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Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why You Should Try To Quit Smoking Before Getting Dental Implants

Dental implant success rates have risen in the past few years as advances have been made. Despite these advances, however, implant failure is still present. Studies have shown that most patients who smoke have higher rates of implant complications than non-smokers. Other common problems for avid smokers are outlined below, as well as tips for what you can do to decrease the likelihood of experiencing implant problems.

Complications During Surgery

The first concern your dentist has is related to the surgery. If you are unable to quit smoking at least 2 weeks before implant surgery, you should consider alternatives to implants – such as fixed or removable bridges and dentures. Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of inflammation during surgery. Combine that with the natural effects of anesthesia, and you are at high risk of cardiac arrest or heart attack during surgery. It is likely you will experience more pain immediately following surgery, as well.

Delayed Healing After Surgery

Not only are your pain levels higher following surgery, but the healing process lengthens if you continue smoking. Open wounds are more likely to become infected. And in the oral cavity, bacteria is already thriving. If you are able to discontinue smoking (even if it’s temporary, just long enough for the surgery and recovery), the bacteria will have less effect on the implant sites.

Possible Implant Complications

Implant surgery was probably successful if you were able to quit smoking for the duration of it. And there seem to be little short-term instances of complications related to smoking. But if you pick up on the habit again, you should be aware that long-term complications can arise. Among these difficulties are continued bone loss and peri-implantitis (infection around the implant). While slow to develop in most patients, you are at higher risk if you pick up on smoking after implant treatment.

Likelihood Of Implant Failure

As complications increase, you run the risk of higher implant failure. Implant failure for non-smokers is roughly 2% while implant failure in smokers is estimated between 5% and 6%. While these numbers may seem low in comparison with the many thousands of patients who undergo dental implants, keep in mind that implant failure is 2 to 3 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers.

Continued Oral Health Problems

Dental implants make your teeth look healthier and they won’t ever develop cavities. They are designed to preserve jaw tissue and are considered the most durable and natural-feeling prosthetic teeth available. Despite these great benefits, however, they don’t eliminate your ability to experience oral problems. Your other teeth can still get cavities, and bacteria in your mouth can still cause disease. Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease and oral cancers (primarily found in the jawbone and throat) than non-smokers. Treating these problems could result in failed implants because jaw tissue recedes, resulting in the removal of the implant rods.

What You Can Do To Decrease Implant Complications

Just because you smoke, it doesn’t mean you can’t get implants. The best way to ensure that the implants are successful both short- and long-term, however, is to minimize or quit smoking. There are dental clinics who specialize in treating smoking patients. These dentists can recognize early indicators of complications and will know how to approach their treatment. They also develop programs to help you discontinue smoking so you can have the best treatment.

While implant success rates are the highest they’ve ever been, there are still risk factors that result in failed implants. Smoking during implant treatment is a main cause for complications and failure. However, if you can quit for even a few weeks, surgery and follow-up treatment should go smoothly. Quitting completely will yield the best long-term implant results. For more information, contact a specialist like Advanced Dental Techniques.

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Advances In Dental Implant Technology May Improve Patient Outcomes

Since they arrived on the scene, dental implants have helped thousands of people restore the beauty and function of their smiles. Like most everything else in life, the technology continues to evolve and there are several advancements that promise to make dental implants easier, safer and faster to do. Here’s a brief outline of a few of these improvements that may be coming to a dentist’s office near you.

Bone Regenerating Implant Posts

One of the most important aspects of dental implant procedures is securing the post to the jaw bone. This is done by placing the post in position and waiting for the body to integrate it by growing bone around the implant. Unfortunately, many people are not good candidates for dental implants because they don’t have enough bone and/or gum tissue to support the implant. This is typically due to gum and periodontal disease but can also be the result of issues related to genetics, age and lifestyle.

However, research conducted by scientists at Georgia Health Sciences University promises to improve bone growth so people that otherwise wouldn’t be a good fit for dental implants can get in on the fun. They discovered a special protein that caused the mouth to produce more new bone in 4 weeks than bone grafting. According to previous research conducted by another team but lead by the same primary researcher, this protein causes stem cells to turn into bone-producing cells. The new bone also promoted regeneration of gum tissues. This technology is still in the testing stages.

Better Fitting Implants

The crowns that fit on top of dental implants work great when they are used for front teeth or incisors. However, things go a little bit awry when dental implants are used to replace molars in the back of the mouth. According to the founder of Grant Dental Technology Corp., the current screws used to hold the crowns causes gaps to form that allows food particles to accumulate in spaces that floss and toothbrushes can’t reach. These particles attract bacteria that cause gum and periodontal disease, infections and other bodily problems.

However, the company appears to have developed a solution to this issue. It’s developed an implant that features a rectangular base for the crown rather than a round one. This allows the crown to attach more tightly to the gums, preventing unwanted gaps from forming as well as stopping the crown from loosening during chewing. The company expects the new crowns will be available sometime in 2015.

Crowns While You Wait

3D printing has been used for a variety of medical marvels including allowing people in areas with limited healthcare options print prosthetic limbs for amputees. Now the power of 3D printing is showing up in dentists’ offices all across the country. Specifically, specially designed printers are letting dentists produce crowns and dental implants right in their offices.

As it stands now, dentists have to create a mold of the replacement tooth and send it to an external lab that then makes the permanent tooth and ships it back to the dentist. This often means multiple appointments for x-rays and fittings and several weeks of waiting while struggling with a temporary crown.

Using a 3D printer, however, a dentist can produce a permanent crown in about an hour. This involves scanning the image of the tooth into a computer program that sends it to a machine that carves the new tooth from porcelain. Such availability reduces the impact of mistakes (instead of waiting weeks for a new tooth, the dentist could remake the crown that same day). It also reduces cost, which may translate into cheaper implants.

For more information about dental implants and the latest dental technology, contact a dentist near you.

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