Dental implants are today’s solution for missing, decayed, or otherwise damaged teeth. Dentures are still available, but the security and stability of dental implants are far and away more reliable and rewarding.
With the peace of mind dental implants provide, function and form are in balance, and the patient’s life is vastly improved. Long-lasting and specially-made, implants (which come in many varieties, as detailed below) improve eating and speaking, and the patient’s self-confidence soars.
What sort of implant options are available? Which one is right for me?
At Lifetime Dental Health, we offer a number of dental implant options that turn a not-so-great smile into something star-worthy. Depending upon your needs and the state of your jawbone structure, we will select an option that will restore your smile and make you more comfortable and confident.
Most commonly, traditional implants are the way to go. These are attached to the jawbone for prime stability and strength. If your jawbone is in healthy condition, this option is likely the one we’ll select. Of course, every patient is unique, so when you come in for your consultation, we’ll go over the options and move forward with the dental implants that suit your needs specifically. Traditional implants can be used to replace just one tooth or a number of teeth.
The restorative teeth look natural and fit your mouth well, as they are specifically designed to suit your smile.
When multiple teeth need to be restored, a Zirconia Bridge is an option that’s non-removable, as 10-12 implants are embedded into the jaw to hold it in place. The bridge is cemented onto the implants.
For patients seeking a semi-removable solution, ‘Fix on Six’ Zirconia Bridges are appealing. When you come into the office for your semi-annual cleaning, the dentist can remove the bridge.
Another removable option is acrylic dentures. With 4-6 implants, this option is economical, yet far more stable than traditional dentures.
If your jawbone won’t hold dental implants due to thin bone structure or another dental issue, mini implants are amazing. Metal frameworks are anchored in place for the dental restorations. The results are natural-looking without the full dental implant procedure.
We will go over these options in detail when you’re in for your consultation. There’s a lot to understand, and our expertise will enlighten you.
Will the process be long? What about painful?
The process for getting implants does take time. But pain should not be an issue, as we’ll use local anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
The reason the procedure is long is because once the artificial root is placed into the jawbone with screws and posts, the area must heal before the restorative teeth are fitted on top. This healing may take up to six months, but the results are worth the wait. In the meantime, we can fit you with temporary “teeth.”
However, if mini implants are your preference, the process takes only about an hour. This less-invasive and super-quick solution is sufficient for many people who aren’t able or willing to take the traditional dental implant route.
How do I care for my dental implants?
Just like natural teeth, caring for your oral hygiene is a must-do. Brush and floss regularly, and be sure to keep up with your dental examinations and cleanings. Depending upon the type of implants you wind up choosing, we’ll discuss your unique care routine when you’re here in the office.
With good hygiene and upkeep, your implants will last a long time…maybe forever! That said, sometimes repairs need to be made, so follow up with checkups so we can be sure your implants are in good condition. If anything seems off, make an appointment ASAP.
Can I afford dental implants? Do you offer financing or take my insurance plan?
The different dental implant options vary in price range. When you come into our office, we will discuss the options and costs with you candidly. We accept several dental insurance plans, and our office staff can help you better understand if you’re covered.
If you don’t have dental insurance, we accept an array of payment options, including CareCredit. We want you to be able to have the smile of your dreams, so speak with us so we can help you achieve your goals without breaking the bank.
Now it’s time for you to make an appointment for a consultation at Lifetime Dental Health so we can begin your dental implant journey. A stellar smile awaits!
The pinhole technique is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat gum recession. Gum tissue keeps your teeth in place and prevents bacteria from reaching deeper tissue in the bony structure of your mouth. Problems such as aggressive tooth brushing, previous injuries, and genetic predisposition can cause gum recession. Gum recession can cause gum disease and leaves teeth with less support, which can cause them to loosen or fall out. Pinhole dentistry is designed to rejuvenate the gums and protect the sensitive root of a tooth. The scalpel-free, suture-free procedure involves making tiny holes in the gum with a syringe needle to gently loosen the gum tissue. The loosened tissue is then slid down over the receded area of the teeth. Once the gum tissue is in the desired area, a dental professional inserts collagen strips into the pinhole. Unlike the traditional method of soft-tissue grafting, which uses stitches to keep the gums in place, pinhole dentistry relies on these collagen strips to help create new tissue that secures the gums to their new location. Due to a large amount of collagen and elastin in the gum tissue, the pinholes are typically unnoticeable by the day following surgery. While some patients may experience bruising and swelling following pinhole surgery, the procedure offers instant results and full gum coverage and little to no recovery time. With good dental hygiene practice, including gentle flossing and brushing, the results of a pinhole procedure can be permanent.
Who is a good candidate for pinhole dentistry?
Most people are good candidates for pinhole dentistry. If you are in generally good health and have good dental hygiene, you are likely a good candidate. A pinhole procedure may be an option for you if:
You have severe tooth sensitivity due to gum recession
You are bothered by the appearance of your receding gums
You do not have periodontal disease
You are a non-smoker or are willing to quit smoking before your procedure
You have adequate gum tissue adjacent to your receding gums
You may not be a good candidate for a pinhole procedure if you have a tooth infection or loose teeth, as there may not be an adequate anchor for the new gum tissue. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barry or Dr. Love. They will examine your gums and discuss your candidacy for the pinhole procedure.
What are the benefits of pinhole dentistry?
There are many benefits and advantages to having a pinhole procedure instead of traditional soft-tissue grafting.
Improved comfort during surgery – Unlike a traditional gum grafting procedure, the pinhole technique does not require removal of tissue from the patient’s palate. No incisions are made, so there is less chance of infection post-surgery. A local anesthetic is used at the procedure area and patients report feeling minimal pain during surgery.
Faster procedure time – Unlike more traditional soft-tissue grafting procedures, pinhole procedures can treat multiple teeth at once. Most patients achieve desired results in just one or two sessions, versus several sessions with traditional gum surgery techniques.
Short recovery time – Because the pinhole technique is minimally invasive, patients can expect little to no downtime after their procedure. Pinhole dentistry requires only local anesthetic, and many patients liken the procedure experience and recovery to getting a filling or a crown. Results from the surgery are immediate, but special care should be taken within the first few days after surgery to protect the new tissue. Patients should not brush or floss their teeth within the first 24 hours after their procedure and should refrain from eating hard candy or crunchy food for one to two days. Most patients report needing only over the counter pain relievers after their procedure.
Immediate results – The pinhole technique offers patients immediate results. Due to the high amount of collagen and elastin in gum tissue, the pinholes are rarely visible within two days of surgery. There are also no unsightly sutures to worry about after your procedure.
More affordable – The pinhole technique can treat a patient’s entire mouth at once, which saves time and money compared to the more traditional grafting procedures.
Why should I have a pinhole procedure at Lifetime Dental Health?
At Lifetime Dental Health, we strive to provide the best dental care around by performing above and beyond. Our goal is for you to leave our practice with a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile. We want to work with you every step of the way to help you feel confident about your dental health.
Our mission is to keep your teeth healthy for life, which requires a life-long relationship with a dental practice that is built on trust and commitment. Dr. Barry and Dr. Love have extensive experience and training in all aspects of dentistry.
If you elect to have a pinhole procedure at Lifetime Dental Health, you can expect to be treated with respect and compassion throughout the process. If you want to find out if you are a good candidate for a pinhole procedure, contact us or call our office today at (614) 333-9442 to set up a consultation.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used in many surgical settings since the mid-1990s, but more recently it has become popular in the dental industry. It is a safe, convenient, and cost-effective way to reduce post-operative pain, promote tissue and bone growth, and reduce healing time in a wide variety of oral and maxillofacial surgical settings. You can get a PRP injection right in your provider’s office in as little as thirty minutes.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
Plasma is the liquid part of blood that is made up of mostly water and protein. It allows red and white blood cells to move throughout your bloodstream. Platelets are a type of blood cell that make your blood clot, and play an important role in healing. They contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is taken from a patient’s own blood and injected into injured or diseased tissue to promote faster healing by stimulating and increasing the growth of reparative cells that your own body produces. Whereas platelet counts in normal blood range from 150,000/1L to 350,000/1L, platelet-rich plasma has a concentration of at least 1,000,000/1L. This high concentration of platelets is useful in producing cells that are critical to rebuilding tissue and bone. It also provides significantly increased vascularity in healing tissue.
How is PRP beneficial to the dental community and what are its applications?
PRP injections have been used for over twenty years in a variety of surgical scenarios. Recently, they have shown to be effective in speeding up healing after oral and maxillofacial procedures. There is also evidence of platelet-rich plasma therapy aiding in periodontal regenerative therapy. The injections can be used in a wide range of procedures, including onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, and in cleft, lip, and palate surgeries. PRP can also be used after tooth extractions or cysts removal to repair bone defects. In bone grafting procedures, PRP therapy has improved patient outcomes, as bone morphogenic protein (BMP) is increased by its use. BMP helps grow new bone at a faster rate than traditional methods of bone regeneration. Additionally, there are studies being conducted that are looking into using PRP for bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) with the goal of enhancing wound healing and bone maturation. Dental patients who have received PRP injections report less pain immediately after surgery. There are many other benefits to using platelet-rich plasma in dentistry, including:
Convenience – the amount of blood used is minimal, and is drawn directly prior to surgery. The PRP is produced in office while the patient is undergoing their procedure
Cost – PRP injections are more affordable than ever, because they do not have to be produced at a blood bank or in a hospital.
Faster healing – application or injection of PRP speeds up recovery after dental surgery by stimulating the body’s natural healing process.
Ease of use – platelet-rich plasma is easy to handle and improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials by making them more gel-like.
Safety – because a patient’s own blood is used to create PRP, disease transmission is not a concern. PRP has also been seen to reduce instances of infection, thus minimizing the need for antibiotics and painkillers.
Who is a candidate for PRP?
Most patients who undergo a dental procedure are good candidates for PRP therapy. It has been used in a wide variety of oral and maxillofacial procedures, from simple tooth extractions to more complicated bone grafts. Because the PRP is produced from the patient’s own blood, there are few risks or side effects of PRP use, however it is possible to experience pain, irritation, or bleeding at the injection site. Most people can resume normal activities immediately after having a PRP injection. You are not a good candidate for PRP if you have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia. Your healthcare provider can help you determine if you are a good candidate for PRP therapy.
What is the process for PRP use?
The process for using PRP is simple, and begins in your dental provider’s office right before your procedure. A qualified medical professional will draw a small amount of your blood, about 55cc. Then your blood will be placed in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of your blood. Typically your blood will be spun two to three times to achieve the best results. Once the PRP is isolated from the rest of the blood, your dental provider will collect it and apply it to the appropriate areas, either via a thick application directly to a wound, or via injection into tissue or bone. If you are awake for the procedure, your dental provider will likely numb the area prior to injection. In some surgical settings, your doctor will use an ultrasound machine to ensure they’re injecting the right area. A PRP procedure typically takes about 30 minutes. Most patients experience little to no downtime after their PRP procedure.