Posts for tag: dental implants
Implant-supported fixed bridges are growing in popularity because they offer superior support to traditional bridges or dentures. They can also improve bone health thanks to the affinity between bone cells and the implants' titanium posts.
Even so, you'll still need to stay alert to the threat of periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection usually triggered by dental plaque could ultimately infect the underlying bone and cause it to deteriorate. As a result the implants could loosen and cause you to lose your bridgework.
To avoid this you'll need to be as diligent with removing plaque from around your implants as you would with natural teeth. The best means for doing this is to floss around each implant post between the bridgework and the natural gums.
This type of flossing is quite different than with natural teeth where you work the floss in between each tooth. With your bridgework you'll need to thread the floss between it and the gums with the help of a floss threader, a small handheld device with a loop on one end and a stiff flat edge on the other.
To use it you'll first pull off about 18" of dental floss and thread it through the loop. You'll then gently work the sharper end between the gums and bridge from the cheek side toward the tongue. Once through to the tongue side, you'll hold one end of the floss and pull the floss threader away with the other until the floss is now underneath the bridge.
You'll then loop each end of the floss around your fingers on each hand and work the floss up and down the sides of the nearest tooth or implant. You'll then release one hand from the floss and pull the floss out from beneath the bridge. Rethread it in the threader and move to the next section of the bridge and clean those implants.
You can also use other methods like specialized floss with stiffened ends for threading, an oral irrigator (or "water flosser") that emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen plaque, or an interproximal brush that can reach into narrow spaces. If you choose an interproximal brush, however, be sure it's not made with metal wire, which can scratch the implant and create microscopic crevices for plaque.
Use the method you and your dentist think best to keep your implants plaque-free. Doing so will help reduce your risk of a gum infection that could endanger your implant-supported bridgework.
If you would like more information on implant-supported bridges, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”
If you have lost one or more teeth to decay, accident or gum disease, you can access today's best tooth replacement option: the dental implant. At Harris Parkway Dental Care in Fort Worth, Dr. Brad McConnell places and restores dental implants, remaking smile aesthetics, preserving gum tissue and bone and giving patients their functional, beautiful smiles back. Learn all the benefits of implants and consider a personalized consultation with Dr. McConnell.
Today's dental implants
Used for more than 50 years, dental implants in Fort Worth and around the globe have proved to be the most successful tooth replacements available. The single-tooth implant has a titanium screw as its foundation (it's essentially an artificial root); it resides right in the jaw below the gums. After this screw and bone bond (this is called osseointegration), the implant can accept the substantial pressures of biting and chewing.
Placed during a brief oral surgery at Harris Parkway Dental Care, a dental implant, or implants if you are anchoring a denture or bridge, is readily accepted by most patients who are healthy and have enough bone in their jaws. Sutures close the site and after several weeks, the dentist bonds on a metal post and porcelain crown.
Both the treatment strategy and the procedure itself are simple and highly successful. Most implant procedures work well--to the tune of a 97 percent success rate, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness.
Do you qualify for dental implants?
Dr. McConnell will determine your candidacy with a complete oral examination, X-rays, modern three-dimensional scans and review of your medical history. If you are in good overall health and have sufficient jaw bone strength, you can get dental implants.
Benefits of dental implants
Have you heard people complain about their traditional dentures or bridgework? Poor speech, sore spots, problems eating, and frequent adjustments and replacements make these old-fashioned prosthetics less favorable choices by far.
On the other hand, dental implants from Harris Parkway Dental Care feature these benefits:
- Permanent and stable anchorage right in the jaw
- Natural appearance and oral function
- Teeth stay in your mouth (not soaking in a bedside glass)
- Never need replacement
- Exercise gums and bone every time you eat (countering the effects of bone and gum recession after extraction)
- Last for decades--even for the rest of your life
- Easy to care for--just brush and floss carefully and see Dr. McConnell for six-month cleanings and exams
You'll be amazed
Dr. Brad McConnell and his team will tell you all about dental implants. Come to Harris Parkway Dental Care for a consultation. Call for a convenient appointment in Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 423-2223, and look forward to a strong, natural-looking smile.
Tooth loss can lead to the deterioration of your bones without the support it needs. Dental implants are the most ideal replacement for teeth as they provide your jawbone with this necessary strength. If you decide to get a dental implant, here's what you need to know about the process, and of course, your dentist in Fort Worth, TX, Dr. Brad McConnell, is available to help and advise you!
The Dental Implant Procedure
The procedure is long, yet simple, and begins when a local anesthetic is applied to the area that will undergo treatment. Your Fort Worth dentist will then remove any decayed tooth left and insert a titanium post into the jawbone. This titanium post acts as the new tooth root and is biocompatible, so there is no worry of tissue rejection.
The doctor will then surgically close the area and allow it to heal for a period of 3 to 6 months so that osseointegration can take its full course (this is the process by which titanium fuses to the jawbone to provide reinforcement). When you return, your dentist will re-open the area, insert an abutment, and place a crown that matches the rest of your teeth over it.
Dental implants do the following:
- Anchor dentures
- Fill a single gap or multiple gaps in your teeth
- Have a high success rate, reaching 95 percent
- Allow you to bite into and chew your favorite foods
- Not slip out of place like dentures, making them comfortable and practical
- Look natural and give you a beautiful smile
- Provide your jawbone with the support it needs so that it doesn't shrink
You should practice healthy dental regimens to protect your teeth and ensure that dental implants last longer. Getting professional dental cleanings and checkups every six months to remove hardened plaque that's accumulated on teeth and around gums is important in maintaining healthy teeth. You should also receive fluoride treatments and use fluoride-containing products like toothpaste and mouthwash to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Also, brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once before bed will remove food debris.
If you have questions or concerns, Dr. Brad McConnell can help you. Call (817) 423-2223 in Fort Worth, TX, to make an appoint today!
If you're missing teeth due to decay, trauma or gum disease, all is not lost. Modern dental science offers a tooth replacement so lifelike, patients cannot distinguish between their real teeth and their artificial ones. What are these miracles of oral health? They're dental implants, and your Fort Worth dentist, Dr. Brad McConnell, uses them to complete smiles beautifully.
How implants work
In his Fort Worth office, Dr. McConnell places dental implants directly into the jawbone of patients who are missing teeth but overall, are healthy. He evaluates the surrounding teeth, gums and supporting bone to ensure the implant screw will have a strong foundation.
After a careful examination, and digital X-rays, your dentist can proceed with the treatment, numbing the area first to ensure your complete comfort. After that, he opens the gums and drills a small access hole into the jaw. Then, he inserts the titanium implant and closes with sutures.
For several weeks, you'll wait for the site to heal, or osseointegrate. Osseointegration bonds the jaw bone to the titanium implant with exceptional security. However, you can not chew on your implant until this process is complete.
While it takes a few months, the wait is worthwhile, practically guaranteeing that implant will not be disrupted in any way for years to come. In fact, the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness says that implants last 40 to 50 years or even more--in other words, a lifetime.
The unexpected benefits
Due to osseointegration, jaw bone density improves as you use your new tooth. The forces exerted on your implant transfer to the bone, exercising and strengthening it
You'll avoid the embarrassment of smile gaps and the gum and bone degradation which results when a tooth is extracted and either not replaced or replaced with traditional bridgework or dentures. These conventional tooth replacements just rest on top of the gums and cannot preserve the jaw bone.
Bridgework, partial dentures and full dentures which are either fixed or removable also may be anchored with dental implants. The foundation is so secure that patients can eat the very same foods they enjoyed with their natural teeth--corn on the cob, ribs, apples and other items which test the security of dental prosthetics.
Finally, dental implants are easy to maintain. Your hygienist will show you the proper way to brush and floss around your implants, and you might consider wearing a bite guard if you habitually clench your teeth. This appliance reduces the forces exerted by bruxism.
A word about tobacco--please consider quitting your smoking or chewing habit. Tobacco contains toxins which harm gum tissue and bone around natural teeth and dental implants, too. So, give your oral and systemic health a break, and see your doctor about a smoking cessation program.
Book a consultation
Dr. McConnell and his team welcome the opportunity to evaluate people for innovative dental implants. Why not work toward completing your smile by arranging an in-office consultation? Call Harris Parkway Dental Care today: (817) 423-2223.
You’ve invested quite a bit in your new dental implants. And it truly is an investment: because of implants’ potential longevity, their long-term costs could actually be lower than other restorations whose upfront costs might be less.
But to better ensure their longevity, you’ll need to keep your implants and the natural tissues supporting them clean of bacterial plaque, a sticky biofilm that can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Although the implant itself is unaffected by disease, the natural tissues around it can be. An infection could ultimately weaken the bone supporting the implant and lead to its failure.
Such an infection involving implants could advance rapidly because they don’t have the natural defenses of the original teeth. Our natural teeth are connected to the jaw through the periodontal ligament, a collagen network that attaches to both the teeth and the bone through tiny tissue fibers. This connection also provides access to antibodies produced by the body to fight infection.
By contrast, we place implants directly into the jawbone. While this creates a very secure attachment, the implant won’t have the same connection as teeth with the body’s immune system. That means any infection that develops in surrounding tissues can spread much more rapidly—and so must be dealt with promptly.
Treating this particular form of gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) is similar to infections with natural teeth and gums, with one important difference involving the tools we use to remove plaque from them. While natural teeth can handle metal scalers and curettes, these can create microscopic scratches in the porcelain and metal surfaces of an implant and create havens for further bacterial growth. Instead, we use instruments made of plastic or resin that won’t scratch, as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose.
To avoid an infection, it’s important that you brush your implants and surrounding tissues just like you would your natural teeth (be sure you use a soft-bristled brush). And keep up regular dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any developing gum infection. Maintaining your dentures will help ensure they continue to brighten your smile for a long time.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implant Maintenance: Implant Teeth Must be Cleaned Differently.”