Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Amazing Effects of Implants

I just restored an implant case today on a difficult implant I placed and the result looks great. And, even better- the patient is thrilled. The patient had been told by his former dentist that nothing could be done and he was very near to getting all his teeth pulled and getting a denture. He is in his 50's and that would have been a shame. He loves it so much he is planning on some other implants to restore other areas of his mouth.

Implants truly do open up a new world to patients and dentists. For instance, dentures:

Do you have an ill-fitting denture or know a parent or friend who does? This can be a very unpleasant fact of life that many patients feel they are forced to endure. Over time, the ridge of gum and bone under the denture change but the denture does not. The denture needs that support to remain in place. Two to four well placed implants with specific attachments to the denture can make a WORLD of difference. The strength and support from the implants is UNBELIEVABLE! It truly can change the patient's life. Although it not 100%, most are able to greatly expand the foods they can comfortably eat and exponentially expand their confidence. But, perhaps the best part is an upper denture with implants does not have to cover the palate and that area can be removed allowing a natural feel to the mouth and the ability to sense temperature and texture which was lost with the full plate.

Implants are also optimal at restoring missing teeth and areas of missing teeth. In general, the success rates over time with implants are superior to some alternate plans and should always at least be discussed when considering treatment. If you have any specific questions, please let me know.

One of the drawbacks of implants is the price, or perceived price. Implants have become exceedingly more affordable. We try to make implant treatment as near to or on par with other options. In many cases, the slight increase in up front cost of implants is easily made up in the long term success of the treatment, as opposed to failure or replacement of other treatment.

Please let me know if you have any questions related to implant treatment. I love talking about implants and its no bother at all. Post on this blog or email


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What the Heck Are Night Guards?

We always get asked a lot of questions about night guards and what they are for? Simply, they are intended to stop or minimize all the pressure exerted by many of your facial muscles from grinding and clenching. The muscles, called the muscles of mastication, can exert an enormous amount of force. This force, is intended to only be used when chewing. However, in "grinders" or "clenchers", this force is applied for extended periods of time, usually while asleep. This extended amount of wear and tear on teeth and the surrounding bone can be extraordinarily damaging, painful and frustrating. Your dentist may see signs of excessive wear on your teeth at your exam- possibly a worn area on the cusp, fracture lines, temperature sensitivity, bone loss or flattening of your front teeth. In my opinion, it is much more common than people realize, especially with high levels of stress, certain medications and our busy lives. I think its one of the most cost effective ways to prevent needing significant dental work throughout life. For instance, a night guard may prevent a cusp from breaking or fracturing if implemented early, saving the cost of a potential crown. They are surprisingly comfortable after a short "getting to know you" period. Many patients can't sleep without them after a few weeks. It's important to know that the night or occlusal guard must be carefully fit to your bite, to balance the forces appropriately. Over the counter options are also available and may provide some benefit but are generally less comfortable and less durable. Please feel free to post any questions you may have. I have placed a couple photos of night guards above. These are some of the variety of types used. Thanks for visiting!

-Dr Doug

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!

Thanks for checking out my new blog. I am a dentist in Lake Stevens, WA. I hope to use this blog to share interesting information, techniques, funny stories and to answer any questions about dentistry that people may post. Thanks and here is to an informative, fun blog. Feel free to post any dental related question and I will do my best to answer.