Posts for tag: Dental Implant
Losing your teeth can be a traumatic experience with serious consequences for your overall health. Fortunately, you have great options for replacing lost teeth that can restore both appearance and dental function.
One such option is a fixed bridge supported by dental implants. While implants are best known for single tooth replacement, they can also be used with other restorations like bridges. In this case, the bridge is screwed into a few well-placed implants to support it.
Implants can provide bridges with more security and support, and without the need to alter adjacent teeth that are commonly used for traditional tooth replacement. They may also slow or stop bone loss because the titanium in implants naturally attracts bone cells that grow and adhere to its surface and provide stimulation to the bone cells during function.
Because of these benefits an implant-supported bridge could be a life-changer that provides years of satisfaction. But we can’t simply “set them and forget them”: They require dedicated oral hygiene just like natural teeth.
While the bridge materials and implants themselves are in no danger from disease, the same can’t be said for the implant’s supporting gums and bone. Dental plaque, the main driver in gum disease, can place these tissues at risk for infection that could eventually lead to implant failure.
It’s important, then, for you to floss around your new implants to remove any plaque. This differs from regular flossing in which you work the thread between teeth. Instead, you’ll have to maneuver the floss between the bridge and gums with the help of a floss threader, a small slender tool with a loop at one end and a stiffer plastic edge at the other (similar to a sewing needle).
To use it, first run 18” of floss through the loop until you get equal lengths and then work the tail of the floss threader between the bridge and gums while holding one end of the floss. Once through, you pull the floss threader through so that the floss is on either side of the bridge. Then grab each end of the floss and pull it snug to floss up and down one side of the implant. Go to the next side and repeat this procedure for all the implants.
As an alternative, you could use an oral irrigator, which emits a pulsating spray of water to loosen and wash away plaque. Either way, though, it’s important to floss around implants to get the most life out of your bridge.
If you would like more information on proper care for implant-supported restorations, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”
Do you have missing teeth? You're not alone. Millions of Americans are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. Tooth loss isn't just a cosmetic problem. but can also cause a few other issues. Fortunately, your Erie, PA, dentist, Dr. Roseanne Palermo, can help you restore missing teeth and improve your appearance with dental implants.
How tooth loss affects you
Losing one or more teeth can cause these issues:
- Decreased Confidence: Without a full smile, you may no longer feel that you look your best. Concerns about your appearance may prompt you to turn down social invitations or try new things. In some cases, missing teeth may even affect your job prospects.
- Shifting Teeth: When you lose one or more teeth, your remaining teeth may drift in an attempt to fill the gap in your smile. Shifting teeth not only affect your appearance but may also change your bite, the way your upper and lower teeth fit together.
- More Cavities: If your teeth begin to overlap due to shifting, you may find it difficult to remove plaque from the overlapping areas.
- Trouble Chewing: Tooth loss makes chewing and biting challenging, even if you've only lost one tooth. When you've lost several teeth, you may not able to chew food completely before swallowing, which may cause an upset stomach. Although eating a soft diet may seem like a good compromise, you may not get the nutrients you need to stay healthy if your diet isn't well-rounded.
- Difficulty Speaking Clearly: Your teeth, tongue and lips work together when you make sounds. When several teeth are missing, it may be difficult to correctly pronounce words and sounds.
- Jawbone Resorption: Jawbone resorption, or shrinking, can occur after tooth loss. The condition can eventually cause teeth to loosen and may contribute to facial sagging.
Dental implants offer a long-lasting restoration option
Dental implants rebuild your lost teeth from top to bottom. Implants are small posts added to your jawbone during minor oral surgery in Erie. The posts serve as replacement roots and are made of titanium, a metal that bonds to bones.
Connecting dental crowns to the tops of implants restore your lost teeth and improve your appearance and biting ability. Since dental implants are firmly attached to your jawbone just like natural roots, you won't experience any decrease in biting power. Implants also prevent shifting teeth and jawbone resorption and help you avoid speech difficulties.
No matter how many teeth you've lost, dental implants offer an effective way to complete your smile.
Are you ready to restore your smile with dental implants? Call your dentist in Erie, PA, Dr. Palermo, at (814) 833-3001 to learn more.