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Posts for tag: dental implants

YoumayNeedOrthodonticTreatmentBeforeObtainingImplants

You have a lot of options for replacing missing teeth, from state-of-the-art dental implants to affordable, but effective partial dentures. But if the teeth in question have been missing for a while, you may first have to undergo orthodontic treatment. Here's why.

While they may feel rigid and firm in the jawbone, teeth are actually held in place by periodontal (gum) ligaments. These elastic tissues lie between the teeth and the bone and attach to both with tiny filaments. This mechanism allows the teeth to incrementally move over time in response to biting pressures or other environmental factors.

When a tooth goes missing the teeth on either side of the space naturally move or "drift" into it to help close the gap. This natural occurrence can reduce the space for a restoration if it has gone on for some time. To make room for a new prosthetic (false) tooth, we may have to move the drifted teeth back to where they belong.

If you're thinking metal braces, that is an option—but not the only one. Clear aligners are another way to move teeth if the bite problem (malocclusion) isn't too severe. Aligners are a series of custom-made, clear, plastic trays worn over the teeth. The patient wears each tray, slightly smaller than the previous one in the series, for about two weeks before changing to the next one. The reduction in size gradually moves teeth to their intended target position.

Many adults prefer clear aligners because they're nearly invisible and don't stand out like metal braces. They're removable, so you can take them out for cleaning or for special occasions. And, we can also attach a prosthetic tooth to the tray that temporarily covers the missing tooth space.

Whichever orthodontic treatment you choose, once completed we can then proceed with restoration to permanently replace your missing teeth. While it can be a long process, the end result is a beautiful smile that could last for years to come.

If you would like more information on your dental restoration options, 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 “Straightening a Smile before Replacing Lost Teeth.”

By Harbor Mesa Dental Care
January 30, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
NewFrontTeethforaTeenagedDavidDuchovny

In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?

“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.

How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.

With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.

In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.

While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.

Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”

By Harbor Mesa Dental Care
November 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: 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.”

By Harbor Mesa Dental Care
November 13, 2018
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental ImplantAre you wondering whether your smile could benefit from dental implants?

If you are an adult who is faced with tooth loss then chances are good that you are doing a little online research to figure out what dental treatment would work best for you and your needs. Here in Costa Mesa, CA, our cosmetic dentists Dr. Sanacore, Dr. Kunert, and Dr. DeBourg-Shilaimon are happy to sit down with you and discuss your options. One amazing way to replace one or more teeth is through a long-term tooth replacement known as a dental implant.

What is a dental implant?

Simply put, an implant is an artificial tooth root. Of course, the implant doesn’t look like real tooth roots but rather it’s a small metal post that is surgically placed into the jawbone where it functions like tooth roots. An implant provides the perfect, stable foundation from which to support a false tooth, making sure that the tooth doesn’t move or shift around.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants offer a variety of unique and wonderful benefits that you too can enjoy if you get this tooth loss treatment in Costa Mesa, CA. Here are just some of the benefits of dental implants:

  • They are the next best thing to a real tooth
  • They could last the rest of your life
  • They fully restore chewing and speaking
  • They can withstand your jaw’s powerful chewing forces
  • They are easy to maintain and care for
  • They preserve your jawbone and prevent bone loss
  • They also preserve your facial structure
  • They prevent teeth from shifting into the open gap

As you can see, dental implants offer a myriad of advantages for your oral health. It’s important that you don’t wait to seek treatment from one of our Costa Mesa, CA, general dentists, as tooth loss can easily lead to other problems such as bone loss. The sooner you start evaluating your treatment options the better.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

Most healthy adults will find that dental implants are right for them. We will need to make sure that you are in good health and that you maintain great oral health. Smokers, those with a weak immune system, and women wanting to become pregnant are not ideal candidates for implants.

Here at Harbor Mesa Dental Care in Costa Mesa, CA, we are dedicated to helping you achieve the perfect smile, no matter whether that’s through a simple teeth whitening or by placing dental implants. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants and whether you’re an ideal candidate for treatment then schedule a no-risk consultation with us today.

By Harbor Mesa Dental Care
September 10, 2018
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental ImplantThere are many side effects to tooth loss. The cosmetic issues are an obvious concern for many adults, but living with prolonged tooth loss can also have consequences for your oral and general health. The dentists at Harbor Mesa Dental Care in Costa Mesa, CA, recommend dental implants for full or partial tooth loss.

Dental Implants in Costa Mesa, CA

Implants act like a prosthetic that replaces the root of a missing tooth. The implant is made from a small, biocompatible titanium screw surgically placed in the socket of the missing tooth. Once in place, the implant begins to fuse with the bone tissue in the gums to prevent bone loss and spur the growth of healthy new bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration. After a short healing period, a cosmetic crown is attached, completing your smile. Implants are the only dental restoration that replaces the tooth's root and helps to prevent bone loss and the onset of periodontal (gum) disease.

Implants can accommodate varying degrees of tooth loss, from replacing a single tooth to supporting a set of dentures (with just a few implants). Although nothing can take the place of a natural tooth, implants can be described as the next best thing.

Am I Eligible for Dental Implants?

Implants are available for adult patients in good general health. In order to qualify, you'll also need enough bone density to support the implant. Implants generally have a very high success rate, but you must be able to maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine at home and regular follow up care with the dentist.

Find a Dentist in Costa Mesa, CA

If you are ready to fix your smile and improve your oral health in the process, contact Harbor Mesa Dental Care to learn more about dental implants by calling (714) 825-0025 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today.