My Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

By Cynthia A. Bolton, DDS
May 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Even with modern prevention and treatment advances, losing teeth in later life is still a sad but common part of human experience. Just as generations have before, many today rely on dentures to regain their lost dental function and smile.

But although effective, dentures have their weaknesses. The most serious: they can't prevent jawbone deterioration, a common problem associated with tooth loss.

Bone health depends on chewing forces applied to the teeth to stimulate replacement growth for older bone cells. When teeth are gone, so is this stimulation. Dentures can't replicate the stimulus and may even accelerate bone loss because they can irritate the bone under the gums as they rest upon them for support.

But there's a recent advance in denture technology that may help slow or even stop potential bone loss. The advance incorporates implants with dentures to create two hybrid alternatives that may be more secure and healthier for the supporting bone.

The first is known as an overdenture, a removable appliance similar to a traditional denture. But instead of deriving its support from the gums alone, the overdenture attaches to three to four implants (or only two, if on the lower jaw) that have been permanently set into the jawbone. This not only increases stability, but the implants made of bone-friendly titanium attract and foster increased bone growth around them. This can help slow or even stop the cycle of bone loss with missing teeth.

The second type is a fixed denture. In this version, four to six implants are implanted around the jaw arch. The denture is then secured in place to these implants with screws. It's a little more secure than the overdenture, but it's also more expensive and requires good quality bone at the implant sites.

If you've already experienced significant bone loss you may first need bone grafting to build up the implant sites for these options, or choose traditional dentures instead. But if you're a good candidate for an implant-supported denture, you may find it provides better support and less risk of continuing bone loss than traditional dentures.

If you would like more information on implant-supported dental restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Cynthia A. Bolton, DDS
December 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

How dental implants from your dentist in Reidsville, North Carolina can give you back your smile

Are you missing teeth? If so, it’s time to get your smile back, and dental implants are the right choice to make. When you choose dental implants, get ready to enjoy benefits that can’t be matched by other tooth replacement methods. Dr. Cynthia Bolton in Reidsville, North Carolina provides implants that will make you want to show off your smile.

Dental implants are the perfect choice to replace a single tooth, or multiple missing teeth. Just about everyone is a great candidate for dental implants and can benefit from the overwhelming success of dental implant treatment. In fact, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, dental implants have a success rate of over 95 percent, making them the most successful surgical implant!

When you choose dental implants, these are just a few of the benefits you will enjoy:

  • Stability, because dental implants are embedded in the jawbone so they won’t move
  • Natural good looks, because the dental implant crown material is light-reflective, just like natural tooth enamel
  • Long-lasting beauty, because dental implants resist stains, and they will never decay
  • Easy maintenance, because you can brush and floss your dental implants right along with your natural teeth

Dental implants also help conserve and protect the bone in your jaw. They even help you build more bone, which fuses with the dental implants. More bone means a firmer jawline and more youthful facial contours which can help you look younger.

Your dental implant treatment begins with the implants being placed in your jaw during a simple in-office procedure. Over time, your bone fuses with the implants, locking them in place. After the area has healed and the implants are firmly embedded in bone, your implants are capped with beautiful, sparkling dental implant crowns. You have your new smile!

Dental implants are a long-term solution to tooth loss and an investment in your smile. You owe it to yourself to have a brilliant, beautiful smile even if you’ve lost teeth. Dental implants are the answer you’ve been waiting for. Don’t get discouraged and think a beautiful smile is out of reach. Instead, just pick up the phone and call Dr. Cynthia Bolton in Reidsville, North Carolina today!

By Cynthia A. Bolton, DDS
April 17, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Don’t leave tooth loss untreated. Implants can turn that smile implants

Are you an adult who is dealing with one or more missing teeth? While tooth loss might have you feeling stressed, upset and at a loss for what to do, our Reidsville, NC, family dentist, Dr. Cynthia Bolton, is here to tell you that it doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. While we won’t be able to get your tooth back we can replace it with the next best thing.

So, what makes dental implants the closest you can get to a natural tooth?

An implant is a metal post that is designed to naturally fuse together with the jawbone and tissue to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, or full set of dentures. This metal fixture, often made from titanium, might look small but it’s extremely durable and resilient. No other tooth replacement is as strong or long-lasting. In fact, with the proper care, your dental implant could end up lasting the rest of your life.

Since dental implants naturally meld together with bone and tissue to become part of your mouth you won’t have to worry about it moving or shifting out of place (a common complaint with dentures). It will fully restore both chewing and speech (those with tooth loss may face speech impediments until the tooth is replaced). You can enjoy all of your favorite foods again without having to worry about your tooth.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

As with any dental procedure, our Reidsville dentist will need to sit down with you during a consultation to determine if this is the right treatment to meet your needs. There are many factors that play into whether or not implants are right for you. Common factors include:

  • Your general and oral health
  • The health of your jawbone
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking and other habits
  • Age

No matter if you have questions about getting dental implants in Reidsville, NC, or you are ready to schedule a consultation and find out whether you are an ideal candidate for implants, don’t hesitate to turn to our dental team for the care your smile needs to get back on track.

By Cynthia A. Bolton, DDS
January 21, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.

Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.

It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.

Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.

To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.

You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.

Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.

Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Cynthia A. Bolton, DDS
January 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Not long ago, the most affordable option for total tooth loss was a removable denture. Dentures, prosthetic (false) teeth set in gum-colored acrylic plastic bases, can effectively restore function and appearance. But the appliance continues to have one major drawback: it can accelerate bone loss in the jaw.

Like other living tissues, older bone cells die and become absorbed into the body (resorption). Normally they're replaced by newer cells. The forces generated when we chew our food travel through the teeth to stimulate this new growth. This stimulus ends when we lose our teeth, and so cell replacement can slow to an abnormal rate. Eventually, this causes bone loss.

Removable dentures can't provide this stimulation. In fact, the pressure generated as they compress the gums' bony ridges can even accelerate bone loss. That's why over time a denture's fit can become loose and uncomfortable — the bone has shrunk and no longer matches the contours of the dentures.

In recent years, though, a new development has been able to provide greater support to dentures while at the same time slowing or even stopping bone loss. We can now support dentures with dental implants.

Implants are best known as individual tooth replacements: a titanium metal post replaces the root, while a life-like porcelain crown attaches to the post to replace the visible tooth. In addition to providing a longer-lasting alternative to removable dentures, implants provide a very important health benefit: they improve bone density because they mimic the function of natural teeth. Bone cells are naturally attracted to the titanium; they adhere to the titanium post and are stimulated to grow through the action of chewing, increasing bone density and securing the implant's hold in the jaw.

Using the same technology we can support removable dentures, or even full fixed bridges. Rather than rest directly on the bony ridges, a denture can make a secure connection through a coupling system with just a few strategically placed implants. We can also permanently attach a full bridge by fastening it to a few implants with screws.

Not only do we eliminate the pressure from dentures compressing the gums and bone tissue, we can actually stimulate bone growth with the implants. Although more costly upfront than traditional dentures, unlike traditional dentures which must be replaced every five to seven years, long-lasting implants may be more cost-effective over the long-run.

If you would like more information on implant-supported tooth replacement, 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 “New Teeth in One Day.”