Replacement Procedures

Tooth Replacement Therapy That Mimics Nature

Implant dentistry is the most advanced therapy available to replace missing teeth. Dental implant restorations such as an implant tooth generally look, feel and act like natural teeth.

Dental Implants are the best alternative to your own teeth and can provide a lifetime of excellent chewing and aesthetics. Patients who have been treated with implants are able to chew all the foods they desire and no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of having their teeth come loose in public.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the best alternative to natural teeth. A dental implant is a replacement for the lost root of a tooth. Unlike dental implants a denture only temporarily fits the gum. Once the root of the tooth is replaced with an implant, then a new crown can be made over the implant to provide a new life-like tooth (see illustration). Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, and to secure loose dentures. Dental implants have been used successfully for more than 30 years. The development stage of dental implantology ended more than two decades ago, and research studies have clearly established the safety and effectiveness of dental implants.

Dental Implants Can:
  • replace missing teeth
  • tighten loose dentures
  • reduce or eliminate sore spots caused by dentures
  • eliminate the need for denture adhesives
  • prevent bone loss that occurs after a tooth is lost
  • prevent the shaving down of healthy teeth for conventional crowns
  • replace dentures with permanent teeth
  • provide patients with the confidence of real teeth
  • allow patients to eat all the foods they enjoy
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
  • People in good general health
  • People approximately 15 years and older
  • People who would like increased chewing efficiency
  • People with loose dentures
  • People with missing teeth
Why choose dental implants?

New dental implants are the most predictable, long-term solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants have been used for over 30 years and can provide patients with a lifetime of permanent teeth. Consider this, when a tooth is lost, the root that supports the tooth is also lost. This root was the foundation that supported the crown of the tooth. If this root is not replaced, a process of bone resorption starts to occur immediately. This is because once the root of the tooth is lost, the bone in the area no longer has any stimulation. Because of this the bone starts to atrophy (disappear). This process is unavoidable unless the root of the tooth is replaced. The only method for replacing a lost root is with a dental implant. Once a dental implant is placed in the area of the lost tooth, the bone is given new stimulation and will stop resorbing.

Another benefit of dental implants is that a dental implant can restore chewing efficiency to 100%. In a situation where a tooth is lost and the adjacent teeth are shaved down for a conventional bridge, the teeth that have been shaved down now have to take more forces because the false tooth has no supporting root. Over time, this can cause stress to the abutment teeth. In a study done on the average longevity of three-tooth bridges, it was found that one out of every four bridges were lost after 15 years. The failure rate increases with four-tooth bridges. Now the problem becomes what happens when the bridge is lost. Usually, what occurs is the loss of one or both of the abutment teeth. This can lead to extensive dental work in the future.

When this same situation is treated with a dental implant, these problems can be completely avoided. When an implant is used to replace a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth can be left untouched. Also, because a new support is placed in the bone, the adjacent teeth do not have to do more work, and therefore, the longevity of those teeth is increased. Also, implants will never decay; therefore, there is no chance of losing the implant to tooth decay.

Dental implants have the same benefit for complete and partial denture wearers. Once a patient has lost his/her teeth, the process of bone resorption begins. Usually, for the first few years of denture wearing, the dentures will fit all right; however, after the bone continues to resorb for a period of time, the dentures will become difficult to wear. This occurs because the bone that once supported the roots of teeth starts to deteriorate. This process is unavoidable and will lead to loose-fitting dentures.

Ideally, this type of situation should be treated with full mouth implants; however, by simply placing two to four implants, the bone can be re-stimulated and the resorption process can be stopped. The placement of implants will also allow the dentures to be rigidly fixed in the mouth and will dramatically improve chewing efficiency and comfort.

In summary, dental implants are the best replacement for the loss of teeth. Implants can restore chewing efficiency to 100%, stop the desorption of bone and provide a lifetime of confidence in your smile.

Consider this: in a study done on patients who had received dental implants, 80% said that their overall psychological health improved after they received dental implants. This is possible because having dental implants allows patients to more fully enjoy life. With dental implants patients can enjoy all the foods they like and are not worried about their teeth in social situations.

Also, by choosing dental implants now, you are decreasing the chances of having problems with your teeth in the future. Dental implants offer patients a lifetime of better chewing and more confidence because they function just like real teeth.

Some people think that dental implants are out of their price range, but cheap dental implants are possible. Visit the offices of Dr. Lindsey today to discuss the different options that are available and if dental implants are right for you.

Dentures & Partial Dentures

Unlike an implant denture that is screwed into the gums and stays in the mouth permanently, a standard denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting. These are both alternative options to having an implant tooth installed.

A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but they are not teeth replacement. They may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:
  • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch
  • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion
What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures. An emergency dentist can help you out if you have serious problems with your dentures in the evenings or on weekends.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

Make an appointment today…..we’ll give you a reason to smile!

Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case, including a dental payment plan that can help you afford the procedure. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Like getting dental implants or a denture, dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:
  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore your smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance 
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge and help you maintain the great smile you received from your dental makeover.

Make an appointment today…..we’ll give you a reason to smile!

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present
  • Swelling and/or tenderness
Reasons for root canal therapy:
  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth
What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

Make an appointment today…..we’ll give you a reason to smile!