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What Role Does Gum Tissue Play in Receiving a Dental Implant?

In the dental literature, a biotype typically refers to the thickness of your gum tissue that surround your teeth or dental implant restorations. This thickness has major effects on the esthetic outcome of your front teeth. A thick biotype is typically easier to manage and allows a more predictable response if handled correctly. The gum tissue between the teeth (papilla) is typically shorter and thicker which has more blood supply to handle healing and insult better. Many times teeth tend to have a more squared shape. Thin biotypes are very difficult to manage and expertise of the dentist must be at the highest level to provide natural appearance of the gum tissue that resembles the teeth next to it. Many times extra procedures are required with additional appointments to maintain tissue and get the best outcome. Unfortunately, it is a common oversite by the inexperienced clinician, but once the tissue has changed, it is almost always non-reversable. What does attached tissue mean???

In my next blog, we’ll discuss the importance for the long-term success of the dental implant solution.

Properly Caring for Your Single-Tooth Implant for Long-Term Success

When you lose one of your permanent teeth, your entire smile can suffer. Your smile with just one missing tooth is not what it should be, and having a single-tooth implant to replace a missing tooth is ideal for a lot of patients. If you have recently gotten a single prosthetic tooth implanted to complete your smile, you should know a few tips to make sure that new tooth stays a part of your smile for a long time.

Clean your new implant with a soft-bristled toothbrush until it heals.

Your gums are naturally going to be sore after you have gotten a dental implant, but you should never avoid brushing your teeth. Clean the rest of your teeth as usual, but use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle motions to clean the newly implanted tooth and the sore areas around the new tooth. Make sure you are also using a low-abrasive toothpaste temporarily until your mouth fully heals and avoid using mouthwash.

Follow your dentist’s instructions on what to eat and what not to eat.

It is common to leave with your new implant in place and a list of do’s and don’ts to follow from the treating dentist. These rules can be a little tough at first, but they are only temporary. Most dentists will tell you to avoid eating anything really chewy or crunchy for a few days to give your mouth time to heal. During the initial healing phase after dental implant placement, it is easier to dislodge the implant in a way that will affect it long term.

Wear a mouth guard if it is recommended.

A mouthguard is placed in your mouth just before you go to sleep to keep you from grinding your teeth together. Even though implants can be just as resilient as regular teeth, grinding can damage the implanted tooth just the same, especially in the beginning while your mouth is still healing. Talk to your dentist if you have issues with grinding your teeth and wear your mouth guard religiously after surgery.

Just one new dental implant can restore both your smile and your confidence. Reach out to us at the office of Chris Ward DDS for more information about single-tooth dental implants.

 

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Why Bone Density Plays a Role in Your Implant Surgery

Jaw bone density is different from patient to patient.  It is graded from D1 which like Oak wood to D4 which is like Styrofoam.  Different bone densities require different preparations, different implant designs, different waiting periods before connecting a tooth to the implant, different temporary designs and progressive loading techniques, and different tooth designs to manage forces in softer bone.  Some of these factors require additional appointments, chair time, and costs to do things correctly with the best outcome.

Have you heard of a biotype and how that could affect the results of your dental implant solution?  In my next blog, I’ll discuss why.

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Why can’t a patient get an exact price quote over the phone?

So why can’t I just get a number for what is the cost of a dental implant?  We get this question probably as much as any other question and it makes sense if an implant was a commodity that you could just purchase like a TV.  There are many factors that go into the treatment and what is needed for the implant to be successful.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing some of these factors that affect the type of treatment required for a dental implant solution to be successful.  For example, did you know that you have different quality of bone in different areas of the jaw and sometimes major differences between the upper and lower jaw bone?  How much bone is left after the tooth has been taken out?  How long ago was the tooth removed?  Are you a healthy patient?  What modifications from ideal do we have to accommodate for to give you a predictable result for your implant restoration.

If you are calling and the practice gives you a quote for the cost, it may be a red flag that the experience level or education level doesn’t know the answer to some of these questions.  Many of these accommodations are relatively costly in materials and time to prepare the position for an implant that if not dealt with correctly compromises long-term results.  We want investments to be sound and predictable.  A patient has to be evaluated and a 3 dimensional radiograph taken to answer most of these questions.

Many dentists provide a free consult to meet the patient, discover the needs and desires, and determine modifications or treatment options to accomplish the patients goals.  This does take time, but it is the only way for you to truly know you are getting what you want and a price you can plan for.  In my next blog, I’ll go into more details about some of these accommodations and planning concerns.

3 Things That Will Change with Implant-Retained Dentures

Millions of people wear dentures worldwide, and without question, dentures are an excellent option if you have lost all of your natural teeth. Unfortunately, dentures do have their limitations, and they can pose some problems for some wearers. Implant-retained dentures are just like ordinary dentures, but they are secured in place with a series of small implants that hold the prosthetic teeth in place. Here is a look at some of the things that will change for you as a denture wearer if you opt for implant-retained dentures instead.

You Get More Chewing Power

Your mouth exerts a powerful 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down. This is more than enough to chew through most foods with natural teeth, but when you have dentures, you have to learn to bite without so much force because doing so will shift the dentures out of place. For many denture wearers, this lack of bite force prohibits eating foods they like, such as uncooked vegetables or meats. With implant-retainment, the bite force is far more.

There Will Be No More Denture Adhesives

Denture adhesives are super helpful if your dentures shift and move in your mouth, but they are not the most enjoyable products to contend with if you have to use adhesives on a daily basis. The denture glue can be messy, become dislodged frequently, and even change the taste of your food. Plus, some adhesives contain zinc, which can cause ill effects if you ingest too much, according to the FDA. With implant-retained dentures, the denture device stays firmly seated without the use of adhesives.

Your Implant-Retained Dentures Will Be Less Likely to Change Speech

Those who wear regular dentures often complain that their speech changes as a result. When you speak, dentures shift and move in your mouth, which changes how your vocal noises sound as they move through your oral opening. If the dentures are supported by implants, they do not shift and move, so your speech should not be affected to a degree that anyone would notice.

If you have issues with your dentures and want a better solution to missing teeth, it may be time to consider implant-retained dentures. Reach out to us at the dental offices of Chris Ward DDS, a dental implant specialist, to find out how we can help.

3 Signs Your a Good Candidate for IV Sedation Dentistry

According to research, 36 percent of people have some level of fear about going to the dentist. Further, 12 percent of people have what could be deemed as extreme dental phobia. IV sedation dentistry is a form of treatment that involves sedating the patient so they do not know what is taking place during treatment. Here are a few signs that could indicate IV sedation treatment could be a good option.

You Have Avoided Dental Treatment Due to Anxiety

People who have dental treatment phobia are more likely to miss out on important treatments because of their fears. You may have avoided having a cavity filled because of your fear and maybe even prolonged getting a tooth pulled. If you have had these issues in the past, it is a good idea to explain the severity of your anxiety to the dentist so they can help you determine if IV sedation dentistry is a good choice for you.

You Have Had a Scary Dental Experience in the Past

Sometimes, all it takes is one bad experience at a dentist to cause excessive anxiety to emerge the next time you have to have treatment. A bad experience could have been something like:

  • Having a dentist who grew inpatient with you during treatment
  • Experiencing severe levels of pain during treatment, such as an extraction or root canal
  • Feeling like you couldn’t breathe because so much was taking place close to your face

You Have Experienced a Panic Attack at the Dentist

If your anxiety gets bad enough while in the dentist’s chair, it is a possibility that you could experience a full-blown anxiety or panic attack. These physical attacks brought about by severe anxiety can include symptoms like:

  • a pounding heart rate
  • feeling dizzy or confused
  • labored breathing or shortness of breath
  • fainting

If you have ever experienced a panic attack during dental treatment, it may be a good idea to talk to your dentist about IV sedation dentistry.

Being afraid of the dentist is not a phobia you should ever feel ashamed of, and the more your dentist knows about your problem the more they can help. If you would like to learn more about IV sedation dental treatments, reach out to us at the office of Chris Ward DDS for more information about our services.

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Pricing

Pricing should be based on overhead costs and a fair reimbursement for service and care provided.  There is a delicate balance of controlling costs as much as possible, but not compromising care.  It is very expensive to provide surgical care in the cleanest environment with proper aseptic technique.  Are the patient’s gowned and draped properly, are lines new or uncontaminated?  Is there a process to ensure consistent quality of care?  Are prescriptions and meds understood well and used to minimize infections, pain and swelling?

All these come at a cost, but what are you willing to skimp on to save money?  In implant dentistry, quality does come at a price.  The decision for who you choose should be vetted and researched to validate the quality of care you are seeking.  Make sure the dentist is skilled to the appropriate level of care you desire.  In my next blog, I’ll try to answer the question we get on the phone calls of perspective patients of “How much do you charge for an implant?

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The Cost of Dental Implants

Everybody wants to get the best “deal” when you are making a significant investment. Dental implant treatment is sometimes confused with buying a commodity that you can wheel and deal with dentist to get the price down. Understand that dental implants are not a commodity. The implant itself isn’t expensive, but just like any product sold, you can buy knockoffs and get a cheaper product. Are they sterilized, cleaned and packaged correctly to avoid infection and problems? Do they have the best characteristics for long-term predictability and stability? Was the surface prepared properly? You can buy cheaper products, but the consequence of failure is increased as you take chances on cutting corners. It is not just the cost of the implant.

A short list of other components necessary for a dental implant solution would include: cover screw, healing abutment, impression coping, lab analog, digital scan body, transitional prosthesis to develop soft tissue and esthetics. These components are necessary to be included to make a tooth that connects to the implant. All of these components have a cost and all can be bought at different price points (again with different risks). Finally, you have to have a lab fabricate the custom abutment which is what connects to the implant and comes through the gums and a crown which is the shape, size and color of a tooth (again many material options with different price points and different levels of esthetics and function based on the experience and expertise of the lab. You can choose the best with the least risk or the cheapest with the highest risk or somewhere in between, but all of these factors go into pricing for a dental implant.

3 Signs You’re a Good Candidate for IV Sedation Dentistry

According to research, 36 percent of people have some level of fear about going to the dentist. Further, 12 percent of people have what could be deemed as extreme dental phobia. IV sedation dentistry is a form of treatment that involves sedating the patient so they do not know what is taking place during treatment. Here are a few signs that could indicate IV sedation treatment could be a good option.

You Have Avoided Dental Treatment Due to Anxiety

People who have dental treatment phobia are more likely to miss out on important treatments because of their fears. You may have avoided having a cavity filled because of your fear and maybe even prolonged getting a tooth pulled. If you have had these issues in the past, it is a good idea to explain the severity of your anxiety to the dentist so they can help you determine if IV sedation dentistry is a good choice for you.

You Have Had a Scary Dental Experience in the Past

Sometimes, all it takes is one bad experience at a dentist to cause excessive anxiety to emerge the next time you have to have treatment. A bad experience could have been something like:

  • Having a dentist who grew inpatient with you during treatment
  • Experiencing severe levels of pain during treatment, such as an extraction or root canal
  • Feeling like you couldn’t breathe because so much was taking place close to your face

You Have Experienced a Panic Attack at the Dentist

If your anxiety gets bad enough while in the dentist’s chair, it is a possibility that you could experience a full-blown anxiety or panic attack. These physical attacks brought about by severe anxiety can include symptoms like:

  • a pounding heart rate
  • feeling dizzy or confused
  • labored breathing or shortness of breath
  • fainting

If you have ever experienced a panic attack during dental treatment, it may be a good idea to talk to your dentist about IV sedation dentistry.

Being afraid of the dentist is not a phobia you should ever feel ashamed of, and the more your dentist knows about your problem the more they can help. If you would like to learn more about IV sedation dental treatments, reach out to us at the office of Chris Ward DDS for more information about our services.

3 Things That Will Change with Implant-Retained Dentures

Millions of people wear dentures worldwide, and without question, dentures are an excellent option if you have lost all of your natural teeth. Unfortunately, dentures do have their limitations, and they can pose some problems for some wearers. Implant-retained dentures are just like ordinary dentures, but they are secured in place with a series of small implants that hold the prosthetic teeth in place. Here is a look at some of the things that will change for you as a denture wearer if you opt for implant-retained dentures instead.

You Get More Chewing Power

Your mouth exerts a powerful 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down. This is more than enough to chew through most foods with natural teeth, but when you have dentures, you have to learn to bite without so much force because doing so will shift the dentures out of place. For many denture wearers, this lack of bite force prohibits eating foods they like, such as uncooked vegetables or meats. With implant-retainment, the bite force is far more.

There Will Be No More Denture Adhesives

Denture adhesives are super helpful if your dentures shift and move in your mouth, but they are not the most enjoyable products to contend with if you have to use adhesives on a daily basis. The denture glue can be messy, become dislodged frequently, and even change the taste of your food. Plus, some adhesives contain zinc, which can cause ill effects if you ingest too much, according to the FDA. With implant-retained dentures, the denture device stays firmly seated without the use of adhesives.

Your Implant-Retained Dentures Will Be Less Likely to Change Speech

Those who wear regular dentures often complain that their speech changes as a result. When you speak, dentures shift and move in your mouth, which changes how your vocal noises sound as they move through your oral opening. If the dentures are supported by implants, they do not shift and move, so your speech should not be affected to a degree that anyone would notice.

If you have issues with your dentures and want a better solution to missing teeth, it may be time to consider implant-retained dentures. Reach out to us at the dental offices of Chris Ward DDS, a dental implant specialist, to find out how we can help.