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Posts for: February, 2015

By Geary Dentistry
February 27, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?

Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?

Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.

Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.

But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?

In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.

Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.

What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.

If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”

By Geary Dentistry
February 12, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: loose teeth  

There is nothing pleasant about having a loose tooth. It can be very unsettling to feel your tooth move around, and you may be worried about losing the tooth entirely. If you notice any looseness in your teeth, you should make an appointment with our office immediately, so that we can determine the underlying cause.

There are two reasons for loose teeth, and most often, this looseness is actually a late symptom of gum (periodontal) disease. If left untreated, this disease destroys the supporting structure of your teeth, including the bone. As bone loss progresses, teeth gradually become looser, and if you do not seek treatment, this can ultimately result in tooth loss.

Another less common reason for loose teeth is excessive biting forces, including clenching or grinding of the teeth. These biting forces are outside the normal range of functional pressures and can stretch the periodontal ligaments that join the teeth to the supporting bone, resulting in loose teeth.

In both cases, this condition can be classified as “occlusal (bite) trauma.” When we examine you, we will determine the type of occlusal trauma that you have.

  • If the amount of bone supporting your teeth is normal and excessive force is causing your loose teeth, it then is referred to as primary occlusal trauma. Our treatment approach will focus on reducing the biting forces. We may recommend minor bite adjustments and/or custom mouthguards.
  • Secondary occlusal trauma occurs when gum disease has caused excessive bone loss. In this instance, even normal biting forces can be damaging. We will work with you to treat the gum disease and improve your oral hygiene efficiency to heal your gums. Once the gum tissue heals and the inflammation is reduced, it is likely that there will be some tightening of the teeth. We will then adjust the biting surfaces of your teeth. This is accomplished by carefully reshaping (by drilling) small amounts of your tooth's surface enamel to change the way upper and lower teeth contact each other, thus redirecting forces. Secondary occlusal trauma may also require splinting or joining teeth together, so that they can handle biting pressures. The need for this additional procedure will be determined by your response to treatment and how much mobility of the teeth remains after the inflammation is resolved.

If you would like more information about loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Teeth: Biting Forces Can Loosen Teeth.”

By Geary Dentistry
February 05, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Long Lasting Dental Implants

The American writer Max Eastman once said, “A smile is the universal welcome.” However, if you are suffering from tooth loss then you may feel like your smile is less than welcoming. If you are looking to change this for good, then you may be weighing your tooth replacement options. If you want a treatment option that will restore your smile for years to come, then consider how getting dental implants in Brookfield, WI could help.

About Dental Implants

A dental implants acts similarly to a tooth’s root, holding the artificial tooth firmly in place. A dental implant consists of a tiny Dental Implantstitanium screw, a metal abutment and a dental crown, which is used to permanently replace your missing tooth or teeth.

How Dental Implants Work

The titanium screw is placed into the jawbone where the missing tooth once was. After the implant has been surgically placed, we will allow several months for a naturally occurring phenomenon known as osseointegration to take place. Osseointegration is when the surrounding bone begins to fuse around and with the metal implant. Osseointegration is what keeps the implant permanently in place.

Once this has happened, we will open up the gums to reveal the implant and then place a metal abutment on top. An abutment serves as a foundation on which to hold the artificial tooth and attaches the tooth to the implant.

A few weeks after the abutment is attached we will place your custom-made dental crown on top of the abutment to completely replace your missing tooth.

Dental Implant Benefits

Dental implants boast a multitude of wonderful benefits for our patients. First and foremost your smile receives a significant boast to its appearance. You will also no longer have to deal with struggling through eating and talking, as both will be restored through this treatment.

Furthermore, dental implants also preserve jawbone structure, which other tooth loss treatments like dental bridges and dentures cannot. Not only is your bone and facial structure preserved, but implants also promote the growth of new bone cells.

Dental Implant Candidates

With the proper care your dental implants can last you the rest of your life. However, you have to be prepared to maintain good oral hygiene and to see your Brookfield, WI dentist regularly for cleanings and check ups.

Furthermore, ideal candidates should be in good health, should not be smokers and should not be dealing with uncontrolled chronic health conditions or a weakened immune system.

If you think dental implants are a great option for you, then it’s time to schedule a consultation with Geary Dentistry, your Brookfield, WI dentist, to get the smile you want. For Dental Implant FAQ's visit our page!