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All Posts in Category: Tooth Loss

Dental Implants for Missing Teeth

Natural Looking Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants

Dental implants are a healthy, safe and a highly successful tooth replacement option, but many people wonder if their new teeth will look natural. It’s an understandable concern for those who have lived with dentures or partial bridges that don’t quite look and feel like natural teeth. Unlike traditional dentures and partial bridges, though, dental implants receive placement directly into the jawbone, and this means that the replacement teeth look, feel and behave just like natural teeth. An experienced restorative dentist can give patients life-like, beautiful teeth that will restore their confidence in their smile, maintain their oral structure and prevent bone loss.

Customization and precision

Replacing missing teeth for a complete smile can help boost a person’s confidence and make them happy to share their smile again. With dental implants, the dentist customizes a single tooth or several teeth to fit a patient’s oral structure and meet their desires as far as color, shape, shade, size, and contours of the new teeth. Dental implants will match the look and feel of surrounding natural teeth better than any other tooth replacement option. Prior to placing the implants, the dentist uses computer-aided design software to design the crowns with expert precision and then work with the patient until they have the exact fit and appearance they want.

Each patient is unique

An experienced, professional restorative dentist knows that every patient is unique and that “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to tooth replacement. Dental implants can last a lifetime with the proper maintenance, and the dentist wants to make sure their patients are happy and comfortable with the results right away. Everyone’s oral and facial structure is different and with today’s implant innovations, dentists can create the perfect, custom fit for each patient. Dental implants have several benefits over dentures and partial bridges including natural look, feel, and function, the ability to preserve facial structure and avoid the “sunken” look common with dentures or missing teeth and their ability to prevent bone loss common when an adult loses a permanent tooth. Dental implants are highly successful and should never need replacement unless the patient suffers an injury or has a medical condition that interferes with proper healing following implant surgery. To ensure dental implant success, patients need to maintain good oral hygiene, stay healthy overall and quit tobacco use.

If you’re considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option, contact Creative Dental to schedule a consultation. Dental implants are the most natural looking and functional tooth replacement available today and can have you smiling confidently again.

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diabetes and tooth loss

Diabetes May Increase Risk of Tooth Loss

A diagnosis of diabetes increases a person’s risk of other health complications. Diabetes may result in damage to small and large blood vessels that increases the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Diabetes can damage nerves, eyes, kidneys and feet. Current research also indicates that diabetes may have a link to tooth loss.

Duke University study

A study conducted from 1971-2012 by Duke University researchers found that tooth loss can be another health issue related to diabetes. The study of over 37,000 Americans showed that people with diabetes lose twice the number of teeth as non-diabetics. The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey revealed that people with diabetes were 34% less likely than non-diabetics to have at least 21 of their natural teeth.

Additional factors affecting diabetic tooth loss

Tooth loss in the United States has been declining for 40 years, but diabetics are still more prone to losing teeth. Ethnicity also plays a role in tooth loss as African Americans with diabetes show a greater risk of tooth loss than Mexican or Caucasian Americans. The leading cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease and for those with diabetes, gum disease is a common complication. Approximately 10% of the population, or 29 million people, have a diagnosis of diabetes, and this represents a bewildering number of people at a higher risk of developing gum disease.

Importance of diagnosis and care

Adding to the increased risk of tooth loss is the fact that approximately 8 million people with diabetes haven’t been diagnosed with the disease. Without knowing they have diabetes, patients don’t know that they need to be more involved with their oral health than those who don’t have diabetes. When people receive the proper diagnosis of diabetes, they can then take steps to protect their overall and oral health and avoid tooth loss. Everyone benefits from good oral hygiene, but it’s especially important that diabetics take a proactive commitment to their oral health. Regular dental checkups and daily brushing and flossing are some of the best ways to prevent tooth loss.

At Creative Dental, we’re committed to helping all of our patients maintain and protect their healthy smile. If you have diabetes, we can help you avoid tooth loss with regular, thorough periodontal exams and advice on improving oral health habits at home as needed.

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Dentist pulling a tooth

Dental Treatment to Prevent Tooth Extraction

Suffering damage or trauma to a tooth can cause great anxiety and the fear that the only treatment option is extraction. Fortunately, depending on the extent of the damage or trauma, there are dental treatments can help save the tooth and avoid losing the tooth. Having a missing tooth or teeth can have a negative impact on a person’s confidence, chewing ability, teeth alignment and overall health, so it’s important to understand how to avoid tooth extraction whenever safely possible.

Root canals can save teeth

Having a root canal treatment is the top alternative to extracting a tooth. Also called endodontic treatment, a root canal treats the living pulp inside the tooth. Tooth pulp is the inner tissue consisting of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that provide nourishment to the tooth as it develops. In a fully-developed tooth, removing the pulp via a root canal has little or no effect because the tooth receives nourishment from supporting tissues.

A root canal may become necessary when cracks, chips, decay, dental procedures, faulty crowns or trauma trigger inflammations and infections in the tooth pulp. Treating the damaged tooth prevents further pain and potential abscess. During a root canal, the dentist removes inflamed or infected tooth pulp and then cleans, disinfects, shapes, fills and seals the hollow to prevent future infections. Following the root canal with a dental crown or filling placement helps restore tooth structure and function, and there’s a high probability the tooth can remain healthy for a lifetime with proper care.

Benefits of root canal treatment

Having a root canal prevents tooth extraction while restoring and protecting the health of your damaged or injured tooth. The treatment is non-surgical, common and safe. Additional ways to save a damaged tooth and avoid extraction include treating an infection with antibiotics, but this may not be effective as a root canal and delaying the proper treatment may increase the likelihood of tooth extraction. Patients who take painkillers to dull the pain of tooth damage risk the infection or inflammation growing worse and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Treating issues within the tooth pulp early is the best way to save a tooth. If tooth extraction becomes necessary, there are several replacement options available, but dentists prefer to save the natural tooth whenever possible.

If you’re experiencing any tooth discomfort or pain, contact Creative Dental promptly so we can diagnose the problem and protect the health of your smile.

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Cosmetic Dentist Westfield NJ

Have an Awesome Dentist Do Immediate Load Implant Surgery

Patients with a missing tooth or several missing teeth have more replacement options today than ever before. Tooth replacement with dental implants continues to grow in popularity as implants offer various advantages over dentures and dental bridges. With a dental implant, the dentist inserts a titanium post in the jawbone to support the replacement tooth, and that post fills where the natural tooth root was, thus preventing jawbone loss. Dental implants have a high success rate and immediate load dental implants do as well in the right conditions, but it’s vital that patients understand the pros and cons of immediate load implants before making a decision.

Advantages of immediate load implants

For immediate load implants, the dentist places the implants and temporary replacement teeth within 48 hours after surgery. The temporary implants remain in place until the area heals and then replaced with permanent crowns. Placing the temporary teeth right away instead of waiting until after surgery site healing (as in traditional dental implants) helps the soft tissue around the implant take a more natural shape and prepares the area for the permanent crown. Other advantages of immediate load implants include:

  • Shorter treatment period – Immediate load implants can replace a missing front tooth almost right away while traditional dental implants can take up to six months for restoration. When the missing tooth is in the front, many patients want fast results and will choose a replacement like a dental bridge. However, a dental bridge that doesn’t offer the dental implant benefit of replacing the tooth root and preventing jawbone loss, which is why immediate load implants can be a better choice.
  • Single surgical procedure – During the immediate load implant procedure, the dentist places the implant, abutment and temporary crown, which reduces treatment time as it eliminates the 3-6 month healing time before the placement of the abutment and crown.
  • Better gum tissue match – With traditional implants, the dentist places healing caps on the dental implants to shape the tissue. However, with immediate load implants, the dentist places the temporary crown, which has a shape to the permanent crown, which provides better aesthetic results than healing caps.
  • Reduce the physical and psychological impact of missing teeth – Immediate load implants replace missing teeth without dentures and without the patient having to endure gaps in their smile during healing.

Risks of immediate load implants

Immediate load implants involve a very precise placement technique, and this means that even the slightest movement may increase the risk of implant failure. An experienced dental surgeon takes every precaution to eliminate movement while the implant is integrated into the jawbone, but there’s still a small risk. Immediate load implants only work in specific situations where the jawbone is strong enough to support the torque of placing the implant. Having strong, healthy teeth adjacent to the implant location is the ideal situation, and immediate implants work better in the lower jaw rather than the upper because the lower jawbone is stronger and denser than the upper.

Although immediate load implants have their advantage and disadvantages, all types of dental implant procedures have at least a small risk associated with them. However, with current dental implant treatments continuing innovations, dental implants can be a viable tooth replacement option for all types of patients. Contact Creative Dental today to find out more about immediate load and traditional dental implants.

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Options for dental implants

Implant Options for Tooth Replacement

For someone who requires replacement of a single tooth or multiple teeth, there is a variety of treatment options available from today’s dental restoration professionals. Tooth replacement is about more than aesthetic appearance; it’s also about restoring functionality and strength to your bite as well as preserving the health of a patient’s jawbone. Dental implants are the best way to support tooth restorations ranging from dental crowns to dentures as they provide important benefits including preventing bone loss and offering a permanent tooth replacement solution.

Implants and Dental crowns

Dentists often use dental crowns to cap individual implants for single tooth replacement, as they don’t have an effect on adjacent teeth. Crafted out of porcelain, dental crowns match the size, color and shape of a lost tooth. Placing a crown on an implant is an easy procedure as the dentist applies the crown to an abutment piece and then attaches that to the healed implant post. With the support of the dental implant, a dental crown restores the stability and strength of a bite without more extensive and involved restoration procedures.

Implants and bridges

Dental bridges consist of a single or multiple artificial teeth or pontics that the dentist anchors with crowns on either side. The pontic bridges the gap of the missing tooth, but when someone has several missing teeth, combining a bridge with dental implants offers advantages over crowning natural teeth. These advantages include:

  • Preserve natural teeth – Supporting a bridge on implants instead of teeth allows patients to preserve the structure of their natural teeth.
  • Fewer pontics – By using implants to replace teeth instead of just pontics in the bridge, the dentist uses fewer pontics, which means a smaller bridge.
  • Reduced bone loss– Missing tooth roots result in eventual bone loss, but implants take the place of those tooth roots, reduce bone loss and preserve facial structure.
  • Future replacement flexibility – For patients who may suffer tooth loss in the future, having implants already in place is a benefit as they can also support dentures.

Dental bridges always utilize implants or two teeth for support, and it’s more efficient to replace multiple teeth with a bridge and two implants instead of a large bridge that places stress on remaining natural teeth.

Implants and dentures

Dentures are still one of the most popular ways to restore full rows of teeth as they enable patients to speak, eat and smile with a complete smile again. However, dentures lack the natural stability, reliability and strength of natural teeth unless the dentist anchors them with a few implants. Supporting dentures with implants helps by:

  • Increasing strength – Supporting dentures with the jawbone and not just on the gums adds strength to a patient’s bite.
  • Improving stability – Removable dentures can become loose when eating or talking, but dental implants increase their stability by holding them in place.
  • Providing proper fit – With a large number of missing teeth, the mouth and jaw change shape with time and dentures need adjusting or replacement. Using implants to anchor dentures provides a better fit in the mouth.
  • Enabling better diet and speech – Loose dentures can make it difficult to eat firmer foods and can impair speech. Anchoring dentures with implants allows patients to eat what they love and speak clearly without their dentures moving around.
  • Increasing comfort – Dentures supported by implants give a more comfortable and natural fit to patients.

Missing one or more teeth doesn’t prevent you from enjoying the life you want and sharing your smile with the world when you utilize the advantages of dental implants. Contact Creative Dental to learn if dental implants are right for you.

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Risk factors associated with tooth loss

Risk Factors Associated with Tooth Loss

Sometimes accidents happen that result in tooth loss, but other times tooth loss is avoidable and within the patient’s control. A recent study in the Journal of Periodontology revealed that there are major risk factors associated with tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease. While patients can’t control certain risk factors such as genetics, there are other elements patients can address to prevent tooth loss.

Risk factors associated with tooth loss

According to the study performed by researchers for the Journal of Periodontology, the risk factors for tooth loss from periodontal disease are:

  • Lack of professional dental care
  • Lack of brushing teeth
  • Smoking or other tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Male gender
  • Older than 35

An additional finding was that a patient’s front teeth have a higher risk of loss to gum disease than teeth located in the back of the mouth. Although risk factors such as gender and age can’t be changed, factors such as not brushing and continued tobacco use are completely under a patient’s control.

Origin of the study

The list of risk factors originates from a dentist in Kuwait and his colleagues who work for the Ministry of Health. Although the study is from Kuwait, the cases of tooth loss due to gum disease have strong similarities to studies globally and therefore have worldwide application. The study involved 1,775 adults who had undergone tooth extraction at a random selection of 21 dental practice clinics in Kuwait. The total of teeth removed equaled 3,694 because 14 of the selected patients had all of their teeth removed.

Breaking down the statistics

The leading reason for tooth loss in the world is gum disease and when you factor in the other statistics of the study, it becomes even more important to practice good oral hygiene. In the study, 40% of the patients had never received professional dental care, 13% had only received it 6 months prior to tooth extraction, 60% said they never or rarely brushed their teeth and only 16% said they brushed their teeth twice a day. Along with poor oral hygiene, several of the study participants had other health issues including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. While there’s still no conclusive evidence that these health issues have a direct connection with tooth loss, it’s a common trait that requires further research.

Although there are various options for tooth replacement today, the best plan is to preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime if possible. Creative Dental can help you protect and improve your smile with regular dental exams, cleanings and innovative cosmetic dentistry services.

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Missing tooth

How tooth loss affects social and psychological health

Okay, so Jim Carrey isn’t missing a tooth in that photo, but you get the point… 

Studies show that missing a single tooth or several teeth can lead to feelings of depression, being self-conscious, having low self-esteem, and even feeling unable to advance in a career. Having an incomplete smile greatly affects many patients. Some feel traumatized by tooth loss; others feel it’s holding them back from a healthy social life.

Tooth loss and social involvement

A survey by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) revealed that of the approximately 20,000 dentists surveyed, 86% listed social embarrassment as a highly impactful problem related to tooth loss. They reported that over 50% of patients with tooth loss have less social involvement than those with a complete smile. To cope with tooth loss, patients need to consider their options such as dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges.

Overcoming tooth loss

With so many innovative dental advancements including dental implants, dentists now have various options for patients who have experienced tooth loss. As they explore their tooth replacement options with the patient, dentists explain the best ways to restore the function and appearance of their smile. The goal of the dentist is to help every patient have a natural-looking, healthy smile for a lifetime, and when tooth replacement is necessary, explain that the appearance, function, and feel of replacement teeth can have a positive impact on their overall well-being.

Importance of the right fit

The effects of tooth and bone loss on a patient psychologically can be varied and complex and often affect those who have improperly fitting dentures. Denture wearers can feel concerned and nervous about social situations where their dentures may become loose. Some denture wearers who have suffered severe bone loss can’t even wear their dentures and may avoid leaving their home for fear of embarrassment. Solving this form of social awkwardness and self-consciousness means pursuing high-quality dental treatments including new dentures, implant retained dentures, and dental implants. Properly fitting dentures, those anchored with implants or traditional dental implants can restore a patient’s self-esteem and confidence in their smile, so they’re eager to return to social situations. Without the worry of missing teeth or the effects of improper tooth replacement treatments, patients can receive a boost to their overall sense of well-being.

Don’t let tooth loss or improperly fitting dentures cast a shadow over the quality of your life. Contact Creative Dental today and discuss our tooth replacement options to find the perfect fit for your oral health needs.

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