Posts for: January, 2018
Has tooth loss devastated your smile? Why not close those unsightly and unhealthy gaps with dental implants from your Novi, MI dentist, Dr. David Salah. Dental implants are today's innovative solution to the bone loss, gum recession and decreased oral function associated with missing teeth. Most healthy adults qualify for this amazing restorative procedure. Learn the details from the caring staff at Progressive Dental Group.
The problem of tooth loss
The American Academy of Periodontology states that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. Other reasons include oral injury (as from an auto accident) and dental decay and abscess. Whatever the cause, tooth loss degrades teeth neighboring the smile gap, decreases the ability to bite and chew and affects the clarity of speech. Of course, losing even one tooth impacts smile aesthetics, and complete tooth loss reduces bite height and causes a prematurely aged appearance.
The best solution
Dental implants change the future for older teens and adults who have experienced tooth loss. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the single tooth implant and implant-supported bridges and dentures are the most predictable and long-lasting tooth replacements available.
To qualify for one or more dental implants, Dr. Salah performs a complete oral examination, taking special note of bone density. That's because dental implants reside in the jaw bone, anchoring them through a process called osseointegration.
What is osseointegration? it's a natural bond between human bone and titanium, the main material in dental implant cylinders. Once placed into the jaw during a simple, in-office surgery at Progressive Dental Group in Novi, implants fuse permanently in place, creating the strength and durability which these artificial teeth are known for.
Once an implant site is integrated fully, Dr. Salah bonds on a metal extension post and lifelike porcelain crown. Improving upon the effects of osseointegration, a dental implant gets stronger each time a patient bites and chews on it.
The lifespan of a dental implant
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that a dental implant will last the rest of the individual's life if he or she practices good oral hygiene at home and gets routine check-ups and cleanings at the dental office. Also, if the patient smokes or chews tobacco, quitting is important because the toxins in tobacco deteriorate the bone and gum surrounding a dental implant. This condition is an infection called peri-implantitis, and it may necessitate implant removal.
Lose the gaps
You can with dental implants from Progressive Dental Group in Novi, MI. Call today for your personal consultation with Dr. Salah and his experienced team: (248) 349-7560.
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.
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”