If you’re considering a dental implant as a replacement for a lost tooth, you’re looking at a restoration method with an amazing 95% success rate after ten years. But that being said there’s still a risk, albeit quite low, the implant might fail.
And if you smoke, the risk is slightly higher. In a recent study of implant patients, twice as many of the failures occurred in smokers compared to non-smokers. If you’re a smoker, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome if you quit the habit.
Nicotine, a chemical within tobacco, is the primary cause for this higher risk. Besides its effect on the pleasure centers of the brain, nicotine also restricts smaller blood vessels that are abundant in the mouth and skin, causing less blood flow. As a result, the mouth doesn’t have as many antibodies and other substances available to fight infection and help traumatized tissues heal.
Because of this, as well as reduced saliva flow due to the habit, smokers have an increased risk of dental disease and are slower to respond to treatment. This can be especially problematic if the gum tissues around an implant become infected, which could lead to a catastrophic failure. Slower healing also impacts the post-surgery period when bone cells in the jaw are growing and adhering to the implant surface, forming a stronger bond.
To avoid these potential risks you should stop smoking before you undergo implant surgery. If you can’t completely kick the habit, you should at least stop a week before surgery and for two weeks after. It’s also critical that you practice good oral hygiene — both brushing and flossing — to minimize the occurrence of dental disease and see us for regular checkups and maintenance appointments.
Taking these steps will greatly increase your chances of being in the vast majority of people who continue to enjoy success with their implants for many years.
If you would like more information on the impact of smoking on dental health, 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 “Dental Implants & Smoking.”
We Are Now Offering Virtual Consultations
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic Dr. Ramyar Elyassian’s practice, Dental Implant and Laser Surgical Specialists, located in Tustin, CA, is offering teledentistry consultations.
What is Teledentistry?
Dentistry is not always practiced with the patient and the dentist in the same place. Teledentistry allows dental practitioners to provide patients with a secure and private consultation without them having to come into the office. This means that during this the coronavirus when it’s safer to stay at home, you can have a real-time video consultation with Dr. Elyassian for pre-screening, ongoing assessment, a check-in and to plan future appointments.
How you can Benefit from Tustin Virtual Consultation
The numerous benefits of teledentistry appointments include:
Safety: you can stay in your own home.
Security: the patient portal is completely secure, so you can discuss your dental concerns with confidence.
Time-saving: because you don’t have to travel to the dentist’s office, you needn’t take time out of your normal daily activities.
Informational: you can find out about future treatment options upfront.
No intimidation: if you are nervous or anxious about going to the dentist, a virtual consultation can help to put you at ease.
It is convenient for both parties to assess the problem ahead of time, especially if the patient needs to take antibiotics or any other treatment until the patient can book an appointment. Once the initial problem has been determined, the patient can arrange to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elyassian. This allows them to conduct a virtual consultation to diagnose or discuss your case before scheduling an office visit. All you need to connect to your dentist virtually is a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
If you are having a dental emergency, or you would like to find out more about teledentistry consultations, you can call Dr. Elyassian at the Tustin office on (714) 730-3746.
Missing teeth make people self-conscious about their appearance and make everyday activities, like speaking and eating, much more difficult. Here at Dental Implant and Laser Surgical Specialists in Tustin, CA, Dr. Ramyar Elyassian provides patients with dentures as a cost-effective method to replacing teeth—read on to learn more about this treatment and how to properly maintain your implant-supported dentures.
What are dentures?
Dentures are oral appliances made to replace teeth. There are many types and designs, like traditional dentures, partial dentures, custom dentures, immediate dentures, implant dentures, snap-in dentures, overdentures, and upper dentures.
Implant-supported dentures offer a few extra advantages for patients. Dental implants are synthetic tooth roots that are placed in your jawbone during a minor oral surgical procedure. The titanium implants bond to your jawbone in just a few months. Implant-supported dentures are connected directly to the implants or to a metal framework.
Advantages of these dentures include:
- Better Jaw Strength: Your jawbone shrinks after you lose your teeth because it no longer is stimulated by your tooth roots. Dental implants offer stimulation that will minimize jawbone changes.
- Even Better Protection from Sagging: Although dentures help support your facial muscles, some sagging may still occur with full dentures. Because implant-supported dentures reduce jawbone shrinking, they offer even more support for the muscles.
- Excellent Biting Power: Loss of biting power is inevitable with full dentures, but not with implant-supported dentures. In fact, you may retain as much as 95 percent of your biting power.
What are some key tips for maintaining your dentures?
- Brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss after removing dentures to avoid food getting stuck between your teeth and dentures.
- Schedule regular dental visits with Tustin dentist to have teeth professionally cleaned and for an overall examination to ensure teeth and gums are healthy.
- Rinse dentures after eating by running water over them. Place a towel on the counter to avoid breaking dentures if you drop them.
- Don't bend dentures while cleaning them.
- Visit Dr. Elyassian if the dentures fit loosely or if you have any other denture adjustment issues.
- Brush dentures daily using a soft-bristled brush and nonabrasive denture cleanser.
- Soak dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight to preserve dentures' shape.
- Rinse dentures when removing them from their denture-soaking solution to avoid exposing yourself from harmful chemicals.
Part of maintaining your dentures includes avoiding the use of abrasive toothpaste, brushing dentures vigorously, using a whitening toothpaste, or bleach-containing products and hot water.
Need to speak with a professional?
If you'd like more information about implant dentures, and how to properly care for them, contact Dr. Ramyar Elyassian of Dental Implant and Laser Surgical Specialists in Tustin, CA, by dialing (714) 730-3746.
Let's say you have a diseased tooth you think might be on its last leg. It might be possible to save it, perhaps with a significant investment of time and money. On the other hand, you could have it replaced with a life-like dental implant.
That seems like a no-brainer, especially since implants are as close as we have to natural teeth. But you might want to take a second look at salvaging your tooth—as wonderful as implants are, they can't beat the real thing.
Our teeth, gums and jaws form an intricate oral system: Each part supports the others for optimum function and health. Rescuing a troubled tooth could be the best way to preserve that function, and replacing it, even with a dental implant, a less satisfying option.
How we save it will depend on what's threatening it, like advanced tooth decay. Caused by bacterial acid that creates a cavity in enamel and underlying dentin, decay can quickly spread into the tooth's pulp and root canals, and eventually threaten the supporting bone.
We may be able to stop decay and save the tooth with a root canal treatment. During this procedure, we remove diseased tissue from the pulp and root canals through a drilled access hole, and then fill the empty spaces. We then seal the access and later crown the tooth to protect it against future infection.
A second common threat is periodontal (gum) disease. Bacteria in dental plaque infect the outer gums and, like tooth decay, the infection quickly spreads deeper into the root and bone. The disease weakens gum attachments to affected teeth, hastening their demise.
To treat gum disease, we manually remove built-up plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). This deprives the infecting bacteria of their primary food source and “starves” the infection. Depending on the disease's advancement, this might take several cleaning sessions and possible gum surgery to access deep pockets of infection around the root.
Because both of these treatment modalities can be quite in-depth, we'll need to assess the survivability of the tooth. The tooth could be too far gone and not worth the effort and expense to save it. If there is a reasonable chance, though, a rescue attempt for your troubled tooth might be the right option.
If you would like more information on whether to save or replace a tooth, 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 “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
Discovering a loose tooth can be exciting — if you're six, that is, and anticipating a windfall from the tooth fairy. If you're an adult, a loose tooth is a different story. You're in real danger of it becoming a lost tooth, and there won't be another one coming in to replace it.
Fortunately, that result isn't inevitable, but we have to take quick action if we're going to save your tooth. The first step is to find out why it's loose.
Tooth looseness occurs primarily because the gum and bone structures that hold teeth in place have been damaged in some way. Otherwise healthy teeth and gums can be injured in an accident or with dental habits like teeth grinding or clenching that increase the biting forces against teeth. The latter could require some intervention like a night guard to prevent teeth from grinding to reduce the abnormal biting force.
But disease is often the root cause for tooth looseness. Periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection triggered by bacterial plaque, can inflame and weaken gum tissues, eventually causing bone loss followed by the gum tissue detaching from the teeth. In this weakened condition even normal biting forces could loosen a tooth.
If gum disease is the primary culprit, our treatment starts there. By aggressively removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the tooth surfaces, including deep below the gum line around the root, the gum tissues become less inflamed and begin to heal. This in turn can strengthen their attachment to a loose tooth. In more advanced cases, we may need to surgically graft lost bone and gum tissue to rebuild the attachment.
We may also need to stabilize a loose tooth while we're performing these other treatments. The most common way is to join or splint a loose tooth to nearby stable teeth. There are varieties of splints: one type involves rigid dental material bonded across the enamel of the loose tooth and its neighbors. In another, we cut a small channel in the involved teeth, and then insert a metal splint, bonding it within the channel.
Whatever needs to be done, we need to do it promptly — if you notice a loose tooth, contact us as soon as possible. The earlier we begin treatment the more likely we'll save your loose tooth.
If you would like more information on treating loose teeth, 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 “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”
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