Posts for: April, 2016
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be interested in tooth replacement options. While you could go the route of traditional dentures or dental bridges, these options are not always completely permanent. Additionally, dentures easily use their shape and move around or slip. However, dental implants from your Worth, IL dentist give you the most natural looking and functional teeth possible.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants use a biocompatible titanium post, called a fixture, implanted surgically into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth’s root. As it heals, the fixture integrates into the bone, becoming part of it. Due to its design, the implant is the most sturdy and permanent tooth replacement option. Once your Worth dentist attaches the tooth’s replacement, a porcelain dental crown, to the fixture, your new tooth will function and feel exactly like a natural tooth.
What can dental implants do for me?
- Single Tooth Replacement: Single tooth replacement uses one fixture implanted into the jawbone beneath a missing tooth to replace the tooth’s root. A dental crown sits on top of the fixture to replace the tooth itself.
- Multiple Tooth Replacement: Similar to a traditional dental bridge, multiple tooth replacement uses two fixtures implanted on either side of a gap to anchor a row of replacement teeth. While traditional bridges use healthy teeth to hold the restoration in place, implants allow the natural teeth’s structures to stay intact.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Traditional dentures use suction to stay in place and are notorious for easily losing their shape, becoming loose and potentially sliding or moving. Implant-supported dentures use four or more implants spaced throughout the arch to give a permanent or removable denture a foundation on which to sit.
Caring For Your Dental Implants
Since they are a permanent addition to your smile, you may care for your dental implants the same way as you would care for your teeth. Be sure to brush at least twice daily, replacing your toothbrush when it begins to show signs of wear. Floss at least once a day. Use a different strand of floss for each quadrant of your mouth to cut down on the spread of bacteria. Most importantly, see your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental examinations and cleanings to keep your natural teeth and implants alike clean and healthy.
For more information on replacing your teeth with dental implants, please contact your dentist at All Smiles in Worth, IL. Call (708) 448-0333 to schedule your consultation for dental implants today!
Your dentures have served you well over the years. Lately, though, you’ve noticed the fit loosening in the lower denture. It’s not a new problem: you’ve had them refitted a few times already. But now it seems to be growing worse and you’re having more trouble chewing food or speaking clearly.
The problem isn’t all wear and tear with your dentures — the bone in your jaw is shrinking. A denture applies forces that are compressive. Natural teeth produce forces when we chew that travel through the tooth root and stimulate the bone to grow. Without teeth, there’s no such force to stimulate the bone. As a result, new bone cells don’t replace older cells at a healthy rate and bone volume diminishes over time. Because traditional dentures are supported by the gum ridges, the constant compressive forces on the gums can also contribute to bone loss.
As mentioned, we can refit dentures by lining them with new acrylic material. Eventually, though, it may be necessary to consider a new set of dentures that match the altered contours of your jaw. But continuing bone loss might lead to the same fate for your new dentures as your previous pair.
There’s a relatively new alternative, though, that could provide greater denture stability and help deter bone loss: implant overdentures. They’re actually a union between a traditional denture and a dental implant, a tooth replacement approach introduced over thirty years ago.
With this option, two strategically-placed implants are surgically inserted into the jaw bone. We then manufacture a denture (or retrofit your current dentures, if possible) with fittings that connect to the implants. Once in the mouth, the dentures gain their main support from the implants rather than the gum ridge, which relieves pressure on the bone. And because the titanium implant has a natural affinity with bone, new bone will grow and attach itself to it, increasing its stability and stopping bone loss.
Although more expensive than traditional dentures, implant overdentures are more affordable than individual teeth replaced by implants and are very cost-effective over time. What’s more, they can restore the comfort and confidence to eat, speak and smile that you once enjoyed when you had your own teeth.
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 “Implant Overdentures.”
When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”
Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.
Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.
While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.
There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”
Â An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.
Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”