Posts for: June, 2015
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Cracked, failing and missing teeth have plagued you for too long. You want your smile to look good and your health to be back on track, but traditional tooth replacement options such as fixed bridgework or partial removable dentures don't appeal to you. You don't like having to grind down healthy tooth enamel to anchor bridgework, and the unattractive clasps on partials would make you self-conscious.
What's your best alternative? Why not look into dental implants through Atwal Dental Care? Dr. Inderpreet Atwal, a cosmetic dentist in North Syracuse, offers the dental implant as a solid and beautiful way to give you a smile worth smiling about. Replace one or more teeth, or use implants to anchor removable or fixed dentures.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial teeth. A titanium screw replaces the roots of the natural tooth. Surgically placed below the gum line into a small hole drilled into the jaw, the implant screw integrates with the bone through a process termed osseointegration.
After the bone has had time to grow over several weeks, the dentist puts an abutment or post onto the implant. Then, he glues on a customized, color-matched porcelain crown and adjusts it for fit and bite, completing the implant process. The resulting tooth is virtually indistinguishable in appearance, function and feel from its natural neighbors.
Do Implants Last?
With good at-home brushing and flossing and regularly scheduled professional cleanings and exams, dental implants literally last for decades. Success rates hover around 98 percent, but dentists caution that implants can fail from an infection called peri-implantitis which stems from poor dental hygiene.
What about Cost?
While the initial cost of this innovative tooth replacement option seems high, patients should realize that less costly bridgework or partials will need to be redone, having a far shorter "shelf-life" than dental implants. For the most part, implants are an aesthetically outstanding, permanent fix.
Who can get Implants?
People who are in good general health can receive implants. However, teens through senior adults must be free of extensive decay and gum disease. Even an individual with a skimpy alveolar ridge (the part of the jaw bone which supports the teeth) can have it modified and strengthened through grafting procedures before receiving implants.
Smoking does not disqualify someone from getting an implant, but people are encouraged to quit. According to the International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, cigarettes threaten the longevity of dental implants because the habit contributes to peri-implantitis.
Atwal Dental Care in North Syracuse
For excellent dental care that is truly personalized, call Atwal Dental Care. Dr. Inderpreet Atwal and his team deliver cosmetic and general dental services aimed at healthy and complete smiles for all their patients. Get all your questions about dental implants answered in a thorough but caring manner.
Why not contact the office today? Call (315) 451-1020!
More than likely your child already receives fluoride from your drinking water or toothpaste. So, is it really necessary for them to receive topical fluoride during their regular office checkups?
We highly recommend they do. A naturally occurring chemical, fluoride has the ability to make enamel more resistant to acid attacks that lead to tooth decay. It’s most effective when it works its way into the structure of the enamel during early teeth development.
Both fluoridated drinking water and dietary fluoride supplements (recommended by a doctor or dentist) can be the vehicle for this to occur while the teeth are still forming in the jaw before eruption (when teeth become visible). After the teeth have erupted, fluoride applied directly to the enamel surface (topically) can become infused with it as it continues to develop during early growth.
But can’t fluoride toothpaste accomplish the same result? No — the fluoride added to toothpaste and other hygiene products is relatively low, and only strong enough to maintain and protect enamel. The fluoride levels in topical applications like gels, foam or varnishes are much higher (in the tens of thousands of parts per million) and remain in contact with the teeth during a treatment session for much longer. Some fluoride varnishes, in fact, will continue to leach fluoride into the tooth surface for a month or more.
Topical fluoride applications are especially beneficial for children who are growing up in an area without fluoridated drinking water or without the proper means for good oral care and hygiene. But even for children with access to fluoridated water and oral care, a topical application can still be helpful.
A topical fluoride treatment isn’t a stand-alone application, but a regular part of your child’s dental care of daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual dental cleanings and checkups. Topical fluoride enhances the care they already receive to help produce stronger enamel for future healthy teeth.
If you would like more information on topical fluoride applications, 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 “Topical Fluoride: How Fluoride will Benefit Your Child.”