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implant dentist

Dental Implant vs Bridge: Single Tooth Replacement

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Dental Implant vs Bridge: Single Tooth Replacement

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For most patients missing a single tooth, a fixed (non removable) and natural looking replacement is the number one priority. Historically, dental bridges offered these results by crowning the teeth adjacent to the missing space and "bridging" it with a false tooth. However, the rise of dental implants has created new opportunities to restore missing teeth without needing to modify the neighboring dentition. The best choice for your mouth depends on a number of biological and cosmetic factors. Take a look!

Dental bridges are an excellent way to restore missing teeth without requiring surgery or implant placement. The most obvious drawback is that the adjacent teeth need to be modified to receive crowns to support the bridging tooth. However, if both teeth already have crowns or large fillings, a bridge can seem like a more attractive option. The biggest hesitation towards placing a bridge is when one of the neighboring teeth is completely healthy and free of any previous dental work. From a oral hygiene standpoint, bridging two teeth creates a potential food trap and an area that is difficult to floss. You will probably need to use floss threaders to clean under and around this area. Cosmetics are difficult to judge on bridges. The height of remaining soft tissue, space to be covered by the false tooth and angulation of adjacent teeth will all influence the final outcome. 

Likewise, implants allow dentists to restore missing teeth independently of neighboring teeth. In fact, an implant does not even need a tooth on both sides of it to be placed. This is why implants are the first choice for replacement when the last teeth in the dental arch are lost. Since an implant is placed surgically, cosmetics can be managed via bone remodeling and gum grafting. A well placed implant is indistinguishable from natural teeth. However, implants have a long healing time, typically requiring 6+ months from insertion to final crown placement. In the meantime, patients are provided with a temporary denture called a flipper if cosmetics are a concern. Another consideration with implants is bone height and health. There needs to be ample space and width for the implant to be placed without damaging nerves, blood vessels or sinuses. Not every patient will qualify for implant surgery. 

Deciding between an implant or a bridge is ultimately your choice. However, an exam and conversation with your dentist can alleviate concerns and help guide you towards the option that suits your needs best. If you would like to schedule an exam or consultation, please give our office a call today!

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Specialist Spotlight: Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery

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Specialist Spotlight: Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery

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At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we are proud of the network of skilled dental specialists we have created. Whether you are in our office or one of our associates’ offices, know that you will be treated with respect, kindness and experience. Today, we would like to highlight the surgical services offered by Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery.

At Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery, Doctors Donald Nikchevich, Michael Newton and Scott Bennion provide our patients with the best in surgical care. They approach every situation with years of experience and the latest in dental technology. We typically refer to Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery for patients requiring dental extractions or implants. In both situations, technologies like cone beam CT scans and platelet rich plasma (PRP) applications ensure the best outcomes coupled with speedy and predictable recovery. 

With your referral appointment, be sure to check out the Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery website to register with their office and add your medical history online. This helps streamline your surgical consultation and ensures accuracy of information. If you have any questions on your upcoming dental referrals or would just like to recap your treatment plan/options, feel free to give our office a call!

Website: www.scoms.com

Address: 911 Hampshire Road, Westlake Village, CA, 91361

 

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Molar Replacement with Implant and Zirconia Crown

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Molar Replacement with Implant and Zirconia Crown

Although studies show that the population's general oral health is improving, over half of all adults will be missing at least one tooth by retirement age. In the past, single tooth replacement options were limited to bridges (that required drilling on the teeth adjacent to the missing area) or removable dentures. Many patients found these options unpleasing and sought after something that could replicate the function and convenience of natural teeth. Fortunately, implants can offer exactly that- a fixed tooth replacement that functions independently of the adjacent teeth!

For today's patient, a missing first molar was replaced using a titanium implant and zirconia crown. As with any procedure, careful planning and communication between our office and the surgeon's office ensured that the implant was placed exactly according to the patient's needs. One the bone was given time to heal and osseointegrate (grow new bone around the titanium screw), we took impressions and had our lab create a durable and esthetic replacement crown. A process like this one typically takes about 4-6 months from implant placement to final crown delivery, depending largely on the body's healing process. 

While implants are a fantastic treatment option, they are not appropriate for every patient in every circumstance. You must be healthy enough for the placement surgery and have enough strong healthy bone to support the implant. Additionally, there are certain treatment options/scenarios where implants simply will not work. If you would like to know more about implants and how we use them to replace teeth, please give  give our office a call!

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Dental Implants: Our Office Policies

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Dental Implants: Our Office Policies

Without a doubt, implants are the newest and biggest trend in the dental profession. Never before have dentists been able to replace teeth so easily without dentures or bridges. Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry is at the forefront of implant treatment, offering tried and true techniques and procedures. As such, we would like to take a moment to inform our patients of how our office handles implant treatments.

A dental implant essentially consists of three parts: the titanium screw that sits in your bone. the "abutment" that extends above the gum line and the crown that is cemented or screwed to the abutment. At out office, we typically have one of our specialists place the implant screw. They bring years of knowledge and expertise to the procedure, along with advanced technology like Cone Beam CT scanners. All of this allows them to get better results in more difficult areas. Our specialists use Swiss made Straumann implants, which utilize the highest quality components and materials available. We don't want to take any chances with a procedure as sensitive as implant therapy.

After the implant screw is placed, it generally takes three to four months for the bones and gums to heal. In the meantime, we can offer you a temporary denture called a "stay plate" or "flipper" to fill in the missing space. Once the implant is fully integrated, it generally takes two appointments three week apart for us to take an impression and for our lab to create the final crown. While the process is long, implants are the ideal treatment for replacing lost teeth. We avoid having to alter adjacent teeth (as with a bridge) and there is no need for a removable appliance (as with dentures). It truly functions like the tooth that was there before. 

Does our office ever place our own implants in-house? We do, but only in specific cases. Firstly, we do not accept new patients solely to place implants (you must be a patient of record). You must also be healthy, have adequate height/width of bone and only need a single implant. For these patients, we can place implants replacing posterior teeth (molars and premolars). Any case that violates these parameters deserves the expertise and attention of a dental specialist. 

At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we are ready and excited to handle your implant treatment. The first step is an evaluation to check your teeth and discuss options. If you would like to schedule this exam or learn more about implant dentistry, please give our office a call! 

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Lower Incisor Implant Restoration

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Lower Incisor Implant Restoration

The top photos show the shade guides used by the lab to match the adjacent teeth. The metal pieces indicate the location of the implants for the impressions. The bottom photo highlights the great job Opus One Lab did in matching the colors of the teeth and gums!

The top photos show the shade guides used by the lab to match the adjacent teeth. The metal pieces indicate the location of the implants for the impressions. The bottom photo highlights the great job Opus One Lab did in matching the colors of the teeth and gums!

Bet you've never seen implants like this! Today's patient came to us after having lost their lower anterior incisors due to periodontal disease. Periodontal problems are common in this area due to a combination of plaque buildup, poor access due to crowding and (sometimes) tension of the lower lip on the gum tissues. Unfortunately, losing these teeth can have many undesirable effects, such as problems tearing food and lack of esthetic support for the lower lip. 

In treating this patient, two implants were placed by a specialist next to the lower canines. Once the surgical sites were healed, impressions were taken and sent to Opus One Dental Laboratory. At the lab, Four prosthetic teeth were created in a bridge from implant to implant. To correct for the missing bone, pink porcelain was added to the bottoms of the teeth to simulate gum tissue. The result is a very functional and natural looking replacement! If you would like to know more about amazing transformations we can achieve with dental implants, please give our office a call!

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Case Presentation: Implant Crown

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Case Presentation: Implant Crown

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

The advent of dental implants has made many procedures more predictable with better cosmetic results. Today's patients is a great example of the power of modern implants. They came to us missing two mandibular incisors and enough open space for one replacement tooth. Unlike the maxillary (upper) teeth, asymmetric midlines are much less noticeable on the lower arch. Using previous dental technologies, replacing this tooth would have required modifying the two adjacent teeth and creating a dental bridge. Preparing mandibular incisors for bridges is problematic, as the teeth are already so small that any reduction in size makes them very fragile. Additionally, bridges are harder to maintain than individual teeth and create food/plaque traps. 

For this patient, a single dental implant and crown created a perfect cosmetic solution to their missing incisor. They were fortunate to have enough bone level in that area to support the titanium anchor. Many times the bone around the mandibular incisors is too thin, requiring grafting or negating the possibility of an implant all together. This is why a proper consultation, exam and treatment plan is crucial in preparing for an implant procedure. If you would like to know more about dental implants, how we use them and who might be a good candidate, please give our office a call!

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