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Posts for tag: dental implants

AvoidImplantFailurebyWatchingOutforTheseMouthProblems

There are several reasons why dental implants are so popular. Perhaps the most important, though, is their longevity: if maintained properly implants can last for decades. However, they’re not indestructible—certain mouth conditions could put them at risk for early failure. But if you address emerging problems early, you may be able to prevent that unfortunate outcome.

Your implants may be in danger, for example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This occurs when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth when not chewing or speaking. Usually triggered in adults by high stress, teeth grinding can subject both natural teeth and implants to damaging levels of force. Over time this can cause bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could also cause a direct break in an implant.

But there are ways to stop or at least reduce the effects of teeth grinding. One effective way is a custom-made bite guard you wear while you sleep. Made of hard plastic, the guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other, reducing the amount of force generated.

A more prominent problem is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection caused by built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when it persists for an extended period of time can damage tissues and supporting bone. It can also cause a specific form of gum disease related to implants called peri-implantitis, in which the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, leading eventually to possible implant failure.

If you have implants, then, you should brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease, as well as see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. And if you notice anything like reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dentist immediately. The sooner you undergo treatment, the better the outcome for your implants as well as your overall health.

Dental implants can give you years of great service and can prove to be well worth the cost. But you’ll have to stay on your guard against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger them down the road.

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: A Tooth-Replacement Method that Rarely Fails.”

Dental ImplantFinally, you've lost that troublesome front tooth. Oddly shaped and weak since childhood, it has fractured, and your dentist, Dr. Geetha Sripathi at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, advises replacement with a dental implant. What is a dental implant, and who qualifies for one? Read about this ingenious artificial tooth and why you are a good candidate to receive one.

The dental implant

In her Morrisville office, Dr. Sripathi and her team place dental implants--either singly or in multiples--to replace one or more teeth lost to decay, gum disease, accident, or in your case, congenital malformation and weakness. The single-tooth implant has three distinct components: a titanium metal screw, a metal alloy post and a customized ceramic crown.

Amazingly, titanium and human bone bond to each other almost inseparably through osseointegration. Combined with Dr. Sripathi's expert oral surgery skills and your good oral health, your implant can last indefinitely.

What makes you a good candidate?

Of course, because Dr. Sripathi knows your oral health and history well, she can predict how successful your implant procedure can be. She'll take some digital x-rays and a three-dimensional scan to confirm you have enough bone in the empty socket to support an implant. Bone density and other factors determine dental implant success.

In addition, your overall health must be strong, and you should be diligent about oral hygiene--brushing, flossing, and getting your routine check-ups and cleanings at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, NC.

It helps to be a non-smoker, too, because cigarette smoke degrades the gums and bone supporting dental implants. In fact, the American Dental Association says that smokers experience a 15.8 percent implant failure rate, necessitating removal of the devices. People who do not smoke, however, enjoy a success rate of over 98 percent.

The treatment

Dr. Sripathi does the entire implant procedure right at Elite Smiles. She uses local anesthetic to ensure complete patient comfort. Then, she creates a small opening in the gums and bone. After she sets the titanium implant into the jaw bone, she sutures the site closed. Then, osseointegration begins. This process takes several weeks to accomplish, but when fully healed, the site can accept the extension post and porcelain crown.

Over time, the bond between implant and jaw strengthens even more. You'll enjoy oral function that is natural and smile appearance that is exceptional...no more hiding that weak tooth!

Learn more

Go ahead: schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Sripathi at Elite Smiles. She'll take you through this amazing restoration step by step, leaving you with a new tooth that feels and acts like a natural one. Phone us today at (919) 388-0137.

By Elite Smiles
May 15, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
ReplaceTeethforBetterSpeech

The month of May has been designated “Better Speech & Hearing Month” by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Why would this be of interest to dental professionals? Because teeth are vital for good speech, and missing teeth can make it very hard to speak properly.

Speech is all about sounds, and forming sounds correctly requires proper positioning of oral structures such as the lips, tongue and teeth. For example, there are some words that are almost impossible to pronounce correctly without touching your tongue to your teeth. In fact, one of the hardest words to say without teeth…is teeth!

Missing teeth can affect speech indirectly as well, by reducing self-confidence. People who are missing front teeth often develop the habit of talking behind their hand or mumbling to avoid revealing the gap in their smile. Not being able to speak clearly and confidently can affect not only your appearance, but also your job prospects and social life. So what can you do about missing teeth?

Dental implants are today’s preferred tooth-replacement method. Implants are small titanium posts that are inserted in the jaw bone beneath your gums. They serve as “roots” to hold realistic-looking prosthetic (artificial) teeth in place. Implants can be used to replace one tooth, a group of teeth, or an entire row of teeth (upper or lower). Sometimes a dental implant can be placed the same day a failing tooth is removed so that you won’t need a second surgical procedure.

The healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap can also be used to support one or more replacement teeth. This method, called bridgework, can be used to replace a single tooth or several teeth in a row. Another option is removable dentures, which do not stay in the mouth all the time.

Each of these options has its benefits and risks. We’d be happy to discuss all of them in detail and help you decide which would be best in your own situation. To learn more about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can also read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “New Teeth in One Day.”

By Elite Smiles
April 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Would you like to replace one or more missing teeth? Bridges and dentures aren't the only options anymore. Our Morrisville, NC, dentist,dental implants Dr. Geetha Sripathi, explains how dental implants can restore your smile.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the only restoration option that restores teeth completely. The titanium implant serves as a synthetic root and provides a secure base for the crown that replaces the tooth above the gums. Your new dental implant becomes firmly rooted in your mouth when it bonds to the bone during a process called osseointegration. Although the length of the osseointegration may vary from person to person, it's usually complete about three to six months after your implant is placed in your jawbone during minor oral surgery.

An impression of your mouth is made in our Morrisville office after your implant bonds to your bone. Thanks to the impression, your new crown will not only fit the gap in your smile perfectly but also feel comfortable. The crown is created in a dental laboratory, then attached to your implant with an abutment, a screw-like connector.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

Most people who have lost teeth are good candidates for dental implants. You must be in good health and have no conditions or diseases that affect healing, such as immune system disorders or diabetes. Because smoking may also slow healing, implants may not be the best choice if you plan to continue smoking after implant surgery.

If you need implants due to tooth loss caused by gum disease, your disease must be successfully treated before you can receive dental implants. Adequate jawbone depth is also important. If your jawbone isn't deep enough, your implant may fail. Fortunately, the problem can often be solved by placing bone grafts in your jawbone before the implant process begins.

How will dental implants feel?

Dental implants feel more like natural teeth than any other restoration option. Because they're securely connected to your jawbone, they won't cause gum irritation or affect your ability to eat hard, sticky or tough foods. If you're switching from full dentures to implant-supported dentures, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the increase in biting power that implants offer.

Restore your smile with dental implants! Call our Morrisville, NC, dentist, Dr. Sripathi, at (919) 388-0137 to schedule an appointment.

YoullExperienceLittletoNoDiscomfortDuringandAfterImplantSurgery

You’ve decided to obtain dental implants for your missing teeth. It’s a good choice — they provide the closest restoration to the function and appearance of natural teeth. You will, however, need to undergo a surgical procedure to imbed the implants’ threaded titanium posts into supporting bone.

It’s understandable if you’re a little apprehensive about undergoing surgery. We’re here, though, to set your mind at ease: implantation is a relatively minor procedure carefully planned in advance. Most patients experience no discomfort during the procedure and very little afterward.

We begin by completely numbing the surgical site with a local anesthetic. If you have a high level of anxiety, we can also administer a sedative or similar medication to help you relax. We then access the underlying bone through a series of incisions that create a flap in the gum tissue that we’ll later suture closed.

It’s quite common to have prepared a surgical guide or template beforehand. The template placed in the mouth marks the exact site for a small channel (or hole) we create in the bone. We then incrementally increase the size of the hole by drilling until it matches precisely the implant’s size and shape. This takes time to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.

We then remove the implant from its sterile packaging and insert it into the opening. We’ll also take x-rays to ensure correct positioning, which is critical for achieving an attractive result. We then suture the gum flap in place using stitches that will eventually dissolve. The implant will then integrate with the bone for a few weeks to create a strong, durable hold before we continue with the restoration.

Most patients can manage any post-surgical discomfort with mild anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, although we can prescribe something stronger if you need it. We may also prescribe a mouthrinse with an anti-bacterial agent like chlorhexidine for you to use while the gums are healing to reduce the risk of infection.

Implant surgery is part of a long process that will eventually result in regaining the function of your lost teeth. What’s more, undergoing this minor procedure will also help you regain something just as important — a beautiful smile.

If you would like more information on dental implant restoration, 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 Implant Surgery.”