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Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a titanium post (like a tooth root) this is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into the area.

How do dental implants work?

Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.

What to Expect

Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages:

  • Your damaged tooth is removed.
  • Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, a process that may involve bone grafting.
  • After your jawbone heals, your oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post in your jawbone.
  • You go through a healing period that may last several months.
  • Your oral surgeon places the abutment — an extension of the implant metal post — followed by your new artificial tooth (crown).

The entire process can take many months from start to finish — three to nine months and sometimes longer. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw.

Ideal Dental Implant Candidates:

  • Have healthy teeth and gums
  • Have sufficient bone density to support the dental implant
  • Non-smokers or are willing to stop smoking during the dental implant process

After the bone material is placed, it can take a full six months to heal. The implant is placed after the bone grafting site has healed. After the implant is placed it can take an additional six months to heal before the crown can be placed.

After Surgery

Whether you have dental implant surgery in one stage or multiple stages, you may experience some of the typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery, such as:

  • Swelling of your gums and face
  • Bruising of your skin and gums
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Minor bleeding

If swelling, discomfort or any other problem gets worse in the days after surgery, please contact us. You may need pain medications or antibiotics.

After each stage of surgery, you may need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals — as long as 10 to 14 days. Typically, our surgeon will use stitches that dissolve on their own. If your stitches aren’t self-dissolving, your doctor removes them in about 10 days.

Endodontic (Root Canal)

A root canal is a treatment of the pulp of the tooth that is inflamed, infected or dead. The pulp is a soft substance in the center of the tooth that consists of the nerve, blood, vessels and connective tissue to the pulp chamber is the hollow part in the center of the tooth that contains the pulp, and it continues down canals that extend through the roots of teeth and into the surrounding bone. Some roots have more than one root canal, but all have at least one canal.

Root canal treatment (RCT) and endodontic treatment are the more correct terms for a procedure that treats the nerve of the tooth. Endodontic is a speciality of dentistry that deals specifically with the tooth pulp and tissues surrounding the root of the tooth. A root canal may be treated by an endodontist.

When the root canal is treated, the pulp of the tooth is removed and all the canals and pulp chamber of the tooth are filled and sealed with a material know as gutta-percha, this helps to keep the canals free of infection or contamination. In some cases, a post is placed into the root next to the gutta-percha until the tooth receives a permanent filling or a crown.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Full mouth reconstruction is a process of completely restoring all of the teeth in your mouth.  Unlike a ”smile makeover”, this series of procedures is necessary  rather than an elective treatment. Full mouth reconstruction is needed when: teeth have been lost, teeth have been injured or fractured, teeth have become worn as a result of acid erosion, or jaw pain is present due to bite problems. Procedures involved in full mouth reconstruction are very variable because each patient’s presenting issues are different and, therefore, require different solutions. Usually, full mouth reconstruction requires multiple office visits and some amount of healing time.

Oral Sedation and IV Intravenous Sedation

Medication to Treat Anxiety (Oral Sedation)

This refers to taking prescribed medication an hour or so before a dental procedure for calming effect. Oral sedation will make the patient feel drowsy and have a similar effect to amnesia and you may not remember a lot about the procedure, although oral sedatives cannot relieve pain, you will be relaxed when the dentist administers the local anesthesia. Due to extreme drowsiness effect, you are advised not to drive after the dental surgery.

IV Intravenous Sedation:

The sedative medication is delivered through a small needle or catheter placed in a vein and is different than a general anesthesia (unconscious sedation). During IV sedation, you are not asleep  but rather in a much safer and more comfortable semi-awake state of reduced anxiety. You will most likely have a little or no memory of the dental procedures that were performed because of amnesic effect of the medication used to provide the sedation. During IV sedation, you are able to respond to verbal commands, or to a light physical touch, you need no medical assistance to maintain adequate breathing and heart function.

Periodontal (Gum Disease)

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that if not treated, can lead the tooth loss. The inflammatory disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, bones and other supporting structures of the teeth.

Stages and Progression

It is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Early stage gum disease is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Untreated, early-stage gum disease can advance to more serious periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and cause them to become red, tender and swollen. If not removed daily, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the back of the teeth. With time, plaque can spread and grow beneath the gum line. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response that leads to bone loss.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

  • Swollen gums
  • Red or purple gums, rather than pink
  • Gums bleed easily, especially during flossing or brushing
  • Surrounding teeth that are mobile
  • Surrounding teeth covered with tartar/calculus/plaque

Contributing Factors to Gum Disease

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes that is not controlled
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication that causes dry mouth
  • Taking medication for high blood
  • Bad position of teeth (twisted tooth)
  • Inappropriate dental prosthesis
  • Low pH (acidic mouth)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Radiation treatment causing dry mouth
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Systemic (body wide) diseases
  • Dry mouth (Sjrogen Syndrome)
  • Salivary glands obstruction

Periodontal Solutions

Good periodontal health starts with quality brushing and flossing:

  1. Thoroughly brush and floss your teeth every day.
  2. Eat well-balanced diet, avoiding sticky sweets and junk food.
  3. Examine your mouth routinely for any signs of gum disease or other oral changes.
  4. Visit us at least twice a year for cleaning and oral examination.

Gum Graft

Gum graft is a surgical procedure in which the gum tissue is grafted to cover exposed root surfaces or to improve band of keratinized gum that work as a barrier of bacteria. By grafting gum, periodontal health can be improved. Gum recession exposes the roots of the teeth which can lead to sensitivity and put teeth at a higher risk of damage or disease due to the loosening of their attachment within the gums and bones of the jaw. Should gum recession continue bone and keratinized tissue will be at greater risk of being damaged and permanently lost around the teeth the aim of a gum graft is to extend keratinized tissue of the gums to cover tooth roots, which restores their firm placement within the jaw and prevents further damage.

Options in Gum Grafting:

Traditional gum grafting will have a piece of the gums harvest from the roof the mouth and sutured facing the exposed root to increase the lost keratinized tissue. Allografting techniques use skin from a tissue bank to supply the surgeon with larger amount when needed in larger areas.

Dental Scaling

Periodontal (gum) disease progresses as the pocket between the tooth and gums get irritated by plaque, bacteria, and calculus (tartar). As this debris collects, sometimes deep in the pocket of the tooth, it becomes difficult for you to maintain proper cleaning of this area on your own.

Dentists and dental hygienists have the ability to perform a “deep cleaning” or scaling and root planning of these hard to reach areas, which prevents the progression of the disease, dental scaling is done with manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments or both. The ultrasonic device will be used to eliminate the plaque bacteria with tartar and biofilm with sonic vibrations from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. A manual instrument may also be used to remove the remainder.

Root Planing

Involves scaling of the root surface to remove inflammation of the gum tissue, the dentist scales the root surfaces to smooth out rough target areas, eliminating plaque and biofilm development with hand instrument and cutting the gum.

Crown Lengthening

Crown Lengthening is a surgical procedure performed to expose a greater amount of tooth structure for the purpose of subsequently restoring the tooth with a prosthesis. This is done by removing the gingival tissue around a tooth and after temporarily displacing the soft tissue, predictably removing a given height of alveolar bone from the circumference of the tooth operated. The goal is to improve the prosthetic forecast of a tooth, such as endodontic treatment, post and core.

Oral Surgeries (Sinus Lift, 3rd Molar Removal, Tooth Extractions, Bone Graft)

Sinus Lift

Sinus lift is a surgical procedure which aims to increase the amount of bone in the posterior maxilla (upper jaw bone) in the area of premolar and molar teeth by lifting the lower sinus membrane and placing a bone graft.

When a maxillary molar or premolar is lost the bone collapses causing a loss in both height and width of surrounding bone in addition the floor of the maxillary sinus expands this leads to a loss in volume of bone needed for dental implants.

The goal of the sinus lift is to graft extra bone into the maxillary sinus, so more bone is available to support a dental implant. CT Scan and x-rays are taken to map out the patients upper jaw and sinuses, height and width.

There are several variations of the sinus lift technique:

  • Traditional or lateral window technique: Caldwell wc technique

    In this technique the surgeon makes an incision into the gum then pulls it back exposing the lateral bone wall of the sinus, then creates a ”window” to the sinus which expose the Schneiderian membrane which is separated from the bone and bone graft material is placed into the newly created space the gums are sutured close and graft is left to heal for 4-8 months.

  • Osteotome technique / “Summers Technique”

    This technique is less invasive and is performed when the sinus floor needs to be lifted less than 4 millimeters and is performed by flapping back gum tissue and making a socket in the bone within 1-2 millimeters short of the sinus membrane. The floor of the sinus is then lifted by tapping the sinus floor with the use of osteotomes and a dental implant is normally placed at the same time.

3rd Molars

The last teeth to erupt into the mouth are called the 3rd molars (otherwise known as “wisdom teeth”). These teeth are often problematic for a number of reasons. They sometimes erupt in the wrong direction, or into the neighboring tooth, jeopardizing the health of that tooth. They are particularly prone to periodontal disease and tooth decay, since they are located so far back and are difficult to clean. For these reasons and more, it is often recommended that they be removed, both to treat or prevent disease from occurring.

Tooth Extractions

Sometimes teeth need to be removed due to decay, periodontal disease, fractures or trauma. Having a tooth removed or “pulled” is called an extraction. An extraction is performed with local anesthesia, which numb any pain so you will feel only pressure. Before an extraction occurs, a complete examination of your teeth will be performed. This is done to allow your dentist to evaluate the position of the teeth and determine if future problems may occur. X-rays can view additional risk factors such as decay and periodontal disease. Early examinations are recommended to identify problems that can arise in the future.

Bone Graft

If you do not have the bone necessary for dental implants, your dentist may recommend bone grafting using synthetic and bank bone and placing it in the jaw until it grows into the natural bone as a first step in the dental implant process.

Laser

Laser Surgery

Laser Surgery provides a safe and comfortable experience in procedures where we need to remove gum tissue, reducing trauma and bleeding.

Laser Therapy

We apply this therapy after dental procedures, such dental surgery, root canals, tmj and even swollen areas, laser stimulate cell regeneration. Inflammation and pain is reduced with laser therapy, resulting in comfortable recovery for the patient. At Dental Betel caring for our patients is a priority, so offering the latest in technology is very important to us.

All-on-4/Bridge

The all-on-4 concept is a surgical and prosthetic protocol for immediate function involving the use of our implants to support fixed prosthesis in patients who have been know that they are losing their teeth. These individuals have been trying to hold on as long as possible because they do not want to have any time in their life without teeth, and the thought of a removable denture is not an option.

The all-on-4 procedure uses 4 implants per arch (upper and lower). The dental implants in the back are placed on a angle to take maxium advantage of the existing bone structure. The qualified patients receive the 4 implants and a full set of new upper and lower replacement teeth in just one appointment. The real attraction to the all-on-4  implant procedure is how quickly permanent dental implants can be placed. This allows patients the ability to leave the same day with a denture that is fixed in place and stabilized by dental implants.

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