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Learn the Pros and Cons of Getting Dental Implants in Waltham and Metro Boston

Dental implant surgery is an increasingly popular procedure used in place of dentures or bridgework. This type of surgery replaces tooth roots with metal posts, and then artificial teeth are implanted to look and function in the same way as real teeth. If you’re considering dental implants in Boston Metro West area near Waltham, read on to learn some of the pros and cons.

Pros of Dental Implants

Here are some benefits of getting dental implants in Boston:

1. Enhance Your Smile

Most people choose dental implants because of the natural-looking appearance. Dental implants often improve the look of your smile. Because they’re fused to the bone similar to natural teeth, dental implants will permanently improve the aesthetics of your teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth or dental implants can be used to create secure dentures or bridges. This can have a major benefit on the beauty of the smile. For example, the addition of even one implant can allow a dentist to eliminate metal showing from a partial denture clasp.

Because of the versatility of dental implants, they allow dentists to propose several different treatment options. You may think of the variety of treatment options of dental implants as a spectrum. Dental implants serve as a universal building block that can be used to create a variety of fixed or removable dental restorations. Your implant specialist will discuss with you and gain an understanding of your dental restoration goals. Factors like your desired clinical result, characteristics of your anatomy, and the cost of treatment can be balanced to help present the best dental implant option for your particular situation.  

2. Improve Function: Speech and Digestion

Partial Dentures and Complete dentures are an easy option to replace missing teeth, but without implants, there are downsides. One downside of dentures is the negative effect on speech and digestion. Dental implants make it easier to speak since the person doesn’t have to worry about dentures slipping around in the mouth while talking. Dentures also require a layer of acrylic against the palate. Most patients can adjust to the material but some have difficulty with maintaining speech. For these patients, implants may be a viable solution. By adding as few as four implants to the top jaw or 2 implants to the lower jaw, the size and amount of denture material can be significantly reduced which improves speech and allows the denture to feel more natural.

Patients with multiple missing teeth, or poorly fitting dentures often have chronic stomach pain and are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome arises from loose dentures because the patient is not able to chew their food thoroughly prior to swallowing. With a larger portion of food being swallowed whole, the stomach and intestines are required to work extra hard to digest food. The result is more frequent stomach and bowel pain in patients with loose dentures.

The normal bite force of chewing is 200 mPA, but for a loose denture this chewing force can drop to 20 mPA, only 10% of normal power. By adding dental implants to help secure a denture or replace missing teeth, the patient’s bite force can often increase to 100 mPA or more. The effect is an improved ability to chew food and ultimately a reduced frequency of stomach pain.

3. Regain a Natural, Comfortable Feel of Your Teeth

Once dental implant surgery is complete and the dental implant is restored with either a crown, bridge, or implant retained overdenture, most people do not even remember they have implants because they feel natural. Dental implants do not create any discomfort or include the disadvantages of traditional dentures.

4. Eat with Ease: Reduce Gum Sore Spots and Reduce Trapping food

Dentures and flippers have to be taken in and out throughout the day and can make eating more difficult, but dental implants allow you to eat as you normally would so you can enjoy your favorite foods without worry. Because dental implants increase retention and stability, they help to reduce gum soreness which is commonly developed with loose fitting conventional dentures. Dental implants can also reduce the amount of food that gets caught and impacted around the clasps of partial dentures.

Cons of Dental Implants

Here are some of the drawbacks of getting dental implants:

1. Multi-Step Process

Dental implants are a much more involved process than dentures. The implants can take up to six months to fuse to the jawbone, but once the process is complete, you’ll enjoy them for years to come without upkeep.

2. Expensive

Most insurance does not cover fully dental implants, making them a costly surgery for some. But the benefits usually outweigh the expense for those who choose to get them when you consider the length of time an implant can last which is often several decades compared to other forms of dental restorations which require replacement more frequently. We have provided information on the costs of various dental procedures if you are curious about pricing of dental treatment in the Waltham, MA area.

3. Some Patients May Not Be Candidates for Dental Implants

Although dental implants serve to provide multiple opportunities to restore missing teeth, some patients may not be candidates for dental implants. The two primary reasons a patient may not be a candidate are 1) Lack of available bone to place a dental implant and 2) Medical conditions or medications which make dental implants contraindicated.

Over time after a tooth has been missing for an extended period, the bone begins to recede if a dental implant is not placed soon after a tooth is extracted. The ideal time period is generally under two years. As time passes, the bone may reduce, where a bone graft will be necessary to produce enough bone to hold the implant. In some cases, the bone is excessively limited that a bone graft cannot successfully be performed to place a dental implant, and the implant specialist may advise the patient to seek other treatment options such as dental bridges or dentures.

Most patients with controlled medical conditions are candidates for dental implants. However, there are some conditions which need to be reviewed before proceeding with dental implants. Medical conditions which may fully contraindicate dental implants are the treatment of osteoporosis with IV bisphosphonates, uncontrolled diabetes, and uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Some relative contraindicates to dental implants are cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of patient commitment to oral hygiene maintenance. Your implant specialist will thoroughly review all the conditions and medications specific to you, and will advise you the best course of action to achieve a successful result.

 

Contact Us Today

If you’re ready to get dental implants in Boston, contact us at Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction today. We’re eager to help you feel comfortable, confident, and the best version of yourself with professional, natural-looking dental implants. Dr. Charles Sutera at Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction is a leader in the dental field. Dr. Sutera and his team are always available to consult with you on your particular goals, and are always willing to offer a second opinion to help answers any questions you have from other dental practices.

How to Choose the Right TMJ Specialist for You

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, muscle pain, headaches, or any other signs of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), you surely want to find a quick and thorough resolution to your problem. But it’s important to do your research and find the right TMJ specialist to meet your needs. Keep reading for 3 tips on how to choose the right TMJ specialist for you.

1. Check Certifications

Unfortunately, there is no regulated body for treating TMJ. This means dentists and orthodontists can say they treat TMJ without having vast experience on the subject. Make sure you’re truly getting a specialist by asking what courses they’ve taken relating to TMJ and how long they’ve been treating cases similar to yours. There are several different philosophies on TMJ treatment. Some of these philosophies even conflict with one another. It is best to choose a specialist that is nondenominational with experience and understanding in all the different TMJ philosophies. Each patient has a unique circumstance which cannot be treated with a cookie cutter type of treatment. The treatment and sequence of treatment that is recommended for one patient, may not be successful for another patient. It is important your specialist evaluate your history, symptoms, and anatomy very thoroughly and develop a customized treatment plan. We recommend seeking a TMJ specialist that has a combination of credentials. Ideally seek a provider who has done training at not just one, but multiple of the acclaimed TMJ training programs such as a residency level TMJ program at a university, Pankey Institute, Dawson Institute, Spears Institute, and the Las Vegas Institute.

2. Read Online Reviews

Online reviews are always a good source for finding a provider, and it’s no different when you’re seeking a TMJ specialist. Look for a dentist who has a wide variety of reviews. You want them to be mostly positive, but there should be some less-than-perfect reviews sprinkled in there too so you know the reviews are real.

3. Learn Treatment Options

Typically TMJ treatment involves improving the harmony between the position of the teeth, the temporomandibular joint, and the muscles of the jaw. Sometimes TMJ symptoms and jaw pain can be relieved by simply wearing a custom balanced occlusal orthotic. Sometimes it may be best to gently adjust the teeth to reduce an unbalanced bite that may be causing jaw grinding or bruxism. Other times, it may be best to first consider orthodontics to improve the jaw and teeth position. Depending on your situation, TMJ treatment may be completed in one simple phase, but for more complex treatments your TMJ specialist may suggest 2 to 3 phases each which are necessary to incrementally improve the symptoms. Ask questions to get familiar with the treatment plan when consulting with a specialist. Find out how long the treatment will take, how much it will cost, and what methods will be used. Ask what the goal of the treatment is and do research to learn about any risks involved. Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in the TMJ specialist prior to proceeding with treatment.

Contact Us Today

Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction is metro Boston’s leading TMJ dentist. Contact us today at our office in Waltham, Massachusetts for quality treatment. We’re eager to answer any questions you may have and get you the long-lasting relief you deserve.

Understand IV Sedation Dentistry: Is It Right For You?

If you feel anxious about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. A lot of people experience varying levels of fear or anxiety before or during their dental appointments. Some of them avoid going to the dentist unless they absolutely have to. Others just control their anxiety enough to make it through but are never able to relax until the appointment is over.

If this sounds familiar to you, IV sedation dentistry might help alleviate some of your anxiety and make it possible for you to finally relax at the dentist.

What Is IV Sedation Dentistry?

Although sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” IV sedation dentistry doesn’t usually put you to sleep. What it does do is help you relax. It is common for more invasive procedures or cosmetic dentistry. Outside of being unconscious during general anesthesia, IV sedation dentistry has varying levels of consciousness:

  • Minimal: You are definitely awake, but relaxed
  • Moderate: You might not remember much about the procedure or have some slurred speech while the medication is in effect
  • Deep: It’s possible to awaken you, but you are on the edge of being unconscious

Some Background: Types of Medication in Sedation Dentistry

Inhaled

The medication your dentist may use depends on the invasiveness of the procedure and your personal preference. For minimal sedation, you might inhale nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas.” Mixed with oxygen, this gas will help you relax without making you go to sleep.

Oral

Oral sedation could be used to just relax you or put you into a moderately sedated state. You’ll simply take a pill, usually Halcion. You may be drowsy but usually, stay awake. The pill should be taken about an hour prior to your procedure, and the level of sedation will depend on the dose.

IV

IV sedation dentistry should never be confused with general anesthesia. In IV sedation dentistry, your dentist can actually control your level of relaxation or consciousness through an IV inserted into a vein. This means the medication works quickly, and your sedation level will be adjustable during the procedure. But an IV does not necessarily equate to being asleep.

Is IV Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

This could be the right choice for you if:

  • You want to reduce your anxiety
  • You aren’t overly anxious about needles
  • You want to be relaxed and comfortable, but not asleep
  • You want your dentist to be able to adjust your comfort level during the procedure
  • You don’t want to remember the procedure, but want to be able to respond to questions while it is happening

IV sedation dentistry is common for things like root canals, tooth extraction, implants, or smile reconstruction. If you have cosmetic dentistry concerns, Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction in Waltham, MA makes IV sedation dentistry available to you. Dr. Charles Sutera is a Board Certified Sedation Dentist in the Boston Metro area, and a national leader in Sedation Dentistry. Contact us for more information.