Posts for tag: dental implants

By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
January 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

While many people still consider dental implants the "new kids on the block" in dental restoration, they're now in their fourth decade of use. And since their inception implant technology has continued to improve and revolutionize how we replace missing teeth.

Implants are a different "species" compared to other restoration methods. To be precise, an implant is a tooth root replacement—usually a titanium metal post imbedded directly into the jaw bone. Titanium is not only a biocompatible metal, but bone cells naturally grow on its surface to create a strong and durable hold. It's this secure hold that's most responsible for implants' high long-term success rate.

But we should also credit some of this success to the steady stream of advances over the years in implant construction and supporting technologies. For one thing, we're now more accurate and precise with implant placement thanks to advances in computer tomography (CT) and cone beam CT (CBCT) scanning.

These digital processes merge a series of images taken by a special camera to form a three-dimensional model of the jaw. We can manipulate this model on a computer monitor to view it from different vantage points. It can help us locate and avoid anatomical structures like nerves and sinuses when determining where to place a future implant. CT and CBCT are especially useful when there's a concern about adequate available bone, a necessity for stable implants.

Technology has also improved how we create surgical guides, often used during implant surgery to obtain the most accurate results. Surgical guides are custom-made devices that fit over the teeth with the drilling locations for the implants marked on them. Recent advances in 3-D printing have made these guides even more accurate so that they fit more securely in the mouth. This greater stability increases their accuracy during the drilling sequence during surgery.

These and other advances are helping ensure every implant is a success story. The end result is both a functional restoration and a beautiful smile.

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 “How Technology Aids Dental Implant Therapy.”

By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
October 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you interested in dental implants but a little hesitant about the surgery? Don’t be—this procedure to imbed an implant’s titanium post in the jawbone is relatively minor with little to no discomfort for most patients.

Some time before, however, we’ll need to pre-plan the surgery to pinpoint the best location for the implant, critical to achieving a solid hold and a life-like appearance. During these first visits we often create a surgical guide, a device inserted in the mouth during surgery that identifies the exact location for the hole (or channel) in the bone we’ll drill to insert the implant.

On surgery day, we’ll prepare you for a pain-free and relaxing experience. If you’re normally anxious about dental work, we may prescribe a sedative for you to take ahead of time. As we begin we’ll thoroughly numb the area with local anesthesia to ensure you won’t feel any pain.

The surgery begins with an incision through the gum tissue to access the underlying bone. Once it’s exposed, we’ll insert the surgical guide and begin a drilling sequence to gradually increase the size of the channel. This takes time because we want to avoid damaging the bone from overheating caused by friction.

Once we’ve created a channel that matches precisely the implant’s size and shape, we’ll remove the implant from its sterile packaging and immediately fit and secure it in the channel. We’ll then take x-rays to ensure it’s in the best position possible.

Satisfied we’ve properly situated and secured the implant, we’ll suture the gum tissue back in place to protect the implant with or without attaching a healing abutment to it as it fully integrates with the jawbone over the next few months (after which you’ll come back to receive your permanent crown). After a short recovery, you’ll return to full activity. Most patients only experience mild to moderate discomfort usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen.

While implantation is a long process, you’ll be obtaining what’s considered by most dentists and their patients as the most durable and life-like tooth replacement available. Your new attractive smile will be well worth it.

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 Implant Surgery: What to Expect Before, During and After.”

By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
June 05, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Missing teeth in your smile can quickly affect both your appearance and your self-esteem, making you feel as though your teeth are not up dental implantsto par. However, you can replace your missing teeth with dental implants, a permanent solution to your smile issues. Learn more about how missing teeth affect your whole smile, the effects of untreated missing teeth, and how dental implants can help with Dr. Clark Wright in Venice, FL.

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a procedure which gives you the opportunity to replace your missing teeth permanently, restoring your appearance and giving you back the functionality of a full smile. A dental implant uses three main parts to replace your tooth: an implant fixture, an abutment, and a prosthetic tooth. The fixture is surgically implanted into the bone under your missing tooth by an oral surgeon. This serves as a replacement root for the tooth and provides a sturdy foundation for the prosthetic tooth, which attaches to the fixture via the abutment.

Can dental implants help my smile? 
If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be a candidate for dental implants. However, not everyone qualifies for this procedure. Missing teeth produce side effects like bone atrophy. This process causes the bone to erode, meaning the fixture may not be able to grow securely into place. Those patients with significant bone atrophy may not be a good candidate for implants. As with any dental restoration, a diligent at-home oral care routine is necessary to keep the implants and your natural teeth healthy and clean.

What happens if I do not replace my missing teeth? 
The consequences of missing teeth, though they may take some time to become obvious, occur immediately. The teeth surrounding your gap will begin to shift, moving to accommodate the extra room in the mouth. The bone underneath the tooth begins to atrophy, or erode, causing bone loss in the area of the gap. This can cause the facial tissue to begin to sag and sink in, which, in turn, causes an aged appearance.

Dental Implants in Venice, FL
If you have considered replacing your missing teeth, but are not sure where to start, ask your dentist about dental implants. For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Wright in Venice, FL. Call (941) 493-5923 to schedule your appointment today!

By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
July 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you ready to get some of your questions about dental implants answered?

You’ve been considering getting dental implants but you still aren’t sold. That’s okay. Maybe you just don’t know enough about this dental implantsrestoration to make an informed decision. This is where our Venice, FL, dentist, Dr. Clark Wright, can step in to answer your questions about implants to make the decision-making process a bit easier.

Q. What are dental implants?

A. A dental implant is made up of three parts: the implant, abutment and false tooth. The implant itself is a tiny metal post that is used to take the place of tooth roots. Then an abutment is placed on top of the implant to connect the implant and the artificial tooth. From there, the crown or other tooth replacement is placed over the abutment.

Q. How are dental implants placed?

A. During the procedure, the oral surgeon will place an implant into the jawbone where your missing tooth roots once were. Then, over the course of the next several months, the jawbone and implant will integrate.

Q. How long does it take to get dental implants?

A. This process will be different for everyone. Some patients may heal more quickly than others. There are a few factors (e.g. your health) that will play a role in how fast your recovery period is. During your consultation and treatment plan phase we will be able to better determine the length of your treatment. You can expect it to take up to one year or more to get implants depending on how many implants you are getting and where the implants are being placed.

Q. Who is a good candidate for this restorative dentistry?

A. Adults who maintain good hygiene and have good general health are typically perfect candidates for dental implants. Women who are pregnant, those who are smokers and those with compromised immune systems will not be right for implants.

Q. How long do dental implants last?

A. Implants are very reliable and durable, so they should last you the rest of your life if you care for them properly. We will provide you with all the information you need to give your implants the care they require to last.

If we still haven’t satiated all of your dental implants questions then it’s time to call our Venice, FL, dental office to learn more. Let us know that you are interested in getting implants and we will be happy to schedule your consultation.

By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
March 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Dental implants to replace teeth are a popular choice as much for their durability as their life-likeness. Most implants last for decades, which can result in lower long-term maintenance costs than other replacement options.

But to achieve this longevity, you must take care of your implants. You should brush and floss them daily right along with your remaining natural teeth — and continue regular semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups.

You may be wondering, though: if they're made of inorganic materials, why worry with brushing them? It's true that bacterial plaque, the thin film of food particles most responsible for dental disease, doesn't affect them.

Your implants, though, don't exist in a bubble: they're imbedded in real bone, surrounded by real gum tissue and placed next to real teeth. All these other living tissues are susceptible to infection caused by plaque, even from plaque on non-organic implants.

The bone and tissues around an implant can even have a higher susceptibility to infection. This is because an implant's attachment in the jaw differs from that of natural teeth. An implant is imbedded directly into the bone; a natural tooth, on the other hand, maintains its hold through an elastic gum tissue between it and the bone called the periodontal ligament. Tiny fibers from the ligament attach to the tooth on one side and to the bone on the other.

Besides holding the tooth in place, the ligament also contains blood vessels that supply the tooth and surrounding tissues not only with nutrients but also antibodies that help fight infection. Due to the absence of a ligament connection, an implant doesn't enjoy the same level of protection from infection.  It's much easier for tissues and teeth around an implant to become infected, and harder to stop it.

That's why prevention through daily hygiene is so important. So, be sure to brush and floss all your teeth — including implants — every day, and keep up your regular dental visits. And at the first sign of a possible infection — swollen, red or bleeding gums — see us as soon as possible for an examination.

Consider your implants a long-term investment in both your smile and dental health. Taking care of them will pay dividends for many years to come.

If you would like more information on taking care of your 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 Implant Maintenance.”

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