Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

WemayNeedtoBuilduptheBoneinYourJawbeforeImplants

Dental implant technology has advanced at such an astounding rate in recent years that you can now walk into a dentist's office with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new one. Unfortunately, not all dental situations allow for this possibility.

For example, you might be considering an implant many years after losing a tooth. But there's a potential problem: there might not be enough supporting bone. While an implant might still be possible, inadequate bone complicates the matter.

Because implants are essentially tooth root replacements, they require a certain amount of bone for stability and the best attractive outcome. As a general rule, implants need to be surrounded by  at least 1.5-2.0 millimeters of healthy bone to support an implant. But you might not have enough if your tooth has been missing for awhile, regardless if you have or haven't worn dentures or other restorations.

That's because bone has a life cycle in which older cells die and newer ones form to take their place. As we chew or bite, the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone to stimulate this new growth. Without a tooth the bone doesn't receive this stimulus, which can slow the growth rate. Over time the affected bone can lose its volume and density.

If we find you've experienced loss to the point your bone won't support an implant, that doesn't automatically mean this popular restoration is out of the picture. But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone.

With grafting, we place processed bone grafting material in the jaw through a minor surgical procedure to form a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. After several months this can result in several millimeters of new growth maintaining the width of the underlying bone, which in turn may be able to support an implant.

Bone grafting is quite common, often performed at the same time as tooth extraction if there's going to be a time lag before installing an implant. Even if performed later, though, it can successfully rejuvenate lost bone and make it possible for you to take advantage of durable, life-like implants.

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 Implants after Previous Tooth Loss.”

By Outlaw Dental
December 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsIf you are considering dental implants to replace your missing tooth, it’s only natural to have some questions or concerns. Find out more about dental implants and how they can benefit your smile with Dr. James Outlaw at Outlaw Dental in Winter Park, FL.

What is a dental implant? 
Dental implants are a restorative dental procedure which focuses on replacing a missing tooth, several missing teeth, or even all of the teeth on an arch. Implants have three core components: the implant fixture, the abutment, and the dental prosthetic.

  • Fixture: The implant’s fixture is implanted into the bone, which grows around it to replace the missing tooth’s root.
  • Abutment: The abutment connects the fixture to the prosthetic tooth.
  • Prosthetic: The dental prosthetic — a porcelain tooth replacement — fits over the fixture to finalize the implant as a substitute for the missing tooth itself.

What are the benefits of dental implants? 
Traditional tooth replacement options depend on the healthy teeth surrounding the gap to stay in place. Thanks to their design, implants stand alone, using only the bone below your missing tooth to stay in place. Additionally, filling in the gaps in your smile helps to increase the efficiency of chewing, eating, and, in some cases, even speaking. Implants also improve the appearance of your smile, boosting confidence and self-esteem.

What is the process for dental implants? 
The process for implants takes place in phases. The first phase involves a consultation to ensure that you are a good candidate for this procedure. Then, your dentist will prepare your mouth for your implants. Depending on your situation, this could mean anything from treating simple teeth decay to extractions. Then, your dentist surgically places the implants. After your implants have healed, your dentist will begin the second half of your treatment, which involves placing the prosthetic onto the fixture to complete the implant.

Dental Implants in Winter Park, FL
For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. James Outlaw at Outlaw Dental in Winter Park, FL. Call (407) 671-6506 to schedule your consultation for dental implants with Dr. Outlaw today!

Dental ImplantAre you unsure if dental implants are the best choice for your situation? Learning a little about this innovative restoration method can help you make a decision. Winter Park, FL, dentist Dr. James Outlaw of Outlaw Dental offers dental implants and other restoration options that restore your smile.

Should I Choose a Dental Implant?

Dental implants offer a long-term solution to tooth loss and may be a good choice in these situations:

  • You're Unhappy with the Gap in Your Smile: The loss of even one tooth is very noticeable and can make you feel a little self-conscious at work and in social settings. A dental implant topped with a dental crown will fill the gap in your smile and help boost your self-esteem.
  • You Want a Restoration That Can Last Your Entire Life: Unlike other restorations, dental implants actually become a permanent part of your jaw and act as synthetic roots. The titanium post bond to the bone as little as three to six months after they're placed in the bone during minor oral surgery. With proper care, most implants will never need to be replaced. Due to wear and tear, you'll need to replace your crown about every 10 to 15 years.
  • You're Not Happy with Your Dentures: Although implants are often used to replace single missing teeth, they're also an excellent option if you wear dentures. Each denture is connected to four or more implants in your jaw. Implant-supported dentures don't slip when you chew and don't decrease your biting power.
  • You're Concerned About Changes to Your Jaw After Tooth Loss: Without constant stimulation from your tooth roots, your jawbone may begin to eventually shrink. A shrinking jawbone can cause several unpleasant consequences, such as facial sagging or the loosening or loss of some of your other teeth.
  • You Prefer an Easy-Care Restoration Method: Taking care of dental implants is simple and only requires daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to your Winter Park dentist. Flossing around the base of your crown is particularly important and helps prevent an infection that may loosen the implant.

Fill the gaps in your smile with dental implants! Call Winter Park, FL, dentist Dr. James Outlaw of Outlaw Dental at (407) 671-6506 to schedule an appointment.

QuittingSmokingDecreasesYourRiskofImplantFailure

If you’re considering a dental implant as a replacement for a lost tooth, you’re looking at a restoration method with an amazing 95% success rate after ten years. But that being said there’s still a risk, albeit quite low, the implant might fail.

And if you smoke, the risk is slightly higher. In a recent study of implant patients, twice as many of the failures occurred in smokers compared to non-smokers. If you’re a smoker, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome if you quit the habit.

Nicotine, a chemical within tobacco, is the primary cause for this higher risk. Besides its effect on the pleasure centers of the brain, nicotine also restricts smaller blood vessels that are abundant in the mouth and skin, causing less blood flow. As a result, the mouth doesn’t have as many antibodies and other substances available to fight infection and help traumatized tissues heal.

Because of this, as well as reduced saliva flow due to the habit, smokers have an increased risk of dental disease and are slower to respond to treatment. This can be especially problematic if the gum tissues around an implant become infected, which could lead to a catastrophic failure. Slower healing also impacts the post-surgery period when bone cells in the jaw are growing and adhering to the implant surface, forming a stronger bond.

To avoid these potential risks you should stop smoking before you undergo implant surgery. If you can’t completely kick the habit, you should at least stop a week before surgery and for two weeks after. It’s also critical that you practice good oral hygiene — both brushing and flossing — to minimize the occurrence of dental disease and see us for regular checkups and maintenance appointments.

Taking these steps will greatly increase your chances of being in the vast majority of people who continue to enjoy success with their implants for many years.

If you would like more information on the impact of smoking on dental health, 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 Implants & Smoking.”

BoneGraftingMightbeNecessaryBeforeYouObtainanImplant

Every year dentists place over 5 million dental implants for lost teeth, often removing the problem tooth and installing the implant at the same time. But getting a “tooth in a day” depends on a number of health factors, especially whether or not there’s adequate bone available for the implant. Otherwise, the implant’s placement accuracy and success could be compromised.

Bone loss can be a similar problem when a tooth has been missing for a long period of time. If this describes your situation, you may have already lost substantial bone in your jaw. To understand why, we need to know a little about bone’s growth cycle.

When bone cells reach the end of their useful life, they’re absorbed into the body by a process called resorption.  New cells then form to take the older cells’ place in a continuous cycle that keeps the bone healthy and strong. Forces generated when we chew travel through the teeth to the bone and help stimulate this growth. But when a tooth is missing, the bone doesn’t receive this stimulus. As a result, the bone may not replace itself at a healthy rate and diminish over time.

In extreme cases, we may need to consider some other dental restoration other than an implant. But if the bone loss isn’t too severe, we may be able to help increase it through bone grafting. We insert safe bone grafting material prepared in a lab directly into the jaw through a minor surgical procedure. The graft then acts like a scaffold for bone cells to form and grow upon. In a few months enough new bone may have formed to support an implant.

Bone grafting can also be used if you’re having a tooth removed to preserve the bone even if you’re not yet ready to obtain an implant. By placing a bone graft immediately after extraction, it’s possible to retain the bone for up to ten years—enough time to decide on your options for permanent restoration.

Whatever your situation, it’s important that you visit us as soon as possible for a complete examination. Afterward we can assess your options and hopefully come up with a treatment strategy that will eventually include smile-transforming dental implants.

If you would like more information on obtaining dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.