Eby Dental Care Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

KeeptheImplantsSupportingYourBridgeCleanofDentalPlaque

Dental implants have revolutionized restorative dentistry. Not only are they the top choice for individual tooth replacement, implants also improve upon traditional dental work.

Dental bridges are a case in point. A few well-placed implants can support a fixed bridge instead of natural teeth, as with a traditional bridge. Furthermore, a fixed, implant-supported bridge can replace all the teeth on a jaw.

But although convenient, we can't simply install an implant-supported bridge and forget about it. We must also protect it from what might seem at first an unlikely threat—periodontal (gum) disease.

Although the bridge materials themselves are impervious to infection, the natural tissues that underly the implants—the gums and bone—are not. An infection plaguing the gums around an implant can eventually reach the bone, weakening it to the point that it can no longer support the imbedded implants. As the implants fail, so does the bridge.

To guard against this, patients must regularly remove any buildup of plaque, a thin biofilm that feeds disease-causing bacteria, adhering to the implant surfaces in the space between the bridge and the gums. To do this, you'll need to floss—but not in the traditional way. You'll need some form of tool to accomplish the job.

One such tool is a floss threader. Similar to a large needle, the threader has an eye opening at one end through which you insert a section of floss. You then gently pass the threader between the bridge and the gums toward the tongue.

Once through, you release the floss from the threader, and holding each end, you work the floss along the implant surfaces within reach. You then repeat the threading process for other sections until you've flossed around all the implants.

You might also use a water flosser, a device that directs a spray of water between the bridge and gums. The pressure from the spray loosens and flushes away any plaque around the implants.

Whatever the method, it's important to use it every day to reduce the threat of gum disease. You should also see your dentist regularly for further cleanings and checkups. Keeping your implants clean helps ensure gum disease won't ruin your fixed bridge—or your attractive smile.

If you would like more information on keeping your dental work clean, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”

By Eby Dental Care
May 14, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Missing a tooth not only affects your ability to chew and bite but can also affect your confidence and cause you to hide your smile in public or in photos. Dental implants are a strong and durable tooth replacement option that can complete your gapped smile. Dr. Eric Eby at Eby Dental Care in Okemos, MI, can help inform you about dental implants and how they can restore your smile to its best version.

How You Can Benefit from Dental Implants

When you lose a tooth, a few things happen to your smile. You lose confidence in your smile, you lose your tooth root that acted as an anchor into the gums, and your jawbone begins to disintegrate, causing your face to sag along with it. When you replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, you can avoid all of this from happening and not only save your smile but also save your oral health.

Dental implants from your dentist in Okemos, MI, are made of a titanium post that acts as the tooth root that you lost. The titanium post then fuses into the gums and jawbone, helping restore the stimulation that was lost with the tooth. This will help prevent the jawbone from disintegrating and will help prevent any facial sagging from happening in the future.

Once the titanium post heals and is fully fused into the gums, it is then covered by a dental crown. The dental crown is custom-made to blend in with your smile and will be completely indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. The dental crown will not only match your natural teeth in shape, it is color-matched as well.

Dental implants are fully functional and can restore any biting or chewing function that you may have lost when the tooth was lost. You can continue eating your favorite foods and no longer have to worry about avoiding anything. When you properly care for your dental implant, it can last for years without any replacement or worry. To care for your implants, you just need to be sure to brush and floss daily, as well as visit your dentist for regular checkups.

Contact Your Dentist Today!

Restore your smile by taking advantage of the tooth replacement option that is dental implants. Contact Dr. Eby at Eby Dental Care in Okemos, MI, at (517) 349-9860 today!

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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.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

By Eby Dental Care
August 06, 2020
Category: Oral Health

Teeth grinding can quickly wear teeth down, as well as cause headaches, jaw pain, and other side effects. One sometimes overlooked cause of teeth grinding is tooth loss. Dental implants can potentially reduce teeth grinding due to tooth loss by helping fill in the gaps where teeth are missing. Dental implants are available at Eby Dental Care in Okemos MI, where Dr. Eric Eby can determine if you are a candidate for this tooth-replacement option.

Tooth Loss and Bruxism

Tooth loss can affect the alignment of your smile so that the top and bottom rows of teeth are unable to line up properly. In other words, missing teeth can cause your smile to be out of alignment or off balance. This leads to shifting and grinding of the teeth because they cannot find a balanced resting position. Teeth grinding, which is also referred to as bruxism, can get worse during times when an individual is experiencing stress or anxiety. Seeking treatment for teeth grinding due to tooth loss is critical to prevent the remaining teeth from being worn down.

How Dental Implants in Okemos Can Help

Teeth grinding that has developed following tooth loss is treated by filling in the gaps where teeth are missing. Dental implants are an outstanding and reliable long-term option for restoring your smile. Dental implants take the place of tooth roots where teeth are missing and work in conjunction with dental crowns, bridgework, or implant-supported overdentures to replace lost teeth.

Dental Implants Okemos are surgically placed in the jawbone, which allows them to firmly and securely anchor artificial teeth in place. With proper care, dental implants have the potential to hold replacement teeth, such as dental crowns, in place permanently. The skilled dentist at our office in Okemos can determine if dental implants are an option for you. Candidates for dental implants must have enough jawbone to support the placement of the implants. Unfortunately, in addition to sometimes causing bruxism, tooth loss can also result in loss of bone.

If teeth grinding persists even after the placement of dental implants and artificial teeth, there are interventions that can help. Wearing a mouthguard at night can protect both natural and replacement teeth from being worn down by grinding. Developing strategies for reducing stress and alleviating anxiety can also help.

Dental implants can potentially minimize or eliminate teeth grinding due to tooth loss, while also restoring your smile. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Eric Eby to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by calling Eby Dental Care in Okemos MI at (517) 349-9860.

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Dental implants are all the rage. And why not — not only are these tooth replacements life-like and highly functional, they have an amazing 95% ten-year success rate.

Some of that success is due to their unique design. Technically a root replacement, an implant's metal titanium post is surgically placed in the jawbone, where bone grows and adheres to it over time. This creates a strong connection that stands up well to the forces created by biting and chewing.

But there's more to their longevity than design. Success also depends on a careful, planned process that begins long before surgery.

It starts with a detailed oral examination to determine the best placement for the implant. Besides regular x-rays, we may also perform CT scans to create a three-dimensional view of your jaw. With this we can locate and avoid nerves, sinus cavities or other structures near the implant site.

The examination also helps us determine if you've experienced any bone loss, a normal occurrence after tooth loss. Implants require an adequate amount of bone to achieve the best position. A good position ensures future bone integration and the best appearance result.

The same attention to detail extends to the actual surgery to place the implant. We fashion the site to receive the implant by sequentially drilling larger tapered channels until we achieve the right size fit for the implant. During drilling we avoid overheating the bone, which could ultimately weaken and damage the implant's stability.

We'll also need to provide protection for the implant while it integrates with the bone. In most implantations, we do this by suturing the gum tissue over the implant. We take a different approach with a “Tooth in a Day” procedure where we attach a crown (the visible portion of the tooth) right after implant surgery. In this case we'll install a crown (which is actually temporary) that's a little shorter than the adjacent teeth. The natural teeth around it will absorb the forces produced while chewing and not the implant crown.

Focusing on these and other factors will greatly reduce the risk of implant failure. Paying careful attention to them helps ensure your new smile is a lasting one.

If you would like more information on dental implants to restore your smile, 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 “Dental Implants: A Tooth Replacement Method That Rarely Fails.”