Posts for: February, 2019
Dental implant technology has advanced at such an astounding rate in recent years that you can now walk into a dentist's office with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new one. Unfortunately, not all dental situations allow for this possibility.
For example, you might be considering an implant many years after losing a tooth. But there's a potential problem: there might not be enough supporting bone. While an implant might still be possible, inadequate bone complicates the matter.
Because implants are essentially tooth root replacements, they require a certain amount of bone for stability and the best attractive outcome. As a general rule, implants need to be surrounded by at least 1.5-2.0 millimeters of healthy bone to support an implant. But you might not have enough if your tooth has been missing for awhile, regardless if you have or haven't worn dentures or other restorations.
That's because bone has a life cycle in which older cells die and newer ones form to take their place. As we chew or bite, the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone to stimulate this new growth. Without a tooth the bone doesn't receive this stimulus, which can slow the growth rate. Over time the affected bone can lose its volume and density.
If we find you've experienced loss to the point your bone won't support an implant, that doesn't automatically mean this popular restoration is out of the picture. But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone.
With grafting, we place processed bone grafting material in the jaw through a minor surgical procedure to form a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. After several months this can result in several millimeters of new growth maintaining the width of the underlying bone, which in turn may be able to support an implant.
Bone grafting is quite common, often performed at the same time as tooth extraction if there's going to be a time lag before installing an implant. Even if performed later, though, it can successfully rejuvenate lost bone and make it possible for you to take advantage of durable, life-like implants.
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 after Previous Tooth Loss.”
When you hear the word “dentures” you probably think of an appliance that replaces all the teeth on a dental arch. But there is another type: a removable partial denture (RPD), which can be a viable option for replacing a few missing teeth.
An RPD rests on the bony gum ridges that once held the missing teeth and are secured with clasps or other attachments to adjacent teeth. While lightweight, RPDs are designed to last for many years — they’re made of vitallium, a light but very strong metal alloy that reduces the RPD’s thickness. Recently, metal-free partial dentures are being used that don’t have the fit or longevity of the vitallium partial dentures, but are considered more of a cosmetic solution.
RPDs are custom-made for each individual patient to accommodate the number, location and distribution of teeth missing throughout the mouth. Their design must also reflect the health and stability of the gums and remaining natural teeth to ensure they won’t move unduly during normal mouth function, and will be as lifelike and unnoticeable as possible.
RPDs have been a mainstay in dentistry for many years and represent a less expensive tooth replacement option than implants or fixed bridgework. But they do have their downsides: because of their method of attachment to the remaining natural teeth they tend to accumulate plaque, which increases the risk of both periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. Their fit requires that they attach to the adjacent teeth that will cause some damage and lead to their looseness over time.
If you wear an RPD, there are some things you can do to decrease these problems. First and foremost, you should clean your RPD thoroughly every day, as well as brush and floss your remaining teeth to reduce plaque buildup especially at contact points. Be sure to remove the RPD at night while you sleep. And keep up regular dental visits not only for additional plaque removal but also to allow us to inspect the RPD for problems or wear.
An RPD is a viable option for improving mouth function and restoring your smile after multiple tooth loss. With proper care and maintenance, your RPD can serve you well for many years to come.
If you would like more information on removable partial dentures, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures.”
What happens if you lose a tooth? Many things, and none of them are good. Fortunately, today's dental techniques offer a wonderful alternative to a gapped smille—the dental implant. Your dentist in Manteca and Stockton, CA, Dr. Rujal Parikh of Central Valley Dentist, restores scores of smiles with these amazing artificial teeth. Read on to learn how implants could benefit you.
Tooth loss changes everything
Honestly, you need every tooth in your mouth. Losing even one to gum disease, decay, or oral trauma changes your entire dental landscape, weakening teeth near the gap, degrading gum tissue and supporting bone, and of course, impacting your appearance and self-confidence.
While you could replace one or more teeth with conventional dentures or bridgework, these prosthetics pose certain problems, including:
- Continued bone degradation
- Wear and tear on adjoining teeth if you wear a partial denture with clasps
- Enamel reduction and crowning of natural teeth supporting fixed bridgework (consisting of one or more artificial teeth)
- Keeping your teeth in a bedside cup at night
- Speech slurring
- Denture slippage
- Difficulty eating certain foods
Dental implants imitate real teeth
A single dental implant, or multiple implants supporting a bridge or denture, actually feel, look, and behave just as natural teeth do.
The science behind implant stability and longevity (they last for decades) is something called osseointegration. Human bone in the jaw actually wraps around the titanium metal screw or cylinder as soon as Dr. Parikh surgically places it in the jaw bone.
Over the ensuing weeks, osseointegration continues until finally, the dentist deems the implant strong enough to accept the tremendous pressures biting and chewing exert on it. At this point, the implant can receive a metal alloy abutment to extend it above the gums and a custom-designed porcelain crown. As you use your new tooth, the bond between it and the jaw will increase.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons states that dental implants have a high success and retention rate with 95 percent overall. So, if Dr. Parikh assesses your overall health and the density of your jaw bone and determines both can support a dental implant, expect a straightfoward treatment and a renewed smile.
Interested? Call either our Stockton or Manteca office today!
Would you like to come to Central Valley Dentist for a consultation with implant dentist, Dr. Rujal Parikh? He can tell you if dental implants are right for you. For the Manteca office, phone (209) 825-1030, and for Stockton, call (209) 955-1800.