My Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
March 10, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants restore missing teeth and can last your entire life with proper care. Your Burlington, MA, dentist, Dr. Paul David Epstein, can help you fill the gaps in your smile with this innovative restoration method.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are combined with crowns to create brand new, fully functioning teeth. Implants look like tiny screws and serve as synthetic replacement roots. After they're placed in your jawbone during minor oral surgery, they begin to bond to the bone.

The bonding process usually takes about three to six months. When your implants are fully bonded, they're connected to dental crowns that will replace the visible parts of your teeth. No matter how many teeth you've lost, you can benefit from implants. Implant-supported bridges and dentures replace multiple missing teeth and offer excellent comfort and biting power.

Why is bonding so important?

Bonding, called osseointegration, ensures that your dental implants are securely attached to your jawbone, just like your natural tooth roots. Once bonding occurs, your implants become a permanent part of your jaw. In most cases, dental implants never need to be replaced and offer an excellent long-term restoration option. (The crowns attached to your implants will need to be replaced approximately every 10 to 15 years or as soon they begin to show signs of wear.)

Implants are one of the most cost-effective restoration methods when you consider lifetime costs.

Is it difficult to care for dental implants?

Brushing and flossing, two things you already do, keep your dental implants in good condition. If you're only an occasional flosser now, you'll need to commit to daily flossing. Flossing around the base of your crown helps you avoid infections that could loosen your new implant. Fortunately, infections are easy to avoid simply by following good oral hygiene practices and visiting your dentist every six months for checkups.
 

Restore your smile with dental implants. Call your dentist in Burlington, MA, Dr. Epstein, at (781) 273-1152 to schedule an appointment.

By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
February 22, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
ChangesinBoneStructurecanAffectDentureFit

It’s a common problem for denture wearers: after years of a comfortable fit, your dentures now seem to be uncomfortably loose. The reason, though, may have more to do with bone loss than the dentures.

Bone is a living tissue with a life cycle — it forms, it ages, and it eventually dies and dissolves (resorbs). It’s replaced with new bone and the cycle repeats. Additionally, the forces generated when we bite or chew are transmitted from the teeth to the jaw, which helps stimulate new bone growth. When the natural teeth are missing, however, the bone no longer receives this stimulus. Resorbed bone isn’t replaced at a healthy rate, which leads over time to bone loss.

Denture construction can also contribute to bone loss. The denture palate rests for support on the bony ridges that once held the teeth. Over time the compressive forces of the dentures apply damages and reduces the volume of gum tissue and eventually does the same to the bone. Combining all these factors, the reduced gum and bone volume will eventually alter the denture fit.

There are a few alternatives for correcting loose dentures. One is to reline them with new plastic, as either a temporary fix performed during an office visit or a more permanent relining that requires sending your dentures to a dental lab. Depending on the rate of bone loss, a patient could go through several denture relinings to accommodate ongoing changes in the jaw. At some point, though, it may be necessary to create a new set of dentures.

A third alternative that’s becoming increasingly useful is to incorporate dental implants into the denture design. Implants can of course be used to replace individual teeth, but a few strategically placed implants (usually of smaller dimension) can serve as a support platform for a removable denture. This relieves some of the compression force of a traditionally worn denture and can slow bone loss.

If you’re having problems with your denture fit, call us for an appointment. We’ll help you decide on the best alternative to improving the fit and making your dentures more comfortable and secure.

If you would like more information on refitting loose dentures, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Dentures.”

By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
January 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Want a healthier and brighter smile? Well, the use of dental implants for restorative procedures has come a long way in the last 40 years, dental implantsaccording to the American Dental Association. One of the dental implant's most important uses is replacing missing teeth. If you're interested, your Burlington, MA, dentist, Dr. Paul Epstein, can help.

Dental implants

Dental implants consist of a titanium post that is surgically inserted into your jaws to replace your missing tooth root. It creates stability, strength, and prevents the weakening and shrinkage of your jawbone. The dentist then seals your gums and allows 3 to 6 months for osseointegration to occur, which is when the titanium post to the rest of your jaw bone.

Afterwards, the patient needs to come back to his or her dentist's office in Burlington so that they can re-open the area above the titanium post, insert a screw, place an abutment above the screw and secure a crown on top that matches the rest of your teeth.

Advantages of dental implants

Not having to worry about gaps in your teeth is definitely an advantage, but here are some more advantages that dental implants provide:

  • A dental implant can restore one tooth, a few teeth or all of your teeth, therefore enhancing your whole smile
  • They can restore bite and chewing function, as well as last a lifetime.
  • Unlike dentures, dental implants are fixed in place and don't fall out of place.

Taking care of your dental implants

Brush your teeth and floss every day. When brushing your teeth, make sure to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush for a whole two minutes. Brush twice a day and floss once before bed, at lease.

Also, a change in diet may be beneficial. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary foods to prevent the accumulation of plaque is good preventative dentistry.

If you have more questions about dental implants, call your dentists in Burlington, MA, at (781) 273-1152.

By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
June 22, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
EnsuretheBestOutcomewiththeRightCareforaTeensMissingTooth

While it's possible for a teenager to lose a tooth from decay, it's more common they'll lose one from an accidental knockout. If that happens to your teenager, there are some things you should know to achieve a good outcome.

Our top concern is to preserve the underlying bone following tooth loss. Like other tissues, bone has a life cycle: older cells dissolve and are absorbed by the body (resorption), then replaced by new cells. The biting pressure generated when we chew helps stimulate this growth. But bone around a missing tooth lacks this stimulation and may not keep up with resorption at a healthy rate.

This can cause a person to lose some of the bone around an empty tooth socket. To counteract this, we may place a bone graft at the site. Made of bone minerals, usually from a donor, the graft serves as a scaffold for new bone growth. By preventing significant bone loss we can better ensure success with a future restoration.

Because of its lifelikeness, functionality and durability, dental implants are considered the best of the restoration options that can be considered to replace a missing tooth. But placing an implant during the teen years is problematic because the jaws are still growing. If we place an implant prematurely it will appear to be out of alignment when the jaw fully matures. Better to wait until the jaw finishes development in early adulthood.

In the meantime, there are a couple of temporary options that work well for teens: a removable partial denture (RFP) or a fixed modified bridge. The latter is similar to bridges made for adults, but uses tabs of dental material that bond a prosthetic (false) tooth to the adjacent natural teeth to hold it in place. This alleviates the need to permanently alter the adjacent natural teeth and buy time so that the implant can be placed after growth and development has finished.

And no need to worry about postponing orthodontic treatment in the event of a tooth loss. In most cases we can go ahead with treatment, and may even be able to incorporate a prosthetic tooth into the braces or clear aligners.

It's always unfortunate to lose a tooth, especially from a sudden accident. The good news, though, is that with proper care and attention we can restore your teenager's smile.

If you would like more information on how to treat lost teeth in teenagers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”

By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
January 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implants are designed to restore the architecture of a natural tooth. Where cosmetic restorations like crowns, bridges and dental implantsdentures replace the part of a tooth that is visible above the gum line, an implant also replaces the root, which anchors the cosmetic crown in place and helps to preserve stability and healthy bone tissue in the gums. Dr. Paul David Epstein, a dentist in Burlington, MA, offers dental implants to qualified patients in good general health and with sufficient bone density in the gums.

Recover from Tooth Loss with Dental Implants in Burlington, MA

Dental implants replicate the anatomy of a natural tooth from root to crown. Dentists recommend implants for healthy adults with enough bone density in the gums to support an implant. Implants generally consist of three parts: the implant, which replaces the root, a cosmetic crown and an abutment that attaches the crown to the implant and secures it firmly in place.

The implant is made of a small, biocompatible titanium screw which fuses with the bone tissue in the gums through a process called osseointegration. Osseointegration helps to anchor the implant in place and to prevent the erosion of surrounding bone tissue, a side effect of tooth loss. Bone loss can lead to oral health problems like inflammation and infections, and even tooth loss. Implants help to preserve healthy bone density and protect against the effects of periodontal disease.

Cosmetic Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are typically placed as a cap over a broken or severely decayed tooth or as part of a bridge, which require two abutment crowns on either side which are placed over the adjoining teeth to anchor the crown in place. In this case, the crown is attached directly to the implant, without the need for support from surrounding teeth. Dental implants can replace a single tooth or an entire set of dentures with just a few implants.

Find a Dentist in Burlington, MA

Dental implants offer the next best thing to natural teeth. If you are missing one, several or all of your natural teeth, contact the office of Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C. by calling (781) 273-1152 to schedule an appointment today.