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West Bowmanville Family Dental Blog

The history of dental implants

Dental Implants have been around for some time believe it or not! The picture above has a nice illustration of the history time line of how we got here today! Dr Branemark an orthopedic surgeon accidentally discovered that titanium can ‘fuse’ to bone during experiments on rabbits. So dental implants have been around for over 40 years with modifications to technique and their surfaces to help maintain bone and increase healing.

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Oct 9, 2014 by
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Dental CT Scans, Why do we use them?

In certain situations where a tooth has been missing for some time or there are no teeth present and we wish to have a precise measurement of the bone area underneath, we ask patients that they have something called a CT scan of the area.  A traditional dental x-ray is 2 dimensional and has limitations as it only shows available bone height.  A CT scan takes a 3-d image of the area that we are interested in.  This tells us how wide and tall the bone area is and also reveals other important areas such as your sinuses, nerves near the planned surgery area.

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Oct 9, 2014 by
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Bone Loss and Tooth Extractions Explained

Often before we jump in to an extraction, we like to spend the time discussing with the patient options for down the road.  Bone loss happens as a natural process after a tooth is removed. The bone will start to remodel and change shape gradually. It can happen faster or slower for each person and also depending on which region of the jaw.  The jaw bone is much softer in the upper jaw and bone loss is faster. We like to think of bone as a muscle, very similar to a muscle in use it becomes stronger.  Without stimulation or from denture pressure on the gum tissue only, the bone will start to shrink. Does a bridge or denture cause your bone loss to stop from shrinking? The answer is no.  A bridge has something called a pontic (fake tooth) that rests above the missing space and is joined to adjacent teeth.…

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Oct 9, 2014 by
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But Doc, I don’t grind my teeth !

It is often that we hear that patients are unaware of a grinding habit since there are sometimes no signs of pain or discomfort. The evidence found in the mouth often shows a different story. Teeth grinding or bruxism can be a major problem for dental implants and even cause failure.  Some people clench their teeth, and some grind their teeth (back and forth) and some people do both! This can happen during the day or also at night time. Often there is no pain or discomfort associated with it but patients have shorter worn down teeth. Natural teeth have a shock absorbing ligament called the PDL (Periodontal Ligament). This helps to take the pressure off teeth with everyday ordinary use.  A dental implant however does not have this ligament.  It is fused to the jaw bone and does not have any shock absorbing mechanism. If a patient grinds their…

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Oct 8, 2014 by
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Dental Implant Options- What are the options during the healing phase?

We often get patients asking about their options during the healing phase of dental implants.  If often takes 3-4 months for healing before an implant is ready to receive a new crown.  There are several options that patients have so they dont need to go without teeth for this period. 1-Flipper Denture This is basically a removable denture that has teeth set into the missing spaces. It is mainly there for esthetics and should not be used to chew hard foods since it can fracture. It should be removed at night time. 2-Essex Appliance This looks like a clear invisalign retainer and it does not cover the roof of the mouth. It should be removed at night and after meals to clean it.  Another alternative if a patient has an existing denture is to place a soft liner that will allow a cushioning effect during the implant healing phase.  …

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Oct 8, 2014 by
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