Posts for: December, 2019
If you’re considering dental implants as a solution to a missing tooth or teeth, it’s important to be well-equipped with the right information before you make a decision. Dental implants require surgery, so before you rush into a decision, there are a few things you should ask your dentist first.
At Southshore Dental, our dentists have been performing dental implant surgeries for years. To help you make this important decision, our experienced team has created a list of “must-ask” questions when considering dental implants. These questions will help walk you through the decision of selecting the best solution for your overall oral health and selecting the right dentist to operate on your mouth.
- Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
- How much experience do you have with implants?
- What are my options if I don’t replace my tooth or teeth?
- Can you explain the procedure?
- How long do dental implants last?
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
There are many solutions for missing teeth. A few of the many benefits dental implants offer is that they’re a more permanent solution, they feel and behave like real teeth, and they’re more convenient. Keep in mind that the best solution for you may not be the best solution for the next patient. Implants require healthy jaws and gums, and not all patients have this. Your oral health habits, including whether or not you smoke, also impact your ability to have implants. Finally, if your tooth isn't already gone, your dentist may be able to save the tooth altogether.
How Much Experience Do You Have with Implants?
Don’t be afraid to ask your dental team about their experience with implants. This is a way for you to ensure you’re getting quality care. Your dentist should be able to provide details about their experience and qualifications. As you ask questions about experience, make sure that the experience includes a board-certified periodontist or oral surgery professional. Also, look for membership in the ICOI.
You only sometimes only have one chance to get the implants right. Be cautious about anyone offering "same day" dental implants or bargain prices. These often lead to repeat procedures and more money spent later.
What Are My Options If I Don't Replace the Tooth?
Dental implant surgery isn’t always covered by insurance providers, making it not always affordable for everyone. This causes some to wonder how important it is to actually replace that missing tooth and what options you have later on. This is a fair question and one you can ask your dental team.
Every situation is different, however, in general, skipping the implant can cause deterioration of the bone in the jaw. It can also allow the teeth you still have to shift, which can cause problems with your bite lining up properly. The longer you wait, your situation can worsen over time, causing you to have a larger procedure (and bill) down the road.
Can You Explain the Procedure?
Ask your dentist to explain the procedure, and listen carefully to the answers. Pay attention to whether they say they can complete the entire surgery all in one day or not. Although same-day dental implant surgery sounds appealing, it often leads to poor success rates. Your mouth needs a few months to heal after the initial procedure before the crown can be installed.
Technology also plays an important role in the success of your dental implant surgery. Your dentist should use the latest technology so nerves can be identified and avoided during surgery.
How Long do Implants Last?
Implants are advertised as a semi-permanent solution to your missing teeth. But just how long do they last? According to research, the average lifespan of dental implants are at least 13 years, or longer if you take proper care of them. As technology continues to evolve, the longevity of your implants will continue to improve, too.
With properly placed dental implants, you can have a new smile that looks and functions like real teeth. But you do need to ask the right questions first. For more information about dental implants, schedule a complimentary consultation with Southshore Dental by calling 734-675-0585. Our team of experienced staff is here to answer all of your dental implant related questions.
The holidays draw families together like no other season as loved ones gather from near and far to eat, drink and be merry—and exchange gifts. For the little kids that means toys (and sometimes for the big “kids” too!). Unfortunately, a toy meant to delight children could instead cause them harm, including injuries to their teeth and gums.
Be selective, then, when giving toys to the special children in your life this holiday season. Here are a few tips to remember to help protect their teeth and gums from injury.
Avoid toys with small parts. Given infants’ and toddlers’ propensity to put objects in their mouth, try to avoid choosing toys with small parts. While the main concern with smaller toys is the risk for choking, small, hard objects in the mouth could also cause dental damage. The danger is especially acute if a child falls while a toy or similar object is in their mouth.
Watch out for hard, sharp-edged toys. Younger children especially like to bite and gnaw on things. It’s prudent, then, to stay away from hard plastic toys or those with sharp points or edges—these could chip teeth or cut into the gums. Instead, look for toys made of more pliable plastic or fabric, and with rounder surfaces. When in doubt, look for labeling on packaging that indicates the appropriate ages for a particular toy.
Discard damaged toys. With your kids’ toy boxes brimming over with new holiday treasures, it’s a good time to do a safety inventory of their older toys. Besides those they’ve outgrown, look for toys that may have been damaged or broken. Although initially they may have been safe, toys in poor condition might pose many of the dangers to teeth and gums we’ve previously mentioned. Damaged toys should be either repaired or discarded.
Supervise their playtime. You might also want to keep a watchful eye out as your kids play with their new toys. While they do need their own time to be imaginative during play, children could put their toys to uses not intended for them, increasing the risk of injury. A bit of gentle supervision is a good idea to prevent unintended—and unwelcome—consequences.
The holidays are a magical time for all of us, but especially for children. Follow these holiday toy tips to prevent dental injuries that could ruin your family fun.
If you would like more information about protecting your child’s dental health, please contact us or schedule a consultation.
There are ways you can look younger, including eating a better diet and getting physically fit. Cosmetic enhancements can also take years off your appearance.
But while looking for a more youthful appearance be sure you include a "smile update." Your teeth and gums age like the rest of the body—even more so if you've contended with dental disease. Here are 4 ways you might be able to take years off your smile.
Teeth whitening. Teeth naturally yellow as we age, so it's not uncommon for older teeth to look dull. But your dentist can brighten your smile with teeth whitening, the application of a controlled bleaching solution to lighten them. It only works with enamel discoloration and it does fade over time. But it can temporarily change the dynamic of your smile for the better.
Dental enhancements. You can "put a new face" on unattractive older teeth with a number of life-like materials and techniques. Dentists can apply and sculpt composite resin material to fix small chips in teeth. Dental veneers, thin wafers of porcelain bonded to the front of teeth, can mask chips, heavy staining or slight gaps, and can make worn teeth look longer. And life-like crowns can completely cover teeth with major disfigurement.
Dental work updates. Many people have dental work—fillings, crowns, bridges and the like—from earlier in life. It might be time to "revisit" those with a fresh update. For example, a dark grey metal amalgam filling could be replaced with a newer tooth-colored restoration made of composite material or porcelain.
Gum treatments. Your teeth might not be the only elements of your smile needing attention. Gums that have shrunk back or receded from the teeth can ruin your smile. In some cases, treating any underlying gum disease could help them heal and regain their tooth attachment. For major recession, though, you may need grafting surgery to regenerate lost gum tissue, improving both your oral health and your smile.
These and other techniques can turn back the clock on your smile. The best way to maintain a youthful smile, though, is to take care of your teeth and gums through daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. Healthy teeth and gums make beautiful smiles.
If you would like more information on rejuvenating your smile, 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 “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”
Getting a new smile doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. If your teeth have minor to moderate chips, stains or tooth gaps, dental veneers could be the answer. These thin wafers of dental porcelain mask tooth imperfections and completely change your smile’s dynamic—and without a huge impact to your wallet.
To achieve that effect, though, your personal set of veneers will require the expertise of both your dentist and a dental lab technician to design and create your veneers. And while there are numerous considerations in achieving a truly life-like appearance with veneers, one of the most important is their color.
We always associate the color white with teeth. And while it is the dominant hue, actual tooth color is more complex. An individual tooth is comprised of multiple shades and tints, that range in variation from its biting edge to the gums. Likewise, tooth color in general can differ from person to person.
Your dentist must take these individual color variations into account while designing your new veneers, especially if you’ll be getting them for some but not for all your teeth. In that case, it’s important for the veneer color to blend seamlessly with the color of your natural teeth without veneers.
Your new smile expectations and desires are also important and should be considered when designing veneer coloring. For instance, do you want a more natural look—or would you prefer a smile with more “dazzle”? This could have an impact on color.
Your dentist takes all of this information (including your input) and communicates it clearly to the dental lab technician creating the veneers. That process is a combination of both science and artistry, using a variety of techniques to achieve an accurate, life-like texture and color result. For example, a technician may paint the edges of the veneers with a ceramic paste that when cured produces a life-like translucency.
This meticulous attention to color detail is necessary to create beautiful veneers that look natural. If the color is right, you’re sure to enjoy the change your veneers bring to your smile for many years to come.
If you would like more information on transforming your smile with dental veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: Your Smile—Better Than Ever.”
Dental implants are a popular type of restorative dentistry. At Southshore Dental, we help many of our patients restore their smiles through permanent implants.
Are you a candidate for this popular procedure? You may not know if you’re a candidate or not until you meet with a dentist, however, here are five signs to watch for that could be an indication you would be eligible for dental implants:
- You have missing teeth
- You need a tooth pulled
- You’re frustrated you’re always having to fix something
- You’re having trouble chewing
- Dentures and partials are becoming frustrating, embarrassing, and inconvenient
You Have Missing Teeth
Unattractive gaps or spaces in your mouth can destroy your confidence and make chewing your food difficult but dental implants provide a permanent solution to this problem. Implants look and function like your natural teeth, so you can restore your smile and get back your confidence. If you have broken teeth, implants could be a solution to help improve your look.
You Need a Tooth Pulled
Sometimes infected or cracked teeth have to be extracted to prevent further problems or reduce pain. For infected or broken teeth, our goal is always to save the tooth whenever possible. Root canals or crowns can save many teeth, but some are too far damaged and require extraction. If the gap left after extraction is not filled, your teeth could potentially shift position. Over time this creates problems with tooth alignment and your bite. These problems can then lead to jaw pain and other issues. Restoring that tooth with help from an implant eliminates these problems and keeps your teeth from moving.
You're Frustrated You're Always Having to Fix Something
If you find that your dental visits are constantly leading to more dental work, this could be a sign you may benefit from dental implant surgery. Shifting teeth, broken crowns, and the need for yet another root canal can be costly over time. Dental implant surgery is a long term solution that allows you to bypass ongoing expensive fixes, saving you money over time. Talking to your dentist will help you determine if implants are a viable solution for you.
You're Having Trouble Chewing
If you’re passing on some of your favorite foods because you can’t chew them well, then it may be time to consider an implant. While you will need to allow your implant to heal before diving into hard and chewy foods, once it is in place and fully functional, you can enjoy these foods without risk. Dental implants give you a tooth that works naturally and effectively to help you chew.
Dentures and Partials Are Becoming Frustrating, Embarrassing, and Inconvenient
If you have dentures or partials, you may feel frustrated with their overall care and the process of using denture adhesives to get them to stay in place. You may feel embarrassed by them, and you certainly may find that they're not a convenient option for your missing teeth. Implants offer a more convenient option because you’ll care for them the same way you do your natural teeth. All you need to do is brush and floss two to three times a day, and your implant will serve you well.
At Southshore Dental, we care about your oral health and want what is best for you. The best way to determine if dental implants are the right option for your smile is to talk to a dentist. Reach out to Southshore Dental for a free consultation at (734) 675-0585 to discuss dental implants with a downriver dental team that cares about helping you make the best possible decision.