Posts for tag: dental implants
Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.
In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.
Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.
Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.
If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.
The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.
Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.
Is tooth loss threatening your smile? Whether you have upcoming extractions or already have smile gaps, McClean Dental Care can help you with dental implants. Placed by Dr. Cecilia Gyllenhoff or Dr. Samuel Cappiello, dental implants have preserved the smiles of many patients in the McLean, VA, area. They may be your best tooth-replacement option, too.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium metal screw which, when inserted into the jaw, serves as an artificial tooth root. Single-tooth implants receive posts and crowns after they have integrated with their supporting bone. This natural process is called osseointegration, and it makes these artificial roots exceptionally strong and stable.
People who have lost multiple teeth
If qualified, these patients can receive multiple implants from Dr. Gyllenhoff or Dr. Cappiello right in their McLean, VA, office. Implant-supported dentures may be fitted on either the top or bottom arch. They provide excellent biting and chewing power, superior stability, realistic personal appearance, and excellent support for remaining natural teeth.
The simple treatment and its bone-building power
To qualify for any number of dental implants, you'll undergo a complete oral exam, including a special X-ray that focuses on your bone structure. You must have a strong jaw bone to receive dental implants. Additionally, your oral and systemic health should be good.
Then, your implant procedure happens at McLean Dental Care. You'll receive local anesthesia, and after incising the gums, your dentist inserts the implant screw. A few sutures close the site, and you return home to heal. Osseointegration takes several weeks, but once complete, you're assured of a good foundation for the alloy post and porcelain crown.
Caring for dental implants
Here are some tips on routine care:
- Brush twice a day. A soft nylon toothbrush is best.
- Floss daily according to your hygienist's instructions.
- See your dentist twice a year for a check-up and cleaning.
- Stop smoking to avoid infection at the implant site and possible failure. The American Academy of Periodontology calls this condition of the hard and soft tissues peri-implantitis.
- Do not clench or grind your teeth. Ask your dentist about a nocturnal bite guard.
Come see us for a consultation
At McLean Dental Care, we know that tooth loss sometimes happens. That's why Dr. Cecilia Gyllenhoff and Dr. Samuel Cappiello offer state of the art dental implants. To learn more about them, phone our McLean, VA, office at (703) 734-0100.
Among dental restorations, implants are the closest prosthetic we have to real teeth. They not only replace the visible crown, but the titanium post imbedded in the jawbone adequately substitutes for the tooth root. Because of their unique design, implants are not only life-like, they’re highly durable and could potentially last for decades.
But while their success rate is remarkably high (more than 95% exceed the ten-year mark), they can fail. Ironically, one possible cause for implant failure is periodontal (gum) disease. Although an implant’s materials are themselves impervious to disease, the tissues and underlying bone that support the implant aren’t. If these natural tissues become infected, the secure hold the implant has can weaken and fail.
A gum infection usually begins with dental plaque, a thin biofilm of bacteria and food particles that builds up on tooth surfaces. Certain strains of bacteria within plaque can infect the gums. One particular form of the disease known as peri-implantitis starts as an initial infection and ensuing inflammation of gum tissues around an implant. The disease can quickly spread down to the bone and destroy the integration between the bone and the implant that helps keep the implant in place.
That’s why it’s important for you to keep the implant and the tissues around it clean of plaque, just as you would the rest of your natural teeth. This requires daily brushing and flossing around the implant and other teeth, and visiting your dentist regularly for more thorough dental cleanings.
You should also be alert to any signs of disease, especially around implants: gum redness, swelling, bleeding or pus formation. Because of the rapidity with which peri-implantitis can spread, you should see your dentist as soon as possible if you notice any of these signs.
Preventing gum disease, and treating it promptly if it occurs, is a key part of implant longevity. Preserving your overall dental health will help make sure your implant doesn’t become a loss statistic.
You may have heard of getting dentures as the ideal way to replace missing teeth, but many dentists now recommend dental implants or implant-supported dentures. This is a viable solution for patients who have healthy bone tissue and generally good dental health. Learn about the benefits of dental implants, a tooth replacement and restoration solution offered by Dr. Cecilia Gyllenhoff and Dr. Samuel Cappiello at McLean Dental Care in McLean, VA.
When you are missing one or more teeth, chewing your food thoroughly can be a daily challenge. Getting a dental implant to complete your smile can give you back your ability to chew food.
An Implant Is Long Lasting
A dental implant solidifies in your bone tissue through a process called osseointegration. The implant is made of a biocompatible material, usually titanium metal, which bonds with your jawbone. Once the integration process is complete (it usually takes several months), the implant may last for decades. It’s very possible for dental implants placed by your McLean, VA, dentist to remain a part of your smile for a lifetime.
Communication and Socializing Becomes Easier
When you have a missing tooth, especially at the front of your mouth, it can be embarrassing to smile and difficult to feel comfortable around others. You may find yourself focusing more on hiding your dental imperfection than on enjoying your company. You may feel insecure about even taking photos with your friends. Getting a dental implant will help to restore your confidence when communicating with others in social and professional circles.
Decide if This is the Tooth Replacement Solution for You
Consider the key benefits of dental implants with your dentist as you’re deciding if they are right for your smile. Call (703) 734-0100 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Gyllenhoff or Dr. Cappiello at McLean Dental Care in McLean, VA!
Even with modern prevention and treatment advances, losing teeth in later life is still a sad but common part of human experience. Just as generations have before, many today rely on dentures to regain their lost dental function and smile.
But although effective, dentures have their weaknesses. The most serious: they can't prevent jawbone deterioration, a common problem associated with tooth loss.
Bone health depends on chewing forces applied to the teeth to stimulate replacement growth for older bone cells. When teeth are gone, so is this stimulation. Dentures can't replicate the stimulus and may even accelerate bone loss because they can irritate the bone under the gums as they rest upon them for support.
But there's a recent advance in denture technology that may help slow or even stop potential bone loss. The advance incorporates implants with dentures to create two hybrid alternatives that may be more secure and healthier for the supporting bone.
The first is known as an overdenture, a removable appliance similar to a traditional denture. But instead of deriving its support from the gums alone, the overdenture attaches to three to four implants (or only two, if on the lower jaw) that have been permanently set into the jawbone. This not only increases stability, but the implants made of bone-friendly titanium attract and foster increased bone growth around them. This can help slow or even stop the cycle of bone loss with missing teeth.
The second type is a fixed denture. In this version, four to six implants are implanted around the jaw arch. The denture is then secured in place to these implants with screws. It's a little more secure than the overdenture, but it's also more expensive and requires good quality bone at the implant sites.
If you've already experienced significant bone loss you may first need bone grafting to build up the implant sites for these options, or choose traditional dentures instead. But if you're a good candidate for an implant-supported denture, you may find it provides better support and less risk of continuing bone loss than traditional dentures.
If you would like more information on implant-supported dental restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”