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Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Dental implants have revolutionized dental care by offering many great benefits to patients. They have long been the #1 choice in the replacement of a single lost tooth or multiple teeth. Below you will find some of the benefits of dental implants.

A person’s smile should (with proper care) last a lifetime. With dental implants we have the ability to do just that. When your natural teeth are missing, you lose chewing ability, and unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be move or also be lost. Missing a tooth, or teeth, creates unforeseen problems down the road.

Below you can read some of the lifelong benefits dental implants…

Dental Implant Benefits

-Cosmetics. Dental implants give you the ability to restore your smile or create the smile you have always dreamed of.

-Security. Being afraid to smile or eat your favorite foods can create real stress to your daily life.

-Improved Function. Improvement in eating and talking. When teeth are missing it makes it harder to chew our foods and even say simple words without it affecting our speech.

-Eliminate Health Issues. Maintaining good dental health can also improve your overall health. Dental implants can help create a healthier oral cavity. Uncontrolled dental health leads to development of periodontal disease. This disease is progressive and left to worsen it can lead to cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke), Alzheimer’s disease, and even diabetes. Once patients are ready for dental implants, their mouth must be in a healthy state. So ultimately dental implants will lead to better overall health.

-Improved Quality Of Life. Dental implants give you a natural smile and improve dental function. This is especially true for denture wearers. Dental implants will allow you to free yourself of the use of denture adhesives.

-Restore Lost Self Esteem And Renew Your Self Confidence. This includes being able to smile effortlessly without worry. Dental implants look and feel like real teeth. You can laugh, smile, and just feel good about who you are and the way you look.

Dental Implants Conclusion

The beauty of dental implants is that you care for them in the same way as your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist can keep you smiling for your entire life. If you are missing teeth dental implants are the standard of care when it comes to replacement.

Dental implants have evolved over time and become an ideal replacement for a lost tooth or teeth. The long term success rate of dental implants is well over 95%. What once was a product offered to very few has now become a mainstream dental care service available to most.

Options For Dental Implants

Depending on each, unique, individual person, each dental implants case will be personalized. Depending on how many teeth are missing as well as the available quantity and quality of bone present. Below are some of the situations where dental implants can replace lost teeth:

-Loss Of A Single Tooth. At one time, this meant wearing a removable appliance (commonly called a “flipper”) or removing natural tooth structure from surrounding teeth to create a fixed bridge of dental crowns. The flipper tends to be uncomfortable to wear and may affect speech. The 3 unit bridge compromises the support teeth by having them do the work of the lost tooth, and by making them more susceptible to decay. The long term success rate is lowered due to difficulties in cleaning under and around the bridge. A single tooth dental implant, when completed properly, will last a lifetime and function just like a natural tooth.

-Loss Of Multiple Teeth. When missing multiple teeth in a single area, dental implants can be used to form a fixed bridge. The beauty of this arrangement is stability and the ability not to affect the natural teeth in any way.

-Replacing All Teeth. In the past, the only way to restore function was to fabricate a removable denture. With dental implants, dentists have the ability to restore natural function and esthetics.

Complementary Procedures To Dental Implants

There are times when other dental procedures are necessary to successfully complete the placement of dental implants. These include:

-Sinus Lift. When you have a large sinus area that impinges on available bone depth, the sinus lift is a common surgical procedure. Sinus lifts are needed to elevate the sinus membrane and thicken a part of the upper jaw with a bone graft. This helps give  a dental implant enough bone depth to place it properly in the area you need it. Dental implants need a good quantity of bone along with good, dense quality of bone to succeed. The upper jaw is known to have poorer quantity and quality bone structure as opposed to the lower jaw. The maxillary sinus also plays a role in increasing difficulty in this area. Sinus augmentation can remedy these issues by raising the sinus floor and placing bone grafts in the area to aid in dental implant placement.

-Bone Grafting. When the bone is not 100% adequate for dental implant placement, dentists are able to add to it by performing a dental bone graft. A bone graft is the placement of bone or bone-like materials in the jaw to to build it up. This gives an excellent platform for dental implants. Modification of the bone in this fashion has been shown to improve both appearance and long term success of dental implants. Typically, dentists try to place implants at least as deeply into bone as the crown or tooth will be above the bone. This is called a 1:1 crown to root ratio. This ratio serves as a guide for bone grafting in most situations.

Can A Dental Implant Fail?

It is quite rare for a dental implant to fail but when it does the dental implant must be removed. Then re evaluated as to why the failure occurred and to see if a new dental implant may be placed. Some of the common reasons for dental implant failure include:

-Failed Integration of Dental Implants - This occurs when the bone does not grow and fuse between the threads of the implant. This fusion of bone to dental implant is called osseointegration. If this does not occur, the dental implants will not function properly,will become uncomfortable, become loose, or come out completely. To reduce this risk, your dental surgeon will evaluate the quality and density of the jaw bone prior to surgery. This will help to only place dental implants in areas where there is a highly predictable success rate. If osseointegration does not take place, the dental implants can be removed, and surgery can be attempted again once the area has fully healed.

-Infection –  This is the most common complication of dental implant surgery. The surrounding bone and gums can get infected during the surgical procedure. This can happen due to non-sterile technique, a contaminated implant, poor healing ability(diabetic, smoker, osteoporosis medications), or pre-existing infection. The most likely time for this to occur would be during the surgical placement of the dental implant into the bone. Implant infection can occur after placement as well. Poor hygiene, too much force placed on the implant, or excess cement can cause the support tissue to breakdown. Implant infection is a condition referred to as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissues surrounding the implant area. Peri-implantitis can also present as a secondary infection later on is a form of periodontal disease that can lead to inflammation, bone loss and implant failure if not treated quickly and properly. Although implant infections are usually caused by the presence of bacteria during or immediately after the oral surgery for the placement of the dental implants, an implant infection can occur months or years after surgery.

-Post Surgical Bleeding - Some bleeding following surgery is normal and should be expected for about 1-2 days. Biting gently on a gauze pad placed over the surgery area for 30 minutes should normally stop the bleeding. Excessive bleeding is not normal and you should notify your dentist immediately if you have concerns about your dental implants.

-Damage To Surrounding Tissues - Dental implant complications related with surgical errors affecting adjacent teeth, nerves or sinus are directly correlated with the experience and skills of the dentist or surgeon. An experienced and skilled implant dentist is able to identify potential problems by examining x-rays or CT scan (computer tomography), design the proper surgical plan for ideal location and angle, and execute it successfully without complications. Even with the most skilled implant dentist there is always a possibility of dental implant complications. The complications can be limited by choosing an implant dentist with the skills and experience necessary to handle any complications if they arise.

-Rejection – An extremely rare complication for dental implants but it has been noted in the research literature. The dental implants can sometimes be viewed as a foreign body.

-Unusable Dental Implants – An implant that has successfully integrated with bone, but the area or extreme angle of placement deem it unrestorable.

Dental Implants Conclusion

Dental implants have been the solution for many. They come with risks but with proper treatment planning from a well qualified dentist they can be a successful tooth replacement for a lifetime of smiles.

 

 

Cosmetic dentistry is often perceived as an adult only option in dentistry. While that may be the case most of the time, cosmetic dentistry options for kids do exist. Most of these cosmetic dentistry options for younger patients tend to be minimally invasive.  Cosmetic dentistry for children is a delicate balance between changing a smile and the growth of the child. Adult procedures generally do not translate well to children. Children are still growing, so that must be kept in mind at all times. Usually at this stage, you want something that is only semi-permanent.

Minimally Invasive Dentistry

These procedures are the best option for most younger, still developing patients. Removing tooth structure is permanent so it is wise to consider the long term implications. Minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry strives to conserve healthy tooth structure by allowing the dentist to perform the least amount of dentistry possible. This entails never removing more tooth structure than is required to restore teeth to their optimal condition.

What are the best options for minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry for children?

-Dental Flipper. This procedure is used  if a child loses a tooth do to trauma or tooth decay, because a dental implant is not an option before age 17 or 18.   The traditional option has been to create this removable appliance (called a flipper) with a fake tooth on it. This appliance may help with self confidence, and speech if more than one tooth is missing.

-Dental Bonding. Bonding is generally used to repair decayed teeth, while restoring their natural color and shape.

-No Prep Veneers. This type of cosmetic dentistry veneer is placed over the existing teeth with bonding. No tooth structure is removed and the veneers can be removed at any time.

-White crowns. In the past, stainless steel crowns have been used to restore broken down primary teeth. There are new, highly cosmetic, white crowns which can be utilized in the same manner.

-Teeth Whitening. This is not recommended in younger patients. If the patient and parent are to request this, it is usually recommended to wait until the teenage years. In some instances this is a viable option to correct a tooth that has discolored due to trauma.

-Limited Orthodontics. Early intervention orthodontics can be considered minimally invasive in some cases. Bringing teeth in line not only improves ones cosmetic smile but it also makes it easier to maintain dental health. Teeth that are crowded will be much more difficult to keep clean.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry can be a great option for children if tailored to their current and future needs. As our younger patients age, they become hyper aware of their bodies and may request changes that may or may not be possible. This awareness will affect a child’s self esteem and self confidence, so if a cosmetic dentist can make minimally invasive changes then, large positive results may be incurred. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can give a tremendous boost to the young patients as they mature into young adults.

Peri-implantitis - is a destructive  process affecting the gums and bone surrounding dental implants. The various periodontal bacteria found surrounding failing dental implants (those affected by peri-implantitis) are very similar to those found in association with various forms of periodontal disease.

Peri-implantitis is a unique complication when dealing with dental implants. Dental implants have a very high success rate but do fail for various reasons. These can include failure to integrate with bone, poor oral hygiene by patient, rejection by the body, trauma, or peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis becomes a factor in patients with poor oral hygiene, diabetes, smoking, and when there is residual cement stuck to the implant surface.  Peri-implantitis will cause the destruction of bone and gum tissue exposing part of the dental implant to the outside. This will cause the possibility for the dental implant to become less stable and cause the patient to lose the implant and restoration if not treated in a timely manner.

How Is It Diagnosed?

A dentist will use x-rays and measuring instruments to determine the level of the bone surrounding the dental implant. If it is found there is some level of bone loss beyond normal surrounding the dental implant, then the diagnosis becomes that of peri-implantitis. It is normal to see some minor bone loss 1-2 years out following placement of the dental implants. It should be no more than 1-1.5 mm in the first year and no more than 0.2 mm in each subsequent year. As stated earlier peri-implantitis of a  dental implant that goes undiagnosed will lead to complete failure and have to be removed.

Peri-implantitis can be diagnosed early or once clear clinical evidence has developed. The most common signs and symptoms are:

- Color changes of the gum tissue around the implant.

- Bleeding during brushing, probing or measuring.

- Increased pocket depth around the implant.

- Pus drainage from around the dental implant.

- Thinning of the tissue causing transparency around the implant..

- Progressive loss of bone height around the implant.

-X-rays showing loss of bone around the implant.

Peri-Implantitis Treatment Options

The course and success of treatment revolves around when the peri-implantitis is diagnosed. If the initial bone loss is limited there will be a higher chance of success in saving the dental implant. However, the later treatment begins the lower the chance of saving the dental implants. There are various methods used to treat peri-implantitis. All have varying degrees of success. These include the following:

-Mechanical Debridement (professional cleaning using instruments). A patient with dental implants must follow normal treatment schedules to maintain his/her dental implants. This includes regular dental visits. At these visits radiographs will be taken to ensure the dental implant and surrounding tissues are in a  healthy state. At these visits the patient will also undergo a professional cleaning for the dental implants and/or natural teeth. Dental implants require special tools for cleanings. The standard dental implant instruments used for cleaning include plastic, graphite, or gold tipped instruments. Ultrasonic tips may be used. The goal in cleaning the implant is to remove debris and bacteria without damaging the exterior coating of the dental implant.

-Perioscope. A microscope guided cleaning deep below the tissues to remove debris and otherwise  undetectable cement residue.

-Localized Drug Delivery. Since dental implants by nature have rough surfaces (to allow better integration with surrounding bone), removing infection tends to be quite a challenge using just hand instruments. It is recommended that a chemical anti microbial agent be used along side hand instrumentation. Recent studies have shown the combination of hand instruments and chemical agents have proven effective in eliminating peri-implantitis in its earliest stages. Drugs used can include chlorhexidine rinse, oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline hyclate, or Arestin, an antibiotic placed directly into the pocket.

-Bone regrowth factors. Emdogain can be placed along with bone grafting material to help stimulate new bone growth.

Conclusion

The primary goal once peri-implantitis has been diagnosed is to stop the disease process from progressing. If untreated, it will ultimately lead to loss of the dental implants. The #1 goal should be to see your dentist regularly to avoid the complication of peri-implantitis. It is important to note any signs that may be occurring so you can be proactive about your dental health.