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Dental Implants and You

Dental Implants and You
By Dr Jannen Tan BDSc (Hons) (Melb)

 

Having cared for and created countless smiles for over 10 years, I have noticed a greatly increasing interest in Dental Implants over the years. I’d like to cover the basics of Implants and invite you to let me show you how Dental Implants can possibly transform your life.

 

In a nutshell, Dental Implants are usually made of Titanium and are designed to be placed in the jaw bone to help anchor a replacement tooth/teeth or dentures. Titanium is very compatible with the body and once placed, the implants anchor themselves into the bone. A single tooth or even multiple teeth can be made up and attached to the implant permanently; easily and effectively replacing teeth that have been lost in the past. Be it a single missing tooth, or a few missing teeth, easy implant solutions exist to permanently fill those gaps.

 

Modern implants are designed to be extremely long lasting. In fact, if looked after well, implants could last you for life, without need for ever replacing the actual implant. With the crown or denture that is attached to the implant, eventual wear and tear might mean replacement over the years. This is usually a very simple process and minimally or non invasive.

 

If you have dentures and hate them, implants can help! Those of you who have lower dentures will know how easily they move around and cause discomfort. With as little as 2 implants in the lower jaw, we can now secure these dentures in solidly. No more movement! 

 

For those with partial dentures, why not fill those gaps with an implant supported bridge, then throw those dentures in the bin forever! No more wires and plates!

 

The procedure is fairly simple. Most of my patients have done it with a simple local anaesthetic and an Implant can be placed in as quickly as 20 minutes. 

 

Every case is different and there is a lot to discuss. I invite you to speak with us about your needs at an appointment. We can also discuss easy finance options and payment plans which will make affordability a breeze!

 

I’ve Had to Lose a Tooth! What Now??

I’ve Had to Lose a Tooth! What Now??

By Dr Jannen Tan BDsc (Hons) (Melb)

 

The consequences of tooth loss

“Just rip ‘em out doc!” a heartbreaking phrase we Dentists hear all too frequently. Ever wondered why it saddens us so much to have to pull a tooth out? Or why we try everything we can to persuade you to keep your teeth? This is because losing even a single tooth has long standing effects on your entire mouth, with far reaching effects into the future!

A full set of adult human teeth consists of 32 teeth. Most of us have had our wisdom teeth removed, leaving us with 28. These 28 teeth are all positioned precisely, balanced evenly in our bite to allow us maximal chewing capacity and effective speech. Teeth are not anchored to our jaw bone but suspended by a ligament, consequently teeth are in a dynamic state and can move all the time. Our teeth line up and bite against each other, keeping them all in a balanced, optimal position. When a tooth is lost, all of a sudden this balance is upset. The tooth behind the space can drift and tilt forward. The tooth above the one that is lost can drift downwards, creating mobility and gum problems. The more teeth that are lost, the harder the other teeth have to work, putting greater strain on them. Uneven, excessive wear and tear eventually occurs, causing even more problems. It is indeed a vicious cycle!

 

What can be done to replace missing teeth?

So we know ideally we should be keeping all our teeth. But what if we have already lost some? Modern dentistry has come a long way and there are now a wide range of options to suit all budgets that will allow us to replace those missing teeth and prevent the long term ill effects of tooth loss.

 

Dentures

Dentures are an age-old method of replacing missing teeth. Full dentures made in acrylic are for patients with no teeth. For those with some remaining teeth, partial dentures are always best as the teeth allow us to use them for support and anchorage. Types of dentures are as follows:

        • Acrylic Denture: These are made purely from the same material full dentures are made of. Stainless steel clasps are used to anchor the denture onto supporting teeth. It is mainly the gums and soft tissues that support this kind of denture. This is the cheapest type of denture and good for those working within a smaller budget.
        • Flexible / Valplast Denture: These are made from a newer type of semi-flexible material. They have no metal components and the flex in the material allows us to engage the teeth to hold the denture in. Mainly used for small span areas.
        • Chrome Denture: The base of this denture is case in Cobalt/Chrome. It is stronger, lighter weight and much more comfortable than an Acrylic denture. Clasps and supports extending from the chrome framework anchor the denture. This kind of denture is usually more stable than Acrylic dentures as it relies more on the hard tissues (ie. Teeth) for support. This denture provides far superior comfort and fit.

 

Bridge

A bridge is a fixed prosthesis that replaces a missing tooth / teeth. A traditional bridge involves a crown each on the teeth behind and in front of the gap, with a new tooth joined to those crowns. The entire unit gets cemented in permanently and stays in for good. Until implants, this was the only way to replace missing teeth with something fixed in that does not require daily removal. There are also variants to the traditional bridge – the Maryland bridge where the replacement tooth is bonded to the backs of neighbouring teeth with metal backings and a Cantilever bridge where the replacement tooth is attached via a crown to one or more teeth behind it. The success of a bridge and suitability is restricted by the condition of the adjacent teeth and also the length of the gap. Bridges can’t be made too long as they put too much strain on the teeth supporting them. The angulation of supporting teeth is also important. A bridge is a good permanent way to replace a missing tooth / teeth, however with the advent of implants, it has taken a back seat.

 

Dental Implants

This is generally the best way to replace missing teeth. Implants have the benefit of being fixed, and also avoids involving the teeth next door (unlike a bridge). Implants are made in titanium and are placed in the jaw bone with a small surgical procedure (easily done under local anaesthetic). The titanium is bone-friendly and the jaw bone soon grows around it and anchors it in solid. We can then fabricate a tooth to fit onto that implant and attach it. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or a large span of missing teeth. Implants can also be used to assist in holding dentures in where the denture is fitted with clips that attaches to the implants. The suitability and success of implants depends on several factors like bone levels / density, medical conditions that might affect healing, smoking and several other factors that is always discussed at a consultation. If possible, implants are always preferable and by far the best method of replacing missing teeth.

Thanks to technological advances, it is no longer the end of the world if you do lose a tooth. If it happens, we have ways to get you back on track. Of course, the best would be to not get to a point where you have to lose a tooth in the first place! Remember great oral hygiene, watch your diet and regular check and cleans at the Dentist!

 

 

Things you’ve always wanted to ask your Dentist…

Things you’ve always wanted to ask your Dentist…
By Dr Jannen Tan BDSc (Hons) (Melb)

Dr Jannen Tan has been creating smiles for over 10 years. Here are the Dental issues he most commonly explains to his patients.

 

Why do I have to get regular check-up and cleans?

The mouth is a harsh environment and always changing. For most people, we recommend a check-up and clean every 6 months as things can change rapidly. We look at many aspects including teeth and gum health, cavities, unusual wear patterns, oral cancer screening, condition of existing dental work and many more areas. 

Soft plaque sitting on teeth get calcified with the calcium in saliva. They form hard calculus, which stick on to teeth. Regular home brushing will reduce build up but not prevent it altogether. Plaque and calculus are a dense breeding ground for the bacteria that cause gum disease. Therefore, a good scale and clean every 6 months is very important to keep the gums healthy. Remember – no gums, no teeth!

 

Does cleaning hurt

Patients who regularly attend check up and cleans normally enjoy a very relaxed, totally pain free visit. When the hard calculus buildup is not allowed to set in for extended periods of time, it is easily removed. Sometimes when it has been a long time since the last clean was done, it could occasionally cause some sensitivity. If gum disease is active and the gums are inflamed from all that long term calculus buildup, some sensitivity might also be felt. Most patients do not need any anaesthetic, however we are always happy to provide local anaesthetic if you need it. If you have any concerns or worries, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your Dentist before treatment. Remember, the more regularly you attend check up and cleans, the more likely you will have an enjoyable, relaxed, pain-free experience every time.

 

How does Fluoride work?

Fluoride incorporates itself into the enamel of teeth, forming a kind of “super enamel”. It is many times more decay and acid resistant than enamel that has not been exposed to Fluoride. There is Fluoride in Melbourne’s water supply, however it is extremely important to use a Fluoride toothpaste and receive a Fluoride treatment at your six-monthly check and cleans to ensure your enamel is as strong as it can be.

 

What causes tooth sensitivity and how do I fix it?

Sensitivity is caused when the nerve inside a tooth is irritated by temperature changes, touch or sweet. Within the tooth dentine (2nd layer under enamel) there are tiny tubes filled with fluids that run towards the nerve. When dentine is exposed, the fluid in these tubes move around in response to stimuli like hot/cold, sweet. This movement stirs up the nerve, giving you sensitivity. Exposed dentine from gum shrinkage, wear, erosion and decay are amongst the main causes. It is important to cure the cause as much as just treating the symptoms. The best way to get to the bottom of your sensitivity is to see your Dentist!

 

How do I improve my Smile?

Modern Dentistry has given us a huge variety of options to improve and even totally makeover your smile. Missing teeth can easily be replaced with dentures, implants and bridges. Weak, discoloured, poorly shaped or angulated teeth can easily be made to look perfect with porcelain crowns and veneers. Crowded, spaced or misaligned teeth can be moved into perfect positions with Invisalign (clear trays) or cosmetic clear braces. Our team can offer all these treatment options and more! We will listen to your needs and tailor the best solutions to suit your budget. Great competitive prices and payment plans also make it all a breeze.

**COVID UPDATE - ALL DENTAL TREATMENT ALLOWED!**

Great News! We have been given the go ahead by the Vic Govt to be able to provide ALL dental treatment with immediate effect!

This includes ultrasonic cleaning of teeth, all cosmetic work, teeth whitening, orthodontics (braces and Invisalign), fillings, root canals, implants, crown and bridge etc. Basically, we can now offer our full range of services again!
Do not delay, you can book 24/7 Online using our Book Now button on the website! See you soon! =)