Getting A Dental Bridge For A Missing ToothGetting A Dental Bridge For A Missing Tooth


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Getting A Dental Bridge For A Missing Tooth

Hi, my name is Robin Pearson and when I had to have a tooth pulled, I was just devastated. I didn't want to have a gap in my mouth so I asked my dentist what he could do. My dentist said there were a couple of options regarding replacing a tooth that's missing. The option that interested me was a dental bridge. I went home and read all I could about dental bridges so I would completely understand how they work to fill in the missing space in my mouth. Since I am very pleased with my dental bridge, I wanted to share this information with other people who are also considering this option for a missing tooth.

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Five Fascinating Facts About Dental Implants

Dental implants are becoming more commonplace these days, whether to replace a root canal and crown procedure or to fill in missing teeth after trauma. You may have heard about the many benefits of dental implants, but read on to learn five fascinating facts about implants you probably never knew.

Forensic Science

You may know that dental records can help identify dead bodies. But what happens when a body is incinerated in a fire, like arson, an accident, or a mass casualty incident, and there are no teeth remaining?

Fortunately, because the root of a dental implant is made of titanium, which melts at extremely high temperatures (around 1,560 degrees Centigrade!), these bits of dentistry frequently survive when the rest of the body is gone. The implant roots often have enough microscopic markings on them to give information about their manufacturers, which can ultimately lead to who installed them and the identity of the victim.

Bone Grafts

One of the necessary components for a successful dental implant is healthy bone in which to place the titanium root on which the false tooth will be pinned. It used to be that dental implants couldn't be used in patients without enough jaw bone to hold them fast.

Now, however, new techniques for bone grafting have been developed. Grafts can be harvested from patients themselves (sometimes right from within their own mouths) or taken from a foreign source. Once the bone graft is thriving in place through transplant, the implant can be put in, offering a miraculous alternative for victims of cancer and trauma.

Diabetes

Another worry with initial dental implants was the presence of diabetes in the patient. It was questioned whether diabetic patients could have long-term success with implants, due to problems with blood sugar and circulation that can cause periodontal disease and poor oral health in general.

The good news is that recent studies of dental implants in diabetic patients have show them to have the same success rates as in the general population. Physicians recommend that the following care be taken with diabetic patients receiving implants:

  • use of prophylactic antibiotics
  • longer course of post-procedure antibiotics
  • use of chlorhexidine mouth rinse
  • bioactive material coated implants (coating helps create a bond with the surrounding tissue)
  • use of implants of higher width and length

Kids

One population that still can't use dental implants is children. This is because implants need to be set in bone that is no longer growing. An implant in a pediatric patient is a static object in a dynamic environment.

Unfortunately, the implant would shrink into the surrounding bone as it grew and would not be in proportion or proper position for long. It could also affect the stability of nearby teeth.

Animals

It shouldn't really come as a surprise that dental implants are starting to see limited use in small animals (cats and dogs) and horses, as pet dentistry has traditionally followed human dental care by several decades. While veterinarians don't advocate implants as a widespread technique, there are cases where their use is warranted:

  • to prevent root exposure and pain
  • to protect the surrounding bone structure
  • to prevent movement of surrounding teeth that could cause bite problems
  • to keep the tongue from hanging out
  • to prevent soft tissue damage from injured teeth
  • to prevent gastric problems from poorly chewed food

Hopefully, your teeth will stay healthy and intact. But should you need a dental implant, now you'll know a bit more about them, and maybe you can even stump your dentist with some fun trivia.

Talk to your dentist, such as Russel Bleiler DDS, for more information.