Dental Implants FAQ’s

What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent new root for a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the Jaw Bone. An abutment and crown is then placed on the implant to provide a new tooth that is permanent and looks just like a natural tooth.

How are dental implants different than dentures?
Dentures are a removable set of teeth or partial set of teeth that need to be removed and cared for in a special manner. They can often feel bulky and are difficult to get used to. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth that can be cared for just like natural teeth.

What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth, they are permanent, you can eat the foods you want without any fear of embarrassment, and they procedure is very successful and fairly inexpensive.

Who can place a dental implant?
Your dentist may be able to perform implants in their own office based on their training. If not, they will recommend you to an Implantologist, cosmetic dentist, or another specialist that will perform the procedure.

How much do implants cost?
The price of your dental implants will vary based on the level of experience of your doctor, how many implants you are having placed, amount of insurance coverage, and more. Schedule a consultation with us to determine a price for your implants and a financing plan if necessary.

Do dental implants hurt?
No. A local anesthetic will be given before the procedure so that you do not feel any pain. If you have anxiety or fear you should discuss options with your dentist.

How long do implants last?
When cared for properly, implants should last a lifetime. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to the success of your implant.

CBCT cone beam:

One of the technologies that we utilize is the Cone Beam CT Scanner. This imaging technology produces a 3D images of the patient’s mouth. This allows a precision diagnosis. The surgeon is also able to tell whether it is necessary to perform a bone grafting or sinus lift to complete the total procedure. The 3D technology provides a level of accuracy that is not present with 2D technology.

Braces

Traditional Braces:

Traditional braces have been around for many years. They are the standard among patients looking to straighten their smile. Today’s contemporary braces are made of exceptionally strong metals as they need to be able to stand the test of time while they are on your teeth. While contemporary braces are metallic colored, there are a number of bands and features that can be utilized to spruce them up. Give us a call today so we can discuss in more detail about getting you that perfect smile!

Invisalign:
Invisalign is a new system of straightening teeth without the use of conventional braces. A series of clear plastic aligners are utilized to create tooth movement. Moving teeth with removable aligners is not new. However, the computer program, which can generate a series of aligners with small changes is the new part. Invisalign is recommended for orthodontic situations with mild to moderate spacing or crowding. They are virtually undetectable, easy to use and comfortable to wear.

Night Guard:

Many people are afflicted with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people may do this consciously during the day, but it is a larger problem at night while you are asleep. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from teeth grinding can also disturb your spouse’s sleep if loud enough. 

If you grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow for proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable and can be used for up to 10 years. 

There are also some things that you can do to try to stop teeth grinding. You can train your jaw to be free and easy rather than clenched. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects like pens. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood you will grind your teeth. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night set up an appointment with us today.

VENEERS:

Veneers are an excellent way to redesign and reshape your entire mouth. Veneers are a very thin ceramic shell that covers your existing tooth structure. In placing these new veneers on your teeth, you are able to fix the look of issues such as staining, cracked teeth, spaces, misaligned teeth, chipped teeth and many other issues.

In terms of the process to place veneers, it is a process that takes approximately two to three visits. In the first visit, we will discuss the new shape and look of what we are going to accomplish by placing the veneers. Once we have put a plan in place, we will carefully prepare the teeth for the placement of the new veneers. As we complete this piece of the process, the next step is to take an impression of the newly prepared teeth. This impression will be sent to our laboratory for the final product to be fabricated. We only utilize the highest standard laboratory for fabrication of all of our work. This process at the laboratory takes between 10-14 days. While the new veneers are being fabricated at the lab, we will provide you with a beautiful temporary solution to wear for this time.

As the veneers are finalized, we will make every effort to make sure that your new veneers will feel just like your natural teeth. We will bond them into place ensuring that you can enjoy your new smile for a very long time!

Root Canal

Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to Endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.

“Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard. If you are experiencing pain consult your dentist today.

Crowns

 

Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this a filling or bonding will not be sufficient.

 

Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, Zirconia or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a Zirconia finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.

The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 visits to the dentist. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.

The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using a cement to ensure the tooth sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.

Bridge:

Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable.

The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth are re-contoured to provide a base for the bridge. After the abutments have been created, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. The bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place on the abutments and a Pontic, which is the new tooth that replaces your missing tooth.

We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to set the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and the dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.

The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.

If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.

Dentures:

Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, they may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with a full set of dentures. There are two types of full dentures.

  • Conventional Full Dentures – This is when all the teeth are removed and the tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few months for the gum tissue to heal completely, and during this time you will be without teeth.
  • Immediate Full Dentures – Prior to having your teeth removed, your dentist takes measurements and has dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing the teeth, the dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have a follow up visit to refit your dentures because the jaw bone will slightly change shape as your mouth heels. The dentures will need to be tightened after the jaw bone has healed.

Partial dentures are another option when not all of your teeth need to be removed. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.

Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don’t have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative of not having teeth.

Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don’t drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.

WHITENING:

To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a product called ZOOM!. is a chairside whitening procedure that uses a safe whitening gel and a low intensity light to activate the gel. This combination allows us to provide you with teeth that are 6-10 shades whiter in about an hour!

Bonding and White Fillings

Bonding is a popular method to enhance the aesthetics of your smile. Bonding can be used to correct cracks or gaps in teeth, as a filling after a cavity has been removed, or to cover up stains or discolored teeth.

A composite resin is used on the affected tooth or teeth. It is molded and sculpted over an adhesive gel that is placed on the tooth. After the resin has been applied an, LED light is used to harden the resin, which is then polished to give you a fresh, new smile.

Bonding is an obvious improvement over unsightly silver amalgam fillings. With the advancements in dental technology, bonding usually lasts for over 10 years. It is a safe, affordable, and attractive solution for many dental problems.