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How Do I Know if I Need Dental Implants?

Filed under: Dental Implants — Cornerstone Dental Arts @ 8:00 am

There are few things worse than not feeling one hundred percent confident about your smile. If you have missing teeth that give you gaps in your grin, then dental implants may be the perfect dental solution for you.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are among the most effective treatment options for missing teeth.

When you receive a dental implant, the first step includes placing an anchor into your jaw bone surgically. This post will be given a chance to heal. During the healing process, it will fuse naturally to your jawbone — much like the roots of your natural teeth. Once the healing process is complete, you will receive your new tooth replacement in the form of a crown.

When are dental implants needed?

Dental implants come into play when you are missing a tooth. Your missing tooth may have been an extraction, or you may have suffered damage or breakage in an accident. Your dentist will help you determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, which naturally replaces missing teeth.

It is important to replace any missing teeth in a timely manner. When you lose a tooth, the bone that once supported it starts to lose density. The rest of the teeth in your mouth may start to shift, as the tooth that once helped them hold their place in your jaw is no longer there. This could affect your bite. If your bite is misaligned, it could cause you pain and further problems.

What are the pros and cons of dental implants?

The benefits of dental implants are numerous. This treatment is one of the best available to replace missing teeth. Since it is a permanent solution, you do not have to worry about removing an apparatus, as with full and partial dentures. Since the anchor is designed to fuse naturally to your jawbone, your implant will be safe and secure. You will not have to adjust your lifestyle or diet, and you will care for the implant just like you care for the rest of your teeth in your mouth. As an added bonus, your dental implant will look very much like your natural tooth. Most people will not be able to tell any difference between your implant and the rest of your smile.

There are a few disadvantages to dental implants.

Dental implants can sometimes be expensive, depending on your insurance plan and the coverages available to you. The team at your dental office can reach out to your carrier and provide you with an estimate on the pricing.

Additionally, dental implants aren’t for everyone. There are several factors that could affect whether you are a good candidate to receive this treatment.

Who are good candidates for dental implants?

If you are generally in good health, you may be a good candidate to receive one or more dental implants. During your initial consultation for dental implants, we will do a complete examination to determine whether your jaw has enough density in the bone to support the post that secures the implant and makes it a secure and natural solution to replace a missing tooth.

Some factors that could impact whether you are a good candidate to receive a dental implant include:

  • Age: Some people over the age of 60 may not be good candidates for dental implants.
  • Medical history: If you have had radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer, you may not be a good candidate. Likewise, if the medication you are taking interferes with bone growth, if you have low estrogen and are postmenopausal, or if you have diabetes that is poorly controlled, it could affect the success of a dental implant. Individuals with gum disease may also not be good candidates.
  • Lifestyle habits: People who smoke or excessively drink alcohol may not be good candidates for dental implants.

Ultimately, the decision on whether dental implants are right for you will come down to communication between you and your dentist.

Are there any alternatives to dental implants?

If you and your dentist decide that dental implants are not the right course of treatment for you, then not to worry — there are several alternatives that will give you the smile that you want.

  • Fixed bridge: A fixed bridge utilizes the two natural teeth on either side of the gap to provide a supportive fix for your smile. Your dentist will reshape the two teeth to accommodate the bridge, which will cover both your gap and your two natural teeth.
  • Partial denture: This removable appliance clips on to your existing teeth to provide coverage for your gaps.
  • Complete denture: Your gums support full dentures, as they rest where your natural teeth once were.

Ready to talk about your own personal treatment plan involving dental implants? Or would you like to know about the dental implant service we provide right here at Cornerstone Dental Arts? Call us with your questions at (865) 531-7117 or read more here.

All About Sedation Dentistry

Filed under: In-Office Sedation — Cornerstone Dental Arts @ 8:00 am

Some people have a difficult time going to the dentist. In some instances, that difficulty may be caused by a negative experience at a dental office, sometimes even dating back to childhood. Other times, a person could simply be afraid of the treatment they need to undergo — or perhaps even be fearful of what an exam might reveal about their oral health.

Any time a person is afraid of going to the dentist, it can be detrimental to the health of their teeth and mouth. Everyone should have a close, trusting relationship with their dental team — it’s important for the best possible care, and to empower the patient to take charge of their oral health and participate in any treatment plans they may have. Also, fearful patients may be less likely to address any issues — or even to come in for their regularly scheduled six-month checkups.

Thankfully, there are options for people who simply can’t overcome their fear of spending time in the dental chair — and for all others who might have issues getting dental care for various reasons.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is an option in more and more dental offices. It is a safe and effective way to help ease anxiety and help with a number of different issues that might keep a person from visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

There are several different types of sedation that can be used in this form of dentistry, including:

  • Oral conscious sedation: In this form of sedation, your dentist will have you take medication by mouth prior to your appointment. You will remain awake for your appointment, but the medication ensures that you will not remember it.
  • Nitrous oxide sedation: Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a simple way to help tone down your anxiety. The added bonus is that as soon as your dental treatment is finished and the mask is removed, you will return to normal in just a few minutes.
  • IV sedation: During IV sedation, you will be completely asleep during your treatment. This is best for patients with severe anxiety and/or multiple procedures that need to be performed at the same visit.

Your dentist will work with you to determine which form of sedation will work best for you.

When is sedation dentistry used?

Sedation dentistry can be used to ease anxiety, increase patient comfort and relaxation, help patients who have issues sitting in the dental chair because of pain or mobility, and much more.

A few examples of some dental treatments that may often call for sedation and/or anesthesia of varying levels include:

  • Wisdom teeth extraction
  • Dental implants
  • Root canals

Who is a good candidate for sedation dentistry?

Though sedation dentistry is not for everyone, you and your dentist may decide it is best for you, particularly if you have: 

  • Low tolerance for pain, which can cause you to put off minor restorations like fillings until they become serious enough for root canals.
  • Problems sitting, such as people with neck and back injuries, or children who need extensive dental work but still have problems being still for long periods of time.
  • High sensitivity, including people with sensitive gag reflexes, limiting the access a dentist needs to complete treatments.
  • Volume of work, such as multiple fillings, extractions, or other treatments that could extend your time in the dental chair.

What are the pros and cons to sedation dentistry?

There are many benefits when it comes to sedation dentistry. Perhaps the most important one is a patient’s comfort. When you know that you will not be in any discomfort whatsoever and that you will not have to endure the stress of being anxious before and during your appointment, you are more likely to want to attend your appointments and see your dental treatment plan through. Sedation dentistry can also help streamline your care with your dental team, as they can focus on the task at hand rather than managing your fear.

Some cons to sedation dentistry could include the cost, particularly if your insurance does not provide coverage for the treatment. Other cons are that it might not be the right solution for certain patients based on allergies or health conditions.

Are there alternatives to sedation dentistry?

There are some possible alternatives to sedation dentistry. Some of these practices include relaxation techniques like light-dimming glasses and noise-cancelling headphones tuned to the patient’s favorite soothing music.

The most important thing you can do prior to your appointment is to talk to your dental team about your expectations and feelings going in to a treatment. That way, we can determine the best plan for you.

Does insurance cover sedation dentistry?

Every insurance carrier is different, but there may be a chance that your plan could cover a portion of the cost of sedation dentistry. The best course of action is to call in to the dentist’s office for a consultation. At this point, the dental team will reach out to your insurance to determine what coverages are present and what you might be responsible for paying.

Cornerstone Dental Arts is dedicated to the comfort of our patients. Read more about the sedation dentistry options that we offer here at our office here

If you have questions, we’re happy to get them answered for you. Give us a call at (865) 531-7117.