3470 Blazer Pkwy
Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40509
(859) 264-9493
Fax:
(859) 264-8323



 

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3470 Blazer Pkwy
Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40509
(859) 264-9493

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Patient Education

 

Implants

Dental Implants

Are you missing a permanent tooth?
Do you have gaps in your smile?
Do you wear dentures and experience some of the following problems:

  • Slipping and clicking while talking?
  • Irritation and pain when you chew?
  • Fear of eating in public?
  • Feeling or looking older than your age?

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You may be a candidate for dental implants, an alternative to missing teeth. A dental implant uses your jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or bridge, rather than anchoring it to a healthy, neighboring tooth. The results are natural-looking teeth that look, feel, and function as your own! Healthy teeth are a gift we often take for granted. Losing one or more teeth impacts our smile, our confidence, and our enjoyment of our favorite foods. Dental implants are technology's way of taking us a step closer to replacement teeth that feel secure and look like our own.

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Toothbrushes

Correct tooth brushing and flossing should be everyone's defense against periodontal disease. For individuals with average dexterity, a 4- or 5-rowed, soft, nylon-bristled toothbrush is sufficient. A vast assortment of brushes of varying sizes and shapes are available, and each manufacturer makes its claim for the benefits of a particular brush. People should look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal on both electric and regular brushes. Electric toothbrushes, particularly those with a stationary grip and revolving tufts of bristles, can be advantageous for some people with physical disabilities. Electric toothbrushes with heads that move back and forth up to 4,200 times a minute have been found to remove significantly more plaque than ordinary brushes. The most important factor in buying any toothbrush -- electric or manual -- is to choose one with a soft head. Soft bristles get into crevices easier and do not irritate the gums.

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What Is Involved in Getting Implants?

The implant process takes several steps, but you will be able to continue your regular professional and social routines. Initially, the dentist will evaluate your mouth, teeth, and jaw to determine whether implants are a good option for you. For most patients, there are two surgical procedures involved. First, in the actual implant placement, the implants are surgically inserted into or atop the jawbone. Over the next three to six months, the implants are left alone, so that the anchor can bond to the bone, creating a strong foundation for the teeth that will be attached to them. Second, the new tooth or teeth are created and attached to the anchored implant. You now have teeth that might as well be nature's own: they look natural, are comfortable, and withstand the rigors of grinding and chewing. No one will know that your tooth has an artificial, man-made tooth root.

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Implants Are Not for Everyone

It's true. Your current dental health will influence whether you're a good candidate. Some medical conditions may interfere with normal healing, such as diabetes or heart problems. Finally, the supporting bone in your jaw must be healthy; if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, the success rate for your implants will drop. Less success also is noted in smokers. A complete examination and X-rays by your dentist will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. You must also commit to a strict schedule of flossing, brushing, rinsing, and check-ups to keep them healthy. Today, there are patients who have had implants for more than 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of dental implants have now been inserted, boasting more than a 90% success rate! Metal joint implants used in other parts of the body were actually developed from the success of dental implants. It has been around for decades and people know it works. Schedule an evaluation with your dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you. Discover how they can improve your quality of life and put a genuine smile on your face.

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Crowns

How Long Do Crowns Last?

This is one of the most difficult questions asked of a dentist because, in essence, no one can be sure. However, there are a few resources available that can give us an idea of how long crowns may last. One resource is insurance companies. Even though the insurance company should not dictate the type of treatment that should be done, they give some insight into the matter. Insurance companies will pay for a new crown on the same tooth after five years. So, in essence, they believe that a crown will last at least five years. Another resource available is the dental literature. The dental research has some extreme variability in this area. It provides information that ranges from a 20% failure rate in 3 years all the way to a 3% failure rate in 23 years. So, which is correct? The answer actually has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. To do this, we need to look at why crowns have to be replaced.

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Why Do Crowns Need to Be Redone?

There are many reasons why crowns need to be redone.

Fracture is one example. The fracture incidence of crowns can be related to either the type of restoration (gold, metal ceramic, all-ceramic) or where the restoration is placed in the mouth (anterior vs. posterior). Another risk factor is if a person has a grinding habit at night. A crown will have a higher risk of fracture in a mouth that applies more forces to the teeth by grinding than in one that does not have any incidence of grinding.

Decay can be another reason why a crown needs to be replaced. Just because a tooth receives a crown does not mean it is less prone to decay. In fact, because it has more areas that may trap plaque, it needs to be cleaned as well, if not more meticulously, during home care.

Aesthetics can be another reason why crowns are replaced. Esthetics is one of the main reasons people choose to have a new crown made in the anterior part of the mouth. This occurs because as we get older, our teeth will change color and progressively get darker while the tooth with the crown will stay the same color as the day it was placed. A discrepancy between the color of the teeth will become more evident over time. In addition to color, esthetic changes in the position of the gum tissue over time can also affect the look of the crown.

Which one of these areas may be a factor in a patient's mouth is uncertain. An idea can be obtained by evaluating the reason a crown was needed in the first place (such as a fractured tooth, decay, etc.). In conclusion, it is unclear how long a crown will last. Their life span may be anywhere from a few years all the way to 20 years and beyond.

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