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Posts for: December, 2016

By Mark Lukin
December 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
ImplantSurgeryASafeandRoutineProcedure

Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants require a surgical procedure. But don't let your imagination run wild — the procedure is relatively minor and easy for most people to undergo.

Implants are unique among restorations because they replace a tooth's root. A metal titanium post, substituting for the root, must be surgically placed into the jawbone. While the procedure itself is simple and no more involved than a tooth extraction, it does require careful attention to detail before, during and afterward.

Our first step is to examine the target site with x-rays (often CT scanning) to pinpoint the best location for placement. This is critical because where we place the implant will have a huge bearing on how attractive and natural the implant finally appears. From this evaluation we frequently create a surgical guide.

Surgery begins with a local anesthesia to completely numb the site. You will feel no pain during the procedure and only minimal discomfort for a few days afterward. We then make small incisions in the gums to access the bone and create a small channel or hole.

Using the surgical guide, we then initiate a drilling sequence that gradually increases the size of the channel until it's the size and shape of the implant post. One thing we must do at this point is take our time: we use gentle pressure and water-cooling to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.

Once we're finished with drilling we remove the implant from its sterile packaging and imbed it directly into the prepared channel. It's then a matter of verifying the location with x-rays and then closing the gum tissue with self-absorbing sutures if necessary.

Most patients only need mild pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen to manage discomfort afterwards. You won't even notice it in a week or less. After several weeks in which the bone grows and adheres to the implant (a process called osseointegration), you'll be ready for the final step, attaching the life-like porcelain crown to the implant.

Although the process can take several weeks to months, your discomfort should be minimal at any stage. In the end, your patience will be rewarded with a new, more attractive smile.

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 “Dental Implant Surgery.”


By MARK LUKIN
December 16, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

If you need to replace missing teeth, dental implants could definitely be your solution.

Don’t let tooth loss stand in the way of having a gorgeous smile. While you may feel defeated you certainly don’t have to give up. With dental implantsdental implants our Sugar Land, TX dentists--Dr. Stephen Lukin, Dr. Mark Lukin and Dr. Forrest Arguelles--are making it easier for those suffering from tooth loss to fight the good fight and win. Discover more about dental implants and how they could restore your smile.

What are dental implants?

These restorations are designed to replace one or more missing teeth by taking over the role of tooth roots. Implants may not look like tooth roots (in fact, they just look like small metal posts) but they are designed to function just like tooth roots. These artificial tooth roots will be placed into the jawbone to support dental restorations like crowns.

How are dental implants placed?

All dental implant surgeries are performed while under local anesthesia so the area is fully numb prior to implant placement. Then our Sugar Land general dentist will place the implant into a pre-drilled hole in the jawbone. Then the gums will be stitched back up.

During the healing period the implant and the bone will naturally fuse together. Now the implant is a permanent structure from which to support a false tooth. If you are looking to replace a single missing tooth then a dental crown will be placed over the implant. If you need to replace multiple or even a full jaw of teeth we will place a dental bridge or removable dentures over your implant.

How do you care for implants?

Since implants function just like natural teeth they don’t require special care. Just make sure to maintain good oral hygiene and brush and floss regularly. You will also want to keep up with your six-month cleanings and exams to make sure that your implant remains healthy. Oral hygiene is of the utmost importance when you have a dental implant.

Don’t let tooth loss be the final say when it comes to the health of your smile. Turn to Lukin Family Dentistry in Sugar Land, TX to get dental restorations that are meant to last a lifetime. Call us today to get started!


EnsuretheBestOutcomewiththeRightCareforaTeensMissingTooth

While it's possible for a teenager to lose a tooth from decay, it's more common they'll lose one from an accidental knockout. If that happens to your teenager, there are some things you should know to achieve a good outcome.

Our top concern is to preserve the underlying bone following tooth loss. Like other tissues, bone has a life cycle: older cells dissolve and are absorbed by the body (resorption), then replaced by new cells. The biting pressure generated when we chew helps stimulate this growth. But bone around a missing tooth lacks this stimulation and may not keep up with resorption at a healthy rate.

This can cause a person to lose some of the bone around an empty tooth socket. To counteract this, we may place a bone graft at the site. Made of bone minerals, usually from a donor, the graft serves as a scaffold for new bone growth. By preventing significant bone loss we can better ensure success with a future restoration.

Because of its lifelikeness, functionality and durability, dental implants are considered the best of the restoration options that can be considered to replace a missing tooth. But placing an implant during the teen years is problematic because the jaws are still growing. If we place an implant prematurely it will appear to be out of alignment when the jaw fully matures. Better to wait until the jaw finishes development in early adulthood.

In the meantime, there are a couple of temporary options that work well for teens: a removable partial denture (RFP) or a fixed modified bridge. The latter is similar to bridges made for adults, but uses tabs of dental material that bond a prosthetic (false) tooth to the adjacent natural teeth to hold it in place. This alleviates the need to permanently alter the adjacent natural teeth and buy time so that the implant can be placed after growth and development has finished.

And no need to worry about postponing orthodontic treatment in the event of a tooth loss. In most cases we can go ahead with treatment, and may even be able to incorporate a prosthetic tooth into the braces or clear aligners.

It's always unfortunate to lose a tooth, especially from a sudden accident. The good news, though, is that with proper care and attention we can restore your teenager's smile.

If you would like more information on how to treat lost teeth in teenagers, 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 for Teenagers.”