Posts for tag: dental implants
The Advantages of Dental Implants
If you are thinking about dental bridges or dentures to replace missing teeth, it’s time to think differently about tooth replacement! As opposed to dentures and bridges, implants provide a more natural looking solution for missing teeth. The truth is dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth and can either replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. The dentists at Lukin Family Dentistry in Sugar Land, Texas want to share the advantages of dental implants and you’ve been waiting for because they offer advantages like these:
Get Back Your Whole Smile
Dental implants are a fantastic option for modern tooth replacement for they preserve a look of natural beauty. This is due to how dental implants are made of lifelike materials that mimic the look of tooth enamel. In addition to this benefit, implants also provide:
- Worry-Free Results: Dental implants resist staining so you never have to worry about tooth decay
- Complete Stability: Dental implants are firmly embedded in bone, so they won’t move around
- Good Health: You can brush and floss your implants just like your natural teeth. There is no need to disrupt your current oral hygiene routine, to keep your smile healthy and beautiful
- Convenience: Dental implants are a permanent part of your smile which you never remove, unlike partials and dentures
- Rejuvenation: Dental implants help restore the youthful contours of your face and recreate your firm jawline, helping you look younger
You deserve a whole, complete smile that you can be proud of, and dental implants can help. To find out more about the process and to schedule a consultation, call the dentists at Lukin Family Dentistry office in Sugar Land, Texas at (281) 265-9000. Dental implants will bring back your smile and change your life, so call today!
With a 95-plus percent survival rate after ten years, dental implants are one of the most durable replacement restorations available. Implants can potentially last much longer than less expensive options, which could make them a less costly choice in the long run.
But although a rare occurrence, implants can and do fail—often in the first few months. And tobacco smokers in particular make up a sizeable portion of these failures.
The reasons stem from smoking’s effect on oral health. Inhaled smoke can actually burn the outer skin layers in the mouth and eventually damage the salivary glands, which can decrease saliva production. Among its functions, saliva provides enzymes to fight disease; it also protects tooth enamel from damaging acid attacks. A chronic “dry mouth,” on the other hand, increases the risk of disease.
The chemical nicotine in tobacco also causes problems because it constricts blood vessels in the mouth and skin. The resulting reduced blood flow inhibits the delivery of antibodies to diseased or wounded areas, and so dramatically slows the healing process. As a result, smokers can take longer than non-smokers to recover from diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, or heal after surgery.
Both the higher disease risk and slower healing can impact an implant’s ultimate success. Implant durability depends on the gradual integration between bone and the implant’s titanium metal post that naturally occurs after placement. But this crucial process can be stymied if an infection resistant to healing arises—a primary reason why smokers experience twice the number of implant failures as non-smokers.
So, what should you do if you’re a smoker and wish to consider implants?
First, for both your general and oral health, try to quit smoking before you undergo implant surgery. At the very least, stop smoking a week before implant surgery and for two weeks after to lower your infection risk. And you can further reduce your chances for failure by practicing diligent daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
It’s possible to have a successful experience with implants even if you do smoke. But kicking the habit will definitely improve your odds.
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 “Dental Implants & Smoking.”
You’ve invested quite a bit in your new dental implants. And it truly is an investment: because of implants’ potential longevity, their long-term costs could actually be lower than other restorations whose upfront costs might be less.
But to better ensure their longevity, you’ll need to keep your implants and the natural tissues supporting them clean of bacterial plaque, a sticky biofilm that can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Although the implant itself is unaffected by disease, the natural tissues around it can be. An infection could ultimately weaken the bone supporting the implant and lead to its failure.
Such an infection involving implants could advance rapidly because they don’t have the natural defenses of the original teeth. Our natural teeth are connected to the jaw through the periodontal ligament, a collagen network that attaches to both the teeth and the bone through tiny tissue fibers. This connection also provides access to antibodies produced by the body to fight infection.
By contrast, we place implants directly into the jawbone. While this creates a very secure attachment, the implant won’t have the same connection as teeth with the body’s immune system. That means any infection that develops in surrounding tissues can spread much more rapidly—and so must be dealt with promptly.
Treating this particular form of gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) is similar to infections with natural teeth and gums, with one important difference involving the tools we use to remove plaque from them. While natural teeth can handle metal scalers and curettes, these can create microscopic scratches in the porcelain and metal surfaces of an implant and create havens for further bacterial growth. Instead, we use instruments made of plastic or resin that won’t scratch, as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose.
To avoid an infection, it’s important that you brush your implants and surrounding tissues just like you would your natural teeth (be sure you use a soft-bristled brush). And keep up regular dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any developing gum infection. Maintaining your dentures will help ensure they continue to brighten your smile for a long time.
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 “Dental Implant Maintenance: Implant Teeth Must be Cleaned Differently.”
For generations, dentures have helped people avoid the dire consequences of total teeth loss. Now, implant technology is making them even better.
Composed of life-like prosthetic teeth fixed within a plastic or resin gum-colored base, dentures are manufactured to fit an individual patient’s mouth for maximum fit, comfort and performance. But dentures also have a critical drawback—they can’t stop bone loss in the jaw.
Bone is constantly regenerating as older cells dissolve and then are replaced by newer cells. In the jawbone, the forces generated when we chew travel through the teeth to the bone and help stimulate this new cell growth. When teeth are missing, though, the bone doesn’t receive this stimulus and may not regenerate at a healthy rate, resulting in gradual bone loss.
Dentures can’t transmit this chewing stimulus to the bone. In fact, the pressure they produce as they rest on top of the gums may actually accelerate bone loss. Over time then, a denture’s once secure and comfortable fit becomes loose.
In the past, most patients with loose dentures have had them relined with new dental material to improve fit, or have new dentures created to conform to the changed contours of the jaws. But implant technology now offers another alternative.
Implants are in essence a tooth root replacement. Dentists surgically implant a titanium metal post directly into the jawbone that naturally attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to it over time (a process called osseointegration). This not only creates a secure and lasting hold, it can also stop or even reverse bone loss.
Most people know implants as single tooth replacements with a porcelain crown attached to the titanium post. But a few strategically placed implants can also support either removable or fixed dentures. Removable dentures (also called overdentures) usually need only 3 or 4 implants on the top jaw and 2 on the bottom jaw for support through built-in connectors in the dentures that attach to the implants. A fixed bridge may require 4-6 implants to which they are permanently attached.
There are pros and cons for each of these options and they’re both more expensive than traditional dentures. In the long run, though, implant-supported dentures could be more beneficial for your bone health and hold their fit longer.
Has a missing tooth affected your life more than you expected? Gaps in your smile don't just affect the way you look, but may also make it harder to chew or even pronounce words clearly. Fortunately, dental implants offer an effective, long-term solution to tooth loss. Sugar Land, TX, dentists Dr. Stephen and Dr. Mark Lukin share some information about dental implants.
How do dental implants work?
A dental implant creates a brand new tooth, starting with a synthetic root. Implants are small titanium posts that fit in openings made in your jawbone. Lightweight titanium is an excellent choice for implants because the metal bonds to bones during a process called osseointegration. This process takes about three to six months and is crucial to ensuring the strength and stability of your new tooth.
Once the implant is completely bonded to your jawbone, an abutment is added to it. The abutment serves as a connection between the implant and the dental crown, the artificial tooth that will fill the gap in your smile.
Is an implant a good option for me?
Although many people can benefit from a dental implant, you'll need an examination in our Sugar Land, TX, office to determine if you're a good candidate. Implants are usually recommended if:
- You have one or more missing teeth. There are no limits regarding how many teeth can be replaced with dental implants. If you've lost all of your teeth, implant-supported dentures may be a good choice. Implant-supported dentures are more comfortable than traditional full dentures and offer improved biting power.
- You're tired of living with the challenge of a missing tooth. Eating can be much more difficult if you've lost a tooth. If the lost tooth is near the front of your mouth, it may be difficult to tear into food. A lost molar at the back of your mouth can make it hard to chew food completely.
- You don't smoke. The health effects of smoking may also interfere with healing.
- You practice good oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing will keep your implant healthy. If you're not a diligent flosser or brusher, a dental implant may not be the best option.
Complete your smile with dental implants! Call Sugar Land, TX, dentists Dr. Stephen and Dr. Mark Lukin at (281) 265-9000 to schedule an appointment.