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Posts for tag: dental implants

By Dr. Constance Smith
June 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantsWhat's the next best thing to a natural tooth? It's the dental implant, an artificial tooth complete from root to crown. Placed by your Jackson, MI, dentists, Dr. Constance Smith and Dr. Ian Liskiewicz, dental implants recreate strong, beautiful smiles, and they preserve gum tissue and bone, too. Learn the details here on these amazing dental prosthetics.

How a dental implant works

Basically, a dental implant resides in an empty tooth socket. Composed of a titanium screw (or cylinder), metal abutment post, and porcelain crown, the single-tooth implant features rock-solid stability and excellent oral function.

During an in-office oral surgery, your Jackson dentist inserts the implant device right into the jawbone. After many weeks of healing, the implant fully integrates to the jaw bone and can accept the above-the-gum-line post and crown.

Paramount to implant success are sufficient jaw bone density, a strong immune system and a process called osseointegration. Given enough time to heal and rest, the jaw bone at the implant site melds, or integrates, to the titanium implant screw, making this modern tooth replacement almost as durable and functional as a healthy natural tooth.

Can you receive an implant?

Most adults and teens can, but to make sure all is well, your dentist in Jackson will perform an oral check-up and take X-rays and a CAT scan to look at your bone structure. If your bone is thin, your dentist may augment it with donor bone or other material to ensure a solid implant foundation.

The implant procedure itself takes about an hour and requires only local anesthetic. After the site heals, you return to the dental office for restoration of the implant with an abutment post and custom-made porcelain crown. If you have multiple implants, your dentist will place either fixed bridgework or a full denture as needed.

Their track record

Dental implants have an excellent one. With good home and in-office hygiene, you can expect decades of service from your new tooth. In fact, the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness maintains these artificial teeth succeed 98 percent of the time and stay in place for decades.

The only real threat is peri-implantitis. Resulting from sloppy oral hygiene and/or tobacco usage, this destructive infection looks and acts like periodontal disease. Often, peri-implantitis causes implant failure and removal, so your best preventive care is important.

Looking to complete your smile?

Then, explore dental implants with Dr. Smith and Dr. Liskiewicz. Contact their office team to arrange a personal implant consultation: (517) 787-7520. Your best smile could be a phone call away!

By Dr. Constance Smith
October 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implants can restore your smile.dental implants

When people lose a permanent tooth they often think that there is no way they will ever get their smile back. Don’t feel defeated just yet. Our Jackson, MI, dentists Dr. Constance Smith and Dr. Liskiewicz can get your smile back on track with a restoration known as a dental implant.

What is a dental implant?

When you lose a tooth you also lose the roots of the tooth. While it might not seem like it, the roots are actually an important part of your oral health. The roots are what stimulate the jawbone to help preserve it. Without this stimulation, the jawbone will start to deteriorate, which can lead to structural changes in the face and even premature aging. An implant, which is a tiny metal post, is designed to take over the role of your tooth roots to prevent jawbone deterioration and to become a foundation from which to support the artificial tooth.

What makes someone a good candidate for dental implants?

If you are an adult dealing with tooth loss then chances are pretty good that implants could be a viable option for you. Of course, here are some factors that will help determine whether this is the right restoration for you:

You’re in good health

This means that both your oral health and general health are excellent. Sure, you may have lost a tooth but if you are dealing with untreated gum disease, this is an issue that needs to be treated beforehand.

You aren’t a smoker

Smokers are far more likely to deal with implant failure than a non-smoker. Therefore, if you are currently a smoker you’ll want to quit the habit for good if you want to be a good candidate for implants. Our Jackson, MI, general dentists can help you determine the best options for quitting smoking for good. Not only will this reduce your risk of implant failure but it will also reduce your risk of other dental problems associated with smoking.

You have a healthy jawbone

Since some bone loss is common in those with tooth loss (particularly those who haven’t sought treatment right away) it’s important that we determine the density of the jawbone to make sure that it can truly support an implant. Taking a series of X-rays will help us determine the health of your jawbone. If there is significant bone loss this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get implants; however, bone grafting surgery may be recommended beforehand to help rebuild the jawbone so that it can support the implant.

Don’t let tooth loss affect your self-esteem and health. Turn to the dental implant experts in Jackson, MI, who can help you regain a healthy smile. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation.

By Constance E Smith DDS PC
December 21, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

When it comes to replacing teeth, no restoration is quite as versatile as a dental implant. From the titanium post to the porcelain crown, implants replace the entire structure of a tooth. Dr. Constance Smith, your dentist in Jackson, Michigan, offers these amazing restorations to her patients who are missing one or more teeth. Wondering about dental implants for yourself? Read on.Dental Implants

I am uncomfortable with my missing teeth.

178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and that number is expected to increase over the next few years. Even though this is a large portion of the population, losing teeth is not a natural part of the aging process as many assume. The loss of teeth happens when decay is allowed to progress or accidents are not immediately treated. They cause gaps in your smile and a drop in your self-esteem. Fortunately, dental implants from your Jackson dentist solve both of these problems. They replace missing teeth like no other dental restoration available, giving you the comfort, stability and confidence you need.

I do not like the maintenance and appearance of dentures.

Dentures have been the first choice in both partial and full-mouth tooth restoration for many decades. However, they are not without their flaws. As they are removable, they can be difficult to keep in place while talking or chewing. They are also high maintenance, requiring several cleanings per day and total removal during sleep. Dental implants, however, are fixed restorations designed to last a lifetime with proper care. They are extremely realistic-looking and require the same dental hygiene routine as natural teeth. Twice-yearly appointments with your Jackson dentist will make sure they are functioning properly, as opposed to the many adjustments that dentures often require to fit.

If you'd like to learn more about dental implants, contact the dental office of Dr. Constance Smith in Jackson, Michigan. We'd be happy to set up a consultation for you!

By Constance E. Smith, DDS
January 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
Implant-SupportedDentures-aBetterFitwithExcessiveBoneLoss

Some patients who wear dentures face a kind of Catch-22: their denture fit may have loosened and become uncomfortable over time due to continued bone loss, yet the same bone loss prevents them from obtaining dental implants, a superior tooth replacement system to dentures.

But there may be a solution to this dilemma that combines the stability of implants with a removable denture. A set of smaller diameter implants — “mini-implants” — can support a removable denture with less bone than required by a conventional implant.

Like all living tissue, bone has a life cycle: after a period of growth, the older bone dissolves and is absorbed by the body, a process known as resorption. The forces generated when we bite or chew are transmitted by the teeth to the jawbones, which stimulates new bone formation to replace the resorbed bone. When the teeth are lost, however, the stimulation is lost too; without it, resorption will eventually outpace bone growth and repair, causing the bone mass to shrink.

Removable dentures also can’t supply the missing stimulation — bone loss continues as if the dentures weren’t there; and due to the compressive forces of a denture, bone loss accelerates. As the jawbone structure used to originally form the denture’s fit eventually shrinks, the denture becomes loose and difficult to wear. It’s possible to adjust to the new jaw contours by relining the dentures with new material or creating a new set of dentures that match the current bone mass. Without adequate bone, fixed crowns or bridges anchored by conventional implants may also be out of the picture.

On the other hand, mini-implants with their smaller diameter need less bone than the traditional implant. A few strategically placed within the jaw are strong and stable enough to support a removable denture. One other advantage: these mini-implants can be installed in one visit with local anesthesia and usually without the need for incisions or stitches.

If you would like more information on dentures supported by mini-implants, 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 “The ‘Great’ Mini-Implant.”

By Constance E. Smith, DDS
December 29, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
RealityStarKeptHisEyesonthePrizeNewTeeth

If you follow the hit TV reality show Amazing Race, you know that professional-hockey-playing brothers Bates and Anthony Battaglia won the $1 million prize in the latest globe-spanning competition. You may also have witnessed Anthony removing his false front teeth from time to time — like when he had to dive for pearls in Bora Bora. Since he plans to resume his sports career, Anthony wears a partial denture to fill the gap in his classic “hockey mouth.” He has said that when he finally hangs up his skates, he will use some of his Amazing Race prize money to get new, permanent teeth. When it's time to get that new smile, Anthony, like many people, will have to choose between two good options for permanent tooth replacement.

The preferred option for most people is dental implants. In this system, tiny titanium posts substitute for the root part of your missing tooth (or teeth). These are placed beneath your gum line in a minor surgical procedure we perform right here at the dental office. The amazing thing about dental implants is that they actually fuse to your jawbone, allowing your replacement teeth to last a lifetime.

The titanium implant itself is not visible in the mouth; the part of an implant tooth that you see is the lifelike crown. Virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth, the crown is attached to the implant above the gum line. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even all your teeth. You don't necessarily need one implant for every tooth because implants can support bridgework or even a complete set of prosthetic teeth.

The second-best option is a natural-tooth fixed bridge. In this system, we use healthy natural teeth on either side of the empty space left by a missing tooth (or teeth) as supports for one or more of the prosthetic teeth that will fill the gap. The downside is that in order to turn these healthy teeth into supports (which are referred to in dentistry as “abutments”), we need to remove some enamel and then cap them. This procedure can leave those teeth more prone to decay than they were before. But with regular dental exams and good oral hygiene on your part, bridgework can last many years.

Which system is right for you? That's a question we would be happy to help you determine... even if you haven't won a large jackpot or gone pearl diving in Bora Bora. If you've been looking forward to the day when you can have permanent replacement teeth, why wait? Contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. We will help you find your ideal solution to the problem of missing teeth! For more information, please see the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants vs. Bridgework” and “Dental Implants: Your Third Set of Teeth.”