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Posts for tag: dental implants

TheRealTruthBehindEdHelmsMissingToothinTheHangover

Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.

In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.

Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.

Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.

If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.

The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.

Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

ReplacingaBackToothMayHelpYouAvoidFutureDentalProblems

Considering the costs, many people view replacing a back tooth as less important than a more visible front tooth. They’re rarely seen, so who will notice?

You might, eventually. A missing back tooth can set off a chain reaction of problems that can affect your overall dental health. Besides playing an important role in chewing food, back teeth also redistribute most of the chewing force away from the front teeth. Their absence can also affect the bite: adjacent teeth to the missing one will tend to migrate toward the open space, causing them to tip and rotate into an improper position. This can cause an increase in tooth mobility, excessive wear and erosion, and endanger their survival in the long run.

To avoid these and other problems you should consider some form of replacement. Most dentists prefer a dental implant for its life-like appearance and durability, and because its titanium post has a natural affinity with bone. Bone cells will grow around and permanently adhere to the implant, which may stop and even reverse bone loss in some cases.

Implants, though, require a certain amount of bone structure initially to anchor and position properly. If you have inadequate bone and don’t want to bone graft the area, the next best option is a fixed bridge, in which the missing tooth is replaced with an artificial crown known as a pontic. The pontic is fused between two support crowns that are permanently affixed to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth (also known as abutments). While fixed bridges restore function and inhibit tooth migration, they require the natural tooth supporting the bridge to be reduced to accommodate the crowns placed on them. This permanently alters them and places them at higher risk for future nerve damage, gum disease and decay.

One final option is a removable partial denture (RPD). Although RPDs restore function and improve appearance, their movement within the mouth may place additional stress on the teeth that hold them in place. This movement over time could damage or loosen them.

We can discuss which option is best for you after a complete dental exam. The important thing, though, is to replace the back tooth as soon as possible — doing nothing could cost you much more in the long run.

If you would like more information on tooth replacement, 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 “Replacing Back Teeth.”

By Augusta Smilecare
August 13, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

If your smile is damaged, you can remake it! You can restore your smile as good as it was originally. The answer is dental implants. They can restore your full chewing function and give you a beautiful smile too. Dr. John D. Massey at Augusta Smile Care in Augusta, GA, offers a full range of dental services, including dental implants, to give you the smile you deserve.

If you’ve been thinking about dental implants, you probably have a few questions. Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers are listed below:

Why are dental implants a better choice than bridges, partials, or dentures?

Dental implants are better than other tooth replacement options for many reasons. Unlike partials or dentures, dental implants are completely stable because they are firmly embedded in bone, eliminating the need for ever taking them out. They are also a much more conservative option than bridges because only the dental implant area needs to be prepared, whereas bridges require crowns to be placed on the adjacent teeth so as to hold the bridge in place.

Are dental implants often successful?

Yes, in fact, dental implants are the most successful surgical implant available today—in fact, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, they have a success rate of over 95 percent! This is largely because, they are made of titanium, a biocompatible material that your body won’t reject.

What is the procedure for dental implants?

The dental implant screw is placed in your jaw during a simple in-office procedure. Over time, your supporting bone fuses completing your new tooth!

Interested? Contact us

These are just a few of the common questions and answers about dental implants. Whether you want to replace a single missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth, dental implants are the right choice to make. To find out more about dental implants, call Dr. John D. Massey of Augusta Smile Care in Augusta, GA, today by dialing 706-868-1322.

By Augusta Smilecare
April 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

How dental implants from your dentist in Augusta, GA, can keep you smiling for years

When you think about tooth replacement, you want a long-term solution, not something you will have to replace every few years. The truth is,implants a great long-term solution to replace missing teeth is dental implants! Dr. John D. Massey at Augusta SmileCare in Augusta, GA, offers dental implants to keep you smiling for years.

Dental implants are a great long-term choice because they are the most successful surgical implant, boasting a success rate of over 95 percent, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. The huge success and popularity of dental implants isn’t the only reason why they are a great long-term solution to tooth loss. Consider that dental implants are:

  • Naturally beautiful, because unlike dental appliances and bridgework, dental implants look and function just like natural teeth
  • Completely stable, because they are firmly embedded in bone so they will never move around, unlike some dental appliances
  • Easy to maintain, because you brush and floss dental implants along with your natural teeth, making it easy to keep your smile healthy

Dental implants also help conserve the bone in your jaw. After a dental implant is placed, your bone fuses with the dental implant, locking it in place. More bone means a firmer jawline and more youthful facial contours, all of the hallmarks of a younger-looking face.

You can choose dental implants to replace a single missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth. You can also have dental implants support a denture, which is snapped in place over the dental implants. This type of denture is called an overdenture and provides both strength and a beautiful, full smile.

You and your smile can benefit from dental implants! Find out why dental implants are a great long-term solution to tooth loss by calling Dr. John D. Massey at Augusta SmileCare in Augusta, GA. Call now and get started on a great new smile!

By Augusta Smilecare
November 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
AvoidImplantFailurebyWatchingOutforTheseMouthProblems

There are several reasons why dental implants are so popular. Perhaps the most important, though, is their longevity: if maintained properly implants can last for decades. However, they’re not indestructible—certain mouth conditions could put them at risk for early failure. But if you address emerging problems early, you may be able to prevent that unfortunate outcome.

Your implants may be in danger, for example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This occurs when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth when not chewing or speaking. Usually triggered in adults by high stress, teeth grinding can subject both natural teeth and implants to damaging levels of force. Over time this can cause bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could also cause a direct break in an implant.

But there are ways to stop or at least reduce the effects of teeth grinding. One effective way is a custom-made bite guard you wear while you sleep. Made of hard plastic, the guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other, reducing the amount of force generated.

A more prominent problem is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection caused by built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when it persists for an extended period of time can damage tissues and supporting bone. It can also cause a specific form of gum disease related to implants called peri-implantitis, in which the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, leading eventually to possible implant failure.

If you have implants, then, you should brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease, as well as see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. And if you notice anything like reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dentist immediately. The sooner you undergo treatment, the better the outcome for your implants as well as your overall health.

Dental implants can give you years of great service and can prove to be well worth the cost. But you’ll have to stay on your guard against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger them down the road.

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 Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method that Rarely Fails.”



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