Posts for: March, 2018
Losing teeth will certainly disrupt your otherwise beautiful smile. It could also potentially affect your food choices and whether or not you receive proper nutrition.
But something else just as consequential could be happening beneath the surface of your gums—you could be losing bone. Significant bone loss in the jaw could adversely affect remaining teeth and facial structure, as well as limit your future restoration choices.
To understand why this occurs we must first consider what bone is: living, cellular tissue. Like the body's other cells, bone has a life cycle: cells form, live and eventually dissolve (or resorb), and are then replaced by new cells. Stimulation from forces generated during chewing traveling up through the tooth roots to the jawbone keep this cycle going at a healthy pace.
But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This could slow the replacement rate and cause bone volume to gradually decrease. The jawbone width could decrease by as much as 25% the first year alone and several millimeters in height after just a few years.
Although dentures (a popular and affordable choice) can restore lost function and appearance, they can't duplicate this needed stimulation. They even accelerate bone loss by irritating and creating compressive forces on the bony ridges and the gums they rest upon.
One restoration, however, can actually help stop bone loss and may even reverse it: dental implants. This happens because an implant's metal titanium post imbedded in the jawbone attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to its surface. This could actually increase bone density at the site.
To gain this advantage, it's best to obtain implants as soon as possible after tooth loss. If you allow bone loss to occur by waiting too long, there may not be enough to properly support an implant. Even then it might be possible to build up the diminished bone through grafting. But if that's not possible, we'll have to consider a different restoration.
To determine the condition of your bone after losing teeth, visit us for a complete examination. Afterward, we'll be able to discuss with you the best way to address both your overall dental health and your smile.
If you would like more information on treating missing teeth, 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 “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”
If you have missing teeth, it may seem impossible to imagine ever closing the gaps in your smile. However, dental implants can help you restore your missing teeth in the most natural and permanent way available. This powerful dental tool can give you back your smile, boost your confidence, and improve chewing and eating to make your life easier and more fulfilling. Find out more about dental implants and what they can do for you with Dr. James Cinamon and Dr. Paul Hubley at Cinamon & Hubley Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry in Framingham, MA.
What can dental implants do for my smile?
Dental implants are a versatile and powerful dental tool which replace your missing teeth and give you back your smile’s functionality in only a few dental visits. Your dentist implants the fixture, a titanium post, into the jawbone beneath your missing tooth. The bone grows around the fixture, permanently locking it into place. There are several different kinds of dental implants, including:
- Single Tooth Implants: In a single tooth implant, one dental implant replaces one tooth.
- Multiple Tooth Implants: In the case of several teeth missing in a row, a multiple tooth implant can replace several teeth at once using a dental bridge supported by two implants.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-Supported dentures use four or more implants throughout the arch of the mouth to hold a full denture in place.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
A good candidate for dental implants should be in good dental health and free from conditions like teeth decay and gum disease. The bone in the area of the implant should be healthy, with minimal bone atrophy. Patients should have a strong at-home oral care routine complete with brushing twice daily, flossing at least once, and seeing their dentist at least every six months for routine dental examinations and cleanings.
Dental Implants in Framingham, MA
For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Cinamon and Dr. Hubley at Cinamon & Hubley Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry in Framingham, MA. Call (508) 872-1422 to schedule a consultation for dental implants.
A lot of time and effort goes into straightening your smile. But there’s a possibility it might not stay that way—and all that hard work could be lost. The same natural mechanism that enables your teeth to move with braces could cause them to revert to their old, undesirable positions.
So for a little while (or longer for some people) you’ll need to wear a retainer, an appliance designed to keep or “retain” your teeth where they are now. And while the removable type is perhaps the best known, there’s at least one other choice you might want to consider: a bonded retainer.
Just as its name implies, this retainer consists of a thin metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth with a composite material. Unlike the removable appliance, a bonded retainer is fixed and can only be removed by an orthodontist.
Bonded retainers have several advantages. Perhaps the most important one is cosmetic—unlike the removable version, others can’t see a bonded retainer since it’s hidden behind the teeth. There’s also no keeping up with it—or losing it—since it’s fixed in place, which might be helpful with some younger patients who need reminding about keeping their retainer in their mouth.
There are, however, a few disadvantages. It’s much harder to floss with a bonded retainer, which could increase the risks of dental disease. It’s also possible for it to break, in which case it will need to be repaired by an orthodontist and as soon as possible. Without it in place for any length of time the teeth could move out of alignment.
If you or a family member is about to have braces removed, you’ll soon need to make a decision on which retainer to use. We’ll discuss these options with you and help you choose the one—removable or bonded—that’s right for you.
If you would like more information on bonded retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons?”