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Implants

Do you feel self-conscious because you have missing teeth, or wear dentures that give you discomfort? Talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.

Dental implants are an increasingly popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. Implants are designed to blend in with your other teeth and look, feel, and work like natural teeth. They are an excellent long-term tooth replacement option. In fact, the development and use of implants represents a major advance in dentistry during the past 40 years. Dental implants consist of titanium and other materials that are inert, or inactive in the human body. These metals form the post that is surgically implanted in the upper or lower jaw, and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth.

Most patients find that a dental implant is a secure and stable tooth replacement. There are generally three steps to getting an implant:

• First Step: Implantation. Your dentist surgically places the implant post into your jaw. You may find it more comfortable to adopt a temporary diet consisting of soft foods and warm soup while the implant site heals.

• Second Step:  Osseointegration. During the heal phase, bone begins to form around the implant post in a process called osseointegration, a word that means “adheres to bone”. The bone formed during osseointegration holds the implant post firmly in place and is the reason implants are so strong and durable.  Osseointegration takes time  and some patients may need to wait until the implant is completely covered with bone–a process that can take several months–until beginning the next step.

• Third Step:  Crown Placement. Once osseointegration is complete, the replacement tooth can be attached to the implant post. Some patients may be able to have both implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit. Your dentist will form a new tooth for you, also called a dental crown. The crown will be designed to match the size, shape, and color of your other teeth. If you are having more than one implant,  your dentist will form bridges or dentures made to fit your mouth and your implants.

Good to Know: Replacement teeth can take a long time to make. While they are being made, , your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown, bridge or denture so you are able to eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is finished.

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Replace Lost Teeth and Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants

Replacing lost teeth is important both for how your smile looks and how it functions in everyday life. Not only are missing teeth a source of embarrassment for many patients, lacking natural teeth in large numbers means that diet and food digestion are negatively affected.

Through dental implants in Albuquerque with Dr. Sarah Kassam, patients enjoy rejuvenated smiles that are both pleasing to the eye and offer the renewed strength and durability needed to feel healthy again. Dental implants are unparalleled in their ability to do all of these things, with a high rate of success.

The Dental Implant Treatment Process

If you have chosen implants for your teeth replacement needs, you can expect your care to be completed in three main phases: treatment planning, implant surgery, and implant restoration. To start this treatment,
Dr. Schlesinger provides a consultation and evaluates your smile to determine if you are a candidate for implants and if jaw bone is healthy enough to support implantation. After this step has been completed, Dr. Schlesinger places the implants.

Your implant placement surgery, the process by which replacement tooth roots are added to jaw arches, is completed with our dental specialists for optimal results. The implant placement experience is quick and comfortable.

Single and Multiple Tooth Replacement with Implants in Albuquerque

Once your implants are in place and tissues have healed, permanent prosthetics can be added to create your new, healthy smile. While other restorations like removable dentures or even cemented dental bridges can also replace teeth, implants offer the benefits of protecting healthy teeth and do not irritate or damage gum tissue. Dr. Kassam provides the following restorative implant services:

• Crowns – With a crown attached to an implant post, existing teeth in your smile do not have to be altered to fill the gap, as placing non-implant restorations might.

• Bridges – When several teeth in a group are missing from your smile, as few as two dental implants can be provided to anchor a multiple unit dental prosthetic. Implant bridges are long lasting, stable, and do not present the challenges that a traditional dental bridge might, such as shaving down healthy teeth.

• Dentures – Removable dentures are economical but can create many problems for everyday oral function, such as rubbing and slipping on soft tissue. But when your dentures are held in place by implants, your smile looks more like your own and your replacement teeth are strong enough feel like your natural teeth as well. Single and Multiple Tooth Replacement

Our implant restorations are provided with longevity and aesthetic in mind and can be created from a combination of materials, including porcelain and metal. With digital technology in our office and at our oral surgeon’s locations, we can minimize the amount of time it takes to plan your treatment and deliver final restorations.

Absent teeth in a smile can have an impact your self-confidence and make routine dental functions such as eating and speaking difficult. Dental implant treatment is a highly successful method for replacing teeth, however, as it provides a comprehensive solution to restoring your natural smile. Dr. Sarah Kassam is your friendly and highly-qualified dental professional who provides patients with rejuvenated smiles through beautiful, custom restorations.

For more information on finalizing your dental implant treatment with our top-quality crowns, bridges, and dentures, contact Sandia Dental Care in Albuquerque today. We offer personable care and implement modern techniques to create a harmonious experience for patients of all ages.

Rejuvenating Smiles One Patient at a Time

When dental implants have been determined as the right option for replacing missing teeth in your smile, our trusted implant placement specialist prepares a thorough treatment plan to help restore your smile. We provide patients with a nearly painless procedure while strategically placing the artificial tooth root within the jaw. Our patients are given a few months to heal so the implant can fuse to the jaw, creating a strong foundation and stimulating proper jawbone function. Dental implants consist of state-of-the-art titanium, a material that bonds with natural jawbone tissue in a process called osseointegration.

Customized prosthetic restorations are attached to the implants, rejuvenating the smile with an ideal dental aesthetic that looks and feels completely natural. Patients receiving this treatment method have benefits including:

• Long-Lasting
• Natural-looking
• Discreet Results
• Strengthens Jaw Function
• Restores Bite

Restoration Options at Sandia Dental Care

Regardless if you are missing one tooth or many, Dr. Kassam provides patients with durable restorations designed to withstand everyday use. Most of our prosthetics are crafted from tooth-colored porcelain and biocompatible metal. At Sandia Dental center, each restoration is fashioned according to the specific needs of your smile. Implant-supported prosthetics available from ouroffice include:

Crowns – When a porcelain crown is affixed to the implant it creates a highly successful solution, mimicking your neighboring, natural teeth.

Bridges – When multiple teeth are missing, bridges fill in the gaps, sometimes using as few as two implants. Several teeth can be replaced while providing long-lasting results with this method.

Dentures – Full dentures supported by implants restore proper dental function with the added advantage of looking like your natural smile again.

Cracked and fractured teeth are common dental problems. As people retain their natural teeth longer (due to advances in dental technology), the likelihood of cracked teeth increases. There are many reasons why teeth may crack, for example, biting on hard objects, trauma, grinding and clenching of teeth. All of these behaviors place the teeth under extra strain and render them more susceptible to cracking.

When tooth enamel is cracked, pain can become momentarily debilitating. When no pressure is exerted on the crack there may be no discomfort. However, as the cracked tooth performs a biting action, the crack widens. The pulp and inner workings of the tooth then become exposed, and painful irritation occurs. As pressure is released again, the two parts of the crack fuse back together, and pain subsides. If left untreated, the pulp becomes irreversibly damaged and constantly painful. The resulting pulp infection can affect the bone and soft tissue surrounding the tooth.

Symptoms of a cracked tooth may include:

• Unexplained pain when eating.
• Sensitivity to warm and cold foods.
• Pain with no obvious cause.
• Difficulty pinpointing the location of the pain.

What kind of cracks can affect the teeth?

There are many ways in which a tooth can be cracked. The specific type of crack will determine what type of treatment is viable. In many cases, if the crack is not too deep, root canal therapy can be performed and the natural tooth can remain in the mouth. In other situations, the tooth is too badly damaged and requires extraction.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most common types of cracks:

Crazes – These are generally tiny vertical cracks that do not place the teeth in danger. These scratches on the surface of the teeth are considered by most dentists to be a normal part of the tooth anatomy. A craze rarely requires treatment for health reasons, but a wide variety of cosmetic treatments can be performed to reduce the negative aesthetic impact.

Oblique supragingival cracks – These cracks only affect the crown of the tooth and do not extend below the gum line. Usually, the affected part of the tooth will eventually break off. Little pain will result, because the tooth pulp (that contains the nerves and vessels) will remain unaffected.

Oblique subgingival cracks – These cracks extend beyond the gum line, and often beyond where the jawbone begins. When a piece breaks off, it will usually remain attached until the dentist removes it. Oblique subgingival cracks are painful and may require a combination of periodontal surgery (to expose the crown), and endodontic treatment to place a crown or other restorative device.

Vertical furcation cracks – These cracks occur when the roots of the tooth separate. This type of crack almost always affects the nerve of the tooth. Because the tooth will not generally separate completely, root canal therapy and a crown can usually save the tooth.

Oblique root cracks – These cracks tend not to affect the surface of the tooth at all. In fact, the damage is only apparent below the gum line and usually below the jawbone. Root canal therapy may be possible; depending on how close the fracture is to the tooth surface. However, extraction is almost always the only option after sustaining this classification of fracture.

Vertical apical root cracks – These cracks occur at the apex (tip of the root). Though the tooth does not require extraction from a dental perspective, many patients request an extraction because of the high degree of pain. Root canal therapy alleviates the discomfort for a while, but most often, teeth affected by such cracks are eventually extracted.

How are cracks in the teeth treated?

There are many different types of cracked teeth. Some can only be exposed using X-ray machines, while others are clearly visible to the naked eye. In cases where the tooth root is affected, root canal therapy is the most viable treatment option. The pulp, nerves and vessels of the tooth will be removed, and the resulting space will be filled with gutta-percha. A crown or filling will be added to stabilize the tooth and it will continue to function as normal.

When the crack is too severe for the tooth to be saved, the dentist will perform an extraction. There are a number of restorative options in this case, such as bridges, dental implants and partial dentures. All of these structures can restore biting, chewing and speaking functions.

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