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Posts for tag: dental implants

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
August 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
Implant-SupportedDenturesCouldImproveYourBoneHealth

Generations have depended on dentures to effectively and affordably replace lost teeth. But they do have a major weakness: They contribute to jawbone loss that creates not only mouth and facial problems, but can also ruin a denture’s fit.

Bone loss is a normal consequence of losing teeth. The biting forces normally generated when we chew stimulate new bone to replace older bone. When a tooth is missing, however, so is that chewing stimulation. This can slow bone replacement growth and gradually decrease the density and volume of affected bone.

While dentures can restore dental appearance and function, they can’t restore this growth stimulation. What’s worse, the pressure of the dentures against the gum-covered jaw ridge they rest upon may irritate the underlying bone and accelerate loss.

But there is a solution to the problem of denture-related bone loss: an implant-supported denture. Rather than obtaining its major support from the gum ridges, this new type of denture is secured by strategically-placed implants that connect with it.

Besides the enhanced support they can provide to a denture restoration, implants can also deter bone loss. This is because of the special affinity bone cells have with an implant’s imbedded titanium post. The gradual growth of bone on and around the implant surface not only boosts the implant’s strength and durability, it can also improve bone health.

There are two types of implant-supported dentures. One is a removable appliance that connects with implants installed in the jaw (three or more for the upper jaw or as few as two in the lower). It may also be possible to retrofit existing dentures to connect with implants.

The other type is a fixed appliance a dentist permanently installs by screwing it into anywhere from four and six implants. The fixed implant-supported denture is closer to the feel of real teeth (you’ll brush and floss normally), but it’s usually more costly than the removable implant-supported denture.

While more expensive than traditional ones, implant-supported dentures still cost less than other restorations like individual implant tooth replacements. They may also help deter bone loss, which may lead to a longer lasting fit with the dentures. Visit your dentist for an evaluation of your dental condition to see if you’re a good candidate for this advanced form of dental restoration.

If you would like more information on implant-supported dentures, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
August 02, 2019
Category: Dental
Tags: dental implants  

If you're missing teeth, dental implants can replace them. Implants are small anchors that are inserted into the jawbone. After the bone has healed, a false tooth is secured to the top of the implant. Led by Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos, Wester Dental Care (located in Portage, MI) offers a full range of dental services. Keep reading to find out how dental implants can restore your smile.

1. They can beautify your smile. Missing teeth can ruin a nice smile. Dental implants can beautify your smile and improve your confidence and self-esteem. Dental implants look like your original teeth. With dental implants, you will have a full smile to face the world.

2. They can improve chewing ability. The absence of teeth can affect your ability to chew food. With dental implants, you will experience an improvement in chewing ability. Due to the extreme stability of the dental implants, the new teeth are firm and make eating as comfortable as your original teeth.

3. They can improve your speech. The absence of teeth can also affect your ability to speak. Missing teeth can cause you to slur or mumble words. Dental implants can improve the clarity of your speech, allowing you to feel more confident when talking with others. Dental implants will also allow you to talk with people without the worry that your denture might slip out of place.

4. They prevent jawbone loss. When you're missing a tooth, the healthy jawbone no longer receives the necessary stimulation and begins to break down. Dental implants are anchored in the bone just like real teeth. Over time, they will help preserve the healthy bone and significantly reduce bone resorption. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that slows down jawbone loss and stimulate bone growth.

5. They prevent teeth shifting. When you're missing a tooth, the remaining teeth begin to shift at an accelerated rate. When teeth shift out of alignment, a bite problem usually develops. Dental implants will close the gaps in your smile and prevent teeth shifting. If you see a dentist soon after you lose a tooth, you can replace your missing tooth before teeth shifting occurs.

If you want a beautiful smile, this is your chance. Start your journey today. Call Wester Dental Care at 269-327-1119 today to schedule a dental consultation in Portage, MI. Having a beautiful, confident smile can transform your life. You will experience exemplary service and world-class care at Wester Dental Care.

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
January 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
Implant-SupportedDenturesCouldBoostYourJawboneHealth

People have depended on dentures for generations—and they still do. That's because they work, both in restoring dental function and a smile marred by missing teeth.

But they have one major drawback related to bone health. That's because living bone has a life cycle: as older cells die, new ones form to take their place. The pressure generated when we chew stimulates this growth. But when this stimulus goes missing along with the teeth, the cell replacement rate slows and bone volume and density gradually diminishes.

Traditional dentures can't transmit this chewing pressure stimulus. And because they rest directly on the gum ridges, they can adversely affect the underlying bone and actually accelerate bone loss.

But implant technology potentially solves this bone loss problem with dentures by using implants rather than the gums to support them. It's a two-fold benefit: first, the implants relieve much of the irritation to the gums and bone caused by traditional dentures. Primarily, though, the implants themselves can slow or even stop continuing bone loss.

Most implants are made of titanium, not only because it's compatible with the body, but also because it has an affinity with bone. Over time bone cells grow on the titanium post imbedded in the jawbone. This process not only creates stability and durability, it can improve bone health.

In recent years dentists have incorporated implants with dentures to create two exciting treatment options. With one option, the dentist installs two or more implants in the jaw, to which a specially fitted removable denture can be attached. You would still have the ease of removing the denture for cleaning, while gaining greater stability and a reduced risk of bone loss.

The other option is a fixed denture (or bridge) attached permanently to implants. For this option, a patient's jawbone must be adequate and healthy enough to support at least four to six implants. A fixed denture is also often costlier and more complex than a removable denture, but it can feel more like real teeth. It also promotes better bone health too.

Although both options are more expensive than traditional dentures, they can pay dividends for long-term dental health. Implants could help you enjoy your new dentures and resulting smile for a long time to come.

If you would like more information on dental implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
June 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
GumDiseaseisStillaThreattoYourDentalImplants

You’ve invested quite a bit in your new dental implants. And it truly is an investment: because of implants’ potential longevity, their long-term costs could actually be lower than other restorations whose upfront costs might be less.

But to better ensure their longevity, you’ll need to keep your implants and the natural tissues supporting them clean of bacterial plaque, a sticky biofilm that can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Although the implant itself is unaffected by disease, the natural tissues around it can be.  An infection could ultimately weaken the bone supporting the implant and lead to its failure.

Such an infection involving implants could advance rapidly because they don’t have the natural defenses of the original teeth. Our natural teeth are connected to the jaw through the periodontal ligament, a collagen network that attaches to both the teeth and the bone through tiny tissue fibers. This connection also provides access to antibodies produced by the body to fight infection.

By contrast, we place implants directly into the jawbone. While this creates a very secure attachment, the implant won’t have the same connection as teeth with the body’s immune system. That means any infection that develops in surrounding tissues can spread much more rapidly—and so must be dealt with promptly.

Treating this particular form of gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) is similar to infections with natural teeth and gums, with one important difference involving the tools we use to remove plaque from them. While natural teeth can handle metal scalers and curettes, these can create microscopic scratches in the porcelain and metal surfaces of an implant and create havens for further bacterial growth. Instead, we use instruments made of plastic or resin that won’t scratch, as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose.

To avoid an infection, it’s important that you brush your implants and surrounding tissues just like you would your natural teeth (be sure you use a soft-bristled brush). And keep up regular dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any developing gum infection. Maintaining your dentures will help ensure they continue to brighten your smile for a long time.

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 Maintenance: Implant Teeth Must be Cleaned Differently.”

By Wester Dental Care, P.C.
January 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth loss changes how you look, eat and speak. Also, it affects your gum tissue and jaw bone. What could help your smile in the event of dental implantsdental extraction or trauma? Dental implants from Portage dentists, Dr. Keith Wester and Dr. Jennifer Sarantos preserve the jaw and look and function just like real teeth. Learn all about these modern tooth replacement marvels from the experts at Wester Dental Care.

The details on dental implants in Portage

Dental implants differ from conventional tooth replacements which simply rest on gum tissue and/or clamp to remaining natural teeth. Instead, implants lodge right in the jaw bone for superior stability. Additionally, dental implants actually improve jaw bone density. After surgical placement, the titanium implant cylinder and the patient's bone fuse together through a process known as osseointegration.

As the patient bites and chews on a finished implant, its strength increases. The same applies when dentists place multiple implants or mini-implants to secure multi-tooth bridgework or dentures.

The single implant procedure

To qualify for a dental implant, your dentist in Portage will do a complete oral examination, including digital X-ray imaging. Critical to oral implant success is sufficient jaw bone density and healthy gum tissue. If all is well, the dentist proceeds with an injection of local anesthesia and incision of the gums at the implant site.

Then, the doctor creates a small hole in the jaw bone and places the standard dental implant cylinder. A few sutures close the area, and the patient goes home for for a few weeks or months as the implant bonds with the jawbone. At the next visit to Wester Dental Care, the dentist permanently bonds a metal alloy post and porcelain crown in place.

Your new smile

You care for dental implants just as you do your natural teeth: floss daily to keep ahead of plaque and tartar, and brush every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, see Dr. Wester or Dr. Sarantos every six months for oral examinations and professional cleanings.

A word of caution: while dental implants do not get cavities, they can fail because of an infection called peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis resembles advanced gum disease, and poor oral hygiene and smoking can cause it. So it's best to keep implant sites clean and to avoid tobacco.

Find out more

Dental implants from Wester Dental Care in Portage, MI could help your oral function, bone structure and personal appearance, too. Learn all about these amazing prosthetics in a personal implant consultation with one of our highly skilled dentists. Call today: (269) 327-1119.