Archive for May, 2013

What is the lifespan of a dental implant?

Dental implants offer lifelike tooth replacement devices to patients who have suffered from tooth loss. The titanium structures serve as fill-ins for absent tooth roots, and they fuse with the bone after the surgical procedure in which they are placed.

Because of their structural integrity and their biocompatibility, dental implants typically offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. That is, dental implants can be expected to last for decades and often the rest of the patient’s lifetime.

Of course, in order to get the most out of their dental implants, patients must take steps to care for the appliances. Your dentist can give you guidelines for maintaining your dental implant, but in many ways, the recommendations differ little from care for a natural tooth. 

If you choose dental implants and take good care of them, you may have a tooth loss solution that will last for the rest of your lifetime.

Patients with dental implants should be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily to keep harmful oral bacteria at bay. Regular dental appointments for cleanings and exams are also essential, and be sure to let your hygienist know that you have an implant and the site of that implant.

This aspect of dental implants is one of the treatment’s many appealing characteristics. Compare this longevity to other appliances often used to treat tooth replacement. A bridge likely will have to be replaced after 10 years, while a conventional denture (one that is not supported by implants) will at least need to be relined every few years, and eventually may need to be replaced altogether.

Certain conditions may shorten the lifespan of your dental implant. For example, untreated gum disease can lead to bone loss that would compromise the implant. Similarly, bruxism (teeth grinding) can place undue stress on the implant, causing it to fail. Your dentist should thoroughly review your oral health history so that any conditions that may affect the implant can be treated in advance.

If you choose dental implants and take good care of them, you may have a tooth loss solution that will last for the rest of your lifetime. Talk to our team at Balcones Family Dental to learn what you can do to maximize the lifespan of your dental implants.

Posted in: dental implants

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How do I care for my Invisalign aligners?

The Invisalign system, which repositions the teeth using a series of clear plastic trays, offers a major improvement over earlier orthodontic interventions that rely on brackets and wires, which can be unattractive, uncomfortable and inconvenient.

In order to gain the full benefits of Invisalign treatment and achieve the best possible aesthetic outcomes, you must take proper care of the trays. One significant way in which Invisalign differs from conventional braces is the level of patient responsibility that is involved. Patients do most of the work in maintaining the aligners and must switch out the trays on the schedule provided by the dentist.

Taking care of the Invisalign trays is not necessarily difficult or complicated, but it’s necessary to ensure that the trays can do their job.

The Invisalign aligners can—and should—be removed at mealtime. This prevents food debris from getting caught in the trays, allowing it to cling to the teeth and serve as a food source for decay-causing bacteria. Similarly, you should remove the trays while drinking anything other than water, to eliminate the possibility of a sugary buildup or staining of the trays.

Smoking while wearing the Invisalign trays can also lead to staining, so avoid this activity, too, to keep your trays in optimal shape.

Daily cleaning of the Invisalign aligners is recommended. You can gently brush the trays using water and a soft-bristled toothbrush (but skip the toothpaste, which can be abrasive to the plastic) or soak the trays during the brief periods of time when you’re not wearing them. You can even purchase a specialized Invisalign cleaning kit.

You will benefit from Invisalign treatment for years to come, and unlike traditional braces, you can begin to see the results and appreciate your improving smile within a matter of weeks. Taking good care of your Invisalign trays will also help you to enjoy your smile during treatment. At the onset of your treatment course, be sure to discuss this issue with your dentist so that you’ll know how to maintain your trays.

Schedule an appointment with our caring dental team by calling 512-200-7422 today.

Posted in: Invisalign

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