At Heritage Family Dentistry our highly trained dentists are able to restore any Dental Implants! Thinking about implants for the first time? We partner with highly trusted Oral Surgeons to start your procedure. If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable or don’t want to have good tooth structure removed to make a bridge, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.
Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. There are generally three phases to getting an implant:
- First, the oral surgeon will surgically place the implant(s) into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup initially during the healing process.
- Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Most patients need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant.
- Lastly, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
If you are interested in dental implants, it’s a good idea to discuss it carefully with your dentist first. If you are in good general health this treatment may be an option for you. In fact, your health is more of a factor than your age. You may be medically evaluated by a physician before any implant surgery is scheduled. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or leukemia, may interfere with healing after surgery. Patients with these issues may not be good candidates for implants. Using tobacco can also slow healing.
Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the color and translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
If you have missing teeth, a bridge may be used to replace them. Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite.
Using artificial teeth, a bridge will fill in the spaces of missing teeth, and they look great. Your bridge can be made out of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials, and is bonded onto the surrounding teeth for support.
The success of any bridge depends on its foundation – the other teeth, gums, or bone it is attached to. Therefore, it is very important to keep your neighboring teeth, gums, and jaw bone healthy and strong.
General Dentistry is all about smiles, and having a confident, healthy, beautiful smile is important even for patients wearing dentures. Our practice provides personalized denture services that meet the needs and comfort levels of our patients. All of our patients are unique and we create one-of-a-kind dentures that feel good and look natural.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures: full and partial.
- Full Dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Conventional full dentures are placed after the gum tissue has healed, which can take several months. Immediate full dentures are placed immediately after the teeth have been removed and may require frequent adjustments during the first couple of months of use.
- Partial Dentures consist of fake teeth attached to either an acylic (gum color) base or a metal frame that fits in between your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are considered a removable alternative to bridges.
How do I know if dentures are the right choice for me?
Dentures are not for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about dentures and want to know if they are the right choice for you, please schedule an appointment. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and can determine the best course of treatment for your ongoing dental health.
Caring for your Dentures
Dentures, just like natural teeth, require daily maintenance to stay clean and keep bacteria from growing inside of your mouth. Keep your dentures clean and your smile healthy:
- When handling your dentures, stand over a clean, folded towel or a sink full of water. This way, if you accidentally drop your dentures, they are less likely to break.
- Your dentures are not immune from plaque and tartar build-up, so it’s important that you brush your dentures every day. To brush your dentures, use a soft-bristled brush and gently brush the surfaces of the dentures, being careful not to break or bend the plastic. Between brushings, it’s important to rinse your dentures after each meal.
- Use a gentle cleanser to clean your dentures. Many toothpastes, household cleaners, and mouthwashes can be too hard on your dentures, so it is recommended that you use a mild hand or dish soap to get your dentures clean. Be sure to check for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to choose products that are safe for your dentures, or ask your dentist about which products may be best for you.
- When you are not wearing your dentures, they need to be kept moist. Dentures that are not kept in a denture cleaning solution or in water can dry out, lose their shape, or even crack and break. Certain styles of dentures require certain soaking solutions, so be sure to ask your dentist which solution is best for you.
- Even if you have a full set of dentures, it’s important to keep your gums and tongue clean. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean your gums and tongue every day.
If by chance your dentures do break, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Broken dentures that don’t fit properly can cause irritation to your gums and mouth. Also, remember to continue scheduling regular dental checkups every six months to make sure that your smile stays healthy for many years to come.
All on 4
The Modern Solution for Missing Teeth
Having a good set of teeth is not only key for eating and enjoying food but also for your self confidence. No one wants to be seen with multiple missing teeth, or worse a denture that continually falls out. Here at Heritage Family Dentistry we offer a modern solution; All on 4.
The All on 4 treatment concept provides a permanent full bridge supported by only 4 dental implants placed where bone density is highest. This procedure ensures greater stability in the bone and can be completed for the entire upper and/ or lower teeth. It also reduces the need for bone grafting surgery in the future.
The entire procedure is completed in our office using an anesthetic that you and the dentist agree works best for you. Temporary teeth are placed immediately after surgery so you will able to continue with your daily life. This process does require multiple visits to our office however it is a faster treatment compared to other dental options and requires minimal healing time.
In the past 20 years there has been scientifically proven and documented clinical success with the All on 4 treatment. It is currently the most time and cost effective dental treatment regarding missing teeth with the least amount of discomfort.
Dental Health and Root Canals
If you found you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, in the past it probably would have been lost. Today, the root canal treatment is used to save that tooth. A root canal is a relatively simple procedure that involves one to three office visits. Best of all, a root canal can save your tooth and your smile!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A tooth’s nerve is not crucial to it’s health or function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. The only function it has is sensory, it provides the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of your tooth.
However, when a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria is able to enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If this is left untreated, an abscess can form. If the diseased tissue is not removed, pain and swelling will occur. This will in turn affect your jawbone, and can be detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper care, your tooth will most likely have to be pulled.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Signs that you might need a root canal can include severe toothache, pain when chewing or when pressure is applied, prolonged sensitivity to temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the surrounding gums. Be aware because not all teeth that require root canal therapy are painful. If you experience any of these symptoms please contact your dentist.
What happens during a root canal?
If you require a root canal treatment, you will be asked to schedule one to three visits. During those visits, your endodontist or regular dentist will remove the affected tissue. After that, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned up and sealed. Lastly, the tooth will be filled with dental composite. If your tooth had extensive decay, your doctor might recommend putting a crown on the tooth to strengthen and protect your tooth from breakage. Your restored tooth will last a lifetime as long as you continue to care for your teeth.
Fillings + Tooth-Colored Fillings
Our dentists offer dental fillings to treat cavities. Dental fillings can also be also used to repair cracked or broken teeth. Ask a team member about tooth-colored fillings that make your mouth look more natural and attractive.
Your teeth and gums were designed to last a lifetime — and they can with proper care. A lifetime of good dental health requires daily care of teeth and gums along with regular dental check-ups. The American Dental Association recommends visits to your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.