Posts for: December, 2016
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Do you miss your old smile? Dental implants offer the ideal way to replace lost teeth. Dr. Kern Agader, your Kapolei, HI dentist, serving the Kapolei, Makakilo, and Ewa Beach areas, shares some information about this popular tooth replacement option.
How do dental implants work with your Kapolei, HI dentist?
Although you can't see them, the roots of your teeth play an important role in your oral health. They firmly anchor your teeth in your jaw and exert constant pressure on the jawbone, which keeps it strong. In the past, if you lost a tooth, the root was gone forever. Thanks to innovative dental technology, it's now possible to replace the roots of your teeth with dental implants.
Implants are made of titanium, a strong metal that bonds to bones. The implants, which look like small screws, are placed in openings made in your jawbone. In about three to six months, they'll fuse to the bone. If your jawbone isn't deep enough to support implants, you may need a bone graft before you can receive your implants.
Once the bonding process is complete, your dentist will connect a crown to the top of it to replace the visible part of your tooth. Crowns are made of materials that closely resemble natural tooth enamel, including porcelain, ceramic, resin and porcelain-fused to metal.
What are the benefits of implants?
Dental implants offer several advantages that bridges and dentures don't, such as:
- Versatility: Implants can replace one of your teeth or all of them. Implant-supported dentures are attached to a minimum of four implants per arch and support an entire upper or lower denture.
- Excellent Comfort: Because dental implants become part of your jawbone, they don't slip or move when you bite into a raw carrot or other hard food. Your biting power decreases after you receive full dentures because the forces involved in biting can no longer be absorbed by your tooth roots. If you choose implant-supported dentures, you'll not only experience improved comfort, but you'll also find biting easier.
- Lower Costs: If you take a look at the cost of implants, you might not think that they're the best choice for your wallet, but it's important to consider lifetime costs. Bridges and dentures often have to be replaced more than once during your life, while dental implants can last a lifetime.
Are you interested in learning if dental implants are the right choice for you? Call Dr. Agader, your Kapolei, HI dentist, serving the Kapolei, Makakilo, and Ewa Beach areas, at (808) 674-8895 to schedule an appointment.
Whitening can transform the dullest teeth into a dazzling smile fit for a Hollywood star. But before you undergo a whitening procedure, you might have a few questions about it. Here are the answers to a few of the most common.
How white can I go? In an office application we can adjust the solution and application time to control the level of shade (dark or light) from subtle to dazzlingly bright. The real question, though, is how much color change will look best for you? A good rule of thumb is to match the shade in the whites of your eyes.
Whitening will improve poor dental conditions…right? Not necessarily. Besides foods, beverages or poor hygiene, decay, abscesses or problems from root canal treatments can also cause discoloration. In some dental situations, whitening could make your smile less attractive. If, for example, you have exposed roots due to gum recession, those areas won't bleach like the enamel and could make their exposure stand out more. Better to try and repair these problems before whitening.
What effect will teeth whitening have on my dental work? None â??composite or ceramic materials won't lighten. The real concern is with creating a situation where whitened natural teeth don't match the color of dental work. Depending on the location of your veneers, crowns or other bridgework you could have a color mismatch that will look unattractive. We would therefore need to take your dental work into consideration and adjust the shading accordingly.
Will teeth whitening work on any stained teeth? That depends on the cause of the staining. If it's on the enamel, then external bleaching techniques should work. If, however, the discoloration comes from inside the tooth, then only a dental procedure that applies a bleaching agent inside the tooth can alleviate that kind of discoloration.
So after whitening, I'm good to go? Well, not permanently. Eventually the brightness will diminish or fade, usually in six months to two years. You can, of course, prolong the fade rate by not using tobacco, cutting back on staining beverages like red wine, tea and coffee, practicing daily oral hygiene and visiting us for regular office cleanings and other dental work. We can also touch up your existing whitening during your visits.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!”