Posts for: August, 2016
Losing a tooth from disease or accident can be traumatic. The good news, though, is that it can be replaced with a life-like replica that restores your smile. One of the most popular and durable solutions is a dental implant, which replaces not only the root of the tooth but the crown as well.
But there's a possible wrinkle with implants — for accurate placement there must be a sufficient amount of bone around it. This could be a problem if you've been missing the tooth for sometime: without the stimulus provided by a tooth as you chew, older bone cells aren't replaced at an adequate rate. The bone volume gradually diminishes, as up to 25% of its normal width can be lost during the first year after tooth loss. A traumatic injury can damage underlying bone to an even greater extent.
There is a possible solution, but it will require the services of other specialists, particularly a periodontist trained in gum and bone structure. The first step is a complete examination of the mouth to gauge the true extent of any bone loss. While x-rays play a crucial role, a CT scan in particular provides a three-dimensional view of the jaw and more detail on any bone loss.
With a more accurate bone loss picture, we can then set about actually creating new bone through grafting procedures. One such technique is called a ridge augmentation: after opening the gum tissues, we place the bone graft within a barrier membrane to protect it. Over time the bone will grow replacing both the grafting material and membrane structure.
Once we have enough regenerated bone, we can then perform dental implant surgery. There are two options: a “one-stage” procedure in which a temporary crown is placed on the implant immediately after surgery; or a “two-stage” in which we place the gum tissue over the implant to protect it as it heals and bone grows and attaches to it. In cases of pre-surgical bone grafting, it's usually best to go with the two-stage procedure for maximum protection while the bone strengthens around it.
Necessary preparation of the bone for a future dental implant takes time. But the extra effort will pay off with a new smile you'll be proud to display.
If you haven’t visited us as regularly as you should, find out what you can expect at your next visit.
Whether your life has become so busy that you haven’t found time to see your dentist, or you just lost your dental insurance, there are many scenarios that may lead someone to not visit the dentist as often as they should. So if you have finally scheduled your next visit with one of our Ringwood, NJ dentists, Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi, and it’s been a while, find out what to anticipate when you walk through our doors.
Your First Visit Back
Well, first and foremost, welcome back! It’s always great to see new and old faces in our office. When it comes to the day of your appointment make sure you show up about 10-15 minutes early to fill out any paperwork or to update us on your insurance or medical history. Make sure to bring any medications you are currently taking and your dental insurance card with you.
Also, you may want to block out the day when it comes to planning other activities after your dental visit. Because it is the first dental appointment you’ve had in a while, our Ringwood general dentist will want to spend a bit more time with you. So, just make sure you plan accordingly and leave yourself enough open time in your schedule for your dental appointment.
Your Cleaning and Exam
If it’s been some time since your last cleaning, there may be more plaque and tartar buildup to remove. Because our cleanings are thorough this may take a bit longer for you. And if you aren’t a regular flosser then you may notice that your gums are more sensitive or are more likely to bleed when we floss. This is fairly normal and nothing to worry about!
Patients who haven’t visited in a while are also more likely to have a cavity. If we detect a cavity during your exam, don’t worry! We will make sure to schedule your next appointment to have the cavity treated. In the future, by coming in every six months for routine exams, you can prevent cavities from affecting your smile.
Preventive dentistry is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy smile. If you’ve just finally scheduled your next visit after some time away, then congratulations! You are a step closer to a healthier smile. And if you haven’t booked your next visit then it’s time you called Dr. Kahn and Dr. Pergolizzi in Ringwood, NJ right away.
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”