Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

By Northside Family Dentistry
December 23, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

If you're considering tooth replacement with dental implants, you should understand their many benefits. At Northside Family Dentistry in Macon, your dentists, Dr. Clinton Watson and Dr. Nicole Jackson, offer these modern prosthetics because they resemble natural teeth in every way. Here are the details.

The dental implant resides in the jaw bone

Just as a real tooth does, a dental implant anchors to the alveolar ridge of the jaw. It does this via a titanium root. That's right. A titanium screw or cylinder secures the metal post and porcelain crown which comprise the artificial tooth above the gum line. The screw-like implant integrates with the jaw bone through osseointegration.

The Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society defines osseointegration as the structural and functional connection between the load-bearing implant and living bone. Simply put, osseointegration secures the bond between the bone and the implant which must bear the substantial forces of biting and chewing. Over time, the bond becomes stronger. Implants may form the foundation for a single-tooth replacement or when surgically placed in multiples, secure bridgework or full dentures.

To qualify for treatment with dental implants, Dr. Jackson or Dr. Watson will perform a complete examination, take X-rays and other specialized imaging and review your health history. If your health and bone density check out, you're ready for the simple, in-office implant surgery.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

  1. Dental implants improve underlying bone and gum tissue. They actually exercise the jaw and gums, retaining almost all of their original structural integrity.
  2. They are permanent. The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness reports these artificial teeth have a high success rate and stay in place for decades.
  3. They are versatile, replacing teeth on either arch. In fact, if you are missing one tooth or an entire arch, dental implants could be your smile solution.
  4. Dental implants do not decay and rarely fail.
  5. They are easy to take care of with simple brushing and flossing every day and also six-month cleanings and examinations at Northside Family Dentistry.
  6. Age is no barrier to implant placement. Adults of all ages--even seniors--can receive them successfully.
  7. Implants improve speech, personal appearance and the ability to enjoy all your favorite foods.
  8. They eliminate smile gaps and strengthen adjoining teeth.
  9. Dental implants create better self-confidence in social and professional situations.

Start your journey to a renewed smile

You can by calling Northside Family Dentistry in Macon. Dr. Watson or Dr. Jackson will meet with you and answer all your questions. Call for a consultation: (478) 475-1976.

By Northside Family Dentistry
June 27, 2019
Category: Oral Health
KeepanEyeontheJawBoneAfteraTeenagersToothLoss

Accidents happen, especially to teenagers involved with sports or similar activities. In an instant they can lose one or more teeth and permanently alter their smile.

Fortunately we can restore a teenager’s lost teeth, but often not immediately as a permanent restoration with a dental implant requires maturity of their jaw structure. Our focus then turns to the age of the patient and the condition of the underlying bone. A future dental implant, your best choice for tooth replacement, depends on bone for support, but also the age of the patient as it relates to jaw development.

There are a couple of ways an accidental tooth loss can harm supporting bone: first and foremost, the impact of the accident itself can damage the bony socket. To find out for sure we may need to perform a cone beam scan, a type of x-ray that allows us to view the area three-dimensionally. If we do find damage, we can attempt to repair the socket through bone grafting.

Bone can also suffer from the long-term absence of a tooth. Bone has a growth cycle in which older cells dissolve and new ones form to take their place. The force generated by teeth when we eat or chew helps stimulate this growth. Without stimulation, as with a missing tooth, the bone may not grow at a healthy rate. In time, it could lose some of its volume and density and not be able to support an implant.

Installing an implant right after tooth loss could help avoid this situation. Bone has a natural affinity with the titanium post imbedded in the jaw and will naturally grow and adhere to it. But we can’t place an implant with a teenager. This is because the jaw is still developing so an implant would gradually become misaligned as the jaw grows. It’s best to install an implant later after full jaw development in early adulthood.

Today, we can place a bone graft in the empty socket right after tooth loss. The graft serves as a scaffold for bone cells to grow on and will help keep the bone volume at a healthy level until we can install an implant.

Timing is everything in restoring a teenager’s accidental tooth loss. But with coordination and care for the supporting bone, a teenager can eventually enter their adult years with their smile intact.

If you would like more information on restoring your teenager’s smile after tooth loss, 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 for Teenagers.”

By Northside Family Dentistry
May 18, 2019
Category: Oral Health
WhyYouShouldFlossAroundtheImplantsSupportingYourBridge

We've been using bridges to replace missing teeth for decades. Now, recently-developed implant-supported bridges are even more dependable, promising greater durability and less interference with remaining natural teeth.

But just like other restorations, you'll need to keep implant bridges clean to ensure their longevity. Although both the bridge and implants are impervious to disease, the supporting gums and bone aren't. If they become infected, they can break down and your restoration will fail.

Cleaning an implant-supported bridge includes flossing around each of the implants to remove dental plaque, a thin film of food particles and bacteria most responsible for dental disease. To perform this task, you'll have to pass the floss between the bridge and gums to access the sides of each implant.

To help make it easier, you can use a tool like a floss threader, a thin, shaft-like device with a loop on one end and a needle-like point on the other. You'll first thread about 18" of floss through the end and then pass the threader between the bridge and gums with the sharp end toward the tongue.

With the threader completely through, you'll then wrap the floss around your fingers as with regular flossing and move the floss up and down each side of the implants you can access. You'll then pull the floss out, reload the threader and move to the next section, repeating this process until you've flossed each side of each implant.

You can also use pre-cut floss with a stiffened end to thread between the bridge and gums or an interproximal brush with a thin bristled head that can reach underneath the bridge. And you might consider using an oral irrigator, a pump device that sprays a stream of pressurized water to remove and flush away plaque around implants.

To round out your hygiene efforts, be sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings. Your dentist can also advise you and give you training on keeping your implants clear of disease-causing plaque. Cleaning around your implants will help ensure your restoration will last.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental restoration, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”

By NORTHSIDE FAMILY DENTISTRY
February 14, 2019
Category: Dental Appliances
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants were discovered more than 30 years ago and has evolved over the years. Today, dentists all over the world use them to dental implantstreat dental gaps to reinforce the jawbone, like Drs. Clinton Watson and Nicole Jackson at their Macon, GA, office.

Want to know more about dental implants?

Dental implants are biocompatible fixtures surgically placed into the jawbone. Dental implants consist of several parts, such as; a titanium post that's inserted into the jawbone, a screw that secures an abutment over the titanium post, and a crown matching the rest of your teeth to complete your smile.

What does the dental implant procedure in Macon, GA?

The procedure is straightforward. The titanium post is surgically inserted into your jaws to replace missing tooth root. It provides stability and strength, and prevents weakening and shrinkage of the jawbone.

After inserting the titanium post, the dentist seals your gums and allows 3 to 6 months for osseointegration (a process of the post fusing to the rest of your jawbone) to occur.

After healing is complete, your Glendale dentist re-opens the area above the titanium post, inserts a screw, places an abutment above the screw and secures a crown on top that matches the rest of your teeth.

Is the procedure painful?

Dental implant surgery is easy and tolerable for most people. Ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen, manage post-operative discomfort.

How do you care for your dental implants?

To take proper care of your dental implants, make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day, at least once before bed. A change in diet may also be beneficial. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary foods to prevent the accumulation of plaque is good preventative care.

If you're interested in finding out more about dental implants, call Drs. Clinton Watson and Nicole Jackson, in Macon, GA, at (478) 475-1976 to learn more!

By Northside Family Dentistry
August 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
DontLetSmokingIncreaseYourChancesofImplantFailure

There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking. Here's one more if you're considering replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant: smoking increases your risk of implant failure.

By and large, dental implants are the most reliable and durable tooth replacement option, with more than a 95% success rate after ten years. But that still leaves a small percentage that fail — and twice as many of those failures are in smokers than in non-smokers.

To understand why, we need to look at how smoking affects oral health. Besides burning and thickening the surface skin cells inside the mouth, inhaled smoke can also damage salivary glands and lead to dry mouth. Reduced saliva creates an environment friendly to bacteria, which increases the risk of infection and disease.

The nicotine in tobacco also restricts the myriad of blood vessels that course through the teeth and gums. The resulting reduced blood flow deprives teeth and gums not only of nutrients but disease-fighting antibodies. The mouth takes longer to heal and can't fight infection as well.

The key to an implant's success lies with its titanium post imbedded in the jaw bone to take the place of the tooth root. Titanium attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to the post over a period of time and create a stronger hold. But the health effects of smoking inhibit this process. Furthermore, slower healing caused by smoking increases the risk of infection, the number one cause of early implant loss.

If you want to improve your chances for a successful implant — not to mention improve your overall health — you should quit smoking. The prospect of a dental implant could be a useful incentive to enroll in a smoking cessation program.

At the very least we suggest you stop smoking a week before implant surgery and then for at least two weeks after to help promote good healing. And you should pay close attention to your daily oral hygiene — brushing and flossing at least once — and regular, semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups.

Smoking can harm your health. If you're considering an implant, it could also harm your chances of a successful outcome.

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 & Smoking.”