Monthly Archives

April 2017

Anatomy of Dental Implants

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More than two-thirds of Americans between 35 and 44 have lost at least once tooth. Tooth loss can threaten bite stability, oral function and smile confidence. Replacing these lost teeth with dental implants can preserve proper tooth and jaw alignment, enable patients to eat and speak comfortably and enhance their smiles.

Dental implants are made of three separate parts. The implant itself is essentially a titanium screw that is designed to fuse with the jawbone and replace the missing tooth’s root. An abutment is attached to the titanium screw. This abutment is used to attach the prosthetic tooth to the implant. The prosthesis is the final part of the dental implant. A single dental implant is generally used with a porcelain crown to replace a single tooth. When multiple teeth are being restored, dental implants can be used to support individual dental crowns, dental bridges or even dentures.

The unique design of dental implants makes them a healthier alternative to the other types of dental prostheses available today. Dental bridges require the alteration of healthy tooth structure, and dentures tend to irritate gum tissue and slip uncomfortably, which can affect diet and speech. Bone loss can occur with both bridges and dentures due to the lack of tooth root, but because dental implants use an artificial root design, they can stimulate and support healthy bone growth.

Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles dental implant specialist and find out if you are a candidate for this revolutionary procedure.

Advantages of Dental Implants

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Dental implants are prosthetic devices that replace both the crown and the root of missing teeth. They are strong, durable and sturdy, and they can be made to match your natural teeth precisely. Our Los Angeles dental implants specialist recommends dental implants for most patients as the healthiest tooth replacement option.

One of the most popular benefits of dental implants is that they look so natural. Because they are anchored by the jawbone, they fit into your smile just as your own natural teeth do. They do not slip, which means they do not interfere with speech or diet, and because they fuse with your jawbone, they act and feel just like your own teeth. You may even feel more confident with your renewed smile. They are not removable, and they are considered a permanent restoration.

Dental implants can also improve your dental health. They do not affect your other teeth and can preserve proper tooth and jaw alignment. They also help maintain bone density by continually stimulating the jawbone. They require no special tools or treatment during daily dental hygiene. You can simply brush and floss them just as you do your other teeth, which can help improve your long-term dental health and reduce the risk of periodontal disease, tooth decay and the loss of other teeth.

You may be a candidate for dental implants if you are missing one or more teeth and are healthy enough to undergo dental surgery. Contact our Los Angeles dental implants specialist today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

Safety of Dental Implants

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Dental implants have been associated with an increased risk of chronic, low-level inflammation and infection, which can ultimately compromise the immune system. Any foreign object in the body, including dental implants or other prosthetic devices, may also be more subject to inflammation or infection. Candidates for dental implants will have their unique dental health needs evaluated, and our Los Angeles dental implant expert will weigh the pros and the cons of each available treatment option to make the most personalized recommendation possible.

Dental implants, which are made of biocompatible, medical-grade titanium, are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Once the bone has fused sufficiently with the implant, an abutment and dental crown will be placed on it. This result is a natural-looking and feeling restoration that functions just like your own natural teeth.

As with any surgical procedure, dental implants can be associated with some risks. Healing can take from several weeks to several months. During this period, you may be at an increased risk of suffering infection. Maintaining excellent dental hygiene and following our dentist’s post-procedure instructions can minimize these risks. Rarely, dental implants patients may suffer nerve damage at the implant site, which can cause long-term pain or numbness.

After your implant has been placed, brush after meals and floss daily. Visit our dentist on your recommended schedule so that we can evaluate the implant site and adjust our recommendations as needed.

Give us a call today so that we can schedule your appointment with our dentist and provide you with everything you need to know about the dental implants procedure.

Damages to Tooth Enamel as a Result of Early Exposure to Bisphenol A

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Bisphenol A has been discovered to play a major role in an increasing number of health concerns, including reproductive problems, developmental disorders and metabolic problems. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an endocrine disrupter. This chemical is commonly used in can liners, paper products and babies’ bottles. Human amniotic fluid, urine and blood have all been found to have significant BPA contamination.

According to a study that was performed at the Universite Paris-Diderot and the Inserm Unit 872 Centre des Cordeliers, Bisphenol A may also be linked to serious dental health concerns. According to the research team’s analysis, which was published in the “American Journal of Pathology,” rats that were given daily doses of BPA had a dental pathology that was similar to enamel anomalies identified in nearly 20 percent of children who are between the ages of 6 and 8.

Rats were given low daily doses of BPA and then observed. Researchers noted that the treated rats suffered from MIH, or molar incisor hypomineralization. Their teeth were poorly mineralized, which left them prone to tooth decay and highly sensitive. The rats also experienced white discolorations on their incisors, which is similar to that noted on the children’s teeth. Brittle, poorly mineralized teeth may be more prone to other serious dental pathologies as well.

Researchers warned that BPA could have similar mechanisms of action in humans and may be responsible for the increase in MIH among children. Teeth may be considered an early marker of endocrine disruptor exposure and enable earlier identification of more serious pathologies.

Pregnant women and children may benefit from avoiding BPA, which is most commonly consumed in the diet. BPA is often found in certain types of plastics used in food or drink packaging, water bottles, baby bottles and food cans. It can also be found in safety equipment, on printed receipts, on compact discs and in some types of dental sealants. Eliminating exposure may not be possible, but most people can minimize their exposure particularly during the most critical time for tooth development.

Contact our Los Angeles dental implant specialist today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

Benefits of Titanium Dental Implants

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Although other types of dental implants are available, our specialist for dental implant in Los Angeles generally recommends titanium implants. Titanium implants are biocompatible, extremely long lasting and are considered the most reliable material available for implants. They are resistant to acidic byproducts and oral bacteria, and they are aesthetically appealing.

Dental implants are made to match your natural teeth precisely with appropriate shapes, colors and sizes. Unlike other tooth restoration options, titanium dental implants require no alteration of your natural teeth, which means that your healthy teeth can remain intact. The implant is placed directly into the jawbone, and a porcelain crown is attached to the top of it, creating a restoration that looks, feels and acts just like a natural tooth. Because of this design, dental implants are easy to clean and can be brushed and flossed without any special solutions or tools.

If you are a candidate for titanium dental implants, our dentist will place the implant in a minor surgical procedure. The crown may be placed at the same time as the implant or after the jawbone has fused with the implant, which can take several months. You will need to continue brushing your teeth two times daily and flossing daily. Visit our dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams, and eat a healthy diet, which can promote healing as well as tooth and gum health. Avoid using your implants as tools.

Contact our dental office today to schedule your consultation with our dentist or to learn more about your options.

Damages to the Jaw due to Gum Disease

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All people have both beneficial and harmful bacteria in their mouths. Brushing and flossing regularly can help minimize the harmful effects of these bacteria and promote good dental health. In some cases, however, harmful bacteria can lead to changes that have significant implications for oral health.

A University of Michigan study recently revealed that the bacterium that is responsible for gum disease may be responsible for bone damage as well. According to researchers, the bacterium associated with the onset of gum disease alters proteins that usually protect the oral cavity. The lead author announced that NI1060, the bacterium responsible for gum disease, can trigger Nod1, a protein that usually protects against harmful bacteria in the body.

Once triggered, Nod1 becomes dangerous and can begin destroying bone. Although Nod1 is a protective protein and usually combats bacterial infections throughout the body, once NI1060 begins to accumulate in the oral cavity, the effects of Nod1 are reversed. The proteins then begin destroying the bone that supports the teeth.

Identifying the bacterium responsible for gum disease is considered a major discovery, but identifying its mechanism of action can help researchers develop more effective and more personalized gum disease treatments for their patients.

Our Los Angeles dental implants specialist offers a range of treatments for those with various stages of gum disease from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. Both surgical and nonsurgical treatments are available. We also offer dental implants to restore lost teeth. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.

Oral Hygiene for Dental Implants

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Dental implants are titanium root forms that replace the root of the natural tooth and can be used to anchor prosthetic teeth, such as porcelain crowns, bridges or dentures. Considered a permanent solution to tooth loss, dental implants can last decades when properly maintained, and they have an extremely high success rate.

Because the new tooth is anchored firmly in your jaw, it will look, feel and act just like your own natural teeth. You will also need to maintain good dental hygiene just as though it were your own tooth. Even though the porcelain of the prosthetic tooth will not decay, the gums surrounding the implant will still be vulnerable to plaque, bacteria and gum disease, and any remaining natural teeth you have can still decay. Brush two times daily with fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily with a nylon floss or interdental cleaner. Biannual dental checkups are essential to ensuring your dental health is stable and your gums free of infection.

Immediately after your dental implants have been placed, you may need more frequent dental checkups. Our dentist will examine your teeth, gums and jaw to ensure there is no infection and that the jaw remains strong and healthy. Inflammation at the implant site can increase your risk of complications, such as gum disease and bone loss, and the implant may become exposed.

Contact our dental office today to schedule your consultation with our specialist for dental implants in Los Angeles or to learn more about your options.

Smoking and Dental Implants

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Smokers have an increased risk of developing dental caries, and gum disease. They may also suffer from dry mouth, plaque accumulation and poor circulation, all of which can increase the risk of dental problems. They may also be more likely to suffer from complications after undergoing the dental implants procedure.

When a dental implant is placed in the socket of a missing tooth, the bone begins grow around it and secure a foundation for the final restoration. This complex process, which is known as osseointegration, can be impeded by the more than 4,000 toxins in cigarette smoke. Nicotine, which is a vasoconstrictor, reduces blood flow, which interferes with nutrient delivery.

According to a study performed at Brazil’s Guarulhos University, smokers were less likely to develop adequate bone structure around recently placed implants. The study examined 13 smokers and 11 non-smokers. A single subperiosteal dental implant was placed in each study participant. A course of antibiotics was prescribed for a week to reduce the risk of infection. Two months after the implant procedure, the participants were examined. Although all implants were considered clinically stable, significant variations in bone density were present between smokers and non-smokers. Non-smokers were considerably more likely to have well-developed bone tissue around the newly placed implant.

If you are a candidate for dental implants and you smoke, our Los Angeles dental implant specialist may recommend that you quit before the procedure and remain smoke-free throughout the healing process to reduce the risk of complications and ensure your dental implant fuses properly with the bone. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.

How to Care for Dental Implants

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Dental implant is an increasingly popular tooth replacement option. For years, most people had to choose between dental bridges and dentures. Both restorations replaced lost teeth, but their use had some drawbacks. Dental bridges require the permanent alteration of healthy tooth structure while dentures require regular adjustment to maintain a proper fit as the jawbone deteriorates. Dental implants are different. Because they replace the root of the lost tooth, they do not require the support of healthy teeth and they help preserve bone density.

Maintaining dental implants simply requires good dental hygiene. If your dental implants are used to support dental crowns, you will be able to brush and floss your teeth just as you always have by brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing daily. If your implants support dental bridges, you will need to use a special flossing tool to clean above and around the bridge to remove debris and plaque. Although dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay, any remaining teeth you have can develop dental caries, and your gums are still at risk for gum disease. Regular dental cleanings and checkups are important for maintaining good dental hygiene and health.

When placed and maintained properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. With more than a 95 percent 15-year success rate, the majority of patients continue to use and enjoy their implants 15 years after they have been placed. Contact our Los Angeles dental implants specialist today to schedule your consultation and learn more.

Gum Disease Risk Assessment Test

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 65 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends annual comprehensive oral evaluations that can identify early signs of gum disease, which can significantly affect your dental health. However, monitoring your gums for signs of periodontal disease can keep your gum health on track. Our specialist for dental implants in Los Angeles explains how you can understand your risk.

The incidence of periodontal disease increases with age.

Although women tend to take better care of their teeth and gums, hormonal changes throughout life leave them more vulnerable to gum disease.

Bleeding gums can be one of the earliest signs of gum disease. Loose teeth and receding gums can signal the presence of periodontal disease and indicate an immediate evaluation is in order.

Tobacco users, including both smokers and those who chew tobacco, are dramatically more likely to suffer from tartar buildup, loose teeth and poor gum health than non-tobacco users are.

Irregular dental checkups
Failing to visit your dentist in the last two years can increase your risk.

Poor dental hygiene
Failing to brush at least twice a day or failure to floss every day contributes to the buildup of harmful bacteria that can trigger periodontal disease.

Other health problems
Heart disease, osteopenia, osteoporosis and diabetes have all been linked to periodontal disease.

A history of gum disease
Patients with a personal or family history of gum disease are at an increased risk regardless of their personal dental hygiene habits.

Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.