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Posts for tag: dental implants

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
March 23, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
UsingSinusSurgerytoStimulateBoneGrowthforImplants

For a predictable outcome, a dental implant should be placed as soon as the bone and gum tissues following a tooth extraction have healed. But what happens if the tooth has been missing for months or years? You might then run the risk of not having enough bone to properly place an implant.

This can happen because of a disruption in the growth cycle of living bone tissue. As older bone cells dissolve (resorption), new bone develops to take its place. This is a dynamic process, as the amount and exact location of the new growth is in response to changes in the mouth, particularly from forces generated by the teeth as we chew. If, however, this stimulation transmitted to the bone no longer occurs because the tooth is missing, the bone will tend to dissolve over time.

In fact, within the first year after a tooth loss the associated bone can lose as much as a quarter of its normal width. This is why we typically place bone grafting material in an empty socket at the same time as we extract the tooth. This encourages bone growth during the healing period in anticipation of installing a dental implant or a fixed bridge. If, however, the bone has diminished to less than required for a dental implant, we must then use techniques to encourage new bone growth to support a future implant.

One such technique for restoring bone in the back of the upper jaw is to surgically access the area through the maxillary sinus (a membrane-lined air space within the bone structure of the face) positioned just over the jawbone to place grafting material. During surgery performed usually with local anesthesia, the surgeon accesses the sinus cavity, lifts the tissue membrane up from the sinus floor and applies the grafting material on top of the bone. Eventually, the new bone growth will replace the grafting material.

If successful, the new bone growth will be sufficient to support an implant. Thanks to this renewed growth, you’ll soon be able to enjoy better function and a transformed smile provided by your new implant.

If you would like more information on forming new bone for implants through sinus surgery, 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 “Sinus Surgery.”

AttentiontoDetailCrucialtoaBeautifulSmileSupportedbyDentalImplants

Installing dental implants involves more than the mechanics of placing them into the jawbone. Ultimate success — a natural and beautiful smile — requires painstaking attention to detail and artistry.

Here are a few of the factors we must consider to achieve a smile with dental implants you’ll be proud to display.

The amount of available bone. For the permanent crown to appear natural, it’s crucial to position the implant precisely. To achieve this precision requires an adequate amount of bone to be present. Unfortunately, bone loss is quite common after tooth loss; to minimize this we place bone grafts in the empty socket if at all possible after extraction to encourage bone growth. It’s also possible in some cases to perform bone grafting surgery before implants to build up bone volume.

Your genetic gum tissue type. There are basically two types of gum tissue people are born with: thin or thick. Thin tissues are more subject to wear, difficult to work with during surgery and can make it difficult to hide the metal components of an implant. Thicker tissues are easier to work with, but can have a tendency to overgrow.

Achieving a natural “emergence profile.” To look natural, the implant crown must appear to seamlessly emerge from the surrounding gum tissue. To achieve this, we must carefully plan and place the implant in the precise location in the bone, taking into account the implant shape and how far it should be placed within the bone to match the position and height of adjacent teeth and gum tissues.

Blending color shades with adjacent natural teeth. When it comes to color, everyone has subtle differences in tooth shades and hues. In fact, there are slight color variations within individual teeth, from the root to the tip of the crown. To make sure the implant blends in with adjacent teeth, it’s important to match the color incorporated into the porcelain crown with the natural crowns beside them.

These and other factors require both technical expertise and a sense of artistry. Carefully considering all of them will help ensure your dental implants result in the smile you want.

If you would like more information on smile transformations with 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 “Matching Teeth & Implants.”

ToothinOneDayProceduresRequireSpecialAttentionforSuccess

You've seen the ads for obtaining a new tooth in one day with a dental implant. Those aren't exaggerated claims — you can leave the dental office the same day with a new tooth that looks and functions like the old one.

But the dramatic marketing aside, there is a bit more to the story. Same day tooth replacement isn't appropriate in every situation. And even when it is, there are risks for failure.

We can minimize those risks, however, by focusing on certain goals during the three distinct phases in the process: removing the natural tooth; placing the metal implant into the jawbone; and affixing the visible, crown.

It's crucial during tooth extraction that we avoid damaging the socket bone that will ultimately support the implant's titanium post. If the socket walls break down it could set up future gum recession or cause us to abort the implant procedure altogether that day.

When placing the implant, we want to focus on achieving a strong hold. Due to its special affinity with titanium, bone cells gradually grow and adhere to the post to firmly anchor the implant in time. But since we're immediately loading a crown rather than allowing the bone to fully integrate first, we need to ensure the implant has a secure hold from the get-go. We can only achieve this with precise placement based on careful examination and planning, as well as adequate bone.

Even so, the implant still needs to integrate with the bone for a lasting hold, and that takes time. Even with normal biting forces the implant risks damage during this integration period. That's why we place a temporary crown a little shorter than the surrounding teeth. Those adjacent teeth will take the brunt of the biting force and not the implant.

Once the bone has fully integrated, we'll replace the temporary crown with a permanent one the proper height proportional to the other teeth. Even with the temporary crown, though, you'll still have a life-like tooth the day we removed the older one.

The key to success is planning — first determining if you meet the criteria for a same-day implant and then mapping out and carefully executing each succeeding step. Doing this will ensure your same-day implant is a success from day one.

If you would like more information on same-day tooth replacement, 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 “Same-Day Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants.”

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
August 28, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Have extractions created smile gaps which mar your oral function and personal appearance? Have you considered how your facial structure actually deteriorates due to tooth loss? If so, why not ask your Pittsburgh cosmetic dentist, Dr. Gary Machiko, about dental implants, the best tooth replacement option available today? He'll be happy to give you the details.

Dental implants are amazing

That's no exaggeration. Dental implants behave, look and even feel just like natural teeth. A single-tooth implant has three basic parts:

  • A titanium screw or cylinder inserted into the jaw bone by your Pittsburgh cosmetic dentist
  • An abutment post made of a durable metal alloy
  • A custom-fabricated porcelain crown which shows above the gums, normalizing chewing and smile appearance

Dental implants may support fixed, multi-tooth bridgework, and full dentures, too, with a process called All-on-4 (specifically, four titanium implants).

Implants strengthen your jaw and more

How do dental implants from your Pittsburgh cosmetic dentist do that? The secret lies in a bonding process called osseointegration.

Through this natural phenomenon, human bone adheres to the titanium screw forming a nearly inseparable bond. And, once the surgical site has healed, that bond continues to improve as biting and chewing exert pressure on the implant.

Other tooth replacement options, such as conventional bridges and dentures which set on top of the gums, cannot improve jaw bone quality. So, if you're eligible for the treatment, your implant(s) will deliver:

  • Excellent oral function
  • Clear speech
  • Youthful facial contours and healthy bone and gum tissue
  • Dental aesthetics which are completely realistic

The implant treatment

Dr. Machiko evaluates his implant patients with a complete oral examination, review of medical history and three-dimensional scans. Good overall health is essential to implant success as is sufficient bone in your jaw to anchor your new teeth.

If you qualify, Dr. Machiko performs the entire oral surgery and implant restoration right in the office. The implant placement takes about an hour, and healing/osseointegration takes several weeks. When that's complete, you'll return to the office so your dentist can uncover the implant and bond on the abutment and porcelain crown. All-on-4 dentures proceed on a similar schedule.

Caring for dental implants

Expect your implants to last for the rest of your life, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness. To prolong their life, it is important to:

  • Brush and floss as your dentist and hygiene instruct to keep implant sites clean and healthy
  • Get six-month cleanings and check-ups at the office
  • Stop smoking because tobacco usage harms implant sites and may cause implant failure

Learn more

Have a complete smile once again with state-of-the-art dental implants from Dr. Gary Machiko. Contact his friendly office team in Pittsburgh, PA, to arrange your personal consultation with this award-winning dentist. Phone (724) 719-2866.

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
August 15, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Are you currently dealing with the effects of tooth loss? If so, then you need to learn about dental implants! Here at our office in Pittsburgh, PA, your dentist, Dr. Gary Machiko, has seen and treated it all—with two degrees, one in dentistry and one in mechanical engineering, he offers his patient's the advantage of precise measurement and placement of dental implants. Read on to learn what this amazing restorative treatment can do for you!

What is a dental implant?

An implant is a metal post that is placed into the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. Often made from titanium, this artificial tooth root can support one or more false teeth.

How does an implant work?

As we mentioned above, an implant is often made from titanium, not only because of its durability, but also because of its biocompatibility (a term that means the body won’t reject the implant when it’s placed in the jaw). As the jawbone grows around the implant, it will permanently lock the restoration down to prevent it from moving. As a result, you will now have a long-lasting tooth replacement that rarely, if ever, needs to be replaced.

Who is a good candidate for implants?

Most adults who are otherwise healthy but dealing with tooth loss can often benefit from receiving dental implants. However, you will first need to visit our Pittsburgh restorative dentist for a consultation so that we can examine your mouth and determine whether implants are right for you.

How long will it take to get a dental implant?

This will depend on several factors including how quickly your mouth heals from surgery. It will take at least 3 months for the jawbone and implant to fuse together. While it is possible to get a dental implant in as little as 6 months, it’s normal for the entire process to take a year to complete.

How long does an implant last?

One major reason why so many people are turning to implants to replace their missing teeth is because the treatment has the ability to last for several decades. While the crown may need to be replaced every decade or so, the implant itself will never need to be replaced as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and know how to properly maintain your artificial tooth.

Interested? Give us a call!

If you are interested in getting dental implants in Pittsburgh, PA, then the next step is to schedule a consultation with our dentist to find out if implants are right for you. Call us today at (724) 719-2866!