A Sign That Something’s-Up With Your Dental Implant

You’ve invested time and dollars in your dental implant treatment. It’s delivered everything you had hoped.

Now…

You have a strong, secure, fully functioning new tooth. And you’re equally pleased that your implant isn’t directly vulnerable to decay or disease.

Then one day…

You notice some inflammation around the site of your implant. It’s inflamed enough to get your attention and signal that something isn’t quite right.

First, it’s important that you noticed. Second, it has less to do with your dental implant and perhaps more to do with your natural gum tissue that surrounds it.

Implant infection treatment is your next best step. This procedure helps eliminate the risk of damage to your dental implant and surrounding gum and bone tissue.

An oral infection where your implant is located can lead to more serious dental health issues.

So, why is there an infection?

Food is the common culprit. For example, popcorn kernels and foods containing small seeds can become impacted (lodged) between you implant crown and your gum tissue.

Simple neglect or lack of awareness trigger the gradual progress towards inflammation. If you ignore the inflamed area long enough an infection will occur.

Remember, your dental implant resists infection and decay. Your gums and bone tissue do not.

Plaque and tartar can form beneath the surface edges of your dental crown and your implant. That’s somewhat harmless until the bacteria within the tartar attacks your vulnerable gum tissue.

Oral bacteria are aggressive. They will produce an infection if they are not removed.

Implant infection treatment focuses on the tissue that holds your dental implant. Your gums are cleaned, treated, and disinfected to eliminate the infection.

The procedure also checks for any bone tissue damage. This helps keep your jawbone healthy and your implant secure.

Contact our Wayne dental office about dental implant treatment. Schedule a dental examination if you are experiencing any gum inflammation.

How Porcelain Dental Veneers Provide You a Healthy Confidence Boost

Your dental health can be defined by two things. One, how well your teeth function and two, how your teeth appear.

The combination is of function and appearance is a goal of cosmetic dentistry. Ultimately, your teeth must be healthy or aesthetics will be of less or no benefit to you.

Your smile is among the first thing people notice. That makes it all-important that you’re confident your teeth are healthy.

Confidence boost

Porcelain veneers can deliver a confidence boost. The cosmetic dentistry treatment covers your tooth imperfections.

Your dental health can be threatened by gaps, chips, and stains on your teeth. These conditions also have an impact on your willingness to smile confidently.

Dental veneers are thin porcelain layers. The treatment bonds to the front, visible surfaces of your teeth.

Veneers look natural. They create a long-lasting solution for covering your damaged or unattractive tooth issues.

Porcelain veneers are also stain resistant. They require less tooth preparation prior to treatment, unlike dental bonding and/or dental crowns.

What to expect

Your procedure duration will be determined by the severity of your tooth imperfections. Also, the type of veneers you select can have affect the length of your treatment appointment.

I will examine your teeth. Once I have an understanding of your appearance goals and I can create a specific treatment plan that meets your dental health goals.

During your procedure appointment I will prep the surface of your teeth for the application of your veneers. It’s common for portions of your tooth surface to be removed to help assure that your porcelain veneers fit properly.

A mold of your teeth is obtained as well. It will be sent to our selected dental laboratory where your custom-designed set of veneers will be crafted.

We will notify you when your veneers are available from the lab. An appointment will be scheduled for confirmation of fit and color matching prior to your procedure.

Your new porcelain dental veneers will then be bonded to the surface of your teeth with a special curing process once all necessary adjustments are completed. It’s essential that you protect and care for your dental veneers as you would your natural tooth surfaces.

Maintain the health of your teeth and the appearance of your smile with routine preventive dentistry. This includes at-home care and scheduled dental examinations and teeth cleanings.

Contact our Wayne dental office about your cosmetic dentistry questions and goals. Schedule a consultation to discuss porcelain dental veneers for transforming the appearance of your smile.

A Common Question About Dental Implant Treatment

Next to the treatment itself, it’s perhaps the most common question about dental implants. In a way, the answer increases the treatment’s credibility.

The question: “How long does it take for implants to heal?”

Healing duration indicates yet another plus of dental implants. Implant treatment is more than a cosmetic tweak for your missing or damaged teeth.

The healing period following implant placement will vary. The reason is a key to your implant’s overall effectiveness.

Your bone health will primarily determine the speed and quality of your post-placement healing. Also, factor in any required supportive procedures such as a bone graft.

Two to four months is the typical healing period. During this time your bone tissue is adapting to the implant.

Your bone tissue will heal according to that time frame if you follow post-treatment instructions. The main recommendation is to avoid forceful biting on the treated area.

We are learning more about how your bone tissue adapts to the titanium post (implant). Improving the healing time frame is the goal but generally you should expect the two to four month span to be most effective.

Treat it like a new tooth from root to tip

Your tooth function is restored from top to bottom with a dental implant. The surface portion (crown) will naturally get the most attention post healing.

The dental crown is secured to the top of your implant. This forms the new functional tooth.

It’s essential that you care for your dental implant. Its connection to your bone, gums, and surrounding teeth give you reason to do so as you would your natural teeth.

Your implant will not be vulnerable to cavities since it’s a prosthetic tooth structure. But you will be susceptible to gum inflammation.

Improper care of your dental implant and the surrounding tissue can cause problems. Gum inflammation can lead to an infection and eventually, bone loss if you avoid proper treatment.

Periodontal disease affects your gums. In the same way, a condition known as peri-implantitis can occur in the tissue surrounding your dental implant.

This makes it all-important that you stay consistent with at-home dental care. Brush and floss the areas around your dental implant to maintain healthy tissue.

Also, stay consistent with your routine check-ups, x-rays, and teeth cleanings. We will observe the health of your implant and provide you with techniques for keeping it clean and healthy.

The healing period following implant placement is short by comparison to the lifetime of function you enjoy.

Contact our Wayne dental office about dental implant treatment. Schedule a consultation to discuss your tooth replacement options.

How Dental Crowns Help Support the Lifetime Value of Your Teeth

The worth of something can easily be determined by its lasting value. No doubt, your teeth would fit in that category.

Your teeth have lifetime value. This is why you must prioritize their care and maintenance.

Brushing, flossing, dental examinations, and teeth cleanings are fundamental to keeping them healthy for life. But what about the occasional threat to their health?

Lasting yet vulnerable

Your teeth are vulnerable to decay, loss, and damage. Fortunately, you have restorative dentistry treatment options that can restore their health, function, and appearance.

Dental crowns, for example, are a versatile restorative dental treatment. They are also a significant piece of the dental implant treatment I provide as your Wayne dentist.

Dental crowns…

• Secure your dental bridge

• Restore your broken, damaged, decayed, or discolored tooth.

• Protect your tooth from additional damage caused by decay.

And as mentioned…

• Create a new and functional tooth for your dental implant.

Made to last

Dental crowns are created from a variety of materials. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

For example, a metal crown will require that less of your tooth structure be removed prior to placement. The downside is that they’re more visible alongside your adjoining teeth than a tooth-colored, porcelain crown.

A porcelain crown more perfectly matches your surrounding teeth. Yet, a porcelain crown will not last as long as a metal or resin crown.

Care is essential with your dental crown as it is with your natural teeth. Consistent brushing and flossing along with regular dental check-ups are essential to keep your crown functioning properly.

It’s also important to protect your crown from damage. Hard or sticky foods can loosen or damage your dental crown.

You should expect your dental crown to last. It’s not uncommon for crowns to function effectively for over 10 years.

Contact our Wayne dental office about restorative dentistry and implant dentistry. Ask us about treatment with dental crowns.

“Did You Say You Could Treat My Gums Virtually Pain-Free?”

What’s the best kind of dental treatment?

First choice would be none because you keep your teeth and gums healthy with routine check-ups and teeth cleanings. A close second and perhaps most popular would be virtually painless dental treatment.

You had me at “pain-free”

Laser dentistry introduces you to a range of dental procedures that are virtually painless. Dental lasers are most commonly used to treat periodontal (gum) disease.

Advanced cases of gum disease can actually lead to surgical treatment. Pain or the anticipation of it are among the top reasons you could delay periodontal disease treatment.

The evolution of gum treatment

Surgical techniques for gum disease have evolved. Numerous dental appointments and referral to a periodontal specialist (periodontist) was once your standard of care.

Gum surgery can require more than one invasive procedure. And any surgical treatment is followed by a period of healing before you can anticipate being pain-free.

Gum treatment has been revolutionized by laser dentistry techniques. You can anticipate reduced treatment time, less office visits, and…significantly less pain and recovery time than invasive gum surgery.

How laser dentistry provides you a more comfortable gum treatment

Imagine having surgery and not requiring an incision. It might interest you to know that dental lasers are not invasive.

The laser used to treat your gums or other oral health issue is hair-thin. The pinpoint technology easily and quickly removes the diseased gum tissue between your teeth and gums.

Dental lasers are also effective for eliminating infection and treating it’s source. Again, this is possible without any necessary or painful incision common with other forms of oral surgery.

Following the initial removal of your infected gum tissue, the dental laser will seal the area of your treatment. You will experience only minor discomfort, little or no bleeding, and the procedure will require no local anesthesia unless you request it.

Recovery from procedures is faster with laser dentistry too. Your complete treatment, healing period, and overall recovery is noticeably improved compared with standard gum surgery.

Laser dentistry enables you to get the necessary (and best) treatment for your gum disease without fear of pain or time consuming appointments.

Contact our Wayne dental office with your questions and concerns about gum disease. Ask us about laser dentistry as a treatment option.

Implant Dentistry 101

Conversations jump topics frequently. Maybe it’s because attention spans are tested these days.

Information flows freely. That’s a good thing but it can make you pause and wonder, “Now what was it you were saying about…?”

That said dental implants are a dominant theme on this blog. I cover a variety of related topics here.

It’s important that you understand all the so called ins-and-outs, or 101-level information about implant treatment. Having covered some of those corollary topics, let’s return to the basics for a moment.

Fill in the gaps

A discussion about dental implants typically begins with a missing tooth or teeth. Losing a tooth triggers a series of emotions, panic for starters.

But once the panic subsides, it’s easy to become accustomed to the space left behind. But ignoring tooth loss is where your problems begin.

A missing tooth or teeth affects more than your smile or the embarrassment that you might feel as result. Tooth loss impacts your lifestyle.

The most noticeable areas are speaking and chewing. And the challenge remains until you learn to compromise and alternate your routine.

Your teeth begin to shift and move not long after tooth loss. The damage caused by shifting teeth is a priority concern.

Also, plaque often hides in your missing tooth gaps. This increases the potential for tooth decay to take hold and lead to other dental treatment or worse, gum disease.

Stop it before it starts

You have options for tooth replacement. Implant dentistry is popular for restoring your natural tooth function.

Unlike implants, dentures sit on top of your gums. A dental bridge depends on the anchoring support of your adjacent teeth.

The implant integrates with your jawbone and gum tissue to prohibit tooth movement and further damage to your gum and bone tissue. Dental implants look and function as your natural teeth.

A solution that lasts

Implants can replace a single tooth or several teeth. Dental implants are also a common support for securing a dental bridge or implant-supported dentures.

Implant treatment is a more permanent solution than dentures, partial dentures, or dental bridges. Your cost comparison should consider the long-term effectiveness of dental implants over other tooth replacement solutions.

What to expect

Your dental implants treatment can most often be completed in two to three phases. Keep in mind that your implant treatment is an oral surgery procedure using local anesthesia and/or sedation dentistry (if you choose).

Phase one: involves the actual placement of your titanium implant within your jawbone. Your gum tissue is placed over your dental implant to begin the initial healing process.

This allows your new implant to fuse to your bone (osseointegration). The osseointegration period usually lasts three to six months as healing occurs.

Phase two and three: your post is placed within your dental implant. This extends above your gum line and creates the location for your new, visible tooth.

A dental crown will be placed on the post once your gum tissue has healed. The crown, post (abutment), and implant fill the missing tooth gap and give you a secure, functional new tooth.

There are many questions and considerations for dental implant treatment. Cover the basics of implant dentistry with a consultation in our Wayne dental office.

Problem with Your Dentures? Here’s an Option

What’s inevitable in your life? I agree that’s a broad question.

Let’s narrow it down to at least one certainty.

Change.

Moods change. Minds change. Bodies change.

And if you’ve experienced tooth loss (for whatever reason) your jaw will inevitably change. This is even more common if you’re a denture wearer.

Perhaps you chose dentures because of their cost or convenience. At the time you might have believed that dentures were your only tooth replacement option.

Are your dentures changing?

Actually, your dentures aren’t the biggest concern. What’s beneath them is – where change happens.

You might not be aware of it at first. But over time your jaw will change when you wear dentures.

The changes often become more noticeable. Your dentures could shift, become loose, and show signs of not fitting as well as they did when you began wearing them.

Your deeper issue.

The primary reason your jawbone is wearing away has to do with your tooth roots. When you lose a tooth you lose a primary part that’s connected to your jawbone tissue – the roots.

Missing tooth roots causes your jawbone to gradually wear away. That slipping you’re noticing with your dentures? Stability is lost due to loss of bone.

A more permanent solution.

Jawbone atrophy is common if you’re a denture wearer. You can apply temporary fixes to keep your denture in place – reline it for a more secure fit or replace it.

Dental implants are a more permanent solution. And they can prevent long term costs associated with denture replacement due to poor fit.

The best result of implant treatment is ending your jawbone atrophy. As denture wearer, you can have four permanent dental implants placed to replace your traditional denture.

Think of the four implants as the legs of a table. The table is sturdy, doesn’t wobble, and can be trusted to hold whatever you place upon it because of its four legs.

Remember your tooth roots?

Dental implants become your new tooth roots. Each implant is placed in your jawbone at a specific location to support your new prosthetic tooth arch.

Your dental implants will be absorbed into your bone tissue over time. This process prevents jawbone atrophy from occurring.

Typically, the four implant approach allows each implant to be placed in the front of your jaw. This supports your new tooth arch.

If you’re missing back teeth and bone loss occurs, as few as four dental implants can be used there as well.

Change for the better.

Count on your prosthetic teeth supported by dental implants to be stronger than your current, traditional denture. It’s a better tooth replacement option because it’s actually anchored to your bone tissue by each implant.

You will chew and smile more confidently with an implant supported denture. The changes associated with traditional dentures disappear with dental implants.

Ask us about an implant supported denture. Schedule a consultation to explore your options as a denture wearer who is ready for a change – the good kind, that is.

What Dental Implants Can Do for the Unfortunate Results of Untreated Dry Mouth

One problem can often lead to another. I think it’s safe to say that you would prefer to avoid as many problems as possible.

Tooth decay is one dental problem that can quickly escalate. Be aware that your risk of decay is high if certain factors are present.

Bacteria and food particles are top decay producers. But there’s good news.

Let’s talk saliva (Really, it’s important)

Your saliva is a natural cleansing element for your mouth. This is why dry mouth often causes many dental problems such as tooth decay.

Saliva keeps your mouth moist. It also rinses away food particles and potentially harmful bacteria.

It’s not uncommon for you to lose teeth if your dental problems resulting from dry mouth issues go untreated.

The reason?

Bacteria thrive in your mouth. Food particles, sugars, and starches that remain on your teeth are like a buffet-line for hungry bacteria.

Brushing and flossing clean your mouth and tooth surfaces. Between meals, saliva helps rinse your teeth of the particles left behind from your most recent meal or snack.

This is why dry mouth or a lack of saliva increases your risk of tooth damage from decay. In most instances a dental restoration is necessary to repair or replace your damaged teeth.

Dental implants and dry mouth

Dental implant treatment is recommended for tooth replacement however your tooth loss occurs. Implants are also a go-to solution even with complications from dry mouth that result in tooth loss from decay.

Treat your dry mouth although lacking saliva should not impact your teeth replaced with dental implants. The reason is that tooth decay isn’t common for implant restorations.

Yes, dental fillings and dental crowns provide an effective treatment for problems associated with decay. Also understand that the natural tooth beneath those restorations can still experience damaging decay.

Your dental implant is a natural-looking, artificial tooth replacement. The root (implant) and surface tooth structure (crown), each being artificial, are therefore immune to decay.

Dental implants look and function as your natural teeth. But they avoid the problems commonly associated with tooth decay.

Ask us about solutions for dry mouth. And in our Wayne dental office to discuss how dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement option for tooth damage or loss caused by decay.

The Other Area of Your Mouth Where You Can Trust Dental Implants

If you say something will “take-a-backseat-to-no-one” you’re admitting that it’s not lacking in confidence. Trusting your dental implant is like that for missing or damaged tooth replacement.

In fact, speaking of “taking-a-back-seat,” dental implants are equally trustworthy for replacing your back molars.

A high-function zone

There are common functions that a lost or missing tooth affects. Eating, and more specifically, chewing your food, would rank high on the list of functions.

Losing your back or rear molar has a significant impact on your lifestyle. You should also be concerned about the ongoing risk of bone loss in your jaw if you are merely content to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate a missing tooth in that quadrant of your mouth.

Bone loss can lead to greater function loss. This is especially true if your adjoining teeth begin to shift because you delay tooth replacement.

Beware of more rapid bone atrophy

Preserving the bone tissue where you’ve lost a tooth is vital. The quality of available bone can determine the capability or effectiveness of your dental implant.

Jawbone atrophy is known to occur more rapidly in the back portion of your mouth following tooth loss. This is due to thinner bone tissue in that region of your mouth.

A thorough examination of your jaw and targeted x-rays will determine if dental implants can thrive in your available bone tissue. This makes it all the more important to schedule a consultation as soon as possible following your tooth loss.

Back in business

You have options to replace a missing back/rear tooth if bone loss has already occurred. A bone graft can be used to supplement the tissue.

Typically, bone grafts are obtained from your own tissue. Or an outside and compatible source can be used as well.

This necessary step will lengthen the time of your treatment. But it’s worthwhile given the significant functional and aesthetic benefits of a dental implant.

Avoid bone loss and the need for a bone graft. Schedule a consultation within a few days of your tooth loss and allow us to determine if dental implant treatment is your best tooth replacement solution.

Best Dentist 2015

I’m so humbled and excited to be named “Best Dentist on the Main Line” by Main Line Magazine. I’m so grateful to have so many patients who have supported me over the years! Thank you! I love you all.