Posts for tag: Dental Implants
Dental implants provide unique benefits to patients missing one or more teeth. Placed into the jaw by your dentist, Dr. Mark Maher, in his Walnut Creek, CA, practice, titanium implants revive smiles in ways no other tooth replacements can. Would you like to know more? Read on to learn what dental implants could do for you.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw or cylinder which replaces a missing tooth root. Through an amazing process called osseointegration, bone cells in the jaw adhere right to the implant, forming a strong and durable bond.
Osseointegration takes many weeks to complete, but once the surgical site is fully healed, Dr. Maher can attach a metal alloy post and porcelain crown. This gives the patient a complete tooth which functions, looks and feels like a natural one. Multiple implants--typically, two, four, or six-- support fixed bridgework or full dentures, helping people with extensive tooth loss experience great smiles.
Qualifying for dental implants
When you come to Dr. Maher's office in Walnut Creek, CA, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums fully and go over your medical history. Specialized scans show if you have enough bone in your jaw to accept implant devices. Bone density is paramount to implant success. Also, you should be in good overall health.
The implant treatment
If you are a good candidate--and most teens and adults are--your oral surgery will take place in the office with local anesthetic. Your crown, bridge or denture will be custom-made according to your needs and attached to your implants within two to six months.
Benefits of dental implants
The biggest benefit of dental implants is complete restoration of a damaged smile. Implants look and act just like natural teeth, and they stay in your mouth 100 percent of the time. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that implants are more reliable and predictable than conventional tooth replacements, and implants last indefinitely--even a lifetime.
Furthermore, these artificial teeth exercise the jaw bone every time you eat. This action improves the jaw bone density and quality which is so quickly lost after dental extraction. With a solid jaw bone, your facial contours remain youthful and your oral function remains efficient.
Finally, your dental implants need only routine care--brushing twice a day, flossing and check-ups and cleanings every six months with Dr. Maher.
Ready for a renewed smile?
If you are, please contact Dr. Mark Maher and his team in Walnut Creek, CA, for a personalized implant consultation. Together, you'll make the best decision for your oral health. Phone us at (925) 934-8149.
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.
While many people still consider dental implants the "new kids on the block" in dental restoration, they're now in their fourth decade of use. And since their inception implant technology has continued to improve and revolutionize how we replace missing teeth.
Implants are a different "species" compared to other restoration methods. To be precise, an implant is a tooth root replacement—usually a titanium metal post imbedded directly into the jaw bone. Titanium is not only a biocompatible metal, but bone cells naturally grow on its surface to create a strong and durable hold. It's this secure hold that's most responsible for implants' high long-term success rate.
But we should also credit some of this success to the steady stream of advances over the years in implant construction and supporting technologies. For one thing, we're now more accurate and precise with implant placement thanks to advances in computer tomography (CT) and cone beam CT (CBCT) scanning.
These digital processes merge a series of images taken by a special camera to form a three-dimensional model of the jaw. We can manipulate this model on a computer monitor to view it from different vantage points. It can help us locate and avoid anatomical structures like nerves and sinuses when determining where to place a future implant. CT and CBCT are especially useful when there's a concern about adequate available bone, a necessity for stable implants.
Technology has also improved how we create surgical guides, often used during implant surgery to obtain the most accurate results. Surgical guides are custom-made devices that fit over the teeth with the drilling locations for the implants marked on them. Recent advances in 3-D printing have made these guides even more accurate so that they fit more securely in the mouth. This greater stability increases their accuracy during the drilling sequence during surgery.
These and other advances are helping ensure every implant is a success story. The end result is both a functional restoration and a beautiful smile.
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 “How Technology Aids Dental Implant Therapy.”
Find out how dental implants can improve your appearance and your self-esteem.
We know that dealing with tooth loss wasn’t something you ever thought would happen to you. While losing a tooth is a common and exciting occurrence for children it can be stressful and overwhelming as an adult; fortunately, you have our Walnut Creek, CA, dentist, Dr. Frank Skiba, by your side to give you back the smile you once had with a lot of help from a dental restoration known as a dental implant.
Regardless of whether you need to replace one or all of your teeth, dental implants offer a way to give you back that full smile no matter the extent of your tooth loss. A dental implant is a very small, titanium post that functions just like real tooth roots and is surgically placed into the jawbone by our Walnut Creek restorative dentist, Dr. Skiba.
Once the implant is placed into the jawbone something pretty magical happens: the jawbone, as it heals, begins to heal around the implant. Once healing has fully occurred (which can take several months depending on where the implants have been placed and how many implants you’ve been given) the implant will now be a permanent, steadfast structure within the jawbone, so you won’t have to worry about it moving around in your mouth (a common complaint for denture wearers).
Dental implants are the closest you can get to having a real tooth. Not only will you finally have a full smile back but also you’ll enjoy regaining confidence in your appearance and smile. Speech and chewing will also be fully restored with implants so you can enjoy all of your favorite foods again without worry.
Once the implant has fused together with the jawbone it’s time to start the next step in your treatment process. Depending on the type of implant we place we may need to attach another piece, known as an abutment, over the top of the implant. This will require us to perform another minor surgery in which we must open up the gums so that we can place the abutment over the implant. The abutment’s only purpose is to connect the implant with the artificial tooth.
We will also need to take impressions so that a dental lab can create your custom dental crown. After a couple more weeks of healing, you will come back in so that our Walnut Creek implant dentist can attach the crown to the abutment to give you back your smile. Of course, if you have several missing teeth, multiple implants are placed throughout the jawbone to support a dental bridge or dentures
If you are ready to find out if your smile could benefit from dental implants then it’s time to call our Walnut Creek, CA, dental office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Skiba.
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”