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August 21, 2013

Are Your Dentures Making You Look Old?

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:53 pm

Missing teeth are a cause for concern for millions of Americans.  In fact, 69% of adults have lost at least one permanent tooth.  By age 74, 26% of adults will have lost all their teeth.  The traditional solution to missing teeth is a full denture.  A denture is a removable prosthetic appliance designed to fit over the edentulous (toothless) jaw to replace the natural teeth.

Dentures Are Not Very Functional

Is It Time To Ditch Your Denture?

Many people with damaged and decayed teeth assume that the solution to ending their discomfort and expensive dental bills is to remove all the teeth and wear a denture.  All too often, patients who have tried this approach find out the hard way that a denture does not look, function or feel like natural teeth, and it rarely solves the problem the way they had hoped.  In fact, many denture patients find that rather than solve their dental problems, they have just traded them for a new set of problems.

Common Denture Problems

Dysfunctional dentures are common, especially in patients who have been missing their teeth for a long time.  Because your jaw maintains it’s size and shape only when there are natural teeth present in the bone, edentulous patients find that their jaw changes size and shape considerably over time.  The unstimulated jaw bone shrinks away and the process is accelerated when a denture is sitting atop the gums applying pressure on a constant basis through normal activity like eating and talking.  As the jaw bone shrinks, the denture becomes loose or does not fit properly.  In a mild case, the denture can be adjusted or relined in order to create a better fit, but the process will continue in a vicious cycle until the jaw bone has receded so severely that it can no longer hold a denture in place, even with denture adhesives.

In addition to loose dentures, many patients find that it is impossible to eat the foods they used to enjoy.  Biting and chewing can become difficult because a denture does not provide the stability and strength of natural teeth.  Some patients also complain of problems such as denture sores and painful dentures.

How Dentures Make You Look Old

bone loss with dentures

Loss of Vertical Dimension

The physical changes in the jaw which occur with the loss of the permanent teeth affect more than function.  They affect appearance as well.  As the jaw bone shrinks, the face changes shape.  As the bite changes, the jaws no longer come together properly.  Over time, the distance between the nose and the chin shortens in a condition called “loss of vertical dimension”.  It is the shrinkage of the jaw that causes the hollow, overclosed and sunken facial appearance that makes a person look much older than they really are.

How To Restore Dental Function, Facial Appearance and Ditch Your Denture For Good

Dental implants have long been favored by dentists and oral surgeons as the most reliable, natural and functional way to replace missing teeth.  Advances in implant dentistry make it possible for almost any denture-wearer to regain dental function and stop the progression of bone loss in the jaws.  Because dental implants are placed directly into the jaw bone, they act as a synthetic tooth root, stimulating the bone and preventing the progression of loss of vertical dimension.   Reliable and predictable, dental implants are 97% successful over 50 years.  This means that there is a very strong likelihood that tooth replacement with dental implants will last you the rest of your life. Providing a strong foundation for restoration of a complete dental arch, implants restore a patient’s ability to bite and chew unencumbered.  In addition, appearance is preserved, comfort and functionality are restored.  Dental implant patients never have to worry that their denture is going to click, slip or fall out during normal activity.

For more information about whether ditching your denture for dental implants is the best option for you, click here.


Statistics provided by AAOMS http://www.aaoms.org/conditions-and-treatments/dental-implants/

August 14, 2013

Advances in Bone Grafting For Dental Implants: Read This Before You Have A Dental Bone Grafting Procedure

Dr. Chilcoat @ 12:22 pm

dental implantIf you have done any research on your own about dental implants and replacing missing teeth, then you know that often times, the jaw bone must be prepared to hold an implant with a mysterious procedure called a “bone graft”.  It sounds very scary, and you might find yourself imagining all sorts of scenarios that might explain exactly what bone grafting is.  The truth is, dental bone grafting is a very delicate and advanced treatment which is designed to restore both the width and the height of the jaw bone, which may have been lost due to tooth loss, periodontal disease or other disease or trauma.

Know Your Bone Graft Lingo

There are as many ways to perform a bone graft as there are oral surgeons.  There are also hundreds of products available which all promise to deliver an excellent bone graft result.  In truth, most bone grafting products are sufficient for use under certain circumstances.  When it comes to your jaw bone and the success of your dental implant procedure, it is important that you understand the differences in available treatments so you can make the decision that is best for you.

Advances In Dental Bone Grafting- Platelet Rich Fibrin

platelet rich fibrin in dental bone grafting

Platelet Rich Fibrin in Dental Bone Grafting

For many years, orthopedic surgeons have used platelet rich fibrin (PRF), a substance extracted from a patient’s own blood, to help give the healing process a jump start when performing surgery on bone. PRF stimulates bone growth, soft tissue growth, and promotes healing.  Using PRF in oral surgery procedures is a cutting edge, advanced procedure which has proven to drastically impact the success of dental bone grafting procedures.  When used in a bone graft, sinus lift procedure or ridge augmentation procedure, growth factors in PRF provide a naturally occurring kick start to the healing process, instantly providing the equivalent of up to 3 days healing time.

PRF can also be used in soft tissue grafting and tooth extraction sockets, including wisdom teeth, to reduce healing time and prevent dry sockets.

Bone grafts performed utilizing this advanced technique demonstrate more predictable results, more successful grafts and faster healing.  Ask about PRF (Platelet Rich Fibrin) before you have a bone grafting procedure performed.  If your oral surgeon does not utilize PRF in grafting procedures, give Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants a call.

Using Your Own Bone

The preferred method of bone grafting involves using either a combination of donor bone and your own live bone cells, or just your own bone in the grafting material.  Just as in anything else, your own cells are the most effective, reliable, and likely to succeed.  The bone used in a graft is most often taken from the back of the jaw (where your wisdom teeth used to be) or the chin.  In some cases, where more bone is needed, it can be taken from the hip or knee.  The procedure to obtain bone particles for your graft is delicate and obtained without significant trauma using a state of the art instrument called a piezo-electric machine.  Using this method reduces trauma to the donor site and provides bone particles in the perfect consistency for dental bone grafting.

Human Donor Bone

Human donor bone is demineralized and sterilized leaving behind an organic scaffold through which your new bone cells will grow.  It is most often obtained from human cadavers, but bovine bone can also be used.  In minor grafting procedures, human donor bone is often recommended.

Synthetic Bone Grafting Material

Synthetic grafting material is usually composed of a combination of one or more of the following: hydroxyapatite and calcium sulfate.  These materials are sometimes used by dentists after tooth extraction to preserve the socket.  Synthetic bone is typically not resorbed by the body, and acts as a scaffold for new bone cells to ingrow.  Using a synthetic graft prior to a dental implant is not recommended by some oral surgeons.

Bone Grafting Consultation

Doing your own research online is a great way to gather information about a bone grafting procedure.  The best way to gather information about your own individual case is to seek the professional consultation of an oral surgeon.  Schedule your consultation appointment today, and make sure you claim your certificate for a FREE consultation and panoramic x-ray on our home page.

Watch a Bone Graft Video


14856 Preston Rd., Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75254 USA
Charles Chilcoat, DDS Dallas TX Dentist (972) 960-1111 care@texaswisdom.com