Highland Family Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry

dental implants highlandTop-Rated Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root replacement. Our office works with the best oral surgeons that can place the titanium implant. We can restore the missing tooth by placing an attachment, crown, and/or a bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth without prepping or compromising the adjacent healthy teeth or when there are no adjacent teeth. Also, we can use the implant(s) to support a denture or a partial denture for excellent retention. This can eliminate the embarrassing movements of a poorly retentive denture due to bone loss.

Dental Crowns

Crowns can be made in materials such as all-porcelain, prcelain-fuesd to metal,porcelain-fused to gold, or full gold (white or yellow gold). The choice depends on the position, condition of the tooth and patient’s grinding or clinching habits. Crowns are fabricated to restore the tooth back to its natural look, color, shape and function.

A porcelain crown is made of pure porcelain, ceramic, or aesthetic reinforced resins. It is a metal free crown that is recommended anywhere in the mouth especially the front teeth for a natural vital look. We use one of the best porcelain crowns called Lava. Lava crowns are lined with zirconia on the inside for strength and for natural translucency to look like natural teeth.

Porcelain fused to gold is a crown lined on the inside with gold. We use special crowns lined with 24K yellow gold called a Captek crown. Research has proven that pure gold can eliminate the accumulation of bacteria around the crown margins that can cause recurrent decay and gum irritation. This also helps gives the crown a natural look without the grey metal color that can be seen at the gum line with some of the other forms of crowns. Lava or Captek crowns are metal-free crowns which are great for patients who have metal allergies. Nickel and chromium metals are used in regular crowns.

Full gold crowns can be used for posterior molars, heavy grinders, and in other certain cases.

To achieve the best with our crown quality we use the best local labs.

Bridges

A bridge is a natural looking fixed dental appliance that can replace missing teeth, restore the natural contour of your teeth, and preserve the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth. Bridges consist of two crowns at the side carrying the artificial missing tooth (or teeth) in between.

bone grafting for dental implants large

Dental implant-supported teeth are able to stand the test of time due to their durability and strength, which is derived from their positioning in the jawbone just like natural teeth. One qualification that dental implant patients must make to take advantage of this incredible technology, however, is having a strong enough jawbone to be able to support dental implants. This can be tricky with patients in need of replacement teeth, as the longer a tooth has been missing, the more deteriorated the surrounding bone material becomes. The bone material resorbs (or, deteriorates rapidly). Many patients make the assumption that nothing can be done about missing bone jaw material – due to advances in bone grafting procedures, this is no longer the case!

How Bone Grafting Works

The process of bone grafting is to help restore bone material that has dissolved away due to missing teeth. While some may think bone grafting is a serious surgical operation, modern surgical advancements have made bone grafting a now routine procedure that can be performed in a dental office. A material, which simulates your natural bone material, is placed in the area(s) where bone material has been lost through a small incision. Once this procedure is complete, your body will deposit new bone cells around this material, and the replacement material will eventually be made up entirely of new bone cells produced by your body. Grafting material can come from many different sources, the most common of which being your own body, human, or even animal donors once this material is sent to a lab for sterilization. This material also can come from synthetic sources, and take different forms such as gels, putties, and powders.

Bone Grafting Types

There are several different materials by which bone grafting can be done with, and each of these different sources fall under a different category of bone grafting with different processing procedures making them completely safe:

  • Autograft: An autograft is what comes to mind for most when they think of a graft procedure; this type of graft utilized material taken from one area of your body and places it in another area of your body where it is needed.
  • Allograft: These grafts utilize material that comes from human materials processed in a laboratory. This material is then sent to tissue banks for use by medical professionals.
  • Xenograft: These types of grafts use material taken from animal sources — due to similarities in tissue and bone structure, this animal tends to be a cow, or even a pig.
  • Alloplast: Alloplast grafts leverage synthetic (or, man-made) materials that mimic the makeup of natural materials.

What to Expect from the Bone Grafting Process

As stated above, advancements in surgical procedures have allowed bone grafting, a once  serious surgical procedure, to be performed in your dentist’s office. This treatment typically only requires a the use of local anesthesia, with IV sedatives offering more comfort. Given that grafting material is applied to the jawbone through a small incision, patients can expect some soreness after their grafting procedure. Most patients, however, find that this discomfort can be alleviated by taking Ibuprofen or other similar over-the-counter pain medications. Applying an ice pack to the area of the jaw where the procedure occurred is also a great method for relieving this discomfort. Even after this discomfort has subsided, your jaw will require up to seven months (or longer for patients with severely deteriorated jawbones) to fully heal. This healing process allows your jawbone to heal fully before implants are placed, making for the strongest possible base of support for your implants. This support makes makes for the most successful possible dental implant experience!

What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small post (made of titanium, as this material is able to fuse to the jawbone with very little risk of rejection) that is fitted to the jawbone in order act as permanent support for a replacement tooth (view the example below for greater detail).

dental implants

Dental implants are placed in the jawbone through a routine surgical operation that can be performed in your dentist’s office, and these implants are given time to properly fuse to the jawbone for maximum support. After this healing process has occurred, a crown is then placed on top of the implant to complete your replacement tooth.

Can Dental Implants Be Used To Replace Multiple Missing Teeth? 

You can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all your teeth with implants (more details above). The best aspect of replacing missing teeth with dental implants is that each missing tooth does not require its own implant – multiple teeth can be supported with only a few dental implants! In fact, only two implants can support a fully removable lower set of dentures, and as few as four implants can successfully replace a full top or bottom row of teeth. 

Is There Any Discomfort Associated With Dental Implant Surgery?
A dental implants operation does not often involve an incredible amount of pain according to most dental implant patients. Any pain or discomfort stemming from a dental implant operation can typically be handled with ibuprofen or other similar over-the-counter medications.

How Expensive Are Dental Implants?
At the outset, implants are more expensive than other tooth-replacement methods such as dentures or bridgework. But they also last many years longer and in fact should never need replacement. So they offer the best, most cost-effective option when viewed as a long-term investment in your health, comfort and well-being.

How Are Dental Implants Cared For And Maintained?
They require exactly the same care as natural teeth: daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. Although implant teeth will never decay, the gum tissues around them can become inflamed or infected in the absence of good oral hygiene. Properly cared-for dental implants should last a lifetime.

Is There A Possibility Of Rejection With Dental Implants?
Technically, rejection cannot and will not occur with dental implants as there are no living cells in their material. Dental implants are almost universally made of titanium, as this metal has the unique ability to fuse to the jawbone in an effective and risk-free manner. The term used to describe this is “biocompatible,” meaning that they integrate with with natural tissue and allergies seldom occur. The only circumstances under which a dental implant would fail is improper hygiene and maintenance, which can lead to infection or excessively strong biting while the implants heal. Overall, dental implants have a success rate of 95% or even greater according to the American Dental Association.

Am I A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
If you’re in need of missing teeth, that fact alone is an indicator that you could strongly benefit from dental implants. However, this determination can only be made for certain by scheduling a dental implant consultation with our team. This will also include taking x-rays of your jaws to assess the underlying bone structure of your teeth.

Book with our veteran dental implants team today to begin your dental implants journey!

restorative dentistry highlandIf you’re missing a full row of teeth (your top and/or bottom row), or are in need of several extractions due to infection and/or decay, fixed dentures supported by dental implants may be an effective treatment option for you! Doctors and patients alike rave over removable dentures as they:

  • Perfectly replicate the aesthetic, feel, and function of real teeth,
  • Stay firmly in place while you eat and speak,
  • Prevent the loss and decay of jaw bone,
  • And last your entire life when properly maintained.

How These Appliances Function

Dental implants take the place of the roots of your real teeth, as they are fixed into your jawbone for maximum strength and support. Just as is the case with the natural roots of your teeth, they are located below the gums and are not visible – the only visible portion of dental implants are the crowns that are places on top of them, which perfectly resemble your existing natural teeth. Due to their titanium composition, they offer unrivaled support and strength. When it comes to the exact number of dental implants you may require, this depends on your own individual circumstances including the density of your jawbone, and as few as four implants or as many as six can support a full row of teeth. 

What to Expect from Dental Implants

A dental implant placing procedure is a straight-forward and routine procedure thanks to today’s advancements in dental implant technology, and can be performed right in our dental facility. Most of the time, only local anesthesia is required, but additional sedatives can be used to achieve a higher level of comfort. Once this area has been sufficiently numbed, the needed number of implants are placed into the jaw at the optimal angles for strength and support while avoiding nerves and other structures. Depending on the exact number of implants required, this procedure can take anywhere between one and three hours. Most dental implant patients find that any post-operative pain or discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Some patients don’t require any type of over-the-counter meds whatsoever! The next steps after surgery can depend on the individual patient and what their post-operative goals are – some patients will be provided a set of temporary teeth that replicate your future crowns, which are then later replaced with your final set of teeth. There are some patients, however, that are not fitted with any type of placeholder teeth while their implants heal, as this can be the best way in some cases to ensure a complete healing process, clinically referred to as osseointegration.

In either one of these cases, it’s vital that healing implants do not encounter any type of excessive force while they heal. During this process, your dentist will advice you to eat a soft food diet and avoid any hard or chewy foods, especially candies until this process of osseointegration is completed which takes about 3 months. Once this process is complete and your implants have fully fused to the jawbone with your new teeth attached, your diet will be fully unrestricted – many patients forget then even have implants!

restorative dentistry highlandWhen the jawbone begins to deteriorate due to missing teeth and age, the progression of this loss can lead to a variety of consequences beyond simply loosing your teeth – this bone loss can lead to your smile not looking like it used to, increased difficulties with eating, chewing and speaking, and decreased confidence and self esteem. The aesthetic consequences of jaw bone deterioration aren’t the primary concern, however – what’s important to note are the consequences for oral and overall health.

It’s important to note that jawbone loss and tooth loss are not mutually exclusive – the loss of jawbone comes before the loss of teeth. Bone require consistent stimulation in order to form the proper density and strength. When it comes to your jaw bone, this stimulation is provided by your teeth, which provide hundreds of points of contact throughout the day. This stimulation prompts further bone growth and development.Unfortunately, once bone is lost, it can never be regained. Just in the first year a tooth is missing along, the overall width of the underlaying bone surface of this tooth can be decreased by upwards of 25%. The next year, this loss can be followed by an upwards of 4 millimeter decrease in height. As bone and tooth loss progress, this results in a collapse of the upper part of the face with the lower part of the face and jaw, resulting in the “droopy” facial structure that’s associated with bone and tooth loss patients. 

 

 If enough teeth are lost, and as bone loss continues, the distance from nose to chin can decrease and the lower third of the face partially collapses. With a lack of structural support, the lips sag; that’s why toothless people often appear unhappy. Also, extreme loss of bone can make an individual more prone to jaw fractures.

You may also find that some of your remaining teeth actually shift into the spaces left open by your missing teeth. This in turn can cause additional bite problems and even jaw joint (TMJ) pain. Finally, compromised nutrition and poor general health can result if eating healthy foods like raw fruits and vegetables becomes too difficult without teeth.

Now here’s the good news: Dental implants — the state-of-the-art tooth-replacement method preferred by dentists — can prevent all this.

How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

Besides helping a person without teeth look and feel great again, dental implants actually prevent bone loss. That’s because they are made of titanium, which has a unique ability to fuse to living bone. By actually becoming a permanent part of the jawbone, dental implants stabilize and stimulate the bone to maintain its volume and density.

Dental implants are placed during a minor surgical procedure using local anesthetic and then, after a healing period, topped with a lifelike dental crown. Together, these precision components look, feel and function exactly like your natural teeth. Dental implant success rates exceed 95% — the highest of any tooth-replacement option.

Other Options for Tooth Replacement
Other than dental implants, your tooth-replacement options include fixed bridgework that incorporates or uses the adjacent teeth, and removable dentures. You should be aware, however, that the disadvantage of both of these options is that they may damage the anatomical structures on which they rest. For example, fixed bridges rely on support from two adjacent, possibly healthy teeth, which must be filed down and capped; this can make them susceptible to decay and root canal problems. Removable partial dentures hook onto existing teeth, which may become loose over time. And full dentures press on the bony ridges that used to support the teeth, accelerating the bone loss that began when the teeth were lost in the first place.

The above tooth-replacement options are all less expensive than dental implants, but only when viewed in the short term. Since bridgework and dentures may cause new problems and will likely need replacement themselves, they don’t offer the same long-term value. When viewed as an enduring investment in your comfort, health and well-being, implants offer the best return by far.

The dental implant is today’s state-of-the-art tooth replacement method. It consists of a very small titanium post (the actual implant), which is attached to a lifelike dental crown. The crown is the only part of this tooth-replacement system that is visible in your mouth. The implant itself rests beneath your gum line in the bony socket that used to hold your missing tooth. Two, four or more implants can be used to support multiple crowns, or even an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth. Whether you are missing one tooth, several teeth or all your teeth, dental implants are preferred by doctors and patients alike. That’s because dental implants are:

1. Most like natural teeth
Your natural teeth have roots that keep them securely anchored to your jawbone. In a similar way, implant teeth form a solid attachment with the bone in your jaw. This is possible because dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that has a unique ability to fuse to living bone. After an implant is inserted during a minor procedure done in the dental office, it will become solidly fused to your bone over a period of several months. Once that happens, your implant-supported replacement tooth (or teeth) will feel completely natural. It will also be visually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Implant teeth allow you to eat, speak and smile with complete confidence because they will never slip or shift like removable dentures often do.

2. The longest-lasting tooth replacements
Because dental implants actually become part of your jawbone, they provide a permanent solution to tooth loss. Whereas other methods of tooth replacement, including removable dentures and bridgework, may need to be replaced or remade over time, properly cared-for dental implants should last a lifetime. That’s what makes this choice of tooth replacement the best long-term value.

3. Able to prevent bone loss
You may not know it, but bone loss inevitably follows tooth loss. Bone is a living tissue that needs constant stimulation to rebuild itself and stay healthy. In the case of your jawbone, that stimulation comes from the teeth. When even one tooth is lost, the bone beneath it begins to resorb, or melt away. This can give your face a prematurely aged appearance and even leave your jaw more vulnerable to fractures if left untreated long enough (View Example). Dental implants halt this process by fusing to the jawbone and stabilizing it. No other tooth replacement method can offer this advantage.

4. Safe for adjacent natural teeth
Dental implants have no effect on the health of adjacent natural teeth; other tooth-replacement systems, however, can weaken adjacent teeth. With bridgework, for example, the natural teeth on either side of a gap left by a missing tooth must provide support for the dental bridge. This can stress those adjacent teeth and leave them more susceptible to decay. Likewise, a partial denture relies on adjacent natural teeth for support and may cause those teeth to loosen over time. Dental implants are stand-alone tooth replacements that don’t rely on support from adjacent natural teeth.

5. Easy to care for
Caring for implant teeth is no different than caring for your natural teeth. You must brush them and floss them daily. But you’ll never have to apply special creams and adhesives, or soak them in a glass overnight, as you would with dentures. They’ll also never need a filling or a root canal, as the natural teeth supporting bridgework might. While implants can never decay, they can be compromised by gum disease. Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dental office for professional cleanings and exams is the best way to prevent gum disease, and to ensure your dental implants last a lifetime, as they’re designed to do.

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