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Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Some patients wonder if dental implants are the best choice for their missing teeth. The time and effort dental implants take can be off-putting to some patients. If you’re wondering if dental implants are really worth it, there are many factors for you to consider.

Dental implant treatment takes a relatively long period of time to complete as well as to completely heal when compared to other tooth replacement options, such as a bridge. The planning process is far more involved than in other missing tooth replacement plans. The materials utilized with dental implants take more time to create in a dental lab and require greater skill and attention than other lab-created tooth replacements.

Dental implants are much stronger than other tooth replacement options, and will last years or even decades longer. When compared to a dental bridge which lasts an average of 14 years, a dental implant can last up to 30 years.

Sometimes, if insufficient bone is present to provide the necessary support for the implant, bone from elsewhere in the body might be grafted onto the existing bone. A dental implant must heal completely before any pressure is put on the new artificial tooth roots. This can take up to three months. After this time, the tooth portion of the dental implant is applied.

Dental implants are the strongest, best choice for a patient with a missing tooth. They rarely fracture and never decay. As opposed to a dental bridge that necessitates the removal of some of your natural tooth structure, a dental implant preserves adjacent teeth and allows patients the most natural, ideal choice for tooth replacement.

Dental implant candidates who are willing to be patient and plan for the future can experience the benefits these restorations have to offer. Talk to your dentist if you want to explore your options for replacing one or more missing teeth.

We treat patients from Reno and the surrounding area

Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.

Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.

There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?

Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.

If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.

Schedule your appointment at our Reno dental office

Considerations for a Smile Makeover

The process of improving your appearance through oral changes is called a smile makeover. A wide variety of cosmetic procedures can be performed so that you’ll be happier and more confident about your smile. There are many factors that a cosmetic dentist considers when helping you decide upon your ideal smile. Since it is a completely customized process, your dentist will ask your goals and provide recommendations based on your personal characteristics.

Alignment and spacing

Gapped, crooked, or overcrowded teeth can be aligned and straightened, often through dental veneers or orthodontics. Options for braces have expanded to include less visible approaches such as Invisalign.

Tooth color

Discolored teeth can be the sign of age or habits like consuming dark foods or smoking. Bright, white teeth suggest a more youthful look that can improve your whole appearance. This can be achieved in a smile makeover through professional teeth whitening or dental veneers. Your cosmetic dentist will help you choose the shade that best complements the color and tone of your face and hair, helping you achieve the right balance. You might also choose to have silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored composite so that they are no longer noticeable in your smile.

Tooth length

Aging can cause your teeth to wear down and become shorter, giving you a gummy smile that tends to make you look older than you are. A smile makeover can offer lengthening and reshaping of your teeth through bonding or veneers. Another option is having your gum line modified with laser dentistry so that your teeth appear longer. Altering the length of your teeth to accent your face more appropriately can be a big improvement to your features.

Missing teeth

Gaps in your smile due to missing teeth affects the appearance and function of your mouth, also creating greater risk for tooth decay and tooth shifting. Some smile makeover choices for restoring missing teeth are dental implants, partial dentures, or bridges.

Facial features

The entire shape and look of your face can be improved with certain smile makeover techniques. Examples are oral maxillofacial surgery or orthodontics. Your cosmetic dentist can make suggestions and sometimes even create computer images to show you possible outcomes.

We look forward to seeing you in our Reno dental office

Tips for Avoiding Plaque

Plaque is your mouth’s enemy. It is a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, and produces acid as it mixes with sugar from foods and drinks you consume. Over time, these acids destroy your tooth enamel and lead to decay. Plaque can also form under your gums and affect both the gum tissue and the bones supporting your teeth.

So how can you avoid getting the plaque that causes these problems? Here are some helpful tips.

Brush

Use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush all of your tooth surfaces, as well as your tongue.

Floss

As much as many people don’t want to, flossing your teeth every day is important in getting rid of plaque between your teeth and at your gum line.

Eat healthy foods

Some foods help keep plaque off your teeth. Munch on apples, cucumbers, carrots, and other raw vegetables and fruits. Crunchy foods like these will help clean your teeth while filling you up and giving you helpful nutrients.

Avoid junk food

On the other hand, limit the amount of junk food that you eat. Sugary drinks and foods introduce sugar into your mouth that will stick to your teeth and lead to plaque formation.

See your dentist

Even if you practice good oral hygiene, some amount of plaque usually forms. It hardens to become tartar, which can only be properly removed by your dentist. Dental checkups every six months will help you keep plaque under control, and a healthy smile on your face.

Our dental office is located in Reno

Look Out for Oral Cancer

The word cancer strikes fear and dismay in most people, and it’s no different when the diagnosis is oral cancer. Nearly 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease each year and about 8,000 succumb to it. You should know the risk factors and symptoms so that you can either avoid it completely, or catch it early enough that you’ll have the best chance of recovery.
Who is at risk?
Oral cancer is not contagious, but there are some activities that put you at higher risk for the disease. Both smoked and smokeless tobacco are linked to oral cancer, and the more you use tobacco the greater your risk becomes. Excessive alcohol consumption also increases your risk, and paired with tobacco use your risk is even higher. Sun exposure heightens your chances of developing cancer of the lip.

What are the symptoms?
Oral cancer patients may experience any of these signs of the disease:

  • A sore in the mouth or throat that bleeds often and doesn’t heal within two weeks
  • A thick area or lump in the cheek
  • Patches in your mouth or on your lips that are red, white, or a mixture of the two
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty wearing your dentures
  • A sore throat
  • Tongue or mouth numbness
  • Difficulty chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Earache

What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you notice any of these signs, visit your dentist right away to get screened for oral cancer. When diagnosed early, there is an 80 percent survival rate. Unfortunately many patients wait too long to see their dentist, and late-stage diagnosis is the reason for most oral cancer deaths.

If you live in the Reno area contact us today

Oral Surgery: Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the bottom and two on top. Many people do not have enough room for these molars to emerge completely, causing them to become impacted in the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and disease. Other dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and bite alignment issues. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend having the impacted teeth removed to prevent future problems.

Surgery to extract an impacted wisdom tooth or set of wisdom teeth is usually an outpatient procedure done in your dentist or oral surgeon’s office. If the tooth or surrounding area are deemed to have an infection prior to the procedure, surgery will be delayed, and your dental professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to help heal the area.

On the day of surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the extracted tooth will be removed. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist or oral surgeon may also utilize a general anesthetic.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, an incision will be made to open up the gum and any bone blocking the tooth will be removed. Your dentist or surgeon will then separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth and extract the tooth. Some teeth are too large to remove in one piece, in which case your surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and packed with gauze to help alleviate bleeding.

Long-term complications from impacted wisdom tooth surgery are rare. To ensure a successful recovery from this or any oral surgery, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.

Schedule your appointment at our Reno dental office