My Blog

Posts for: November, 2014

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
November 20, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Implants  

The concept of dental implants has been around for centuries because one fact remains: everyone wants to have a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. Luckily technological advancements have changed the way we replace missing teeth and have given us more long-term solutions for treating this common problem. Today, we give you the scoop on getting dental implants in Anchorage and what it entails.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are small titanium screws that act as tooth root replacements. The purpose of implants is to create a strong base from which to hold a replacement tooth (better known as dental crowns).

What should I expect from dental implant surgery?

The implant, which is a tiny titanium post, is surgically embedded into the socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone begins to heal it grows around and fuses with the implant. This process is known as osseointegration and it helps to keep the implant securely in place. It will take anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 weeks to heal.

Once the implant is connected to the jawbone we will then use an abutment, which will help connect the dental implant to the dental crown. Then we will make impressions of your smile to create a dental crown that will match the rest of your teeth. Once the crown is fabricated we will secure the dental crown to the abutment.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants boast countless advantages including improving your smile’s appearance, increasing self-esteem, and improving eating and speaking. Plus, dental implants are sturdy, designed to last a lifetime and are more convenient than other tooth replacement methods.

How do I properly care for them?

The two most important things you can do to keep your dental implants healthy is to adopt strong dental hygiene and commit to seeing your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and exams. While you don’t have to do anything different or special to properly clean and care for your dental implants you’ll want to make sure you are at least brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

What is the success rate?

While the success rate of dental implants can fluctuate depending on your mouth’s anatomy, the overall success rate is about 98 percent. Success rate not only depends on the health of your mouth but your overall health and lifestyle, as well.

Will insurance cover my dental implants?

Often times, insurance will cover a portion of restoring missing teeth with dental implants. Make sure to check with your insurance company, or call our office for help, and see how affordable implants can be for you.

Are dental implants right for everyone?

Most patients who are in good oral and overall health can get dental implants in Anchorage. An ideal candidate will have healthy teeth, gums and jawbone. They will also have good oral hygiene and keep up with regular dental visits. Those who have uncontrolled disorders likes diabetes or heart disease, smokers, and those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation should consider another treatment option.

However, to find out if you are truly a good candidate for dental implants in Anchorage, call our office today to schedule a consultation. We want to give you the smile you deserve!

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
November 19, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  

If Kristi Yamaguchi's kids inherit her figure skating ability, they might just be headed for the Olympics — after all, their mom won the gold medal for figure skating in the 1992 games. When it comes to teeth, however, she wouldn't mind if they inherited her spouse's instead. “My husband [fellow Olympian turned pro hockey player Bret Hedican] never had braces,” she recently told an interviewer. “I'm hoping they get his teeth.”

When you look at the elegant skating star's pearly smile, you'd never suspect she had dental problems. In fact, Kristi had four permanent teeth extracted to relieve the crowding in her mouth. She also wore braces to correct irregularities in both upper and lower teeth. Could orthodontics work the same “magic” for your kids — or yourself?

It just might. The first step toward finding out is having an orthodontic evaluation. For kids, the right time for an initial evaluation is no later than age 7. By then, the first molars are usually present and your child's bite pattern is establishing. Even though treatment may not begin for several more years, it's helpful to know what problems may arise in your child's individual situation — and to start treating them at just the right time.

Orthodontics has progressed a great deal in the two decades since Yamaguchi's braces came off. Today, small devices called palatal expanders are often used to create more space in the mouth, as an alternative to tooth extraction. There are also many new options for orthodontic appliances, in addition to standard metal braces. These include unobtrusive tooth-colored braces and lingual braces, which are applied to the tongue side of the teeth and can't be seen. In some cases, clear plastic aligners can be used instead of braces, for a look that's almost invisible.

Adolescence is often the preferred time to do orthodontic treatment. By then, the permanent teeth have mostly come in, but there's still some growing left to do. But age isn't a factor that should stop you from getting the smile you've always wanted. About one in five orthodontic patients today is an adult — and those less-visible appliances can fit in well with the more “professional” image of an older person.

Orthodontics can't help make someone an Olympic athlete — only lots of talent and practice can do that. But it can make a big difference in a person's appearance. “Once my braces came off, it was like — Wow! That looks so much nicer,” Yamaguchi recollected. And today, the mother of two, author, and philanthropist sports the same appealing smile she had on the podium at the Albertville Olympic Games.

If you would like more information on how orthodontics could help you get the smile you've dreamed about, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Early Orthodontic Evaluation” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Anchorage Dental Arts, LLC
November 04, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown  

Modern restorations for severely damaged or missing teeth are truly remarkable. Although the type of restoration may differ — dental implant, bridge, or veneer — the end result is a life-like facsimile that matches the shape and color of your natural teeth.

To achieve this result, though, the new crown or veneer requires fabrication in a dental laboratory, a meticulous process that may take a few weeks. In the interim, we often install temporary crowns. These help in a number of ways: because we’ve prepared the teeth for final restoration by removing some of the tooth structure, the temporary crown protects and stabilizes the teeth, reduces sensitivity and helps maintain gum health. Temporary crowns also enable the patient to present a more natural smile while waiting for the permanent restoration.

Temporary crowns are typically manufactured to fit a wide range of patients, similar to an “off-the-rack” suit from a clothing store. In recent years, though, customized “tailored” temporary crowns designed specifically for an individual patient have grown in popularity among dental professionals as well as patients.

In creating a customized temporary crown, we first perform a smile analysis similar to one used for a permanent restoration. After a careful assessment of your mouth, we would then make recommendations about the elements to include in the temporary crown, including shape and color. We would also factor in your desires and concerns into the final design. Working together with the dental laboratory, we would then have the temporary crowns produced and ready to apply as soon as we complete the preparatory work.

Customized temporary crowns also serve another important purpose as a kind of “dress rehearsal” for the permanent restoration. This gives you an opportunity to “try out” the smile you’ll have with the permanent restoration in your daily life. We can then use your experience to make adjustments to the permanent crowns before final production.

While customized temporary crowns involve more effort and expense than the traditional, the benefits are worth the added cost, especially if you’re involved with an extensive “smile makeover” procedure. Not only will you look better while your permanent restoration is under construction, your temporary look will give you added confidence that your future smile is right for you.

If you would like more information on temporary and permanent 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 “Concepts of Temporary Restorations.”