Posts for tag: dental implants
Missing even one tooth can make chewing difficult, smiling uncomfortable, and even puts the rest of your teeth at risk for shifting out of place! However, Dr. David Feeney, your dentist in Matthews, North Carolina, can make that discomfort a thing of the past with dental implants. These amazing tooth restorations are permanent, attractive, and easy to care for. Wondering if dental implants are right for you? Read on!
Are You Missing One or More Teeth?
Dental implants are designed to replace any permanent teeth that have extracted, knocked out, or otherwise lost. Some implants only have one porcelain tooth attached to them; others can have several teeth, like a partial denture, that fill in the gap for a whole section of your smile. There's even the option of having implant-supported dentures! With an examination, your Matthews dentist will be able to determine your needs.
Do You Want a Low Maintenance Option?
One of the best aspects of dental implants is that they never need to be removed for cleaning or adjustments and don't require any special maintenance. Simply brushing, flossing, and making time to see your Matthews dentist twice a year is all that your dental implants will need to stay in place for decades, even a lifetime!
Do You Have Healthy Bone Structure?
Most patients experiencing tooth loss make great candidates for dental implants. However, there can be a few conditions that may require a different restoration. One of the main reasons that dental implants may not work is because the density and quality of the jawbone can deteriorate at a surprising rate after teeth are lost, and the post of the implant needs a solid foundation to stay stable. This isn't the case for everyone; it depends on a number of factors, including your health, your genetics, and how long you've been missing your teeth. Of course, Dr. Feeney can check your jawbone's structure by taking a quick X-ray in the area where you're missing teeth and fully determine if implants are a good option for you.
Contact us Today!
To get started, contact the dental office of Dr. David Feeney in Matthews, North Carolina and ask our friendly staff to schedule you for a dental implant consultation. We look forward to helping you smile more confidently!
Placing a dental implant within the jawbone requires a surgical procedure. For most people it’s a relatively minor affair, but for some with certain health conditions it might be otherwise. Because of their condition they might have an increased risk for a bacterial infection afterward that could interfere with the implant’s integration with the bone and lead to possible failure.
To lower this risk, dentists for many years have routinely prescribed an antibiotic for patients considered at high-risk for infection to take before their implant surgery. But there’s been a lively debate among health practitioners about the true necessity for this practice and whether it’s worth the possible side effects that can accompany taking antibiotics.
While the practice still continues, current guidelines now recommend it for fewer health conditions. The American Dental Association (ADA) together with the American Heart Association (AHA) now recommend antibiotics only for surgical patients who have prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or certain congenital heart conditions.
But patients with prosthetic joint replacements, who were once included in the recommendation for pre-surgical antibiotics, are no longer in that category. Even so, some orthopedic surgeons continue to recommend it for their joint replacement patients out of concern that a post-surgical infection could adversely affect their replaced joints.
But while these areas of disagreement about pre-surgical antibiotics still continue, a consensus may be emerging about a possible “sweet spot” in administering the therapy. Evidence from recent studies indicates just a small dose of antibiotics administered an hour before surgery may be sufficient to reduce the risk of infection-related implant failure with only minimal risk of side effects from the drug.
Because pre-surgical antibiotic therapy can be a complicated matter, it’s best that you discuss with both the physician caring for your health condition and your dentist about whether you should undergo this option to reduce the infection risk with your own implant surgery. Still, if all the factors surrounding your health indicate it, this antibiotic therapy might help you avoid losing an implant to infection.
If you would like more information on antibiotics before implant surgery, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics: Lowering Risk of Implant Failure.”
Every year dentists place over 5 million dental implants for lost teeth, often removing the problem tooth and installing the implant at the same time. But getting a “tooth in a day” depends on a number of health factors, especially whether or not there’s adequate bone available for the implant. Otherwise, the implant’s placement accuracy and success could be compromised.
Bone loss can be a similar problem when a tooth has been missing for a long period of time. If this describes your situation, you may have already lost substantial bone in your jaw. To understand why, we need to know a little about bone’s growth cycle.
When bone cells reach the end of their useful life, they’re absorbed into the body by a process called resorption. New cells then form to take the older cells’ place in a continuous cycle that keeps the bone healthy and strong. Forces generated when we chew travel through the teeth to the bone and help stimulate this growth. But when a tooth is missing, the bone doesn’t receive this stimulus. As a result, the bone may not replace itself at a healthy rate and diminish over time.
In extreme cases, we may need to consider some other dental restoration other than an implant. But if the bone loss isn’t too severe, we may be able to help increase it through bone grafting. We insert safe bone grafting material prepared in a lab directly into the jaw through a minor surgical procedure. The graft then acts like a scaffold for bone cells to form and grow upon. In a few months enough new bone may have formed to support an implant.
Bone grafting can also be used if you’re having a tooth removed to preserve the bone even if you’re not yet ready to obtain an implant. By placing a bone graft immediately after extraction, it’s possible to retain the bone for up to ten years—enough time to decide on your options for permanent restoration.
Whatever your situation, it’s important that you visit us as soon as possible for a complete examination. Afterward we can assess your options and hopefully come up with a treatment strategy that will eventually include smile-transforming dental implants.
If you have a problem tooth we’ve recommended removing, those “Tooth in one day” ads—a tooth removed and an implant placed at the same time—might start to pique your interest. But there are a few factors we must consider first to determine if this procedure is right for you. Depending on your mouth’s health conditions, you may need to wait a little while between tooth extraction and implantation.
Here are 3 timing scenarios for receiving your implant after tooth removal, depending on your oral health.
Immediately. The “tooth in one day” scenario can be much to your liking, but it could also be tricky in achieving the best results. For one, the implant may fit too loosely—the bone around the socket might first need to heal and fill in or undergo grafting to stimulate regeneration. In other words, immediate implant placement usually requires enough supporting bone and an intact socket. Bone grafting around the implant is usually needed as well.
After gum healing. Sufficient gum coverage is also necessary for a successful outcome even if the bone appears adequate. To guard against gum shrinkage that could unattractively expose too much of the implant, we may need to delay implant placement for about 4 to 8 weeks to allow sufficient gum healing and sealing of the extraction wound. Allowing the gums to heal can help ensure there’s enough gum tissue to cover and protect the implant once it’s placed.
After bone healing. As we’ve implied, implants need an adequate amount of supporting bone for best results. When there isn’t enough, we might place a bone graft (often immediately after tooth extraction) that will serve as a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. Depending on the degree of bone loss, we may wait until some of the bone has regenerated (about 2 to 4 months) and then allow the natural process of bone cells growing and adhering to the implant (osseointegration) to complete the needed bone growth. If bone loss is extensive, we may need to wait until full healing in 4 to 6 months to encourage the most stable outcome.
If you would like more information on the process of obtaining 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 “Implant Timelines for Replacing Missing Teeth.”
Whether you've just lost a tooth or experienced tooth loss in the past, dental implants can restore your smile. Matthews, NC, dentist Dr. David Feeney shares a few benefits of dental implants and explains how the implant process works.
Why should I choose dental implants?
Dental implants offer several important benefits, including:
- A Complete Replacement Tooth: Dental implants completely restore missing teeth. The implant, which serves as a synthetic root replacement, bonds to your jawbone and is topped with a dental crown. Implants are a good choice if you've lost one or two teeth, but you can even replace all of your teeth with the restorations. Many people who've worn removable dentures in the past find that implant-supported dentures are a more comfortable option.
- Natural Feel: Dental implants feel comfortable because they're firmly attached to your jaw just like natural teeth. You can easily chew all of your favorite foods without worrying that your restoration will slip or rub against your gum.
- Improved Appearance: The crown attached to the top of your dental implant looks just like your missing tooth. Crowns are created from impressions of your mouth taken in our Matthews office to ensure that the restorations look and feel natural. Shifting teeth, a problem that can occur after you lose a tooth, can be avoided by adding a dental implant and crown to your mouth. Once your new tooth is in place, you won't have to worry that your teeth will drift and overlap.
- No Change to Your Bite: A missing tooth or teeth can change your bite and may even eventually lead to other problems, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) or difficulty chewing. Dental implants help you avoid these issues.
- A Stronger Jawbone: Your jawbone starts to resorb, or shrink after you lose a tooth. Resorption occurs when your tooth roots no longer stimulate the bone and can several unpleasant consequences. Further tooth loss is a possibility, plus a shrinking jawbone can lead to facial sagging. Your new dental implant presses on your jawbone the same way your roots do, which strengthens your jaw and prevents shrinking.
Restore your smile with dental implants! Call Matthews, NC, dentist Dr. David Feeney at (704) 847-1000 to schedule an appointment.