Dental Implants – Many Types Available For Different Needs & Preferences


Posted on Jul 10, 2019 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a periodontist, an area of my dental specialty includes advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of dental implants. This specialized expertise provides implant patients with a high level of success in treatment outcome. It also offers patients a wider variety of choices when it comes to implant systems.

When dental offices offer dental implants, some general dentists refer the placement portion to a periodontal specialist. For their patient, this can mean a higher level of success, especially for complex needs.

For example, a patient who is missing a lot of bone mass (often due to missing natural teeth for many years) benefits from the specialized skills of our Asheville periodontal office. Another example is a patient who has lost teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease. Because a periodontist combines advanced skills in treating gum disease as well as in dental implants, these patients are given a ‘leg up’ when it comes to treatment success.

Dental implant diagnosis and placement skills can vary greatly when offered by general dentists. While some have taken extensive courses in implant dentistry, others may have taken a weekend course here and there. These are typically ‘hosted’ by a particular manufacturer who provides ‘training’ in a limited selection of implant types. In turn, this can limit the patient’s choices when relying on appropriate recommendations for his or her unique needs.

Now seen as the preferred option for tooth replacement, dental implants are available to accommodate various challenges and preferences. There are numerous choices available. Some of the more common include:

Traditional Dental Implants: In this process, dental implants includes a couple of stages. Implant placement is performed first. This involves small incisions in pre-selected placement points. These points are determined through computerized imaging, taking the guesswork out of the depth and angle of each implant placed. Once the implant is in proper position, the gum tissue is closed over the implant sites.
For a ‘healing period’ of 3-6 months, the bone grows around the implants to secure each in place. This process is referred to as ‘osseo-integration,’ which describes the bone growing around the implanted portion. The process is similar to a rope tied around the branch of a tree. Over time, the branch grows around the rope. Osseo-integration is similar to this but occurs at a much more rapid pace.
After several months, the implant sites are uncovered and a post is positioned inside each implant. Onto the posts, the replacement teeth are secured. Rest assured, during the healing phase, patients are able to wear their denture or partial comfortably. Once the final teeth are attached, patients can enjoy their ‘new’ smile along with the biting and chewing comfort like that of natural teeth.

Non-Removable Teeth Attached To Implants: In the past, the more affordable ‘full arch’ systems were typically those designed to support removable teeth. (An ‘arch’ replaces all upper or all lower teeth.) However, some people feel removable teeth are too similar to the denture they have (and detest). Although firmly secured, the chore of having to remove their new teeth to clean is undesirable to many people.
A number of implant systems are available, designed to provide non-removable options that are more affordable. For example, the All On 4 dental implant system is made to support non-removable teeth, often on just 4 implants. With the implanted portions placed at unique angles, these longer implants can fully distribute biting and chewing forces.
 Another advantage of All On Four is their ability to be placed in minimal bone. This is good news for people who are long-time denture wearers and were told they have too little bone to support implants. Or, they may have been advised to have bone grafts to rebuild the bone to an adequate height. This adds time and expense to implant treatment. Often, the All On 4 design is able to overcome this obstacle.

‘Same-Day’ Dental Implants: With advanced implant systems and technology, implant placement and teeth attachment can be accomplished in a single day. Advanced implant designs can position implants in the jaw bone that are ready to support replacement teeth. With the replacement teeth created prior, the teeth may be attached without delay.
 In some cases, a previously-made denture or partial can be reconfigured to attach to newly placed implants. “Implants in a day” isn’t wise for all situations, however. This option should be diagnosed and performed by a skilled, experienced professional who understands both the requirements and limitations involved. Putting your care in the hands of an experienced, skilled and highly-trained dental specialist is the best way to achieve a successful outcome. Just a note – while these quick-&-easy procedures can sound appealing, be cautious of ‘clinic’ settings who promote same-day implants. For an optimal outcome, choose care where your individual needs are a priority, rather than corporate profit goals.

Modern implant dentistry is successful, safe, dependable and can provide nearly immediate benefits. As a dental specialist who has stayed on the cutting edge of implant dentistry’s techniques, technology and materials, I am pleased to witness the transformations our patients undergo after treatment.

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime and the closest thing to the natural teeth you once had. Too, the restored ability to bite, chew, speak and laugh confidently and even sneeze without worry can provide a tremendous boost to one’s self-esteem, self-confidence.

The type of dental implant best suited for you can be determined after an examination and review of x-rays (we use Cone-Beam digital imaging). Call 828-274-9440 to begin with a private, no obligation consultation to discuss your best options.

Get The Most For Your Investment When Replacing Teeth.


Posted on Jun 12, 2019 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Losing a natural tooth is a big deal. Its loss not only leaves a gap in the appearance of a smile, its absence can lead to movement of surrounding teeth.

Without all teeth in their proper positions, an open area can cause others to tilt and turn. Additionally, the one above or below will grow longer without having its ‘roommate.’ These issues can lead to broken, fractured, or chipped teeth.

Replacing a tooth involves decisions, and costs. While there are ‘cheap’ ways to replace a tooth, the ideal method – a dental implant – offers lifetime replacement that actually enhances the well-being and lifespan of surrounding teeth.

In dental implant treatment, the ‘implanted’ portion is positioned into the jaw bone as a tooth root replacement. This provides the teeth attached the same foundation as natural tooth roots have. A partial or bridge simply sits on top of gum tissues and relies on adjacent teeth for support.

When a tooth must serve as a support for ‘prosthetic’ teeth, its key role becomes greater. With the added pressure and stress to the natural tooth, there are also more risks to its structure on its own.

Because of the ability to restore the presence of natural teeth to such a great extent, dental implants are the preferred choice for replacement. Although the costs seem greater, over time, the benefits far outweigh the expense. This is why more and more adults are choosing implants to replace one, several, or all missing teeth.

However, there are many factors that can come into play when going forward with a dental implant. Your choice of doctor to place the implanted portion can greatly increase your potential to enjoy your dental implant for a lifetime.

As a Periodontist, my specialty encompasses treatment of all levels of gum disease, the re-contouring of gum tissues, and advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of dental implants. This includes the proper selection of the implant type best for each patient’s needs as well as placement at correct depths and angles.

The most troubling thing I see in implant dentistry is when a patient opted for a “good deal” with a less-experienced doctor, and having to remove a ‘failed’ implant.

Along with an intricate knowledge of the specific type of implant needed, proper placement angles and depth have much to do with the overall success of the implant. For optimal results, the doctor placing the implant should be skilled in the selection of the implant angles and positioning depths.

For example, an implant placed in the upper jaw in too-shallow bone can work its way into the sinus cavity. A lower implant in insufficient bone depth can reach a nerve that runs horizontally through the lower jaw (the mandible).

Additionally, the shape, size and the number of teeth to be attached to an implant have much to do with the type of implant system selected. When the placement doctor is only familiar with one or two types, disasters can occur.

In our Asheville periodontal office, we enjoy restoring the health and appearance of smiles. We also help patients who once struggled with dentures or partials to resume eating the foods they love again and laugh confidently in social gatherings.

The doctor is not the sole factor in success, however, Along with proper selection and placement, a patient must take measures to ensure proper oral hygiene at home. Oral bacteria can contribute to an infection that works its way into the bone surrounding the implant. In some cases, the only way to resolve the infection is to remove the implant.

When a patient entrusts their implant treatment to a skilled doctor and adheres to hygiene and healing guidelines, having an implant fail is very unlikely. The success rate of today’s implant dentistry is excellent – over 97 percent.

If you are considering dental implants, increase your potential for a successful outcome by asking a Periodontist to join your dentist in team treatment. Most general dentists have close relationships with periodontal specialists for implant placement and in treating gum disease.

Feel free to discuss your specific needs and desires before you make your decision. Call (828) 274-9440 to schedule a consultation.

 

Dental Implants – A Bionic Smile!


Posted on Sep 25, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Modern medical science is amazing. Today’s technology has helped to advance the ability to provide miraculous solutions to many once-challenging problems. For example, “bionic” arms and hands have been developed to function almost normally. Today, prosthetic legs are moving people out of wheelchairs and into positions to walk and run.

When I think of dental implants, I realize just how miraculous they are as well. While some people think of dental implants as fairly recent on the scene, they have actually been around since the 1950’s.

Like prosthetic limbs, many types of dental implants have been developed to accommodate specific needs. For example, one known as ‘All-On-4’ is designed for people who have lost a great deal of bone mass. Using a specific design and placement at unique angles, the All-On-Four system overcomes the problems of severe bone loss to support a full arch of non-removable teeth.

Other implant types can support one or a bridge of two or more replacement teeth. Some implant systems are ideal for placement at the time of tooth removal. Still, other systems work in conjunction with additional implants to support multiple teeth.

For individuals who have experienced bone loss (which commonly occurs from years of missing tooth roots), bone grafting can be performed prior to implant placement. Or, bone rebuilding materials can be added to existing bone to rebuild it.

Bone loss is a big deal, even though it’s not always obvious at first. Known as ‘resorption,’ this occurs when tooth roots no longer exist in the jaw bone that once supported natural teeth. Over time, the bone begins to shrink due to lack of stimulation.

Bone loss is the reason that once snug-fitting dentures begin to slip or move while eating. As the ‘ridge’ flattens (which is the gum-covered arch where tooth roots were once held), the foundation that the denture was originally made to conform declines in height. As the bone shrinks, the denture has less and less of a base to support it.

For people who are missing one or several natural teeth, it is paramount that they be replaced, preferably with dental implants. Why? Statistics show that natural teeth adjacent to a lost tooth are at greater risk for being the next to be lost.

Dental implants recreate stimulation to the jaw bone, thereby halting the pace of bone loss. When bone mass is maintained, neighboring teeth have a reduced risk for being lost as well.

Because dental implants are held in the jaw bone, they are also able to restore a natural biting strength with dependable stability. Having the ability to bite and chew efficiently and enjoy a diet of foods you love enhances eating pleasure and proper digestion. It’s no surprise that people who wear dentures have more gastrointestinal problems than those who have their natural teeth.

There are so many advantages to having dental implants. One of the best ones is their longevity. When dental implants are properly selected, placed and maintained, they should last your lifetime. This is why it’s so important to have your implant treatment through a Periodontist.

A periodontal specialist has advanced training and skills in the diagnosis and placement of all types of dental implants. He or she can enhance your ability to enjoy this miraculous tooth replacement option for your lifetime.

If you have lost natural teeth or are facing the potential of tooth removal, call 828-274-9440 to schedule a consultation. This will occur in a private, comfortable consultation room conveniently located in our Asheville office.

During this time, we’ll discuss the implant systems that may work best for your needs and preferences. I’ll explain the treatment involved and sedation options along with estimated treatment fees.

Just as you would want a hand or a leg replaced with a normal looking and functioning prosthetic, you certainly want replacement teeth that function properly and look as natural as the teeth you once had (or better!).

Call today and arrange an appointment to discuss getting your smile back to better-than-ever!

The Makeup Of Dental Implants


Posted on Jul 10, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Every once in a while, I find it is helpful to explain the components of Dental Implants. Because implant systems come in many different shapes and sizes, understanding the basics can often help an individual determine which is best suited to his or her overall goals.

For example, some people who have worn a denture for years prefer an implant system that has ‘fixed’ teeth attached. This means they will not need to remove the replacement teeth for cleaning.

First, it’s important to understand that a Dental Implant is not the replacement tooth, but a component that serves as the stablizer. The actual implanted portion is positioned into the jaw to serve as a tooth root replacement. This restores a dependable, sturdy foundation that supports teeth that can bite and chew without movement.

In placing the implant portion, an insertion point is made in the gum tissues and the bone underneath where natural tooth roots were once held. Into this, the implant, which is similar to a hollow screw-like cylinder, is placed.

In most cases, the implants are recovered with gum tissue and allowed to bond with surrounding bone for several months. Throughout this period, you can wear your denture or temporary teeth comfortably.

The process of bone growing around the implant is known as ‘osseo-integration.’ During this time, the bone grows around the implant and secures it in place. After several months, the gum tissue is uncovered and a post is secured inside the implant. Onto this post, the final replacement tooth or teeth are attached. These teeth are referred to as crowns or restorations.

One implant can often support a bridge of two or more teeth. Several strategically-placed implants are often used to support a full arch of teeth. For people who have lost a great deal of bone mass, certain implant systems rely on implants that are placed at specific angles to support teeth in minimal bone depth. However, some levels of bone loss need bone rebuilding procedures. These can be performed prior to implant placement and help restore facial appearance as well as overall eating and speaking function.

Because of the wide variety of implant systems, it is important to carefully choose the doctor who will place your implants. A Periodontist has advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of Dental Implants and works closely with other general dentists and dental specialists to help you enjoy a successful outcome.

The type of Dental Implant best suited for your needs can be discussed during a private Consultation. Call (828) 274-9440to arrange a time to discuss the choices that will work best for you.

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