Even in the 21st Century, losing most or all of your teeth is still an unfortunate possibility. Many in this circumstance turn to dentures, as their great-grandparents did, to restore their teeth. But today's dentures are much different from those of past generations—and dental implants are a big reason why.
The basic denture is made of a gum-colored, acrylic base with artificial teeth attached. The base is precisely made to fit snugly and comfortably on the patient's individual gum and jaw structure, as the bony ridges of the gums provide the overall support for the denture.
Implants improve on this through two possible approaches. A removable denture can be fitted with a metal frame that firmly connects with implants embedded in the jaw. Alternatively, a denture can be permanently attached to implants with screws. Each way has its pros and cons, but both have two decided advantages over traditional dentures.
First, because implants rather than the gums provide their main support, implant-denture hybrids are often more secure and comfortable than traditional dentures. As a result, patients may enjoy greater confidence while eating or speaking wearing an implant-based denture.
They may also improve bone health rather than diminish it like standard dentures. This is because the forces generated when chewing and eating travel from the teeth to the jawbone and stimulate new bone cell growth to replace older cells. We lose this stimulation when we lose teeth, leading to slower bone cell replacement and eventually less overall bone volume.
Traditional dentures not only don't restore this stimulation, they can also accelerate bone loss as they rub against the bony ridges of the gums. Implants, on the other hand, can help slow or stop bone loss. The titanium in the imbedded post attracts bone cells, which then grow and adhere to the implant surface. Over time, this can increase the amount of bone attachment and help stymie any further loss.
An implant-supported denture is more expensive than a standard denture, but far less than replacing each individual tooth with an implant. If you want the affordability of dentures with the added benefits of implants, this option may be worth your consideration.
If you would like more information on implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”
Do you have smile gaps? Are you concerned about your appearance and about your oral health? At Frechtman Family Dental of Edison, NJ, Dr. Saul Frechtman and Dr. David Frechtman use dental implants to bring smiles back to natural form and function. They could be the right tooth replacements for you.
Dental implants and their benefits
A dental implant is an artificial tooth. Made of a titanium screw, metal abutment post, and porcelain crown, a single implant replaces a missing tooth from roots to crown. The titanium fuses right to the jaw through a process known as osseointegration, making the bond between implant screw and bone virtually inseparable.
To qualify for dental implants, you must have enough quality bone in your jaw. A firm foundation, this bone literally wraps around the implant, enabling it to withstand the pressures posed by biting and chewing. Accordingly, dental implants avoid the bone degradation common to tooth loss.
Besides improving your bone, implants:
Can you qualify?
Sure, you can if you are in good overall health and have sufficient quality bone in the alveolar ridge of your jaw bone. Dr. Frechtman will examine your teeth and gums, review your health history and take some three-dimensional scans of your jaw bone. If all looks well, you can have the dental implant surgery right at our Edison, NJ, dental office.
Find out more
A friendly dental implant consultation will give you all the details you need. Contact Dr. Saul Frechtman or Dr. David Frechtman at Frechtman Family Dental of Edison, NJ. We look forward to helping you achieve a wonderful smile. Call us at (732) 548-8600.
Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.
In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.
Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.
Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.
If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.
The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.
Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.
Many people with diabetes are hesitant about getting dental implants because they’re under the impression their chances of failure are greater than for non-diabetics. But if you’re one of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, that isn’t necessarily so — with a little extra precaution before, during and after implant surgery.
Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how the body processes glucose. This simple sugar is used by the body to provide energy to cells, but can also cause damage if its volume level in the bloodstream is too high. The body normally regulates this through the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas.
The pancreas in people with Type 1 diabetes doesn’t produce insulin and so they must receive an outside source of the hormone through daily injections with careful daily monitoring of glucose levels. Those with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, don’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or the body no longer responds to the insulin produced. For either type, abnormal glucose levels — either too high or too low — can have adverse affects on the body, including blindness, nerve damage, gangrene, coma or death.
Diabetes can also slow wound healing, increase the risk of infection, and alter the body’s inflammatory response, all of which are major concerns when placing implants. Because implant placement involves minor surgery in which a wound results, there’s been wide concern that a slower healing process could increase the risk of implant failure.
Recent studies, though, are encouraging especially for patients who have their diabetes under control through medication, diet and exercise. Patients with poor glucose control are at higher risk, because it can take longer for the bone to heal around an implant after placement. For such individuals special considerations to guard against infection may be needed during implant surgery.
In fact, the implant success rate for most diabetics is about the same as for non-diabetic patients, 95%. With proper disease management and a little extra wound care, you can be among the many that experience a favorable outcome and a more attractive smile with dental implants.
Have questions about dental implants? Dental implants are a popular, long-term solution for patients with missing teeth. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that are placed in your jawbone. Led by Dr. David Frechtman and Dr. Saul Frechtman, Frechtman Family Dental of Edison (located in Edison, NJ) offers state-of-the-art dental implants to the patients they serve. Keep reading to get answers to frequently asked questions about dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an aesthetic alternative to dental bridges and dentures. A dental implant is a small anchor made of titanium that is placed in the jawbone to take the place of your missing tooth root. After the jawbone has bonded to the implant, a replacement tooth is secured to the top of the dental implant.
Why Do People Choose Implants?
Dental implants will close the gaps in your smile and improve your appearance. They will restore your ability to chew food and improve your clarity of speech. They will fill out a face that otherwise would look sunken because of missing teeth. Dental implants will also prevent jawbone loss, stimulate bone growth, and prevent your existing teeth from shifting out of place.
What Will Happen Without Treatment?
Losing your teeth will affect your appearance and change the shape of your face, causing you to look prematurely aged. The absence of one or more teeth can also have negative effects on your oral health including shifting of teeth and changes in the jaw joint. Without treatment, the healthy bone will begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation.
Are Dental Implants Right For You?
You may be a good candidate for dental implants if you have healthy gums and adequate bone to support implants. The best candidates for implants have healthy gums that are free of gum disease. You must be committed to thorough oral hygiene to keep your smile healthy and schedule regular dental visits. If you want to restore your smile, ask your dentist if dental implants are an option for you.
How Do I Care For Dental Implants?
Good dental hygiene must take place before, during, and after placement of dental implants to keep them healthy. Implants are like your existing teeth and will require conscientious at-home oral care and regular visits to the dentist. In order to keep your new dental implants plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply.
Ready for a smile makeover? If you want an amazing smile, call Frechtman Family Dental of Edison at (732) 548-8600 right now to schedule a dental consultation in Edison, NJ. Dental implants can transform your appearance and your life! We want you to live an extraordinary life!