Posts for tag: dental implants
Over 26 million Americans have diabetes, a systemic condition that interferes with maintaining safe levels of blood sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, diabetes can begin to interfere with other bodily processes, including wound healing—which could affect dental care, and dental implants in particular.
Diabetes affects how the body regulates glucose, a basic sugar derived from food digestion that's the primary source of energy for cell development and function. Our bodies, though, must maintain glucose levels within a certain range — too high or too low could have adverse effects on our health. The body does this with the help of a hormone called insulin that's produced as needed by the pancreas to constantly regulate blood glucose levels.
There are two types of diabetes that interfere with the function of insulin in different ways. With Type I diabetes the pancreas stops producing insulin, forcing the patient to obtain the hormone externally through daily injections or medication. With Type II diabetes, the most common form among diabetics, the body doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond adequately to the insulin that's present.
As mentioned, one of the consequences of diabetes is slow wound healing. This can have a profound effect on the body in general, but it can also potentially cause problems with dental implants. That's because implants once placed need time to integrate with the bone to achieve a strong hold. Slow wound healing caused by diabetes can slow this integration process between implant and bone, which can affect the entire implantation process.
The potential for those kinds of problems is greater if a patient's diabetes isn't under control. Patients who are effectively managing their diabetes with proper diet, exercise and medication have less trouble with wound healing, and so less chance of healing problems with implants.
All in all, though, it appears diabetics as a group have as much success with implants as the general population (above 95 percent). But it can be a smoother process if you're doing everything you can to keep your diabetes under control.
In the winter months, when the daylight hours grow few, we celebrate the season with holiday lights and good cheer. This season of hope and renewal also gives us a chance to think about the future — to take stock of where we’ve been, and even plan for some changes in the new year.
Deciding to improve your overall health is one great way to start off the year. Of course, we know many resolutions that begin with crash diets and extreme fitness programs won’t be kept up for very long. But if there were one permanent change you could make, which would both enhance your appearance and improve your health… would you do it? If you are missing teeth — or if you’re wearing dentures that aren’t working the way you’d like — then perhaps we can offer a suggestion: Consider dental implants.
Besides being an obvious blemish on your appearance, missing teeth also create problems you can’t see. For one, it’s harder to eat a proper, balanced diet if you have trouble chewing certain foods, potentially leading to serious nutritional problems. For another, when teeth are lost, the bone in your jaw that used to surround them begins to deteriorate. This can cause you to have a prematurely aged look, and make you appear unhappy even when you’re not.
Unfortunately, dentures don’t solve these problems — in fact, they tend to compound them. Many denture wearers report they have problems eating; some even say they eat better without dentures. And dentures don’t stop bone loss; in many cases, especially when they don’t fit correctly, they actually accelerate it.
But there’s really no reason you have to get by with missing teeth. Since they were introduced some three decades ago, dental implants have offered people a better way to replace lost teeth. With implants, you can eat your favorite foods again, smile with complete assurance, and stop worrying about dentures that may fit poorly or slip out at the wrong times.
Fixed solidly in your jaw in a minor surgical procedure, dental implants function just like your natural teeth. Their natural look and “feel” makes it easy to forget they aren’t the teeth you were born with. Best of all, they can last the rest of your life… unlike bridges or dentures. Because they offer a permanent solution, implants can be quite cost-effective in the long run. But the way they can restore your confidence and make you feel good about yourself isn’t something you can put a price on.
So if you have ever thought about making a New Year’s resolution that will really improve your health and well-being — consider dental implants. Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in Dear Doctor magazine’s in-depth guide, “Dental Implants.”
Dental implants offered by your dentist in Lawrenceville, GA, Dr. Tu Nguyen, provide many benefits for your smile. If you plan to replace your missing teeth soon, you'll want to consider these five reasons that make dental implants an excellent restoration choice.
Most people feel a little self-conscious after tooth loss. Whether you've lost one tooth or all of them, dental implants enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence. Your new tooth will consist of a dental crown attached to a dental implant. Implants are tiny titanium posts added to your jawbone during minor oral surgery. After the posts bond to your jawbone, they'll serve as artificial roots for your crowns.
Excellent biting power
It takes considerable force to bite into a raw carrot or chew a piece of crusty bread. When biting power declines, it's difficult to eat some raw, hard or tough foods. Fortunately, you won't have to sacrifice biting power when you opt for dental implants. In fact, you'll be able to eat anything on the menu when you replace your missing teeth with dental implants.
A comfortable option
Comfort is important when you replace missing teeth. After all, eating can become an unpleasant experience if your new teeth irritate your gums or slip when you take a bite of food. Since dental implants are firmly rooted in your jawbone, your teeth won't slip, slide or rub against your gums.
The most versatile restoration choice
Dental implants aren't just for people who've lost one tooth. They offer the ideal restoration method no matter how many teeth you've lost. Implant-supported bridges and dentures are a good choice if you've lost all of your teeth or several in a row.
Oral health benefits
Replacing your missing teeth keeps your other teeth from shifting. Drifting can change your bite and cause your teeth to overlap, which can make it difficult to fully remove plaque from your teeth. Dental implants prevent drifting from occurring, protecting your oral health.
Implants also help reduce the risk of jaw resorption, a condition that occurs when the bone shrinks due to decreased stimulation from tooth roots. Adding dental implants to the bone offers a simple way to keep your jawbone strong.
Do dental implants sound like a good choice for you? Call your Lawrenceville, GA, dentist, Dr. Tu Nguyen, at (770) 277-0774 to schedule an appointment.
With a 95-plus percent survival rate after ten years, dental implants are one of the most durable replacement restorations available. Implants can potentially last much longer than less expensive options, which could make them a less costly choice in the long run.
But although a rare occurrence, implants can and do fail—often in the first few months. And tobacco smokers in particular make up a sizeable portion of these failures.
The reasons stem from smoking’s effect on oral health. Inhaled smoke can actually burn the outer skin layers in the mouth and eventually damage the salivary glands, which can decrease saliva production. Among its functions, saliva provides enzymes to fight disease; it also protects tooth enamel from damaging acid attacks. A chronic “dry mouth,” on the other hand, increases the risk of disease.
The chemical nicotine in tobacco also causes problems because it constricts blood vessels in the mouth and skin. The resulting reduced blood flow inhibits the delivery of antibodies to diseased or wounded areas, and so dramatically slows the healing process. As a result, smokers can take longer than non-smokers to recover from diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, or heal after surgery.
Both the higher disease risk and slower healing can impact an implant’s ultimate success. Implant durability depends on the gradual integration between bone and the implant’s titanium metal post that naturally occurs after placement. But this crucial process can be stymied if an infection resistant to healing arises—a primary reason why smokers experience twice the number of implant failures as non-smokers.
So, what should you do if you’re a smoker and wish to consider implants?
First, for both your general and oral health, try to quit smoking before you undergo implant surgery. At the very least, stop smoking a week before implant surgery and for two weeks after to lower your infection risk. And you can further reduce your chances for failure by practicing diligent daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
It’s possible to have a successful experience with implants even if you do smoke. But kicking the habit will definitely improve your odds.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants & Smoking.”
Dental implants can restore your smile, as well as normal tooth functioning. In addition to those immediate benefits, there are numerous long term benefits of dental implants as well. Dr. Tu Nguyen at AT Dental in Lawrenceville, GA, can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants, which require sufficient bone in the jaw area to support the implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts similar in appearance to a small screw. Dental implants are placed in the jawbone and function as anchors for artificial teeth, such as dental crowns or bridgework. Since dental implants are placed directly in the jawbone, they are able to securely hold artificial teeth in place indefinitely with no risk of coming loose or falling out with normal activities. Enough bone is needed to support a dental implant. Your Lawrenceville, GA, dentist can examine an x-ray of the jaw area to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Long Term Benefits
A major benefit of dental implants is that they are a long term replacement option for missing or extracted teeth. Dental implants actually fuse with the jawbone over time through a natural process called osseointegration. The fusing of the dental implants with bone ensures the implants remain securely in place so they can serve as strong anchors for artificial teeth. Additionally, dental implants help preserve existing bone, which often deteriorates following tooth loss.
Other long term benefits of dental implants stem from filling in the gaps caused by missing teeth. When teeth are missing, there is less support for the muscles of the face. Without enough support, the face can sag and droop and make a patient appear older. Restoring the natural contours of the face by filling in the gaps from missing teeth can also help patients appear more youthful.
Another long term benefit of dental implants is the restoration of normal speech. The gaps caused by missing teeth can alter placement of the tongue when speaking, which can change the way you sound when talking. Using dental implants to fill in the gaps helps correct tongue placement when speaking so you sound like yourself again.
Reducing excess strain on teeth is an additional long term benefit of dental implants. Existing teeth take on more work to compensate for missing ones. Taking on more work puts excess strain on these teeth and can cause them to be worn down faster. Using dental implants to restore your smile helps redistribute biting and chewing functions across a full set of teeth and eliminate any excess strain on certain teeth.
There are many long term benefits to having dental implants. To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen, your Lawrenceville, GA, dentist, by calling AT Dental at (770) 277-0774.
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