Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Twenty-six percent of American adults between 65 and 74 have lost all their teeth to dental disease. This isn’t an appearance problem only—lack of teeth can also harm nutrition and physical well-being.
Fortunately, we have advanced restorative options that can effectively replace missing teeth. Of these, there’s a tried and true one that’s both affordable and effective: removable dentures.
Dentures are simple in design: a plastic or resin base, colored with a pinkish-red hue to resemble gums to which we attach prosthetic (false) teeth. But while the design concept isn’t complicated, the process for creating and fitting them can be quite involved: they must conform to an individual patient’s jaws and facial structure if they’re going to appear natural.
If you’re considering dentures, here’s some of what it will take to achieve a successful outcome.
Positioning the teeth. The position of the prosthetic teeth on the base greatly determines how natural they’ll appear and how well they’ll function. So, we’ll need to plan tooth placement beforehand based on your facial and jaw structures, as well as photos taken of you before tooth loss. We’ll also consider how large the teeth should be, how far to place them forward or back from the lips, and whether to include “imperfections” from your old look that you see as part of your appearance.
Simulating the gums. While the teeth are your smile’s stars, the gums are the supporting cast. It’s important that we create a denture base that attractively frames the teeth by determining how much of the gums show when you smile, or adding color and even textures to better resemble gum tissue. We can also add ridges behind the upper teeth to support speech.
Balancing the bite. Upper and lower dentures don’t operate in and of themselves—they must work cooperatively and efficiently with each other during eating or speaking. So while appearance matters, the bite’s bite adjustment or balance might matter more. That’s why we place a lot of attention into balancing and adjusting the bite after you receive your dentures to make sure you’re comfortable.
This is a detailed process that we may need to revisit from time to time to make sure your dentures’ fit remains tight and comfortable. Even so, modern advances in this traditional restoration continue to make them a solid choice for total tooth loss.
If you would like more information on denture restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Removable Dentures.”
We can do a great many things to preserve diseased teeth, from filling cavities to crowning damaged but still viable teeth to protect them and restore their attractiveness. But there may come a point where continued treatment just isn't worth it, and it may be time to remove and replace your troubled teeth.
Dental implants have become the premier restoration for missing teeth. But they have some anatomical limitations and may not work for some situations like excessive bone loss or close nerve proximity. And while a removable partial denture is a solid option, perhaps you'd rather have a fixed solution.
You might then want to consider a fixed bridge to replace one or more missing teeth. This tried and true option has been a mainstay in dentistry for several decades; and while implants may have surpassed them in popularity, they're still available and effective as a restorative option.
A traditional fixed bridge is composed of three or more life-like crowns that are fused together like pickets in a fence. The crown or crowns in the middle fill the empty tooth space; the outside crowns fit over and are bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the empty space to support the bridge. These natural teeth must be reduced in size to accommodate the crowns to fit over them.
Depending on how many teeth are missing, fixed bridges can be a more affordable alternative to dental implants and can achieve life-like results in both form and dental function. But the alterations required for the supporting teeth are permanent and can weaken them. The interface between the natural teeth and the bridge crowns has a higher risk of decay and periodontal disease, so you'll need to be extra vigilant with daily hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups.
And even though implants can be more expensive in the short-term, they typically have better durability and less maintenance costs than other restorations. Over the long-term, an implant restoration might actually incur less cost than a fixed bridge.
Still, a fixed bridge can be an effective way to replace missing teeth. Depending on your finances and your overall dental health, a bridge could help you regain an attractive smile.
If you would like more information on options for replacing missing 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Don’t let tooth loss impact your smile and appearance. Implants can help.
If you are an adult who is missing at least one tooth then you may be considering the different treatment options in Frederick, MD, that can help you get a complete smile again. Find out why so many people are turning to our general dentist Dr. Frederick Asuncion to get dental implants.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want a replacement tooth that both looks and functions like a real tooth?
- Do you want a restoration that could last the rest of your life?
- Do you want an artificial tooth that is easy to care for?
If you said “yes” then a dental implant may just be the right approach for you. This dental prosthetic is made up of three parts:
- The implant itself, which looks like a thin metal post
- An abutment, which connects the implant with the false tooth
- A false tooth
How does a dental implant work?
The purpose of a dental implant is to replace the roots of a tooth, which are hidden below the gums. In order for an implant to be functional, our Frederick, MD, restorative dentist will need to surgically place the implant into the jawbone where your missing tooth used to be.
Once the implant is placed, it will begin to bond with the jawbone over the next several months. During this time, a naturally occurring process known as osseointegration happens. This is where the bone grows around the implant and fuses together with the metal post. Once this happens, the bone and implant become one, providing a permanent foundation from which to hold your false tooth firmly in place.
From there, the abutment will be secured on top of the implant. Once your permanent crown has been made, you will come back into the office so that we can check the crown and then cement it in place over the abutment to complete your new smile.
Are you interested in getting dental implants in Frederick, MD? Want to find out if you are the ideal candidate? If so, call Asuncion Dental Group today to schedule your consultation.
When they’re introducing a new movie, actors often take a moment to pay tribute to the people who helped make it happen — like, you know, their dentists. At least that’s what Charlize Theron did at the premiere of her new spy thriller, Atomic Blonde.
"I just want to take a quick moment to thank my dentists," she told a Los Angeles audience as they waited for the film to roll. "I don’t even know if they’re here, but I just want to say thank you."
Why did the starring actress/producer give a shout-out to her dental team? It seems she trained and fought so hard in the action sequences that she actually cracked two teeth!
“I had severe tooth pain, which I never had in my entire life,” Theron told an interviewer from Variety. At first, she thought it was a cavity — but later, she found out it was more serious: One tooth needed a root canal, and the other had to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant — but first, a bone grafting procedure was needed. “I had to put a donor bone in [the jaw] to heal,” she noted, “and then I had another surgery to put a metal screw in there.”
Although it might sound like the kind of treatment only an action hero would need, bone grafting is now a routine part of many dental implant procedures. The reason is that without a sufficient volume of good-quality bone, implant placement is difficult or impossible. That’s because the screw-like implant must be firmly joined with the jawbone, so it can support the replacement tooth.
Fortunately, dentists have a way to help your body build new bone: A relatively small amount of bone material can be placed in the missing tooth’s socket in a procedure called bone grafting. This may come from your own body or, more likely, it may be processed bone material from a laboratory. The donor material can be from a human, animal or synthetic source, but because of stringent processing techniques, the material is safe for human use. Once it is put in place your body takes over, using the grafted material as a scaffold on which to build new bone cells. If jawbone volume is insufficient for implants, it can often be restored to a viable point in a few months.
Better yet, when grafting material is placed in the tooth socket immediately after extraction, it can keep most of the bone loss from occurring in the first place, enabling an implant to be placed as soon as possible — even before the end of a movie’s shooting schedule.
Will Atomic Blonde prove to be an action-movie classic? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: When Charlize Theron walks down the red carpet, she won’t have to worry about a gap in her smile.
If you have questions about bone grafting or dental implants, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Immediate Dental Implant.”
How your dentist in Frederick, MD, can rebuild your smile
If you are missing teeth, you may have already heard about dental implants, the state-of-the-art way to rebuild your smile and restore your chewing function. But did you know there is a new kind of dental implant? It’s true, and this revolutionary dental implant system is called All-On-4 dental implants. Dr. Frederick Asuncion at Asuncion Dental Group in Frederick, Maryland offers All-On-4 dental implants to give you back your smile.
More about All-On-4 Implants
So, what’s so special about All-On-4 dental implants? This new system only requires 4 dental implants to support a full denture, instead of 6 to 8 dental implants.
All-On-4 dental implants can do a lot for you, including:
- Save you money, because there are fewer dental implants placed, making them far less expensive than traditional dental implants
- Give you a beautiful, natural-looking, full smile, because the implant materials look just like natural teeth
- Provide great stability, because the dental implants are placed at an angle, giving them greater contact with the bone
- Produce quick results, because dental implant treatment only takes 2 to 3 hours per arch
- Guarantee successful treatment, because All-On-4 dental implants boast a success rate of 98 percent
Dental implants may even help you look younger, by helping you produce more bone which fuses with the dental implants. More bone means a firmer jawline and more youthful facial contours, with less facial sagging that can happen with dentures.
Dental implants also fit in with your lifestyle, because you brush and floss them just like your natural teeth. With implants, you won't have to suffer the embarrassment of removing them for cleaning, or when you sleep. Imagine the convenience of having a permanent complete smile that is always in place!
Interested? Give Us a Call!
If you have worn dentures for a long time, or you have recently lost teeth, you need to discover the magic of All-On-4 dental implants. You deserve to look your best, and it all starts with a great-looking smile. For more information about All-On-4 dental implants and other restorative and cosmetic dental services, call Dr. Frederick Asuncion at Asuncion Dental Group in Frederick, Maryland today! The number is (301) 620-8882.