Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Cent

Dental Implants: What is osseointegration?

implant dentist CharlottesvilleDental implants make for excellent replacement teeth because they are very durable and stable. A dental implant’s unmatched reputation for stability as prosthetic teeth is due to the fact that they are embedded into the jawbone by an implant dentist. After implantation, bone will begin to fuse to the implant through a natural biologic process called osseointegration. This process means that bone will anchor and support a dental implant the same way it would hold the roots of a natural tooth.

The natural process of bone responding to titanium by fusing to it (osseointegration) was discovered in the middle of the 20th century. Throughout history, dental and medical practitioners tried to replace teeth by embedding prosthetics made from various materials. Until titanium was studied, there was nothing available to replace the roots of teeth that would not be rejected by the body as a foreign object.

How do dental implants work?

A dental implant is essentially the replacement for the root of a tooth that will also hold a restoration like a crown or a prosthetic such as a bridge or denture. Implants, since they are metal and have a ridged texture, are sometimes compared to the appearance of screw. Its tapered end is embedded into the bone where a tooth’s root once was.

After our implant dentist embeds an implant, a patient will return to our office for follow-up appointments so that our team can monitor the process of osseointegration. Once the implant is stable, its permanent prosthetic or restoration will be secured to an abutment on the implant to complete the smile restoration process.

How do I take care of implants?

When compared to other types of replacement teeth, dental implants are considered very low maintenance. This is because they are cleaned by brushing and flossing – the same way that a person would clean biological teeth.

If you have suffered with tooth loss, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a tooth replacement consultation.

4 Things You May Not Know About Your Toothbrush

dental CharlottesvilleA toothbrush is a person’s best weapon against the development of common dental diseases. Brushing our teeth is a twice-daily occurrence but many people have misconceptions about how to choose a toothbrush, how to keep it “sanitary”, and last but not least – how to use it properly.

Empowering yourself with accurate information will help you make wise health decisions. Following are four things about toothbrushes you might not know.

What to Buy

The toothbrush that ends up in your shopping cart should have the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. To earn this seal, toothbrush manufacturers must adhere to strict standards set forth by the association.

In addition to earning the ADA’s seal of approval, it is best to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Toothbrushes marked as “medium” or “hard” can affect the health of tooth enamel – especially if a person tends to brush vigorously.

How To Store It

Do you leave your toothbrush laying horizontally near your sink? Doing this can increase the amount of bacteria that live on your toothbrush. It’s best to store your toothbrush upright so that its bristles can dry out between uses.

Know the 2-Minute Rule

If you brush your teeth for less than two minutes, you’re not cleaning your mouth thoroughly. It takes about two minutes (on average) to clean all the surfaces of your teeth, your tongue, your gums, and the roof of your mouth.

For those who have difficulty keeping track of time, a person can set a cooking timer or an alert on his or her phone for two minutes. Or most electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer to help keep you on track.

When to Say Goodbye

A toothbrush isn’t meant to last forever. In fact, we should go through four toothbrushes (or four brush heads for electric toothbrushes) each year. Tossing out and replacing your toothbrush will help prevent you from using one that’s bristles are worn or have accumulated bacteria and debris.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Optimize Whole Body Health

wisdom teeth CharlottesvilleCould your wisdom teeth be contributing to issues like orofacial discomfort, headaches, and the misalignment of your teeth? Some people experience quality of life issues when their wisdom teeth emerge and others can develop serious oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease when wisdom teeth are retained.

Having your wisdom teeth extracted by an oral surgeon can optimize your health and wellbeing. It can also prevent a host of oral health complications.

The Problems Associated with Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are associated with many oral health problems among modern humans. This is because wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are no longer necessary from an evolutionary perspective. Due to advances in oral hygiene practices and increased accessibility to oral healthcare providers, people keep their first and second molars much longer and therefore make third molars unnecessary for optimal oral function.

Since we retain the first and second molars much longer than our ancestors, the arrival of wisdom teeth during teenage years or early adulthood is problematic. Without proper space to erupt, third molars often become impacted (stuck in the gums and/or jaw) and cannot emerge upright through the gums the way that other teeth do. This means that the arrival of wisdom teeth can cause orofacial pain, headaches, and orthodontic problems.

Impacted teeth are susceptible to developing dental caries and abscesses, too. This is because partially erupted or impacted teeth are difficult to keep clean. Debris and bacteria tend to pool beneath the gums on the surfaces of teeth, which can lead to the development of severe cavities and painful infections (abscesses).

Comfortable Wisdom Tooth Removal

For most people, the pros of wisdom tooth removal heavily outweigh the cons. In addition to preventing and improving oral health problems, having one’s wisdom teeth removed is more comfortable than people’s experiences in previous generations.

Our practice utilizes the latest technology and surgical techniques to minimize the invasiveness of procedures. We also administer anesthetics and prescription medication during wisdom teeth removal to ensure that our guests are relaxed and comfortable.

Call us today at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to reserve an appointment with our oral surgeon.

Beware of These 4 Dental Fads

Charlottesville dentalIt seems that there’s a new article on the web each day detailing some easy, do-it-yourself method for improving health or hygiene. Similarly, our culture is inundated with fads from the entertainment industry – many of them impractical and dated. Not all fads are worth trying, especially fads that can negatively affect oral health.

Dental Fads to Avoid

Grills

The “grills” to which we are referring are not the kind used for cooking out in the summer. In this instance, the term “grill” refers to removable appliances or permanent alterations to teeth with compounds made of metals like gold and even platinum. Grills cover the outer surface of teeth to produce the appearance of a gold or platinum smile and sometimes teeth are adorned with diamonds.

While grills have cultural significance to some, they can be bad for one’s oral health. Bacteria and debris can easily become trapped behind grills. People who wear grills have increased risks for tooth decay, periodontal disease, and abscesses.

Toothpaste Without Fluoride

In recent years, we have seen an increase in fluoride-free toothpaste available to consumers. The general public, unless otherwise directed by a health professional, should not avoid fluoridated toothpaste.

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is scientifically proven to strengthen tooth enamel. Be sure to choose fluoridated toothpaste that has the American Dental Association’s seal of approval and use it exactly as directed.

DIY Whitening Products

The ads section of any website and even most social media sites circulate recipes for do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth whitening products. Many of these DIY “dental hacks” contain ingredients such as activated charcoal, vinegar, and lemon juice that are harmful to teeth because they can permanently damage tooth enamel.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient practice where a person swishes around a small amount of food-grade oil like olive or coconut oil to clean one’s mouth and whiten one’s teeth. If this practice seems too good to be true, it is. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that oil pulling is beneficial to a person’s oral health or the long-term appearance of their teeth.

When it comes to health fads of any kind, it’s important to consult with professionals as there is an abundance of bad advice circulating on the internet and in the media.

Take the Edge Off With Oral Sedation

oral sedation CharlottesvilleDo you suffer with anxiety when it comes to receiving dental or medical care? You’re not alone; estimates indicate that up to 50% of the adult population can suffer with situational anxiety related to dental and/or medical treatments. One way that dental professionals combat dental anxiety and phobia is through oral sedation. This treatment option helps patients maintain a relaxed state of mind and body, even in situations where one would normally be very nervous or panicked.

Oral sedation is also beneficial for increasing comfort during procedures like dental implant placement and wisdom teeth removal. The medications used for oral sedation help control discomfort and increase the efficacy of anesthetics or analgesics.

How Oral Sedation Works

Oral sedation involves taking prescription medication. This medication is a mild sedative and normally comes from the benzodiazepine class of drugs.

Patients receiving oral sedation are not permitted to drive themselves to and from their appointments. This is because this medication can impair motor and cognitive function. Benzodiazepines are formulated specifically to control feelings of anxiety, panic, and intense worry. While these medications relieve anxiety, they can make patients feel sleepy and groggy as well.

Those receiving oral sedation will normally take their prescription one hour before their appointments. By the time a person arrives, his or her medication will have already taken effect. As the medication continues to work, patients can relax in our comfortable treatment chairs without oppressive feelings of panic and worry.

For those with severe dental phobia and anxiety, a tablet may be taken then night before one’s treatment to ensure that a person receives a good night’s rest. Dosages are carefully determined by our oral surgeon so that medication is effective but not too strong.

If you have questions about procedures like dental implants placement, wisdom teeth extractions, or jaw surgery, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon.

Don’t Let Missing Teeth Affect Your Ability to Eat

missing teeth CharlottesvilleLife with missing teeth is cumbersome. If you have lost teeth, you can attest to the difficulties you face eating meals comfortably. Many people with tooth loss develop malnutrition as a result of dietary limitations caused by losing teeth. Fortunately, dental implants can restore oral function and improve the appearance of your smile.

Dental implants are long-lasting, durable replacements for teeth. An implant is used to replace the missing roots of a tooth and hold a restoration to restore biting surfaces above the gums. These prosthetics can treat single tooth loss or multiple implants can be used to support a large prosthetic such as a full denture. Our oral surgeon has expert education and training to administer implant dentistry services.

Tooth Loss and Your Emotional Wellbeing

Tooth loss has profound effects on our emotional wellbeing. Sometimes, patients liken losing a tooth to losing a limb. Tooth loss often leaves us feeling incomplete, self-conscious, and helpless. Many people who have missing teeth develop depression and social anxiety out of embarrassment of their smiles and fear of social rejection.

Oral Health Effects of Tooth Loss

Beyond the obvious issues presented by tooth loss – aesthetic concerns and diminished oral function – losing teeth can drastically impact your oral health. One major issue tooth loss sufferers need to be aware of is bone atrophy.

When the roots of our teeth are no longer present in the jaw, inactive bone will be resorbed by the body. Losing bone contributes to additional tooth loss as bone deterioration can affect the security of other teeth. Bone deterioration also changes the shape of one’s face, normally causing a person to look older because their faces appear “sunken in”.

Hope with Dental Implants

While those suffering with tooth loss might feel hopeless, dental implants will likely give you something to be excited for. Implants are easy to maintain, long lasting, and very lifelike. With dental implants, a person can enjoy a wide range of foods, including items that are tough or chewy.

If dental implants interest you, we invite you to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with our oral surgery team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.

Where Does Bone Grafting Material for Dental Implants Come From?

bone grafting CharlottesvilleBone grafting sometimes accompanies implant dentistry procedures to help facilitate a dental implant’s stabilization in the jaw. Patients receiving a graft may have bone taken from another part of their bodies such as their chins or hips. Some may choose to have bone sourced from tissue banks where bone might originate from cadavers or certain animals.

An oral surgeon may recommend bone grafting when a person has sustained bone atrophy or if an implant is going to be placed in an area of the mouth with bone that is thin and narrow. Bone grafts are helpful because they thicken and widen the bone where implants are embedded. This assists with implant stabilization by providing more tissue that can integrate to the dental implant.

How Does Bone Integrate to a Dental Implant?

Dental implants stabilize when bone integrates to their structure. The process of bone integrating to dental implants is possible because the material used to make dental implants, titanium, is biocompatible. This means that the body will not reject this metal as a foreign object. Instead, bone will integrate to implants the way it does with the roots of biological teeth.

Will I Need a Bone Graft?

The only way to be certain whether bone grafting is necessary is to schedule an appointment with our surgeon. During dental implants consultations, we take diagnostic images to evaluate a patient’s bone health. These images will help our team determine whether you will need a bone graft prior to receiving an implant.

Are Dental Implants Difficult to Care For?

Implants are considered very low maintenance when compared to other tooth replacement options. This is because dental implants are cleaned the same way that biological teeth are, with brushing and flossing.

Will I Be Comfortable During my Procedure?

We place a high priority on the comfort of our patients. During surgical treatments, we administer anesthetic and sedating medication, which will prevent sensations of discomfort and promote a relaxed state of mind.

We are accepting new patients. Call our practice to reserve a dental implant consultation.

Dental Implants: Is sedation dentistry an option?

sedation dentistry CharlottesvilleAre you looking into dental implants as a tooth replacement option? If so, you probably have questions about the procedure. Many patients wonder what they will experience during treatment and if they will be comfortable throughout their procedures. One way that we can ensure a positive experience for our patients is with sedation dentistry.

Sedation is used in various medical and dental procedures to increase physical and emotional comfort. When it comes to placing dental implants, our oral surgeon may administer sedation in the form of nitrous oxide or with prescription medication. Sedation dentistry will calm the mind, relax the body, and enhance the potency of analgesic medication.

If you have questions about your treatment and what to expect, call our office to speak with a member of our team.

Why Should I Choose Dental Implants?

There are plenty of reasons to consider dental implants for replacement teeth. These lifelike and biocompatible prosthetics are unique because they replace the lost root structure of teeth. Other prosthetics only address the loss of visible tooth structure.

By replacing the roots of teeth, the restorations or prosthetics attached to dental implants are secured by the jawbone. This means that a person’s replacement tooth will not move during oral function. It also means that neighboring teeth will be supported by the dental implant and its restoration.

An additional benefit to choosing implants is the fact that dental implants keep the jawbone stimulated. Many patients who have endured tooth loss develop bone loss. Bone deterioration occurs after losing teeth because the roots are no longer present to keep bone active.

Will My New Teeth Look Natural?

Dental implants can look exactly like biological teeth. In fact, a dental implant with a tooth-colored restoration can look better than your biological tooth. The restorations attached to dental implants can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain and porcelain fused to metal. Restorations made from porcelain perfectly mimic natural tooth structure while providing a durable biting surface for optimal oral function.

Call us at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center for questions about sedation dentistry or to reserve a tooth loss consultation with our oral surgeon.

 

Are there food restrictions with dental implants?

dental implants CharlottesvilleAre you considering dental implants for tooth replacement? If so, you might have questions. Dental implants are a unique treatment option that present distinct advantages when compared to other tooth replacement options. Once dental implants are stable and their permanent restorations are attached, people can enjoy a durable, lifelike replacement tooth that can withstand the forces associated with chewing and biting food. Dental implants allow people to enjoy a variety of foods without discomfort or prosthetics moving.

What is a dental implant made from?

A dental implant is made from titanium. This metal is used because it is biocompatible with the body. When a dental implant is embedded into the bone, it will eventually be stabilized when bone integrates around the implant’s structure. Bone will support the dental implant the same way it supports the roots of teeth.

What type of restoration is attached to implants?

The most common restoration attached to dental implant is a dental crown. A crown is the perfect restoration for single tooth replacement. This is because a crown is tooth-shaped and made to accommodate the unique oral anatomy of a patient so that his or her replacement tooth looks and feels natural. A dental bridge can also be attached to dental implants to replace a few missing consecutive teeth. Restorations attached to dental implants can be made from different kinds of materials including porcelain and metal. White restorations made from porcelain or porcelain fused to metal make for beautiful replacement teeth.

How do I care for dental implants?

Implants are considered easy to care for because they are treated the same way one would treat his or her natural teeth. Dental implants are brushed and flossed just like biological teeth. Those with implants should keep regular appointments for checkups and cleanings.

If you are interested in implant dentistry, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeon.

Is flossing really that important?

dentist CharlottesvilleMany people feel like brushing is all that is needed to keep a clean, healthy mouth. This is a dangerous misconception. If a person skips flossing on a regular basis, he or she will develop an increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss. Oral hygiene, in addition to visiting the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings, is necessary for preventing common oral health conditions.

Why is flossing necessary?

While a toothbrush can clean the biting surfaces and front and back sides of teeth, it cannot reach deep within teeth. Flossing is necessary to clean along the gum line and in between teeth. Bits of food and bacteria can easily collect between teeth. Without flossing, the areas between teeth will develop tartar accumulation as well as the gum line. Tartar buildup is a primary contributor to periodontal disease because it causes an inflammatory response in the gums. As tartar accumulates, the gums pull away (recede) from teeth leaving the roots of teeth exposed to debris and harmful bacteria.

Flossing thoroughly and properly can greatly reduce the risk for gum disease by preventing the accumulation of tartar in between teeth. Floss is thin enough to clean gently without cutting into the gingiva.

How often should I floss?

You should floss once every day. Flossing properly takes a couple minutes. Be sure to purchase floss with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval. As you floss, curve the floss around the base of each tooth and thread it through teeth in back and forth motions to remove debris and bacteria wedged deep within teeth.

What happens if I have blood on my floss or toothbrush?

If you notice bleeding during your oral hygiene routine, you should make an appointment with your dentist for a checkup. Continue brushing and flossing as normal until your appointment. Be sure to floss and brush gently but thoroughly.

Flossing helps prevent periodontal disease, which is a condition that contributes to the majority of tooth loss in adulthood. Untreated gum disease can advance into a progressive condition that may require surgical treatment.