Posts for tag: dental implants
Isn’t it time you understood more about this popular tooth replacement?
Want to replace your missing tooth with the next best thing to a real tooth? Wondering how dental implants work and what makes someone a good candidate for this restorative treatment? Our Alexandria, VA, dentist Dr. Moutaz Abdeen has been giving patients beautiful, full smiles thanks to dental implants and you could be next. But first, understanding more about this tooth replacement is key.
What is a dental implant?
An implant is a small titanium post that functions like tooth roots and is placed into the jawbone where your missing tooth used to be. What makes implants different from other tooth replacement options is that the metal post and the jawbone fuse together naturally over the course of several months to become one. Once this occurs the implant is a permanent part of your mouth, providing a strong and stable base from which to hold a crown or even dentures in place.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
People will be happy to hear that many healthy adults are good candidates for dental implants. In order to get implants you need to maintain good oral and general health, you must not smoke, you must have a strong healthy jawbone that can support the implant, and you must be dedicated to the lengthy treatment process of getting your new tooth. A consultation with our Alexandria, VA, restorative dentist will help you determine your candidacy for implants.
How long do implants last?
Another unique benefit of implant is that they fuse together with the jawbone, making them a permanent structure within your mouth. This means that as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and care for your implant properly this restoration could end up lasting the rest of your life.
Do I have to undergo surgery to get a dental implant?
Yes, you will have to undergo surgery. Fortunately, implant surgery is very minor and is performed right here in our dental office under local anesthesia. During surgery we will open up the gums to reveal the jawbone. From there, a small hole is drilled into the jawbone where the implant will then be placed. It takes about 45 minutes to place an implant and you can go home immediately after.
If you are living in Alexandria, Shirlington, or Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, and want to find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental implants then call Alexandria Smiles Dentistry today to schedule your free consultation.
Dental implants from your dentist in Alexandria, VA, can remake your smile
Dental implants can help remake your smile and restore your full chewing ability so you can enjoy the foods you love. Dental implants can also give you a beautiful smile you will want to show off. Dental implants are right for you if you want to replace one or more missing teeth.
Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry can help you get the smile you deserve. He proudly serves residents of Alexandria, Alexandria West, Shirlington, and Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, and he can help you and your smile too!
Dental implants are a great choice for healthy people, however if you smoke, drink alcohol excessively, are diabetic, or have a history of radiation to your jaws or face, be sure and let Dr. Abdeen know. These factors can affect how well the implants fuse with your bone and heal.
Dental implants also require excellent oral hygiene habits including brushing after meals and before bed, and flossing at least once each day. Everyday maintenance of implants is easy because you can brush and floss them right along with your natural teeth. There is no need for special tools or devices to keep your implants clean.
You will love the benefits of dental implants. When you choose dental implants, you can count on:
- Natural-looking beauty, because implant crowns are made of lifelike materials like porcelain which mimic the look of tooth enamel
- Stability, because dental implants fuse with the bone in your jaw, becoming firmly embedded so they will never move around
- Permanence, because dental implants are a permanent part of your smile that you never have to remove
Dental implants also boast a success rate of over 95 percent, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. You want the most successful surgical implant; you want dental implants! For more information about why dental implants are right for you, call Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry today!
Dental implants are today’s closest restorative facsimile to natural teeth. And they’re versatile: not only can they replace single teeth but they can also support bridges or dentures.
But since one of their crucial components is made of metal, are you out of luck obtaining this state-of-the-art dental restoration if you have a metal allergy?
The answer is: probably not—it’s rare for implants to cause an allergic reaction. Still, metal allergies can be a potential problem within your mouth as with other areas of health.
An allergy originates from the body’s necessary response to potentially harmful microorganisms or substances. Sometimes, however, this response becomes chronic and exaggerated, creating an allergy. People can have allergies to nearly anything with responses ranging from a minor rash to a potentially life-threatening multi-organ system shutdown (anaphylactic shock).
A small number of people have allergies to particular metals. One of the most common is nickel, which affects an estimated 17% of women and 3% of men; cobalt and chromium are also known to cause allergies. Consumer exposure, particularly metal contact with the skin through jewelry or clothing, is the most prevalent, but not the most concerning. That’s reserved for metal allergies related to medical devices like coronary stents or hip and knee prostheses. And in dentistry, there are rare occasions of inflammation or rashes from metal amalgam fillings.
Which brings us to dental implants: the main metal post that’s inserted into the jawbone is usually made of titanium. It’s the metal of choice for two reasons: it’s bio-compatible, meaning the body normally accepts its presence; and it’s osteophilic, which means bone cells readily grow and adhere to it, a major reason for implant durability.
While it’s possible for someone to have an allergy and subsequent reaction to implants with titanium, the occurrences appear to be extremely low. In one study of 1,500 patients, titanium allergies were estimated to be a factor in implant failures in less than 1% of those studied.
Even so, if you have known metal allergies you should make sure your dentist knows. Being aware of all the facts will help them recommend the best tooth replacement choice for you—and hopefully it will be dental implants.
If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Metal Allergies to Dental Implants.”
For whatever reason, you’ve put off replacing a missing tooth for awhile. Now you want to fill that empty gap in your smile with a dental implant restoration.
But if your tooth’s been missing for a long time, there could be a problem with space. This is because the teeth on either side of the space may have gradually drifted into it, leaving no room for the implant. You could need orthodontic work first to return these teeth to their proper position.
We could use braces, metal orthodontic devices with wires threaded through brackets bonded to the teeth that are then anchored, usually to back teeth. The orthodontist uses elastics or springs as well as possibly incrementally tightening of the wire against the anchors. These techniques create pressure or tension on the teeth for the desired direction of movement. The teeth’s natural mechanism for movement does the rest.
But while effective, braces can be quite noticeable, an embarrassing thought for many adults having to wear them over several months of treatment. But there may be an alternative: clear aligners, a succession of slightly different plastic trays usually worn in two-week intervals. Sequentially wearing each tray gradually moves the teeth to their desired positions.
Though not appropriate for all bite situations, clear aligners have a number of benefits when they can be used. They’re nearly invisible to others and can be removed for hygiene tasks or rare special occasions. What’s more, the orthodontist may attach a temporary prosthetic (false) tooth to the trays to camouflage the missing space during treatment.
There’s one other issue you may have to deal with: if your tooth loss was related to periodontal (gum) disease, the gums and underlying bone may be in poor condition. In fact, substantial bone loss could rule out an implant altogether. But we may be able to remedy both gum and bone deficiencies through grafting or plastic surgery. It may be possible to regenerate enough bone to support the implant; and surgically repairing your gums will help ensure the implant appears natural.
If you have problems like these, don’t give up on your restoration goal just yet. With some orthodontic and dental work ahead of time, we may still be able to make implants a reality for you.
Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.
Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.
It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.
Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.
To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.
You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.
Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.
Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.