Posts for tag: dental implants
Anyone who is dealing with tooth loss is most likely looking for a long-term solution to their problems. While there are a variety of options for treating your tooth loss, there is only one real alternative that promises a lifelong resolution, dental implants. Sound good? Dental implants can help you in several ways. In addition to filling in gaps and replacing missing teeth, dental implants also restore tooth functioning and improve speech. Different types of treatments are available to meet your needs, from replacing just one missing tooth with a single dental implant to all your teeth with implant supported dentures. At Kemlage Family Dentistry, Dr. Thomas Kemlage and Dr. Andrew Kemlage are your Fenton, MO, dentists for dental implants.
What is a dental implant?
By now you’ve probably heard about dental implants, but you may still not be sure what they are. These prosthetic replacements for a missing tooth are comprised of three parts: a small metal post (the implant), an abutment, and a dental crown. The crown is the part of your implant that is visible when you smile and is designed to look and function just like a natural tooth. While the implant is placed into the jawbone it’s the abutment that serves to connect the implant to the artificial tooth above the gumline.
How does a dental implant work?
The first step to getting a dental implant requires your dentist to drill a small hole into the jawbone where your implant will then be placed. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia so you won’t feel discomfort. Then the implant is placed, and the gums are stitched up.
Over the course of several weeks, osseointegration will take place. This is when the tissue and bone cells begin to attach to the surface of the implant, locking the implant into the jawbone. The durability of the material coupled with osseointegration makes the dental implant comparable to natural teeth—something that other prosthetic treatments just can’t promise. Your Fenton, MO, dentist can explain the specific ways in which dental implants can help you. Other benefits of dental implants include:
- Replacing missing teeth
- Filling in gaps in your smile
- Boosting self-confidence
- Restoring normal tooth functioning, including biting and chewing
- Improving speech by correcting tongue placement when speaking
- Creating a more youthful appearance by providing support for sagging facial muscles
Implant Supported Dentures
Dental implants can be used to anchor a complete or partial denture (similar to a bridge). The denture is designed to clip or clamp to the implants, giving you a much sturdier set of teeth. To be a candidate for this denture option, you must have sufficient healthy bone tissue. In most cases, about two to four implants are added to specific areas of the gum line to serve as supports for the device. Implant supported dentures are more stable than traditional dentures, as they are more likely to stay in place and less likely to move around.
There are some instances in which traditional removable dentures, whether full or partial, may be the right choice for your situation. From filling in gaps to replacing missing teeth, dentures provide several benefits. The two main types of dentures are partial and full. Partial dentures are best when you still have some natural teeth and do not need to replace a full set of teeth. Full dentures are necessary when there are no natural teeth remaining.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas Kemlage or Dr. Andrew Kemlage, your Fenton, MO, dentists, by calling Kemlage Family Dentistry at (636) 225-1777.
If you're considering dental implants, they'll need to be surgically placed in the jaw bone. But don't be alarmed — it's a relatively minor procedure that usually requires nothing more than local anesthesia.
But that being said, it's still an invasive procedure that involves making incisions in gum and bone tissues. That could introduce bacteria into the bloodstream and pose, for certain individuals, a slightly greater risk of infection.
But infection risk is quite low for most healthy patients. As a result, implants enjoy a greater than 95-percent success rate ten years after installation. But some patients have health issues that increase their risk of infection. These include older adults with a weakened immune system, smokers, diabetics or those well under or over their ideal weight.
If you have these or similar health situations, we may recommend undergoing an antibiotic treatment before you undergo surgery. This can help prevent bacteria from spreading and reduce the likelihood of an infection.
Preventive antibiotic therapy is commonplace with many other dental procedures. Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association recommend antibiotics before any invasive oral procedure for patients with prosthetic (false) heart valves, past endocarditis, a heart transplant or other heart conditions. To lower the risk of implant failure due to infection, we often advise antibiotics for patients who fall in these categories, as well as those with similar conditions mentioned earlier.
Of course, whether pre-surgical antibiotics is a wise choice for you will depend on your medical history and current health status. We'll consider all these factors thoroughly before advising you. But if you are more susceptible to infection, antibiotics before surgery could potentially lower your risk for an implant failure.
For many people, a smile they love is the key to feeling confident about the way they look. However, this may take some help from your cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is an umbrella term for many procedures which can improve your smile both aesthetically and functionally. Find out more about cosmetic dentistry and what it can do for you with Kemlage Family Dentistry in Fenton, MO.
What procedures are considered cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry in Fenton, MO, focuses on changing the look of your smile and, in some cases, can help improve its functionality as well. Some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
- Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening can benefit almost anyone who wishes to give their smile a boost. We offer a simple dentist-monitored at-home whitening system. You wear a whitening tray that holds a bleaching gel and will gradually whiten your smile. This process is monitored by the dentist until the desired results occur. This bleaching gel is stronger than over-the-counter whitening products so you'll get a better result, and it can be refreshed if needed every 6 months or so to keep your teeth bright and white.
- Veneers: Dental veneers change the size, shape, length, width or color of a tooth. The veneer itself fits onto the surface of a tooth and covers imperfections like yellowing or discolorations, chips, cracks and slight gaps or overlaps. Veneers can completely overhaul your smile to give you a totally different look or can simply repair a single damaged tooth to blend it back into your smile naturally.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants replace a missing tooth and its root. This procedure is the most effective and permanent choice for replacing a tooth. Your Fenton dentist implants a titanium post into the jawbone where it integrates with the rest of your jawbone over time. Once healed, the implant holds a prosthetic tooth in place. Implants can also replace several teeth in a row using a dental bridge or all of your teeth using a denture.
- Bonding: Dental bonding uses composite resin materials molded directly onto the tooth to reshape it. Bonding is a good option for patients who have an uneven or chipped tooth.
- Braces: Orthodontic care is a great way to straighten your smile and correct bite issues. In the past, the only option for braces was with traditional metal brackets and wires. However, you can now choose from other, more subtle, options like tooth-colored ceramic braces or Invisalign aligner trays.
For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Thomas Kemlage and Dr. Andrew Kemlage at Kemlage Family Dentistry in Fenton, MO. Call (636) 225-1777 to schedule your appointment today!
If you're one of the more than 26 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, you know first hand how the disease impacts your life. That includes your dental health — and whether or not implants are a good tooth replacement option for you.
Diabetes is actually the name for a group of diseases affecting how your body processes glucose, a simple sugar that provides energy for the body's cells. The level of glucose in the blood is regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Diabetes causes the pancreas to either stop producing insulin (Type 1) or not produce enough (Type 2). Also in Type 2, the body can become unresponsive to the insulin produced.
The implications for either type are serious and can be life-threatening. If glucose levels are chronically too low or high the patient could eventually go blind, suffer nerve damage, or develop kidney disease. Diabetes also interferes with wound healing and creates a greater susceptibility for gangrene: diabetics thus have a higher risk for losing fingers, toes and limbs, and can even succumb to coma or death.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. Fortunately, most people with this type can effectively manage it through diet, exercise and regular glucose monitoring; if need be, prescription medication can help regulate their levels. Even so, diabetics with their disease under control must still be alert to slower wound healing and a higher risk of infection.
Because implant placement is a minor surgical procedure, the aspects of diabetes related to healing, infection and inflammation could have an adverse impact on the ultimate success of the placement. Implant surgery creates a wound in the surrounding gum tissues and bone that will need to heal; the body's immune response in a diabetic can interfere with that process. And if infection sets in, the risks of implant failure increase.
But research has shown that diabetics with good glucose management have as high a success rate (over 95% after ten years) as non-diabetic patients. That means the implant option is a viable one for you as a diabetic — but only if you have your disease under control.
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?”