longer—possibly decades. This is because the titanium post creates an ultra-strong hold in the jawbone as bone cells naturally grow and adhere to this particular metal. The resulting hold can withstand the daily forces generated during eating and chewing. With proper care they might even last a lifetime, and actually cost you less in the long run over other choices.
Adaptable to other types of restoration. Implants have greater uses other than as individual tooth replacements. A few strategically placed implants can also be used to support removable dentures or a fixed bridge for multiple teeth or an entire dental arch. As the technology continues to advance, implants are helping to make other restoration options stronger, more stable and longer lasting—and adding more value to your investment.
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 101.”