Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
During your lifetime you’ll eat thousands of meals — and generate a lot of force from chewing over the years. But thanks to a support system of gum tissues and bone, your teeth can normally handle it.
What your teeth can’t handle, though, are higher than normal chewing forces on a continual basis. This can happen if you grind your teeth, which can produce 20-30 times the normal force. The habit often arises in adults because of high stress and often occurs during sleep.
These abnormal forces can stretch the periodontal ligaments that hold teeth in place, cause the teeth to become loose and at increased risk for loss. The best treatment strategy is to reduce clenching with, for example, muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs or lower the effects with a mouth guard that won’t allow the teeth to make solid contact during clenching.
Your teeth can also become loose even with normal chewing forces if you have advanced periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease arises from dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles left on teeth due to poor oral hygiene. As it builds up, it causes inflammation of the gum tissues resulting in bone loss and causing the gums to detach from the teeth, increasing pocket depth.
Our first step in this case is to treat the gum disease by removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from all tooth and gum surfaces. This includes infected areas below the gum line and around the roots, a circumstance that could require surgical access.
As treatment progresses in either of these scenarios the gum tissues heal and often regain their attachment to the teeth. But that can take time, so we may need to stabilize any loose teeth in the short term. The most common way is to splint them to other secure teeth. This is done by using a clear acrylic bonding material to join the loose teeth together with a strip of metal or other rigid material (like joining pickets in a fence).
When symptoms arise, quick action is the key to preventing lost teeth. If you notice swollen, painful or bleeding gums or especially loose teeth, don’t delay — contact us so we can begin treatment as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatments for loose teeth, 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 “Loose Teeth.”
A dental crown is a cap or covering that is designed in order to fit over a damaged, broken or decayed tooth. It can even be used to replace a tooth in certain instances, especially when bridges are used. A crown’s job is to cover a tooth above the gum line unlike that of dental veneers that just cover the front of the tooth’s surface. For missing teeth, crowns are also a great treatment option. A dentist in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK such as Dr. Robert Morehead, Dr. Max Swenson and Dr. Frank Cavaness from Alaska's Trusted Dental will be able to evaluate each patient and determine whether or not they are a viable candidate for crowns or bridges.
More about Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are generally used to strengthen damaged teeth so they can function like they once did before. They are custom made to improve the appearance of the tooth whether color, contour or shape. They can even be used with bridges to shorten the space of a missing tooth or teeth. Generally, two crowns are used on either side of the missing tooth, known as abutment teeth. These are the supports for the crown placed in between them. This is known as a dental bridge. A dentist in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK such as Dr. Morehead, Dr. Swenson and Dr. Cavaness from Alaska's Trusted Dental will be able to determine whether or not a crown or bridge would benefit your oral health situation.
When you’re interested in hearing more about crowns and bridges, a dentist in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK such as Dr. Morehead, Dr. Swenson and Dr. Cavaness from Alaska's Trusted Dental is your greatest resource. In order to schedule an appointment at their dental office, call 907-276-1712 today.
How teeth whitening and dental implants from your dentists in Midtown and South Anchorage can help your smile
If you want to look better and feel better about your smile, there are two dental procedures you should know about, professional teeth whitening and dental implants. If you are missing teeth, or you have an aging, yellowing smile, these two procedures combined can do more than perhaps any other dental treatment to give you a fantastic smile. Your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts have two locations in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK, to serve you.
Professional teeth whitening should be done first. That’s because whitening only works on natural tooth structure, not restorations. Your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts will whiten your teeth up to 8 shades, and once you have your teeth as white as you want, the implants can be created to match the color of your existing teeth.
You can choose from a speedy, in-office whitening treatment that takes about an hour, or a convenient take-home whitening kit that allows you to whiten when you want. You can renew and whiten your smile, and the results can last up to an amazing 5 years.
The next step is the placement of dental implants. You can replace a single missing tooth with a single implant. If you are missing multiple teeth, you can have several implants or an implant-supported denture. There are many reasons why dental implants are the state-of-the-art method to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are:
- Completely life-like because they are made of translucent porcelain that reflects light just like your natural teeth
- Healthy because you can clean the implants just like your natural teeth with brushing and flossing
- Permanent because they can last a lifetime with proper care
- Immovable because they are embedded in bone, holding them in place
Dental implants will also never decay and they resist staining. They also help maintain the youthful contours of your face by preserving bone. For more information about dental implants please visit the services page on the website at http://www.alaskastrusteddental.com/dental-implants.html.
If you want to look better, feel better and be healthier, now is the time to think about professional teeth whitening and dental implants. Call your dentists at Anchorage Dental Arts with offices in Midtown and South Anchorage, AK. Don’t wait, call today!
Every day the forces you generate when you bite or chew can exert enormous pressure on your teeth. And day after day your teeth remain stable and secure, thanks to an intricate system of periodontal ligaments, attaching gum tissue and bone. The latter element is especially important — healthy bone makes healthy teeth.
And vice-versa — the same biting forces are transmitted through the tooth root to the bone via the periodontal ligament to stimulate new bone growth to replace older bone that has dissolved (resorbed). If a tooth’s missing, however, the bone doesn’t receive that stimulation, and the resorbed bone isn’t replaced at a healthy rate. In fact, you can lose up to a quarter of bone width in the first year alone after tooth loss.
And this can cause a problem when you’re looking to replace that missing tooth with what’s considered the best restorative option available: dental implants. Known for their life-likeness and durability, implants nonetheless need sufficient bone to anchor properly for the best outcome. Without it, implants simply aren’t practical.
But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story: it’s quite possible to regenerate enough bone to support implants through bone grafting. Bone material from the patient (or another donor, human, animal or synthetic) is placed under the gum at the missing tooth site to serve as a scaffold for new growth. The new bone growth will eventually replace the graft material.
The size of the graft and extent of the procedure depends of course on the amount of bone loss at the site. Loss can be kept to a minimum, though, if the graft is placed immediately after a tooth extraction, a common practice now. After a few months, the bone created through the graft is sufficient for supporting an implant and gives you the best chance for a beautiful outcome.
If you’re considering an implant for a missing tooth, you should schedule a consultation appointment with us as soon as possible. After a thorough dental exam, we’ll be able to tell you if bone grafting to support implants is a good idea for you. It adds a little more time to the overall implant process, but the results — a new, more attractive smile — will be well worth it.
If you would like more information on bone regeneration, 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 “Can Dentists Rebuild Bone?”