Our first president, George Washington, never really wore dentures made of wood. He did have a full set of dentures by age 60, but they were constructed of ivory and human teeth. Fortunately, times have changed. To replace teeth nowadays, there are other choices. All of which George would probably have preferred.
What choices do I have for replacing teeth?
At Lifetime Dental Health, there are several options for replacing missing or damaged teeth, depending on the reason for replacement, which teeth are being replaced, and the condition of your gums and the bones of your jaw.
Most of us have heard of dental bridges and seen photos of dentures in a glass of water. Bridges are much the same as dentures, though they are usually used to replace a few teeth, not all of them. These options have several things in common, especially the fact that they sit atop your natural gums. This means that they can be removed. Dentures and bridges are common solutions for teeth replacement, but they are not permanent.
A permanent solution for many people is a dental implant, which is as close as you can get to natural teeth. In fact, implants are the only dental restoration option that not only saves your natural bone, but actually stimulates bone growth. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says to think of an implant as an “artificial tooth root.” Essentially, a dental implant is a screw that’s placed into your jaw to hold an artificial crown, bridge, or denture. Today’s implants are made of the precious metal, titanium, which has been found to naturally fuse to human bones, including those that comprise our jaws.
Who is a good candidate for a dental implant?
The main reason many people prefer dental implants to traditional dentures is that implants are permanent and therefore more stable than dentures, which sometimes slip or shift in your mouth. But not everyone is a good candidate for an implant.
For an implant to be successful, the bones in your jaw need to be strong and healthy in order to support the implant and the replacement tooth. Unfortunately, when someone loses a tooth or has a tooth damaged by trauma, bone can also be lost or compromised. If a lot of bone is gone, what’s left may not be sufficient to handle a standard dental implant.
In that case, you may still be a candidate for what’s called a mini dental implant (MDI), which uses a smaller post. There are other reasons you might be better suited for an MDI than a standard implant, but lack of sufficient healthy bone is the most common.
How do mini dental implants differ from standard dental implants?
Based on their name, you’ve probably already figured out the main reason. MDIs are smaller than standard implants: about half as wide in most cases. In addition, the design of MDIs has been adapted to accommodate conditions that are not sufficient for a standard implant.
MDIs are constructed differently from standard implants. Standard implants consist of a post with an abutment, to which the replacement crown is attached. The post of an MDI has a ball at one end and a rubber O-ring that holds the crown in place.
MDIs fit in your mouth differently than standard implants. Standard implants are placed completely under your gums. MDIs, while also drilled into your jawbone, stick out a bit over your gums.
Both types of implants are permanent, although MDIs, because of their size and unique design, have a lower tolerance for hard foods (hard candy, ice, nuts, corn-on-the-cob), so they are more vulnerable to breakage than standard implants. Their durability can also be affected by poor oral care, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, and osteoporosis. Basically, what’s true for your natural teeth is true for implants: Take good care of them and they could last you a lifetime.
What are the pros and cons of MDIs?
There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to MDIs. The biggest advantage of MDIs is that they work for people with significant bone loss, whether from periodontal disease, tooth misalignment, or trauma. Major bone loss will keep you from getting a standard implant; however, even with noticeable bone loss, an MDI can be a satisfying option. MDIs also have the advantage of being able to be placed anywhere in the mouth, to replace several teeth or a single tooth.
Another advantage is that MDIs do not require major surgery. Standard implants include bone grafting, so your mouth needs time to heal before a crown can be attached. In an MDI procedure, anchors are implanted in the jaw through a much less invasive technique that eliminates grafting. The whole procedure takes less time – as little as an hour in some cases – less drilling and less material. This means it usually costs less and requires fewer office visits.
On the other side, of course, there are some drawbacks to MDIs versus standard dental implants. Most obvious is that being smaller, more than one MDI may be needed to accomplish what a single standard implant could. As mentioned before, MDIs have a weaker chewing force, so they are more vulnerable to breakage. And the O-rings involved in keeping the MDI’s crown in place eventually wear out and must be replaced.
So…which dental implant is right for you?
Oral health is important at any stage in your life, but especially if you have lost a tooth. The question of whether a dental implant – standard or mini – is right for you is one that should be answered only after careful thought. Our professionals can help. Make an appointment for a consultation with us by phone or online. We can even help you navigate your dental insurance. Just give us a call, we’re ready and waiting to serve you!
It’s a cliché: a summertime photo of happy children with rumpled hair and sun-reddened noses…and braces on their teeth. Shiny metal braces. Of course, kids are still “cute as the dickens” (as their grandparents say) even with a mouth full of steel. Adults generally aren’t. That’s why adults who are unhappy with their crooked teeth, an off-kilter bite, or gaps between their teeth usually shy away from correcting the condition. Getting braces just doesn’t seem an appealing option when you’re all grown up.
Not anymore. Adults seeking a better smile, straighter teeth, or a more comfortable bite, now have a solution that gives them want they want, without leaving them looking like a 5th-grade photo: custom-fitted aligners.
What is an aligner and why is it better?
Aligners are a modern alternative to braces for conditions such a slightly crooked teeth or a mildly misaligned bite. Where traditional metal braces are bulky, uncomfortable, and obvious to anyone, plastic aligners are nearly unnoticeable. They’re removable for eating, brushing your teeth, flossing, and cleaning; and, with the use of our 3D scanner, at Lifetime Dental, they are easier to get and more affordable than ever.
Aligners work the same way traditional braces do: by using a gradually increasing force to move your teeth. Like traditional metal braces, they are designed to straighten crooked teeth, push teeth together to eliminate gaps, and adjust your jaw to help correct an over-, under-, or cross-fit bite. Your aligner is fabricated to fit your mouth, without metal wire or brackets. It applies a small amount of pressure to your teeth, which causes them to move, ever so slightly, while you are wearing it. (You won’t notice the movement. You’ll just notice the nice result.)
How does an aligner work and how long will I need one?
Aligners are worn about 20 hours a day, every day, in periods of up to two weeks. For the process to achieve maximum effectiveness, the specific time depends on how much adjustment your teeth need. After each period of use is complete, your teeth will be checked to see how the aligner is working, and a new device will be made to fit where your teeth are at that time. Each aligner adjusts your teeth a little bit, generally without your noticing. Though most patients require a series of several devices over a period of months to achieve the outcome they desire, overall, the time for aligners to work their magic is less than that of traditional braces.
Aligners make getting the smile you’ve always wanted easier than with traditional metal braces. So, how do we make an aligner that will work for you? And how does our 3D intraoral scanner help?
What does a 3D scanner do and how does it help create an aligner?
The first step in creating an aligner for you is to capture an impression of your teeth to use as a basis for fashioning the aligner. We use this impression to identify the teeth positions that need correcting or where, exactly, your bite is not matching. Moving teeth is a somewhat complex process. That’s why you will need a series of aligners, and we will need a series of pictures to create the appropriate device. This is where scanning comes in.
To make sure we are creating the most accurate possible impression of your teeth, we use a specialized tool called an intraoral scanner. This tool is inserted into your mouth and moved around to “scan” all of your teeth. Like scanning a magazine page on your home scanner/printer, our scanner receives an impression of your teeth, which is then processed by device-specific scanning software. (You’ll be able to watch the scanner as it works from the monitor next to the dental chair.) The result? A perfect 3D surface model of your teeth. In about two minutes.
The speed and accuracy of a 3D scanner is immensely helpful, both to us and to you:
Taking an impression of a mouth in the traditional manner can cause discomfort, due to the materials that are used and the trays that hold them. A gag reflex is often activated, and your mouth may be sore for a time after the impression is made. Using our 3D scanner eliminates the need for impression trays or materials to enter your mouth.
With a 3D scan, there’s a direct link from the scanned impression to where the aligner will be made. No casts to pour. No molds to make. The scans we make of your mouth are sent directly to the lab, electronically. This saves time and lessens the costs.
Best of all, the overall accuracy of the realignment is significantly increased. We can look at the image as it is created. This means we can adjust the settings of the scan in real-time to make the impression as accurate as it can possibly be. And that’s important because the more accurate our scan is, the more accurate the model is, and the better your aligner will fit your mouth. Because the aligner is what is actually moving your teeth, it has to be correctly suited to achieve a good result. Starting the process with a highly accurate scan means fewer corrections later. And that can mean a shorter time from start to sparking smile.
What should I do if I’m interested?
Is an aligner right for you? Our professionals can help you decide. So, when you’re ready to take the first step, simply make an appointment with us by phone or by sending in an appointment request online. Aligners are covered by most dental insurance, but if yours is an exception, be sure to ask us about how we can help. We’re ready and waiting to assist you in achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.
Summer is just around the corner…finally, and that means lots of outdoor activities, fun in the sun, and some much-needed relaxation. But that doesn’t mean neglecting our health, no matter how great we feel. Sure, staying away from the doctor or dentist sounds simply fine to many folks, but not going at all won’t serve you well in the long run.
While your daily schedule may be different come summertime, here is a friendly (but firm) reminder to slot in a dental check-up, for yourself and your family members. It’s just one visit, and then you can get back to your summer plans.
Why Do I Need A Dental Check-Up If I Feel Well? Isn’t It A Waste Of Time?
Check-ups are so important, and at Lifetime Dental Health, we encourage our patients to pay attention to their oral hygiene, whether it is winter, spring, summer, or fall. There is no season when health takes a back seat.
Dental check-ups are proactive, so we can help keep you consistently healthy. Waiting until there is a problem leads to unnecessary pain and discomfort. Plus, keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy is a must.
I Am Worried Because Of COVID-19…Is It Safe To See My Dentist At This Time?
Amid the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), many people have been anxious, stressed, and worried about getting dental check-ups and cleanings. This uncomfortable feeling is totally understandable, especially when the uncertainty of it all adds to everyone’s overall anxiety.
We can assure you that our dental facilities are up to standard in terms of sanitization and disinfection, with proper protocol in place to keep you as safe as possible. We follow the CDC and ADA guidelines to tend to every corner of our office, and all of our staff members are on board with the process. Expect to see more protection than ever, something we strive for so you remain germ-free. Trust our team to treat you like family.
How Often Do I Need To Get A Dental Check-Up?
Sticking to a twice-yearly dental cleaning and check-up is a proactive approach to overall oral health. These regular dental visits keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout the year, and we will address any concerns or problems that may be developing, even if you have not had any discomfort or issues to speak of.
Of course, outside of these two dental check-ups, if you are experiencing oral pain or related problems, please schedule an appointment immediately so we can check you out and tend to you.
What Will The Dental Check-Up Include?
We clean and floss your teeth thoroughly, remove plaque and tartar build-up, check the gums for irritation and disease, and examine you for signs of oral cancer. Any cavities that may be forming can be tended to at an early stage before things get too far gone. We may also take X-rays and intra-oral photos of the mouth to look for fractures, breaks, and jaw formation. You may require a fluoride treatment or protective sealants as well.
You may wish to take some time during your dental check-up to discuss cosmetic possibilities and aesthetics, including teeth straightening, whitening, bonding, etc. Your dentist will fully consult you during your exam.
Who Needs A Dental Check-Up?
In a nutshell…everyone! People of all ages benefit from check-ups – kids and adults alike. The visits are pain-free, comfortable, careful, and compassionate.
Make it a regular habit of scheduling two dental check-up appointments each year for all of your family members. Your dental and oral health is just as important as your physical exams with your family doctor. Plus, oral health problems can lead to other medical issues throughout the body, so nip it in the bud by being smart.
Staying away won’t keep problems away, so “scare them off” by showing up! It’s as simple as that.
How Do I Make An Appointment At Lifetime Dental Health?
Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic dental procedure that is simple, effective, and easy-to-do. Whether you are seeking in-office bleaching or an at-home solution, Lifetime Dental Health can help you get that brilliant smile you have been seeking. And summertime is a great time to show off a fresh smile, as you are out and about under the sun. Your smile will be just as bright!
Whiter teeth leads to an increase in confidence, boosting one’s self-image and raising self-esteem. When teeth are stained or discolored, people tend to hold back, limiting their interactions and socialization and overall expressiveness. That’s no way to live, and you can do something about it – effectively and affordably at Lifetime Dental Health.
Now is the time to improve your appearance with a dazzling smile that shows everyone who you truly are. Confidence comes from within, but the added touch does wonders. You will tend to smile more, engage in close-up conversations, and pose for more photos. The difference will wow your friends, family, and co-workers. They’ll want a brighter smile too!
What Causes My Teeth To Become Stained And Discolored?
There are a number of factors that may contribute to a dull or lackluster smile. Foods and drinks which can cause staining and discoloring of teeth include dark berries, chocolate, tomato-based sauces, wine, coffee, tea, and cola. Certain medications can cause discolored teeth as well. Tobacco use is unhealthy for many reasons, not to mention how it will stain your teeth. Age and poor dental hygiene play a role as well.
Is Teeth Whitening Uncomfortable Or Painful?
For those with extremely sensitive teeth, the process of whitening can be somewhat uncomfortable, but most people feel no pain or have any problems with the whitening process, be it in-office whitening or an at-home DIY tray treatment.
How Long Will The Whitening Last?
The improvements last a while, from many months to a few years. This all depends on the patient, how stained their teeth were to begin with, and how well they maintain their treatment. This means practicing daily healthy dental habits and avoiding foods and drinks that can potentially stain. You can always have your teeth re-whitened when the results wear off, and we can schedule a touch-up when necessary. Results won’t last forever, but you may find that your teeth do remain whiter than when you first got treated.
Understand that the cause of the staining is a factor in how white we can get them and how long the whitening will last. Food/drink stains that make the teeth appear yellow, orange, or brownish tend to whiten up more effectively than grayish discoloration caused by tobacco use or certain medications. While we can get the teeth considerably whiter, the results may not be as white as those who’ve been treated for food/drink related stains.
Are The Results Better With In-Office Whitening Vs. At-Home Options?
You can achieve similar results with in-office or at-home whitening. For those who prefer to whiten themselves at home, we will supervise your care, supplying you with specially fitted trays you can wear day or night, even while you are soundly sleeping. You will wear the thin trays for a span of time we decide will best suit your individual needs. Some are used for about 2 weeks while others need to be worn longer. We will discuss your options and select the method that best fits your priorities. In-office whitening can be completed faster, but both methods yield impressive, noticeable results.
Am I A Good Candidate For Teeth Whitening?
When you come in for your teeth whitening consultation, we can determine if whitening is for you. Most people are good candidates and will respond well to the whitening treatment. Those who suffer from eroded enamel, periodontal (gum) disease, or have super sensitive teeth may not be ideal candidates for whitening. Just like any other dental procedure, we will address these issues, the pros and cons, and decide upon a smart solution for you.
Are You Ready For Your Summer Smile?
If you have any questions or concerns about teeth whitening or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our dental office at 614-321-1887. We are open Monday – Friday, and we are conveniently located in Columbus, Ohio.
We look forward to seeing you soon and getting you on your way to a whiter, brighter smile. Say “Cheese!” Just don’t drink any wine with it!
Visiting the dentist for a general cleaning and checkup or to treat a throbbing toothache is nothing out of the ordinary, and patients who come into the office pretty much know what to expect. But there is so much more to what dentists can do in the office, and the possibilities are beyond what many may have already assumed.
Take Botox, for example. It may not be what most folks think of when a visit to the dentist comes up, but the aesthetic appeal is exciting. Additionally, Botox can be used for certain conditions dentists commonly see with their patients.
The intriguing prospect of getting Botox injections at the dentist’s office is an eye-opener. Cosmetically or otherwise, here are some points to peruse before considering the process for yourself at Lifetime Dental Health. You may be able to have your Botox desires fulfilled at the dentist’s office rather than with a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. Let’s dig in…
Is Dental Botox Different Than “Regular” Botox?
In a nutshell, no. It is the same stuff. Our dentists at Lifetime Dental Health are trained to administer the product safely and effectively. As with other dental procedures, we will have a consultation with you to determine if getting Botox is right for you, assess your ultimate end goals, and come up with a plan to get you on your way.
What Issues Might Botox Treatments Be Useful For?
Most people are interested in Botox for the cosmetic advantage it brings. Crow’s feet, fine lines, deep wrinkles, frown lines, etc. are minimized thanks to the beautifying benefits of Botox. The results are natural and rejuvenating. The desire to look younger is common, and this tried and true solution has been astoundingly successful for so many people.
Others can benefit from the functionality aspects of Botox, specifically for TMJ and bruxism. These issues involving the jaw can cause patient discomfort, pain, stiffness, and headaches, oftentimes lead to tooth damage due to clenching and grinding. Botox alleviates the pressure, and patients find themselves relieved as the muscles are relaxed.
Thirdly, those who have undergone orthodontic procedures have found more comfort after receiving Botox injections, and denture wearers have had similar success. Who knew the “wrinkle fix” could be so versatile?
Will The Botox Injections Be Painful?
You are likely to feel a pinch or a sting at the site of injection, but overall, the process isn’t too bad. Some patients are naturally more sensitive than others, and the area of the face that is being treated may affect how much you feel the needle. The injections are quick and targeted, and you will be able to leave the office shortly after without issue.
How Long Will The Botox Effects Last?
For most patients, the effects of their Botox treatment last about 3 to 4 months. We generally set up a timed out plan so that you can return regularly to the office for general upkeep, whether it is cosmetic or otherwise. If you don’t wish to follow up, that’s up to you, of course. And if you need to space out your visits differently, we’ll work out a better schedule. Every patient reacts differently, and we’ll soon find out how Botox interacts with your body.
I Have An Event Coming Up, Is Botox A Good Idea?
Many people want to “spruce up” before an important event, such as a high school or college reunion, a wedding, or even just for family photos. We’d advise getting your injections a few weeks or even a month before the big day, just in case there are any complications, which would be rare. Plus, you’ll want to settle into your new look before making a public display.
In case you have an adverse effect, we will address the issue accordingly.
Are You Ready To Try Botox?
We’re here for you if you think Botox will improve your looks or make you feel better. We can set you up with an informative consultation at Lifetime Dental Health to go over the ins and outs of Botox and what to expect, and to decide if Botox is the best choice for your goals, whether they are for aesthetics or an oral/dental issue.
We look forward to seeing you here at Lifetime Dental Health, and are eager to help you realize your potential. Botox is simple to administer, and even easier for you to enjoy. Remember, we go for a subtle, yet significant look when it comes to Botox for aesthetics. A natural result always looks the most attractive.
With the COVID-19 pandemic adding extra stress to our lives, everyday activities, appointments and the like, are no longer run-of-the-mill.
Even going to the dentist poses challenges for patients, from heightened safety concerns to an uptick in anxiety for those who are already not the biggest fans of sitting in the dentist’s chair.
These fearful feelings are understandable, and here at Lifetime Dental Health, we’re here for you. It’s important that you have peace of mind as well as a clear understanding of how we’re making your dental visit as safe and secure as possible. It’s our pleasure to care for our patients like they are family.
How Is Lifetime Dental Health Keeping The Facilities Safer?
First and foremost, know that we are abiding by all recommendations by officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) to maintain a sanitary and infection-free environment for our staff and patients. We adhere to strict sanitization and disinfection procedures, as your health and safety is our top priority. It always has been, always will be.
We clean all dental tools and equipment thoroughly all day and especially between patients. All surfaces are disinfected regularly. Staff is trained in all cleanliness procedures and processes, and wear gloves and shields for added protection. There are no cutting corners when it comes to strict sanitation practices here at Lifetime Dental Health.
I Want To See The Dentist, But I Have Doubts.
We completely understand that patients still have serious fears during this unprecedented time in history. And it may cause some people to avoid seeing the dentist. This option may seem easy, but in the scheme of things, there’s a far better solution. You can still see us, with added measures to make your visit more manageable.
We want to make your visit to Lifetime Dental Health as comfortable and stress-free as possible. That’s where sedation dentistry comes in. With peace of mind and a relaxed atmosphere, patients can get the dental treatments they need without added pressure or problems due to anxiety.
What Are My Options In Terms Of The Types Of Sedation Dentistry?
Here at Lifetime Dental Health, we offer our patients two types of sedatives, each which work while the patient is awake, but will feel just a bit groggy while under the influence. No needles!
We suggest either an oral sedative which we’ll prescribe pre-appointment, taken shortly before the exam or procedure, or nitrous oxide (aka “laughing gas”) which is given to the patient immediately before we get to work.
Both options ease anxiety and allow the patient to sit through their dental exam or procedure without unnecessary worry or panic. The sedatives will wear off soon after we are finished, although we recommend that patients do not drive themselves home post-visit, as an added precaution. Please organize a pick-up from someone trusted, or rely on public transportation.
Who Might Benefit From Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is helpful in a number of scenarios. We recommend it for those patients who:
Are fearful of seeing the dentist
Stress out while in the environment of a dentist’s office
Feel anxious in relation to the smells, sounds, and equipment in a dentist’s office
Have a sensitive/highly reactive gag reflex
Are not susceptible to local anesthetic
Have sensitive or painful gums and teeth
Need extensive dental work which may require a lengthy visit
Desire a more comfortable experience overall
Coronavirus – It’s Affecting Many Areas Of Life
Perhaps you have never had an issue with visiting the dentist in the past, but the current COVID-19 climate has you on edge. Do not hesitate to get a little help making it through your dental visit by requesting sedation dentistry. It is a far better alternative than skipping your appointment, as this can lead to complications down the road, affecting your oral and overall health potentially. Plus, when you are in the dentist’s chair, we monitor your health and progress while under the influence of the sedative, so rest assured that you’re in good hands.
Sedation dentistry is safe and effective, and have lead to countless patients having satisfactory dental visits. There’s no need to deal with stress when it can be successfully eliminated from the equation.
Please Contact Us With Questions, Concerns, Or To Book Your Next Appointment
Do you have any questions or concerns about sedation dentistry at Lifetime Dental Health? We’re ready to address anything you would care to discuss prior to your dental appointment.