Posts for: November, 2016
Making your smile whole again is a priority after you've lost a tooth. Dental implants not only improve the appearance of your smile, but also offer a few benefits you may not realize. Dr. Paul Herrera, your Lawrence, KS dentist at Rockledge Dentistry, explains several important advantages of implants.
A total tooth replacement option with your Lawrence dentist
Dental implants offer an innovative way to replace your entire tooth, not just the part visible above your gum line. The tiny titanium implant fills the space in your jaw once occupied by your tooth roots. In just six months or less, the dental implant fuses to the bone, offering a permanent replacement for the roots. Adding a crown to the top of the implant fills the gap in your mouth. Implants are often used to replace one missing tooth, but are also an excellent option if you've lost all of your teeth.
Why root replacement is so important
Replacing the roots of a tooth offers two important benefits:
- Increased Comfort: Eating can be agonizing if your dentures slip or your bridge is loose. Every time you eat, your restoration rubs against your gums, creating sore spots. Since dental implants firmly anchor the crowns that sit on top of them, there is no movement when you take a bite and no irritation. In fact, implants feel like any other tooth.
- No Decrease in Jawbone Strength: Your teeth roots constantly press on your jawbone and provide stimulation the jaw needs in order to maintain its strength. Losing a tooth doesn't just affect your smile, but also impacts the health of your jawbone. As the months and years go by, the jawbone can become thinner and weaker. If the problem is severe, some of your teeth may loosen, or you may notice that the lower half of your face begins to sag. Dental implants take over for your natural roots and continue to offer the stimulation needed for a strong jawbone.
Dental implants offer the ultimate tooth replacement option! Call Dr. Herrera, your Lawrence, KS dentist at Rockledge Dentistry, at (785) 331-0027 to find out if dental implants are right for you. Don't let a lost tooth ruin your smile.
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”