Dental implants can do more than replace individual teeth — a few well-placed implants can support other restorations like a fixed bridge. The natural integration that occurs between the bone and the implant's titanium post creates a strong, durable hold for both implant and the supported restoration.
But if a bone-implant connection weakens, the implant could be in danger of failing. This can occur because of periodontal (gum) disease caused by dental plaque, a thin film of built-up food particles and bacteria on the teeth. Untreated, the infection can ultimately spread from the gums to the bone and cause it to diminish in volume. If the bone loss occurs around an implant the threaded surface of the post may be exposed, inviting more plaque buildup. This can trigger more bone loss and eventually implant failure.
That's why you must brush and floss daily to remove plaque on and around your fixed bridge just as you do your natural teeth. Brushing around a bridge could be difficult with a traditional brush, so you may want to use an interproximal brush designed for just such situations. Be sure any utensil you use contains only plastic parts — metal creates microscopic scratches in the restoration materials that could harbor plaque.
You should also floss between the bridge and gums as well as between any natural teeth. While this can be difficult with traditional flossing methods, there are some tools to make it easier.
One is a floss threader, a small tool with a loop on one end and a stiff plastic edge on the other. With floss threaded through the loop, you gently guide the edged end between the bridge and gums. Once it passes through, you wrap the two ends of the floss with your fingers as you would normally and work it along each side of the nearest implants.
You can also use pre-cut floss sections with stiffened ends to pass through the gap, or an oral irrigator that loosens and flushes away plaque with a pressurized water stream. Just be sure you flush debris away from the gum and not toward it.
Keeping all surfaces of your implant-supported bridgework clean of plaque is necessary for its longevity. Be sure you also visit your dentist regularly for more thorough cleanings.
Would you like to change the alignment and appearance of your smile? You can if you qualify for discreet, clear Invisalign aligners from Valley Glen and North Hollywood's own Dental Planet. At Dental Planet, Dr. Michael Amir and Dr. Talia Amir use the inventive Invisalign system to correct mild to moderate problems with dental bite, gaps, overlapping, and more. Interested? Read on to learn all about it.
Could you get braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists says age is no barrier to getting braces of any kind--metal, lingual, ceramic, or innovative Invisalign aligners. As reported in Harvard Health, statistics show one out of five orthodontic patients are older teens or adults, and many opt for clear aligners because of their ease of care, discreet appearance, and shorter treatment times. In particular, Invisalign aligners are known for their proprietary acrylic, custom-formed into smooth, removable appliances that work wonders on crooked teeth.
At Dental Planet in Valley Glen and North Hollywood, our dentists will determine if you're a candidate for Invisalign and its many health and aesthetic benefits. The doctor will assess your tooth alignment and oral health and also use digital imaging and a special three-dimensional scan to determine the exact way your aligners will move your teeth into their final positions.
Your Invisalign care plan
It's different from anyone else's. Your discreet appliances will number a total 18 to 30 pairs, worn 22 hours per day for up to 15 months. Fully removable just for meals and oral hygiene, the super-thin aligners work constantly to move teeth into their proper positions. While there may be a bit of discomfort as you begin treatment, you'll notice your teeth and gums feel good and look different as your care plan progresses.
Dr. Amir asks Invisalign patients to come to the office for a quick assessment every four to six weeks. At those appointments, you'll receive your next sets of appliances.
When you finish your treatment, you should wear a retainer, as your dentist directs, to avoid any orthodontic relapse--that is, migration of your re-aligned teeth into their former positions.
Learn about Invisalign
Do yourself a great favor by contacting Dental Planet for an Invisalign consultation in Valley Glen and North Hollywood, CA. Your dentist will answer all your questions and help you decide if Invisalign is right for you. Call today at (818) 506-2977.
Many people with diabetes are hesitant about getting dental implants because they’re under the impression their chances of failure are greater than for non-diabetics. But if you’re one of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, that isn’t necessarily so — with a little extra precaution before, during and after implant surgery.
Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how the body processes glucose. This simple sugar is used by the body to provide energy to cells, but can also cause damage if its volume level in the bloodstream is too high. The body normally regulates this through the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas.
The pancreas in people with Type 1 diabetes doesn’t produce insulin and so they must receive an outside source of the hormone through daily injections with careful daily monitoring of glucose levels. Those with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, don’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or the body no longer responds to the insulin produced. For either type, abnormal glucose levels — either too high or too low — can have adverse affects on the body, including blindness, nerve damage, gangrene, coma or death.
Diabetes can also slow wound healing, increase the risk of infection, and alter the body’s inflammatory response, all of which are major concerns when placing implants. Because implant placement involves minor surgery in which a wound results, there’s been wide concern that a slower healing process could increase the risk of implant failure.
Recent studies, though, are encouraging especially for patients who have their diabetes under control through medication, diet and exercise. Patients with poor glucose control are at higher risk, because it can take longer for the bone to heal around an implant after placement. For such individuals special considerations to guard against infection may be needed during implant surgery.
In fact, the implant success rate for most diabetics is about the same as for non-diabetic patients, 95%. With proper disease management and a little extra wound care, you can be among the many that experience a favorable outcome and a more attractive smile with dental implants.
We always look forward to seeing our patients, but not all of you look forward to seeing us! If you’re one of them, don’t worry — we don’t take it personally. Dental anxiety prevents many people from seeking the care they require to restore or maintain a healthy smile.
But if dental problems are allowed to progress, they can affect not only the beauty of your smile and health of your mouth, but your overall wellness, too. Infection can travel from the mouth to other areas of the body, and dental disease exacerbates chronic health conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
Fear should never be an obstacle (in the immortal words of President Franklin Roosevelt, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”). And fortunately there are some safe options for those of us who can’t get past our anxiety when it comes to dental care:
Oral Sedation. A sedative medication can be prescribed that you take by mouth approximately an hour before your dental visit to minimize anxiety and promote relaxation.
Intravenous (IV; “intra” – inside, “venous” – vein) Sedation. If oral sedation isn’t entirely effective in facilitating treatment, then a medication combining a sedative for relaxation and a pain-blocking anesthetic can be delivered through or small needle or catheter that is gently inserted into a vein. This is referred to as “conscious sedation” because you are in a semi-awake state during which you are able to respond to verbal direction. It takes effect quickly, and you can come out of it quickly. However, you may not remember much about your procedure. It is very different from general anesthesia during which you are completely unconscious.
Dentists who offer IV sedation receive extensive training after which we must pass an exam and apply for a special permit that we maintain through continuing education. We carefully screen patients for eligibility and monitor you throughout so you can rest easy before, during, and after your procedure.
If you would like more information about sedation in dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”
Are you thinking of getting dental implants?
There are several restorative procedures that can help rejuvenate and restore your smile if you're missing teeth, but dental implants are the best. If you're interested, Drs. Michael and Talia Amir can provide dental implants in Valley Glen and North Hollywood, CA.
They have several advantages:
- They restore bite and chewing function.
- Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care.
- They fill gaps to give you a wider, fuller smile.
- Dental implants don't move while you're eating or speaking.
Dental implants are one of many restorative procedures, like dentures and bridges. Dental implants consist of several parts. There's a titanium post that's inserted into the jawbone, a screw that secures an abutment over the titanium post, and a crown matching the rest of your teeth is placed above the abutment.
The titanium post is surgically inserted into your jaws to replace missing tooth root. It provides stability and strength and prevents weakening and shrinkage of the jawbone. After inserting the titanium post, the dentist seals your gums and allows 3 to 6 months for osseointegration to occur, which the process of the post fusing to the rest of your jawbone. Afterward, your dentist re-opens the area above the titanium post, inserts a screw, places an abutment above the screw and secure a crown on top that matches the rest of your teeth.
Like the rest of your teeth, make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day, at least once before bed.
A change in diet is beneficial. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary foods to prevent the accumulation of plaque is good preventative care.
If you have more questions or concerns about dental implants, call your dentists in Valley Glen and North Hollywood, CA, at (818) 506-2977.
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