Posts for: June, 2017

By Today's Dental
June 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Get a full smile again with a little help from dental implants.dental implants

Dealing with tooth loss can feel frustrating, but you should breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our Houston, TX, dentists, Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton, offer a variety of options to meet your needs. If you need to replace one or more missing permanent teeth, find out if dental implants might be the right choice.

How Dental Implants Restore Smiles

Implants are designed to take the place of tooth roots. This means that in order for implants to work, one of our Houston general dentists will need to surgically place the implant into the jawbone.

Over the course of several months, the implant and bone will fuse together to become one. Implants are made from titanium, which is not only a very resilient metal but also is completely biocompatible (this means that your mouth won’t reject the metal). Once the implant has fused together with the jawbone then we can place a dental crown over it to complete your new restoration.

Perfect Candidates for Dental Implants

There are certain factors that we will need to take into consideration before determining your candidacy for getting dental implants. Since it can take up to a year or more to get your restoration and you’ll have to undergo surgery there are some qualifications that you will need to meet before we can proceed.

You must have good oral health: If you have uncontrolled gum disease or if we detect decay or an infection then these are issues we will need to address before we can proceed with implants. We will also perform X-rays to check the health and density of your jawbone. If there is significant bone loss, then bone grafting may be necessary prior to getting implants to ensure that the jawbone is strong enough to support your restoration.

You must be dedicated to your oral health: Are you someone who often forgets to floss their teeth? Do you neglect to see your dentist regularly? These measures might seem annoying but they can go a long way to protecting your teeth and gums. If you aren’t ready to adopt good oral hygiene, then dental implants are certainly not the way to go. If you want your implant to last you’ll want to care for it properly.

Are you ready to find out what Today's Dental in Houston, TX, can do for your smile? Let us know that you are dealing with tooth loss and are interested in getting dental implants and we will schedule a consultation with you.


ScreworCementWhichisBestforAttachingYourImplantCrown

If you’re in the initial planning stages for a dental implant, you may already be encountering a number of options to consider. One that may come up is how the visible crown will attach to the metal implant imbedded in the bone.

Generally speaking, implants are composed of two parts: a metal post most often made of titanium placed into the bone that serves as the “root” for the new tooth; and a visible, life-like crown made of dental porcelain that attaches to an abutment on the titanium post. The crown can be attached in one of two ways: either with a small screw through the biting surface of the crown into a receiving hole in the abutment or cemented to it.

The major advantage of a screwed crown is that it allows for easy removal of the crown if needed. While the titanium post can often last a lifetime, porcelain crowns more often need repair or replacement since they receive the brunt of the biting forces in the mouth. A screw-attached crown is much easier to remove than a cemented one.

On the other hand, screwed crowns have a small access hole that must be restored with a tooth-colored filling to help the crown appear natural. This isn’t too great an issue with back teeth but does make achieving a natural appearance in the front more difficult. Cemented crowns look more like a natural tooth and are thus more flexible in achieving the desired appearance.

Besides the possibility the cement may cause gum inflammation or bone loss, the chief detraction from cemented crowns is the difficulty in removing them. Crowns are often damaged in this process so it’s highly likely it will have to be replaced rather than repaired. It’s possible to use weaker cement, but this raises the risk of the crown coming loose at some point from the abutment.

As we plan for your implant, we’ll discuss which type of attachment will work best for you, depending on the tooth to be replaced and other conditions with your oral health. The end result, though, should be the same — a new, natural-looking tooth that serves you well for many years to come.

If you would like more information on dental 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 “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”


By Today's Dental
June 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
DontBreakItLikeBeckham

During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.

Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.

For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.

When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.

But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.

Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.

So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…

If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”