Question:  I have some concern about implants.  I have a loose lower denture that has been getting worse.  I use the powder and even the cream adhesives but they are messy and really stick making it difficult to remove.  I visited my dentist and told me about implants.  He told me about some small implant to stabilize my denture.  Could you explain?

The Gentle Dentist Explains Implants

Implants are small “man-made” roots that are inserted into the jawbone.  The bone grows into the implant and on top of the implant different structures can be made to replace teeth, hold dentures in place, or act as anchors for bridges.  They are very successful (greater than 93%) long term as long as they are used and designed properly by the dentist.  Typical implants are slightly smaller than the diameter of a drinking straw.  There is more research being done in the implant field than any other field in dentistry and because of it many options are being made available.

The small type of implant that your dentist told you about is called a mini-implant.  With just numbing these very small (1.8 mm) diameter implants are simply placed directly into the bone and can be used immediately.  The lower denture is relined with special inserts that snap onto the mini-implants.  The result is a much more stable lower denture that eliminates the denture adhesives.  The mini-implant has some advantages over the traditional implant:

  • There is no waiting period for bone to grow into the implant therefore the results are instant.
  • The cost is substantially less that the larger implant.
  • It can be used on those patients who can’t have surgery because of health problems.
  • There is little or no pain associated with the treatment.
  • If the existing denture is in good condition it can be reused.

Implants are a very exciting treatment option that can make a huge difference for those who have loose dentures or missing teeth and want to eat better.

The Gentle Dentist Explains Implants

If you have any further questions regarding implants, please give our Shelby Township office a call at 586-247-3500.

The Gentle Dentist Explains Implants

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What are the Different Methods to Replace Missing Teeth Answered by Michigan Dentist

Question:   During a home visit I had a question presented to me from our patient’s wife.  She asked me what’s the difference between a partial denture and a bridge.  Below is what I explained to her.

Answer:  I will answer the question by first addressing the question more generally.  I will rephrase the question to-What are the different methods available to replace missing teeth?

  • Complete Denture–  If someone is missing all of their teeth then a complete denture may be the best solution for replacing them. The complete denture can be the most affordable method to replace teeth.  The problem with this option is that the patient is able to only bite down with about 20% of the force they could with natural teeth.  They also do not stay firmly fixed to the jaws unless implants or natural teeth are used as anchors.  Lower complete dentures depend on the tongue and lip to keep them in place and the upper dentures use suction to stay loosely attached to the roof of the mouth.  Dentures need to be maintained by relining every 2-3 years to compensate for bone loss under the denture.  Their life expectancy is between 5-8 years.
  • Partial Denture-This option is usually used with patients who have a few healthy teeth remaining in their mouth.  Partial dentures stay in the mouth by using the remaining teeth to act as anchors.  They need to be removed and cleaned after eating and at bedtime.  The advantage of a partial denture is that it can replace many teeth using one device.  The disadvantage is that it needs to be removed and cleaned.  Because this prosthetic device requires healthy teeth for support that means that the patient needs to brush and follow strict hygiene program.  They also need to visit the dentist regularly to have their teeth cleaned.
  • Fixed bridge– A fixed bridge uses two or more natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth space as anchors.  The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space are reshaped to accept a bridge.  A temporary bridge is used to cover the reshaped teeth while being made at the laboratory.  The tooth colored porcelain bridge is cemented in place after it is made at the dental laboratory.  Since it is cemented to the teeth it has the feel of a natural tooth and your ability to eat with it is far superior than a partial denture.
  • Implant crown-This is the most natural way to replace missing teeth.  An implant is a titanium root that is placed into the bone.  A crown is placed over this “manmade root” to give the appearance and function of a natural tooth.  The advantage of this treatment is that the adjacent teeth are not affected like in the case of a fixed bridge.  Your ability to brush and floss is just like never having a tooth replaced.

What are the Different Methods to Replace Missing Teeth Answered by Michigan Dentist

Of course every situation is different and requires the expertise of the treating dentist and the patient’s input to determine which method is best.  If you would like to have a second opinion or an initial evaluation please call our Shelby Township office at 586-247-3500.

What are the Different Methods to Replace Missing Teeth Answered by Michigan Dentist

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions about Smoking and about Implants

Question: My husband has been smoking for many years, but when he plays golf with his buddies he smokes cigars. I am concerned about this. Are cigars safer to smoke than cigarettes?

Answer: Cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes. Even if you do not inhale cigar smoke, you are still at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers.
Like cigarette smokers, cigar smokers are at increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.
In addition to the health risks, cigar smoke (and cigarette smoke) can cause staining of the teeth and tongue as well as bad breath.
There are numerous programs out there to help stop this habit. The most important factor for him to quit is his willingness to kick the habit.

Question: I have some concern about implants. I have a loose lower denture that has been getting worse. I use the powder and even the cream adhesives but they are messy and really stick making it difficult to remove. I visited my dentist and told me about implants. He told me about some small implant to stabilize my denture. Could you explain?

Answer: Implants are small “man-made” roots that are inserted into the jawbone. The bone grows into the implant and on top of the implant different structures can be made to replace teeth, hold dentures in place, or act as anchors for bridges. They are very successful (greater than 93%) long term as long as they are used and designed properly by the dentist. Typical implants are slightly smaller than the diameter of a drinking straw. There is more research being done in the implant field than any other field in dentistry and because of it many options are being made available.
The small type of implant that your dentist told you about is called a mini-implant. With just numbing these very small (1.8 mm) diameter implants are simply placed directly into the bone and can be used immediately. The lower denture is relined with special inserts that snap onto the mini-implants. The result is a much more stable lower denture that eliminates the denture adhesives. The mini-implant has some advantages over the traditional implant:
• There is no waiting period for bone to grow into the implant therefore the results are instant.
• The cost is substantially less that the larger implant.
• It can be used on those patients who can’t have surgery because of health problems.
• There is little or no pain associated with the treatment.
• If the existing denture is in good condition it can be reused.

Implants are a very exciting treatment option that can make a huge difference for those who have loose dentures or missing teeth and want to eat better.

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions about Smoking and about Implants

If you have questions about smoking or implants, please give our Shelby Township office a call at 586-247-3500.

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions about Smoking and about ImplantsThe Gentle Dentist Logo

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions About Dental Implants

Question: I visited my dentist and she told me that implants are an option for me to firm up my denture. Please let me know how this procedure works and the benefits and risks involved. Could you also go over the price to do something like this? Thank You.

Answer: Over the years dental implants have been used to firm up dentures and replace missing teeth in a number of different ways. We insert full sized implants to replace missing teeth, but now we can use mini-implants to improve the performance of a full lower denture in just 1 visit. This is a very simple and cost effective technique to keep lower dentures in place and prevent slippage while eliminating denture adhesives. Fees can range from $1,200 and up depending on the condition of the dentures and the number and type of implants needed.
I have had other patients ask me similar questions in the past and here are some answers I have given:

Question: What are the mini-implants and what makes them different from other dental implants?

Answer: The mini-implant is a threaded titanium pin that inserts into the bone. The device is designed like a snap. The female portion of the snap is cemented into the denture and the male portion is placed into the jaw. They are only 1.8mm in diameter, slightly larger in diameter than a pencil lead. As many as 4 of these mini-implants can be used in the front of the jaw to stabilize a denture. The 4 “snaps” give the denture a substantial fit with terrific retention. The placement of this is relatively painless and takes less than 1 hour. The best part is that immediately after you leave the office you can eat you first steak dinner in a long time.

Question: I’ve heard that standard dental implants are somewhat expensive. What about these mini-implants?

Answer: Every patient is different, but in general the mini-implants are about one half the cost of traditional implants. There are limitations to the standard implant, but for those patients who have a significant amount of bone loss these are very effective. The mini-implant can be used in existing dentures if they are functional and not too old.

Question: Are they painful when inserted?

Answer: My understanding is that the level of discomfort is about the same as an extraction. Pain is usually controlled with a couple of aspirins or ibuprofen. Antibiotics are sometimes used depending on the procedure.

Question: Is there a period of time when I can’t wear my denture?

Answer: You can wear your denture immediately after the procedure is done. This is a nice advantage since dentures are depended on to eat your food.

Question: Does dental insurance cover implant procedures?

Answer: Dental insurance covers the basic aspects of dentistry. They consider dental implants something not completely necessary even though they have been successfully placed in patient’s mouths more than 20 years. Apparently loose dentures are acceptable in their minds. You must realize that insurance companies are providers of plans that your employer has negotiated with them. There are some carriers that do provide some type of compensation for implants, but they are few and far between.

Question: What’s a typical daily routine one might expect once the mini-implants have been placed?

Answer: As with all dental applications, there’s a short adjustment period during which time the implant patient becomes comfortable placing and removing the denture. Typically, this involves removal of the lower denture in the morning, brushing the gums and implant area, rinsing the mouth, rinsing the denture itself, then replacing it. The result is a normal day’s activity for the patient, including eating, talking, taking a nap, etc. Then, in the evening, the denture is usually removed again, the implants are brushed and the mouth thoroughly rinsed. The implant patient then opts to sleep with, or without his or her denture. The result is a fully functioning dental appliance that works, is socially acceptable, has a comfortable fit, etc.

Here is a statement from a patient who had some placed:

“I just wanted to thank the people that were responsible for this procedure. It has changed my life. I lost my teeth at the age of 23 and was never able to wear anything but a top plate. It affected by entire personality, and therefore the course of my life. I found this procedure (IMTEC Sendax MDI) by accident on the computer and decided to check in to it further. I had it done about 7 months ago, and it’s wonderful. I really think it’s sad that more people don’t know about it, or do, but are afraid of it. There was enough bone left to hold the implants. Everything was gone in the back of my mouth, so they put four mini dental implants in the front. They are great! I really thought there was no hope of ever being ‘normal’ again, especially after twenty-five years. The fact that this procedure is so affordable, and virtually painless to have performed, is something that the public should be made aware of. Had I not spent hours on my computer, I would have never known about it.”

Deborah Bacon

As you can see dental implants are easy and affordable. After having the mini-implant placed and your denture modified to fit the mini-implants you will be able to eat, laugh, and smile with confidence.

Next month I will review what a standard implant is and current research that assures its success.

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions About Dental Implants

Please submit your dental questions to me and hopefully they will appear on the next edition. Submit your dental implant questions to TheGentleDentist@comcast.net or call us at (586)573-4500

Thank You,
Robert V. Antolak DDS

 

I have patients come into our Shelby Township Dental Office asking advice on whether to have mini implants or standard sized implants placed.  This is a fairly common question I get and want to give some information which describes their commonalities and their differences.   Generally, I would have to answer  that the basic differences in them is the flexibility and what they are going to be used for.

Dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that is completely compatible with the body.  The human  body does not have a reaction to this metal.  Very few metals are bio-compatible which means that they do not create an immune response in the body.  This is what has made implants successful over the past 40 years or so.

  • The standard dental implant is usually made of 2 pieces and is greater than 3 mm in diameter   The standard dental implant has an external screw that allows it to be screwed into the bone and an internal thread which allows different components to be torqued down into the dental implant.    The inside threads of the standard sized implant allows different  components to be attached to them.

The components or abutments are used to:

  • replace missing teeth or a single tooth.
  • Hold  removable dentures in place so they can be snapped on and off. These abutments are like “snaps” and because they are screwed into the dental implant they can have a stronger hold than the mini dental implants

There are many different manufactures of these standard  dental implants that have their own shape and design.  The good news is that they all work very well with a over a 95% chance of success.

  • Mini dental implants are a solid one piece screw that is less than 3 mm in diameter with a specialized ball shaped end that sticks out of the jaw bone.  Inside of the denture is a rubber O ring that fits around this ball.  When the denture is placed over the ball the rubber O ring keeps the denture retained.

Comparisons:

  • Because the mini dental implant is only 3 mm in diameter it needs to be 1 piece for strength. The 2 piece standard dental implants have enough diameter so that an internal thread can be placed inside of the top of the dental implant and keep it strong enough.  When comparing the two systems it is necessary to use four mini dental implants to hold a lower denture in place whereas two standard implants would be comparable.
  • The cost of a standard implant is about 50% more because of the fact that there are more components and because the surgery is a little more advanced.
  • Mini dental implants are good for those who are in poor health because no flap of gum tissue needs to be made for these.  Because no flap is needed it also becomes more challenging because the bone in these patients is usually very thin and it is hard to determine where the ridge of bone is.
  • Because the standard sized  dental implant has individual components screwed into them the become more universal and can be used for different purposes.

I can do and have done both mini dental implants and standard dental implants in my Macomb County Dental office but I prefer the placement of standard dental implants if there is enough bone because it is more predictable to use in my hands.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

At www.Thegentledentist.com, Dr Robert Antolak treats snoring and obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliances. These devices brings the lower jaw forward to open the airway to prevent the collapse of the airway to keep breathing easier. If you suffer from
1. snoring, gasping or jerking during sleep
2. Headaches or sore throat
3. Suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness or difficulty concentrating
4. Have cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks or heart failure you may have apnea.
If you are using a Cpap machine but find it cumbersome and don’t use it then oral appliance therapy can be for you. Call Dr. Antolak in shelby township Michigan, macomb county at 586.247.3500. He specializes in cosmetic, implants, and general dentistry in a relaxed and gentle atmosphere.

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