Posts for tag: dental implants

TheRealTruthBehindEdHelmsMissingToothinTheHangover

Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.

In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.

Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.

Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.

If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.

The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.

Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 28, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants offer several advantages. One of the biggest advantages is the restoration of your smile through long-term and secure replacement of missing teeth. A dentist can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants as you must have enough bone in the jaw area for placement of an implant. At Carey & Aylward in Seymour, one of our skilled dentists, Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, or Dr. Allison Carey, can tell you if you are a candidate for dental implants.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a method for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. Dental implants consist of a metal implant, an abutment, and a crown. The metal implant is a screw-like post that is placed in the jaw bone. The implant functions as an anchor or root for the crown. The abutment is a small component used to join the crown to the implant. Once all components are in place, only the dental crown will be visible. The crown looks and functions exactly like a natural tooth.

Crowns are used in conjunction with dental implants when a single tooth is being replaced. It is also possible to use dental implants to replace several teeth at once. Multiple dental implants are strategically placed in the jaw bone. Then, depending on the individual patient, either a dental bridge with crowns or an implant-supported overdenture can be placed over the dental implants. One of the knowledgeable dentists at our office in Seymour can discuss restoring your smile with dental implants.

Advantages of Dental Implants

There are several advantages associated with choosing dental implants for restoring your smile. One of the biggest advantages is that dental implants can be used whether you need to replace one missing tooth or several. Another advantage is that dental implants are a long-term solution that can last indefinitely with proper care. Additionally, a dental implant holds artificial teeth securely in place. With dental implants, any worries about your replacement teeth slipping out of place are completely eliminated.

In addition to the many advantages of selecting dental implants for restoring your smile, there are several unexpected benefits, as well. By filling in the gaps caused by missing teeth, dental implants provide additional support for sagging facial muscles, improve speech by correcting the placement of the tongue when speaking, and eliminate excess strain on existing natural teeth that had been compensating for missing ones. Dental implants offer numerous advantages and benefits and our dentists can help you decide if dental implants are right for you.

Visit our office in Seymour and speak to our dentists about how dental implants can restore your smile. You will soon discover the many advantages of dental implants. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Aylward, Dr. B. Carey, or Dr. A. Carey, call Carey & Aylward at (734) 425-9130.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
October 30, 2018
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

The importance of replacing missing teeth is often overlooked by many people. However, leaving a gap untreated can result in various side effects that can cause serious issues. The most lifelike and naturally-functioning tooth replacement option is a dental implant. Often considered the gold standard of replacing teeth, implants have many benefits and take only a few dental appointments to complete. Read on to learn more about the dental implants provided by Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey at Carey-Aylward Dentistry in Westland, MI!

How do dental implants work? 

Dental implants are implemented through a surgical procedure that places the implant fixture into the jawbone beneath the missing tooth. As the bone heals, it grows around the fixture to hold it securely in place and provide a sturdy foundation for the prosthetic tooth. The prosthetic fits over the fixture and connects to it via the implant abutment to complete the implant process.

Do I need dental implants? 

Dental implants can benefit patients in a variety of situations, including those needing to replace one, several, or even all of their teeth.

  • Single tooth implants: Single tooth implants stand on their own to replace one missing tooth. The implant's prosthetic fits over the implant to complete the restoration.
  • Multiple tooth implants: Multiple tooth implants replace several teeth at once and are held in place by an implant on either side.
  • Implant-supported dentures: Implant-supported dentures permanently replace all the teeth on an arch with a non-removable restoration. Four or more implants throughout the arch hold the denture in place.

Dental Implants in Westland, MI

If you have one or more missing teeth, you may benefit from dental implants. In addition to filling in your gaps, implants provide the jawbone with adequate stimulation to remain healthy and avoid bone atrophy. Implants also keep natural teeth from drifting or moving to compensate for the extra room left behind by a missing tooth. Treating these issues can help avoid serious dental complications and keep your smile healthy for years to come.

For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey at Carey-Aylward Dentistry in Westland, MI. Call (734) 425-9130 to schedule an appointment with your dentist today!

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
June 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
GumDiseaseisStillaThreattoYourDentalImplants

You’ve invested quite a bit in your new dental implants. And it truly is an investment: because of implants’ potential longevity, their long-term costs could actually be lower than other restorations whose upfront costs might be less.

But to better ensure their longevity, you’ll need to keep your implants and the natural tissues supporting them clean of bacterial plaque, a sticky biofilm that can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Although the implant itself is unaffected by disease, the natural tissues around it can be. ¬†An infection could ultimately weaken the bone supporting the implant and lead to its failure.

Such an infection involving implants could advance rapidly because they don’t have the natural defenses of the original teeth. Our natural teeth are connected to the jaw through the periodontal ligament, a collagen network that attaches to both the teeth and the bone through tiny tissue fibers. This connection also provides access to antibodies produced by the body to fight infection.

By contrast, we place implants directly into the jawbone. While this creates a very secure attachment, the implant won’t have the same connection as teeth with the body’s immune system. That means any infection that develops in surrounding tissues can spread much more rapidly—and so must be dealt with promptly.

Treating this particular form of gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) is similar to infections with natural teeth and gums, with one important difference involving the tools we use to remove plaque from them. While natural teeth can handle metal scalers and curettes, these can create microscopic scratches in the porcelain and metal surfaces of an implant and create havens for further bacterial growth. Instead, we use instruments made of plastic or resin that won’t scratch, as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose.

To avoid an infection, it’s important that you brush your implants and surrounding tissues just like you would your natural teeth (be sure you use a soft-bristled brush). And keep up regular dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any developing gum infection. Maintaining your dentures will help ensure they continue to brighten your smile for a long time.

If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 Implant Maintenance: Implant Teeth Must be Cleaned Differently.”

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 15, 2018
Category: Oral Health
WhyYouShouldStillFlosswithanImplant-SupportedBridge

Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.

Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.

It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.

Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.

To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.

You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.

Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.

Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.