Posts for tag: dental implants
Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.
In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.
Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.
Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.
If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.
The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.
Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.
When it comes to restoring your smile, the importance of dental implants cannot be understated. Dental implants are a secure and long-term option for replacing lost teeth, as well as a versatile option that can be used to replace either just one tooth or several at a time.
Here at Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford, our experienced dentists can restore function and beauty to your smile with dental implants—read on to learn more.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants restore missing teeth and their roots. When replacing a single tooth, a dental implant is topped with a crown. When several teeth need to be replaced, multiple dental implants are needed. Depending on the patient’s needs, either a bridge or an implant-supported overdenture can be used in conjunction with the dental implants.
A dental implant is actually a small metal post that resembles a screw. It is placed in the jaw bone, which enables the implant to securely anchor itself in place much like a root holds a natural tooth. Once established, the abutment connects the artificial teeth to the implants. After everything is in place, only the artificial teeth will be visible. One of the skilled dentists at our office in West Hartford can help you decide if dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are numerous benefits to restoring your smile with dental implants. Not only do they fill in the gaps where teeth are missing, but dental implants are also the most secure and long-lasting method for replacing lost teeth. Another benefit of dental implants is that they can be used whether you need to replace one tooth or many, making them extremely versatile.
An additional benefit of dental implants is a reduction in many of the side effects that result following tooth loss. Without enough teeth to support the muscles of the face, sagging and drooping can occur. Speech can also be affected when teeth are missing. The tongue can slip through the gaps in your smile and alter the way you speak.
Restoring your smile with dental implants can reduce facial sagging and improve speech. Having a full set of teeth again also means there will be less strain on the remaining natural teeth. Biting and chewing functions can be more evenly distributed when there are no teeth missing and dental implants make that possible.
Give Us a Call
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable dentists by calling Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford at (860) 233-7514.
Generations have depended on dentures to effectively and affordably replace lost teeth. But they do have a major weakness: They contribute to jawbone loss that creates not only mouth and facial problems, but can also ruin a denture’s fit.
Bone loss is a normal consequence of losing teeth. The biting forces normally generated when we chew stimulate new bone to replace older bone. When a tooth is missing, however, so is that chewing stimulation. This can slow bone replacement growth and gradually decrease the density and volume of affected bone.
While dentures can restore dental appearance and function, they can’t restore this growth stimulation. What’s worse, the pressure of the dentures against the gum-covered jaw ridge they rest upon may irritate the underlying bone and accelerate loss.
But there is a solution to the problem of denture-related bone loss: an implant-supported denture. Rather than obtaining its major support from the gum ridges, this new type of denture is secured by strategically-placed implants that connect with it.
Besides the enhanced support they can provide to a denture restoration, implants can also deter bone loss. This is because of the special affinity bone cells have with an implant’s imbedded titanium post. The gradual growth of bone on and around the implant surface not only boosts the implant’s strength and durability, it can also improve bone health.
There are two types of implant-supported dentures. One is a removable appliance that connects with implants installed in the jaw (three or more for the upper jaw or as few as two in the lower). It may also be possible to retrofit existing dentures to connect with implants.
The other type is a fixed appliance a dentist permanently installs by screwing it into anywhere from four and six implants. The fixed implant-supported denture is closer to the feel of real teeth (you’ll brush and floss normally), but it’s usually more costly than the removable implant-supported denture.
While more expensive than traditional ones, implant-supported dentures still cost less than other restorations like individual implant tooth replacements. They may also help deter bone loss, which may lead to a longer lasting fit with the dentures. Visit your dentist for an evaluation of your dental condition to see if you’re a good candidate for this advanced form of dental restoration.
If you would like more information on implant-supported dentures, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”
Even with modern prevention and treatment advances, losing teeth in later life is still a sad but common part of human experience. Just as generations have before, many today rely on dentures to regain their lost dental function and smile.
But although effective, dentures have their weaknesses. The most serious: they can't prevent jawbone deterioration, a common problem associated with tooth loss.
Bone health depends on chewing forces applied to the teeth to stimulate replacement growth for older bone cells. When teeth are gone, so is this stimulation. Dentures can't replicate the stimulus and may even accelerate bone loss because they can irritate the bone under the gums as they rest upon them for support.
But there's a recent advance in denture technology that may help slow or even stop potential bone loss. The advance incorporates implants with dentures to create two hybrid alternatives that may be more secure and healthier for the supporting bone.
The first is known as an overdenture, a removable appliance similar to a traditional denture. But instead of deriving its support from the gums alone, the overdenture attaches to three to four implants (or only two, if on the lower jaw) that have been permanently set into the jawbone. This not only increases stability, but the implants made of bone-friendly titanium attract and foster increased bone growth around them. This can help slow or even stop the cycle of bone loss with missing teeth.
The second type is a fixed denture. In this version, four to six implants are implanted around the jaw arch. The denture is then secured in place to these implants with screws. It's a little more secure than the overdenture, but it's also more expensive and requires good quality bone at the implant sites.
If you've already experienced significant bone loss you may first need bone grafting to build up the implant sites for these options, or choose traditional dentures instead. But if you're a good candidate for an implant-supported denture, you may find it provides better support and less risk of continuing bone loss than traditional dentures.
If you would like more information on implant-supported dental restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”
Are you dealing with tooth loss in West Hartford, CT? Find out how dental implants can help.
We are forever grateful for modern dental technology, which allows our dentists here in West Hartford, CT, to be able to replace missing teeth with an artificial tooth that doesn’t just look and act like a real tooth but can also last the rest of your life with the proper care. This popular tooth replacement is known as a dental implant and it offers some pretty amazing benefits. Here’s how dental implants work to replace one or more teeth.
How a Dental Implant Works
It’s important to know the inner workings of an implant to understand how they mimic the look and function of a real tooth. While the only visible part of a tooth is the crown, it’s the roots of the teeth that are integral in keeping the teeth and jawbone healthy. You may not realize it but the roots actually stimulate the jawbone to continue producing new bone cells and to keep the bone healthy and strong.
If you lose one or more teeth, the jawbone no longer gets ample stimulation from the tooth roots and, as a result, begins to shrink and deteriorate. You can probably imagine the impact this has not only to your oral health but also your appearance. Luckily, an implant is the only tooth replacement that is designed to replace your missing roots.
In order to do this, our West Hartford, CT, implant dentists will need to surgically place this very small, tapered metal post inside the jawbone. This requires minor surgery to place the implant. Once the implant is placed something pretty amazing happens: the jawbone begins to heal around and fuse with the titanium implant to become one solid unit (this can take up to six months for the two to fully integrate).
From there, we will need to place the second part of the implant known as an abutment. The abutment will be attached to the top of the implant and it’s designed to link the implant (that sits under the gums) with the false tooth (the part of the implant that we will actually see when you smile).
The last piece of the implant puzzle is to cement the permanent dental crown over top of the abutment to complete the restoration. Of course, if you need to replace several or even all of your teeth then multiple implants can be placed throughout the jawbone to support partial or complete dentures.
Are you interested in what dental implants can offer your smile after tooth loss? If so, then call the experts at Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford, CT for an initial consultation and find out if you are right for implants.