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Overcome Your Dental Fears with Sedation Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry, sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” uses medication to help their patients relax during dental procedures. Most patients are relaxed, but still awake. Only patients who are under general anesthesia are asleep and unconscious.

Sedation can be used for any dental procedure from simple teeth cleaning to surgery. The level of sedation will vary depending on the extent of dental work needed and the severity of the patient’s anxiety. The most common sedation techniques and practices used in dental offices include: inhaled minimal sedation, oral sedation, IV moderate sedation, deep sedation and general anesthesia.

The levels of sedation are the following (from weakest to strongest effect):

Minimal sedation – The patient is relaxed, but awake.

Moderate sedation – Patients won’t remember the procedure and may be drowsy enough to slur words.

Deep sedation – Patients are on the verge of consciousness, but can still be easily awakened.

General anesthesia – Patients are completely unconscious during the procedures.

Though sedation is often prescribed for patient comfort during more intensive dental procedures, it is often useful for patients who have odontophobia, or extreme fear of the dentist. Using sedation will calm the patient giving him or her a more positive dental experience and it allows the dentist to do the procedure quicker and more efficient.

Fear of the Dentist

The fear of the dentist is very common. Some estimate that as many as 75% of the US adult population fear going to the dentist to some extent. Of that percentage, 5-10% have a debilitating fear where they avoid the dentist at all cost. Typically, women fear going to the dentist than men and younger people are more afraid than older adults. Understandably, people are more fearful of more extensive dental procedures, such as surgery, than routine teeth cleaning.

Those who have such a strong fear of the dentist are putting their oral health at risk. Pain and discomfort are clues that something isn’t right and need prompt professional treatment. Unaddressed issues, especially those that can’t be felt or seen, can easily turn into more complicated conditions that require intensive dental treatment.

How Sedation Dentistry Helps

Sedation takes away the pain and discomfort of dental procedures. Patients who fear going to the dentist fear feeling pain. Sedation relaxes the patient’s muscles and provides temporary numbness in the mouth.

Sedation can help erase bad memories. Most patients develop a fear of the dentist, not because of a bad past experience (though that is a major reason for some), but because of the coldness of the dentist and the smells, sights and sounds of the office. Some sedation techniques are strong enough that the patient will not remember the procedure. Not being able to remember the procedure may help patients overcome the mental block or the pain of negative past dental office visits. Not remembering the procedure make the procedures not as bad in the patient’s mind and make future dental office visits less dreadful.

Make the dentist’s job easier. When a patient is relaxed and cooperative, the dentist can complete the procedure quicker. The longer a patient is in the dental office, the worse their fear may become. Lessening the time of their procedure will help ease their fear.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we understand your concerns which is why we offer oral sedation, nitrous oxide and general anesthesia to help make our patients relaxed and comfortable while at our office. Don’t let the fear of the dentist keep you from getting the dental care you need any longer. Call us today to set up an appointment and go over our sedation offerings.

When is Dry Mouth a Problem?

Glass of waterDry mouth is a common problem that has many causes. Most often dry mouth is caused by being a side effect of medication you’re taking. It can also be caused by another health issue or dehydration. Often dry mouth caused by these issues are temporary and will go away. Chronic dry mouth, on the other hand, can be the catalyst to potentially serious oral health problems. It is the chronic dry mouth that needs attention and treatment before it’s too late.

Chronic dry mouth may not be seen as anything more than a nuisance, but an effective treatment by your dentist is needed if it’s been an issue for a long period of time. What is often seen as an inconvenience can wreak havoc on your mouth. Some of the dental issues chronic dry mouth causes include:

  • gingivitis (gum disease)
  • tooth decay
  • mouth infections, such as thrush
  • makes wearing dentures difficult

All these more serious oral health issues typically occur from the lack of saliva due to dry mouth. Saliva coats, protects and cleanses your teeth and gums. Without this natural oral defense
system, your mouth can become a breeding ground for bacteria and weakened gums and teeth.

The symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • A dry or sticky feeling in the mouth
  • Frequent, unquenchable thirst
  • Sores in the mouth, at the corners of the mouth or cracked lips
  • A dry feeling throat
  • A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and on the tongue
  • A dry, red, raw tongue
  • Problems speaking, tasting, chewing, and swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Dry nasal passages
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Red, bleeding gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis
  • Tooth decay—especially around the gum line or on the root surfaces

How is Chronic Dry Mouth Treated?

Though there is not a cure for dry mouth, there are multiple treatment options available to alleviate the discomfort and slow the damage of dry mouth to your mouth. We can provide you with the best option for you based on the severity of your dry mouth. Below are the treatment options available ranging from preserving the little saliva you do produce to cavity prevention:

If your mouth is still producing some saliva, it is important to preserve it. Treatment options for this include avoiding foods, drinks and living habits that can dry your mouth out. Lifestyle habits such as breathing through the mouth and consuming excessive caffeine, alcohol and tobacco products will dry out your mouth.  Along with limiting these lifestyle choices, using a humidifier can also help keep your mouth from drying out.

  • To complement the lack of saliva, you can also try saliva substitutes. Drinking more water, sucking on ice and using an alcohol free mouthwash can add moisture to your mouth. Over the counter saliva substitutes and oral lubricants can also help.
  • Another way to make up for the lack of saliva include saliva stimulation treatments. Chewing sugar-free hard candies or gum can help stimulate saliva production. Prescription medications such as Evoxac and Salagen help.
  • Dry mouth provides the perfect environment for cavities and gum disease to occur. To control the growth of plaque, frequent appointments with us is necessary. We’ll recommend to you a low-sugar diet, daily use of fluoride treatments such as prescription tooth paste and antimicrobial rinses.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we’ll help reduce the discomfort of your dry mouth and prevent further damage done to your mouth, teeth and gums. For more information about dry mouth and other oral restoration services we offer, please contact us and set up an appointment.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental Emergency InfographicWhen there is severe damage to your teeth, trauma to your mouth or face, bleeding from your mouth or extreme pain, it likely means a dental emergency and usually requires surgery. Our dental office should be the first person you call is you suspect you have a dental emergency. These types of emergencies take into account the condition of your teeth.

To see if you are experiencing a dental emergency, it helps to answer the following questions:

  • Are you bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in severe pain or experience pain when biting down or having cold or hot foods and beverages?
  • Do you have any loose teeth?
  • Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
  • Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
  • Do you have any bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?

A “yes” answer to any of these questions means you may have a dental emergency and should call our office immediately.

Common Dental Emergencies

Knocked-Out Tooth

When you have a tooth that has been knocked out, it is important to call us right away. Quick action will increase the chances that your tooth will be able to be preserved and reinserted by our dentists.

If you have a knocked out tooth, be gentle with handling it. Be sure to pick it up by the crown, not the root. Gently clean it, but don’t scrub it. If you’re able to, gently put the tooth back into the socket and hold it in until you get to the dentist.

Loose Tooth, Tooth Out of Alignment

If one of your teeth is lose or out of alignment, you should call us. In the meantime, you can hold the tooth in its original position with you finger, putting slight pressure on it if needed. You can also bite down to help keep the tooth in place.  Whatever you do, don’t try to force the tooth in.

Cracked or Fractured Teeth

A cracked or fractured tooth is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. If a tooth is cracked or fractured, it usually means that there is damage that has occurred both on the inside and outside of the tooth. If the fracture is severe, the tooth may not be able to be saved. If you have a fractured tooth, follow these steps after you call your dentist:

  • Use warm water to gently clean and rinse out your mouth.
  • If your tooth fracture is caused by trauma to your face, you can apply a cold compress to the area to reduce the swelling.
  • Take Tylenol or Advil or other brand acetaminophen to relieve the pain. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Do not apply topical painkiller to your gums as it can burn and irritate the gum tissue.

Tissue Injury and Facial Pain

If you incur any kind of injury inside of your mouth that includes lacerations, tears and puncture wounds to the mouth, lips, cheeks and tongue, you have a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, it is important to clean the area immediately with warm water. If your mouth is bleeding, place pressure on the wound using gauze. Bleeding from inside the mouth requires you to see an oral surgeon immediately.

Take acetaminophen to relieve any facial pain you experience as a result of a tissue injury. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen as they can cause excessive bleeding.

Other Dental Emergencies

Any severe infection or abscess in the mouth is a dental emergency and requires immediate attention. Some infections can be deadly if not treated right away. An infected tooth may warrant a root canal by our dentists. The root canal will allow the abscess to drain.

Your wellbeing and comfort as well as salvaging your teeth are all important. If you experience severe pain in and around your mouth, have had trauma to your face or mouth, have bleeding from inside your mouth, have loose or misaligned teeth or fractured teeth, you likely have a dental emergency. Be sure to have our contact information so we can quickly assist you in your dental emergency.

10 of our Favorite Celebrity Before and After Cosmetic Dentistry Photos!

To make it in show business or any profession where you’re constantly in front of the camera, it is important to have a memorable, and good-looking smile. As natural as some stars may look, chances are they have had some work done. Most celebrities started off looking like average people. The media and cultural expectations of beauty have defined how the rich and famous should look. The majority of stars have had some work done to their face and mouth, though some deny it.  Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars started off with a less than glamorous smile. With a lot of money and time, celebrities have overwhelmingly opted for cosmetic surgery.  Many stars experienced an upswing in their careers after their dental transformations. Here are ten before and after pictures of some of the many celebrities who have had cosmetic dental work done. The most common dental procedures include implants, teeth whitening, the removal of teeth, porcelain veneers, crowns, teeth straightened, fixed bridges and gum re-contouring.

Wtfceleb.comMiley Cyrus

Former Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus had her front teeth covered with porcelain veneers and had her small incisors corrected.

 

Zac-EffronAnother former Disney Channel personality, Zach Efron had his teeth whitened, straightened and evened. He also had the front gap filled in.

Cheryl LlyodThe British X Factor Cher Lloyd had the gap in her front filled and her teeth whitened.

Antes Y Despues

jennifer-garner_dientes_antesydespues.com.arActress Jennifer Garner had her teeth whitened and her gums reshaped. She also had fillers in her lips.

catherine-zeta-jones_dientes_antesydespues.com.arActress Catherine Zeta Jones had her teeth whitened and straightened.

keith-urbanMusician Keith Urban had his teeth whitened and straightened. He also had the gap between his front teeth filled.

50-cents_dientes_antesydespues.com.arRapper 50 Cent had the separation between his two front teeth (caused by a condition called diastema) fixed.

DentalWorld.org

Hilary-Duff-teeth-before-after-cosmetic-dentistryFormer child star, now musician Hilary Duff had cosmetic dental work done in 2009 after accidently chipping a tooth while in concert. Instead of repairing the one tooth, she decided to get a full set of veneers.

Tom-Cruise-teeth-before-after-cosmetic-dentistry-300x180Actor Tom Cruise had his teeth straightened and whitened. He has also has gotten a full set of porcelain veneers.

Kate-Beckinsale-teeth-before-after-cosmetic-dentistry-300x225Former British actress Kate Beckinsale had laser gum-reshaping and got porcelain veneers. She also had her teeth whitening.

 

What do you think of these transformations? Cosmetic dental procedures can really make a difference. Not only does dental work make you look good, but it will also boost your confidence. These procedures, however, are not just for celebrities. Contact us to set up an appointment so we can discuss how you too can have a Hollywood smile.

Gum Disease and Your Dental Hygiene

Gum disease is a sneaky thing that causes inflammation of the gum line and affects the bone that supports and surrounds your teeth. Gum disease rears its ugly head in three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Fortunately (or unfortunately) gum disease can often be relatively painless. However, there is a way to detect it with the following symptoms:

  • Loose teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums that move away from the teeth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Pus that is visible around the teeth and gums

Most people should have a general understanding that poor dental health leads to cavities, but there are bigger and more severe problems that can result from poor oral care. Without proper dental care you risk serious consequences that go far beyond a simple toothache, easy to repair cavities, or unsightly stains.

Studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to major diseases throughout the body. Not taking proper care of your oral health can cause worse problems than a routine root canal.

Heart Disease

Bacteria that finds itself thriving within the mouth will travel through the bloodstream and land in the arteries of the heart. This causes hardening of the arteries and decreases (or even blocks) the blood flow through the entire body. The risk of this ends in heart attack or stroke. The bacteria also causes the inner lining of the heart to become inflamed, which is a condition known as endocarditis. The heart is… well… the force in your body to be reckoned with. Poor dental hygiene should not be a reason for its failure to keep you alive.

Diabetes

People with poor blood sugar control suffer from gum disease more often and much more severely than those who do not have diabetes. Bacteria thrives on sugar, including glucose, which is the sugar linked to diabetes. Poorly controlled glucose levels show up in saliva and create a perfect breeding ground for harmful germs, which leads to gum disease.

Dementia

The worst of the worst (argumentally). When a person has gingivitis the bacteria finds a way through the nervous system and bloodstream to the brain, which has been linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Respiratory Infection

When bacteria from infected teeth and gums is breathed in where does it go? That’s right, the lungs. Over a long period of time this can have a devastating effect on the state of your lungs. Infections, such as pneumonia have been linked to poor oral health.

Overall the message is crystal clear, it’s not only the health of your pearly whites that you are risking by neglecting your oral health, it is the overall wellbeing of your body that is in jeopardy. Don’t let something as simple as brushing and flossing lead you down a serious road of life altering diseases. With proper-daily dental routines and regular visits to our office, you can keep your oral and overall health in check.

Get a Botox Treatment at Your Next Dental Appointment

Sometimes, to get the most out of your smile, we need to consider the entire framework of your face, including the lips, cheeks, and even the area around the eyes. (And yes, your eyes are as critical to your smile as your teeth.)

Botox is one of the easiest and most effective ways to shape your smile and smooth out some unwanted wrinkles, but most people seem to assume that there is a distinct separation between it and the other treatments you may receive in our office.

The fact is that Botox treatments in a dental office are becoming more common because, while it does help us design and deliver your ideal smile, it can also serve a number of other important functions.

Using Botox to Treat Dental Conditions

Botox isn’t just about smoothing wrinkles. The FDA has actually approved the use of Botox for a wide range of medical applications. At your appointment, we can use it to treat the muscle strains that lead to clenching and grinding your teeth, and we can even alleviate the migraines that are often a result of stress in those grinding and clenching muscles.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is another condition that can be treated with Botox. People who are suffering from this disorder often feel an aching pain in their facial muscles, but the situation can get much worse than that. In some cases, the joints get so stiff that it’s difficult to even open or close their mouths. When Botox is injected into the muscles that are affected by TMJ, it can relieve the pain and the stress headaches that often come with it.

How Does Botox Work?

A lot of muscles work together to pull off the perfect smile. Eventually, after repeated use, they begin to make lines appear in the face. We often refer to these lines as “dynamic wrinkle lines” because they result from all the activity from those muscles.

Botox uses a process called cosmetic denervation to block some of the transmitters in some of those muscles, effectively limiting their ability to contract and create wrinkles. Despite what you may have seen on TV, you don’t actually lose any sensory feeling in those muscles. They just can’t contract anymore.

The process is simple and practically painless. The needle is so small that you should only feel a slight stinging sensation during the injection. The procedure doesn’t even require any anesthesia. However, it is possible for some patients to see some slight bruising around the injection area the first day, but they quickly fade away.

It is important to note that, like many cosmetic treatments, Botox is not a permanent solution. Most treatments will last for six months or so. After that, you may need to set an appointment for another treatment.

Why Are Dentists Doing This?

A lot of people are still surprised to learn that they can get a Botox treatment in the same place where they get their teeth whitened. Yes, they’re both cosmetic treatments, but one involves hard teeth and enamel and the other involves soft muscle and skin. Most people assume that they have to see a plastic surgeon for this kind of treatment. But, once you set up an appointment there, you’ll find that it’s usually the nurses or the assistants that actually administer the Botox.

Cosmetic dentists have a unique focus on the physiology, muscle groups, and skeletal structure of the face. It’s what we spend the most time learning about and working on. We understand how the lips and cheeks should frame your pearly white teeth, and we can design your smile accordingly.

If you’ve thought about Botox as a way to augment your smile, but didn’t want to set up an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon, maybe it’s time to talk to us about it at your next dental appointment.

 

Why Do Coffee and Other Beverages Stain Our Teeth, and How Can We Stop It?

Teeth WhiteningWhy is it that so many of our favorite beverages have some of the worst effects on our teeth? It seems totally unfair that something that makes you want to smile also makes your smile a little less lustrous.

We all work hard to maintain a bright, white smile, and that means we have to consider the things we eat and drink and how much they’ll affect our teeth. There might even be some things you can do to minimize their effect.

First, let’s take a look at why these drinks do what they do. What do they have in them that disagrees with an otherwise shiny enamel.

  • Chromogens – These are dark pigments that have a direct effect on your teeth. They’re the same elements that dyers use to create specially colored compounds.
  • Tannin – This is called an astringent, and it’s used for activities like tanning leather, dying fabric, and making ink. Something like that is definitely going to have a noticeable effect on your teeth.
  • Acid – Some drinks have a high acidity, but even a mild acid can roughen up the surface of your teeth, making it more open to discoloration.

So know that we know what is causing the problem, let’s look at which of our favorite beverages use them.

  • Coffee – You’ll find a lot of chromogens in coffee and a pretty strong dose of tannin (though not as much in, say, tea). There’s a reason why your porcelain mugs end up discolored, and it’s doing the same thing to your teeth.
  • Red Wine – While all wines are acidic (which is bad enough for your teeth), red in particular has chromogens and tannins in high supply, so it’s delivering something of a 1-2 punch.
  • Tea – Different teas have different chemical makeups, but they’re pretty high in tannins. Black tea, especially, will be quick to discolor your teeth.
  • Soft Drinks and Sports Drinks – There is a lot of acidity in these beverages, and while there aren’t any chemicals in them that could be used to tan leather, they do have plenty of other elements that contribute to a duller smile.

Professional Whitening and Maintenance

While there are a lot of good whitening products that you can buy and use at home, they can’t deliver the same kind of results that a professional treatment will. In a single visit, you can see results up to 10 shades brighter, effectively removing the effects of all that tannin and chromogen.

However, in order to maintain that appearance, you’re going to have to do some work. While we’re not suggesting you give up your favorite drinks completely, we are going to recommend a few simple things that can help you counteract some of the effects of these stainers.

First, brush or rinse immediately after you drink some of the main offenders. If you follow up with water, you’ll be able to wash away some of those leave-behinds before they can cause a lot of problems.

Next, consider drinking through a straw. While that’s not the classiest way to enjoy a nice red wine, it will limit your teeth’s exposure to the liquid.

Finally, make sure that you do use some of those home whitening products once or twice a week. Follow the instructions for the best effects, and you’ll be able to make that professional whitening last much longer.

Refer a new Patient and Get Entered in Our Drawing!

At Masterpiece Smiles, we like to take the time to give a little something back to our patients who were kind enough to refer someone new to our practice. So, every six months we put the names of people who referred someone to us in a drawing for some great prizes.

Here’s how it works:

During your visit, you will receive a $75 coupon that you can give to a friend when you refer them. Simply write your name on the coupon so when that friend comes in for their first appointment and brings the coupon with them, you will be automatically entered into the drawing.

In the past, winners have received televisions, bikes, weekend getaways, Apple watches, iPads, Surface tablets, and more.

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At Masterpiece Smiles, we always want to provide the kind of care and attention that you will be glad to share with friends and family. We want you to feel confident with our services and confident about recommending us to others.

We always take a patient-centric approach to dentistry, and we work hard to provide a safe, hygienic, and welcoming environment. Combine that with all of our high-end technology and experienced dentists, and you’ll have plenty of reasons to smile.

Set up your next appointment today and be sure to get a referral coupon from us if you have a friend who is looking for great dental services. You never know what you might win in our next drawing.

 

Using IV Sedation to Overcome Dental Anxiety

IV Sedation Oklahoma City OKDental anxiety is a very real problem that can keep people from receiving the care and treatments they need. It’s not helped when others try to tell them to “get over it” and that their teeth are simply too important.

If it was something they could just “get over,” then it wouldn’t be a phobia in the first place. The source of these anxieties could come from a wide range of dental-related issues. Maybe they don’t like the sound of the drill or the sight of a needle. Maybe they have a very low pain threshold or a very strong gag reflex. Maybe they just don’t like people hovering right over their face.

There are some simple solutions to this, though. For some people, it’s enough to bring along a little moral support, for others, some meditation and breathing exercises may be enough to put their concerns in the back of their minds where they can’t do any harm.

Some people, though, need the absolute certainty that when they step into the office, there will be a tried and true method to ensure they “won’t feel a thing.”

That’s where sleep dentistry or sedation dentistry comes in. And in the most severe cases, this is where we rely on IV sedation because we can use it to achieve far more predictable results and completely control the level and depth of the sedation.

When a Local Isn’t Enough

A lot of the developments in dentistry are centered around providing a pain-free experience. Even so, many people still deal with their fears and anxieties and that’s something a local anesthetic won’t help alleviate.

Conscious sedation is the next step. While many people automatically assume that sedation dentistry means they will be out cold during the entire procedure, this isn’t necessarily the case. The fact is, for many treatments, we need you away during the procedure so you can respond to questions and requests. You’ll be totally relaxed, and you won’t feel any pain, but you’ll be able to work with us to ensure the procedure is completed as quickly and effectively as possible.

Different Levels and Different Approaches

The level of anxiety a patient feels will directly impact the depth of sedation and delivery method we use. In many cases, oral sedation – medicine taken before coming to the office to help relax – is enough. In other cases, though, we may need to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to take the edge off the anxiety and help you relax.

IV Sedation is extremely useful in these cases, because the sedative is received through a vein, which means it will go to work very quickly and take immediate effect. What this means is that we can constantly change the level of sedation to ensure that you are fully relaxed. We can also take you to a deeper level, while keeping careful control over the amount of medication your receive.

Finally, there is also an option for general anesthesia, which will put you out completely and is only done in a hospital setting with an anesthesiologist present. Generally, this level is reserved for patients who are medically or mentally compromised.

The Benefits of IV Sedation for Dental Procedures

We already mentioned that sedation dentistry isn’t used to knock you out cold, so the question is how does it work?

IV sedation works by inducing a deep feeling of relaxation and a sense that you can’t be bothered by anything. It also produced some partial memory loss for the time between when the medication kicks in and when it wears off. That means even though you will be awake during the procedure, from your perspective, the procedure will start and the next thing you know you’ll be getting ready to leave.

In that sense, it is a lot like you’re just asleep through the whole thing.

Chances are we will still use a local when we start the treatment, though, because IV sedation is about eliminating anxiety, not pain. And even if you won’t remember it later, we don’t want you feeling any pain throughout the procedure. So a local may still be used, but if you’re afraid of needs, we’ll wait to use it until after the sedation takes effect.

Don’t let your anxieties over visiting the dentist stop you from getting the treatment you need. Talk to us about your concerns and we’ll help you determine if IV sedation is right for you. This way, we can make sure your next visit is comfortable and relaxing – even if you technically won’t remember it.

Implant Supported Dentures are Something to Smile About

 

Losing your teeth can be an embarrassing occurrence, especially if you lose multiple teeth and don’t get them replaced soon. While tooth loss can result in a lack of confidence, it can also result in a loss of oral health. Your teeth are essential components of your mouth for things like chewing, talking and keeping your jawbone healthy. Extended periods of time without teeth can have more serious complications for your oral health than you might know.

Fortunately, dentistry has advanced to the point that missing teeth can easily be replaced. If you’ve lost the majority of your teeth, you will likely need to be fitted for dentures.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are dental inserts that replace missing teeth. Dentures look natural and, even though it might take a while to adjust, perform just like normal teeth. There are two main types of dentures you can use when needing to replace your missing teeth.

  • Traditional Dentures – Traditional dentures are dental inserts that fit directly over your gums and can be removed at will. You can get full or partial dentures in this form, depending on how many teeth you are missing. These dentures are custom made from impressions of your mouth and gums.
  • Implant Supported Dentures – Implant supported dentures are used in instances when you are missing all your teeth, but you still have enough healthy bone structure in your jaw to support dental implants. After the implants have been inserted into your jaw, the denture will snap into place, using the implants as support. Typically, this type of denture is used for lower jaw dentures, as your upper jaw has more support. However, implant supported dentures can be used for both upper and lower jaws.

How Do Implant Supported Dentures Work?

When it comes to implant supported dentures, you often have two choices of retention methods: bar retention and ball retention. Bar-retained dentures uses a thin metal bar attached to the implants in your mouth, following the curve of your jaw. The dentures then fit over the bar for support. Ball-retained dentures use ball-shaped attachments on the implants, which then fit into sockets on the dentures. Both of these methods require at least two implants to work properly.

The Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures

There are many benefits to getting dentures, whether traditional or implant supported. However, implant support dentures offer a variety of benefits that exceed those that traditional dentures offer. Some of these benefits include things such as these:

  • Improved Functionality – Both traditional and implant supported dentures offer improved functionality over having no teeth at all, but you will experience much more with implant supported dentures. Unlike traditional dentures, implant supported dentures fit better and stay in place at any given moment. This can lead to an increase of up to three times more biting force than traditional dentures.
  • Better Confidence – With traditional dentures, patients are often worried about how they look and if someone will notice that they are dentures and not real teeth. This typically happens because traditional dentures are loose, and they can easily slide out of place. As a result, patients often strain their facial muscles trying to keep the dentures from sliding out of place. Implant support dentures are fixed in place to the implants, so you won’t need to worry about constantly trying to keep them in place.
  • Improved Oral Health – Traditional dentures can add a lot of extra pressure to your gums and jawbone because there is nothing there to support them. After a while, your soft tissues will be worn down as a result. Implant supported dentures remove this negative side effect due to the extra support from the implants. The support protects you against loss of bone structure and integrity.

Get a Consultation

If you have lost multiple teeth and have started to wonder if it’s a good idea to get dentures, take some time to schedule a consultation with your dentist. He or she can walk you through the benefits of both traditional and implant support dentures. In the end, you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised with the benefits implant supported dentures offer you.