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Posts for tag: dental implants


The dental implant is the closest thing in modern dentistry to a natural tooth. This is because an implant replaces more than the visible crown — it also replaces the root, thanks to a metal post imbedded in the bone.

But what if you have a metal allergy — are you out of luck replacing a tooth with an implant? Before answering this question, let's take a closer look at metal allergies.

An allergy is an overreaction of the body's immune system to a particular foreign substance. This response can be as inconsequential as a minor rash or as life-threatening as a shutdown of the body's organ systems. You can be allergic to anything, including metals.

Usually, these allergies are to specific kinds of metals. For example, about 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel, while smaller percentages are allergic to cobalt or chromium. Most allergic reactions to metal occur from external contact with jewelry or similar metal items that create rashes or other anomalies on the skin. On a more serious note, an allergy to metal in a body replacement part could result in the body rejecting it.

Metals have also played an important role in dental care, particularly dental amalgam used for tooth fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of a precious metal like gold or silver with other metals like copper, tin and, in small amounts, mercury. While dental amalgam has been used safely for decades, there have been rare cases of inflammation or rashes.

This brings us to dental implants and the most common metal used in them, titanium. The commercial version of this metal is highly prized in medical and dental applications because it has a special affinity with bone. Bone cells readily grow and adhere to the metal, which strengthens the bond between the implant and the jawbone.

Even if you have a rare allergy to certain metals, it's even rarer that would include titanium. In one particular study of 1,500 implant patients less than 1% reported any reaction at all.

If you're concerned, you can undergo testing to see if you react to titanium. More than likely, though, you'll be able to join the millions of other patients who have successfully restored their smiles with dental implants.

If you would like more information on dental implants as a tooth replacement option, 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 “Metal Allergies to Dental implants.”

By Highland Dental
December 26, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Gaps between your teeth are impossible to ignore. Every time you look in the mirror, you're reminded that you've lost a tooth. Dental implants offered by your Smyrna, GA, dentist, Dr. Michael Nguyen of Highland Dental, provide an excellent restoration solution if you're ready to replace your missing teeth.

The dental implant process

Dental implants are synthetic posts designed to replace your missing tooth roots. Just like natural roots, implants become securely attached to your jawbone. The restorations are made of titanium, a metal that has the unique ability to bond to bone.

When your implants become fully bonded to your jawbone, your Smyrna dentist makes an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to create a dental crown, a restoration that replaces the visible part of your tooth. Dental implants are connected to crowns with small screws called abutments.

The length of the implant process varies but generally takes about three to six months. The process may be slightly longer if you need bone grafts to build up the bone in your jaw.

Implants offer many benefits

Your smile affects your self-esteem and other people's perception of you. The loss of one or more teeth can lead to loss of self-confidence or discomfort in social or business situations. Dental implants improve your appearance and give your self-esteem a much-needed boost. Your new tooth will look and feel completely natural. In fact, no one will be able to tell that your tooth isn't real.

Biting power can be a concern after tooth restoration. Because your implants are rooted to your jawbone, you won't experience any loss of power. You'll be able to bite and chew hard, tough, or sticky foods with ease and won't have to change your diet.

Are you concerned that you might not be a good candidate for implants because you've lost multiple teeth? Although implants are often used to replace single missing teeth, they're a good choice no matter how many teeth you need to restore. Implant-supported dentures offer an excellent alternative to full dentures and can be supported by as few as four implants.

Replace your missing teeth with dental implants! Call your Smyrna, GA, dentist, Dr. Michael Nguyen of Highland Dental, at (678) 305-9916 to schedule an appointment.

By Highland Dental
December 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Think dental implants only replace individual teeth? Think again—this premier technology can also support other kinds of restorations to provide better stability and comfort. And, they also help improve bone health when incorporated with any type of tooth replacement options, especially dentures.

Although traditional dentures have enjoyed a long, successful history as a tooth replacement solution, they can interfere with bone health. That’s because regular dentures fit in the mouth by resting on the bony ridges of the jaw, which has implications for the bone.

As living tissue, bone goes through a growth cycle with older bone cells dying and dissolving and newer cells forming to take their place. The teeth play a role in this growth cycle — the forces generated when we chew travel up through the teeth and help stimulate bone growth. When teeth go missing, however, so does this stimulus.

Traditional dentures can’t replace this missing stimulus. In fact, the constant pressure of dentures on the jaw may even accelerate bone loss. A sign this is happening occurs when the dentures’ once tight fit begins to loosen and they become uncomfortable to wear.

Implant-supported dentures can help eliminate this problem. We first surgically place a few implants in the jaw, the number determined by which jaw (the lower requires less) and whether the denture is removable or fixed. If removable, the denture has connective points that match the implant locations — you simply connect them with the implants. If fixed, the denture is screwed into the implants to hold it in place.

So, how does this help bone health? For one, the denture no longer puts as much pressure on the jaw ridges—the main support comes from the implants. And, the implants themselves encourage bone stimulation: The titanium in the implant has a special affinity with bone cells that naturally grow and adhere to its metal surface. This natural integration between implant and bone can stop bone loss and may even help reverse it.

If you’re interested in implant-supported dentures, you’ll first need to undergo a full dental exam with your dentist. These restorations aren’t appropriate for all dental situations. But, if they can work for you, you may be able to enjoy the benefits of an implant-supported restoration.

If you would like more information on implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Highland Dental
May 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants have become the standard for long-term tooth replacement. From mechanics to movie stars, people from all walks of life have discovered the advantages of replacing a missing tooth with an implant. Obviously, restoring your smile is a definite advantage, but an implant can also help to maintain the health of your jawbone and adjacent teeth.

The implant is a small, screw-like titanium post that is placed into your jawbone to function as the root part of the tooth. The living bone tissue will actually attach to the titanium post, fusing them together. This will not only provide a sturdy anchor for a natural-looking crown, but will provide stability for bridgework or dentures. You will then be able to smile, chew and talk as if all of your teeth are natural. The procedure will also help to stabilize the bone, reducing long-term bone loss that occurs when a missing tooth is not replaced.

At this point, if you are thinking that there must be a lot of pain involved, I have good news for you. There is very little pain involved after the procedure is completed and no pain at all during the procedure. Typically, it is a routine surgery that takes place in a dentist’s office under local anesthesia where the immediate area is numbed. If there is any apprehension at all about the procedure, we will offer alternative anesthesia or sedation options during the planning process.

To determine who will be a good candidate for the implant procedure, a plan must be in place to assure the success of the implant. Part of the plan includes:

  • Reviewing your past medical and dental history. We must know your complete past and present medical history and medication use, since good health is essential. There are certain conditions and diseases that can affect the healing of an implant.
  • Performing a comprehensive dental examination. An evaluation of your dental problems and needs will determine if implants are in your best interests. An assessment of the health and mass of the jawbone as well as the number and location of the implant(s) that are needed to restore your bite and smile back to health will also be determined.

When the implant procedure has been successfully completed, there is one more step. As with your natural teeth, preventive maintenance is crucial for long-term success. A daily routine of brushing and flossing along with regular professional dental cleanings and checkups will help ensure continued gum health and proper functioning of your implants.

If you are wondering whether dental implants are right for you, contact us for more information or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about dental implants by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Dental Implant Surgery.”

By Highland Dental
May 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are tooth-root-replacing titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Dr. Michael Dental-ImplantNguyen of Highland Dental in Smyrna, GA, provides his patients with dental implants in order to replace their missing teeth in a jawbone fortifying way.

Here is some more information about dental implants.


What does a dental implant consist of?

A dental implant procedure is simple, although it does take several months to fully complete. During treatment, your dentist removes any remaining tooth matter from the site before inserting a titanium post into the area. The advantage of using a titanium post is that it's biocompatible, eliminating any risk of tissue rejection. Over the course of 3 to 6 months, the post will fuse to the rest of the jawbone so as to add strength and stability. This fusion process is called osseointegration, and it has a success rate of about 95%.

After the implant has been placed in your jawbone and osseointegration takes its course, your dentist attaches an abutment to the post before topping it all off with lifelike porcelain tooth crown on top that matches the rest of your teeth.


How much do implants cost?

Although more pricey than dentures, implants last a lifetime with proper care. They also fix issues like poor bite and damaged chewing function. Another advantage is that, unlike dentures, you don't have to worry about dental implants slipping out of your mouth while speaking.


Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Good candidates have good bone density and solid health. To be sure, though, you have to complete an oral examination at our Smyrna office and undergo a jaw screening. However, even if you are initially uncertified for treatment following this consultation, other procedures, such as bone grafting, can improve your dental health and eventually qualify you for implants!


Do you need a consultation?

Want more information about dental implants from Highland Dental in Smyrna, GA? Call Dr. Michael Nguyen's office at (678) 305-9916 today to learn more.