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A great article by Steven Brazis
Who Needs Dental Implants?
By Steven Brazis
Over the past twenty years, dental implants have been constantly improving. The science and technology for dental implants now makes implants as predictable and reliable as more traditional dental restorative procedures like crowns and bridges.
Implants are done in two distinct stages. A titanium artificial tooth root is surgically placed into the jaw bone by an oral surgeon, periodontist or general dentist with specialized training. The top of the implant is just below the level of gum tissue and exposed to the inside of the mouth by leaving a small hole in the gums. A “healing cap” is screwed into the threads of the implant to prevent the gum tissue from growing over or into the implant.
A period of 6 weeks to several months is required for the titanium implant to “integrate” with the jaw bone. That means that the bone actually attaches to the implant to provide stability. It should be realized that this attachment is NOT the same as with a natural tooth. There is no periodontal ligament involved, which is the feature in bone to tooth attachment that allows for tooth movement through bone. Implants cannot be moved orthodontically nor be exposed to forces that cause natural teeth to move in response. For this reason, if implants are being considered with multiple missing teeth, your dentist must plan the number of implants and type of restoration placed on the implants carefully.
The type of restoration placed on the implant are varied. In the case of a single tooth, a piece called an abutment is screwed into the implant to replace the healing cap when osseo-integration of the implant has been accomplished. A crown (or cap) is then cemented over the abutment just as if this were a natural tooth that had been prepared for a crown.
There can be several single tooth implants placed either adjacent to one another or in various locations around the mouth where teeth are missing. However, when the span of missing teeth is too great, it becomes more cost effective as well as biologically supportable to place two or three implants and link them together with a fixed bridge. There will be more teeth showing on the bridge than there are implants, just like with traditional bridges on natural teeth. These are also supported be abutments screwed into the implants as with single tooth implants.
When there are many missing teeth (or all of them) implants are usually used to support a removable denture. In these cases, several implants are linked together with a cast metal bar screwed into the implants on short posts. On the under side of the denture clips are inserted which clip onto the bar between the implants. A denture made this way is vastly more comfortable than a traditional denture because it largely rests on the bar instead of the tissue, thus eliminating many of the sore spots caused by dentures. Additionally, the denture is locked into place by the clips and is extremely stable, unlike dentures which tend to slip and shift or come completely out much more easily.
Although implants can be very expensive by comparison with other more traditional dental prosthetics, the potential benefits make them equally valuable. Most patients who have had traditional dental prosthetics replaced by implant supported prosthetics are so happy that they would never go back.
Dr. Steven Brazis has practiced family and cosmetic dentistry for 35 years. His practice is in Sacramento, CA. He has written extensively on dentistry for the lay person.
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If your child is in need of a pediatric dentist, now’s the time to come to Naperville Dental Specialists! For a limited time, receive a FREE character spin brush on your child’s first visit! See attached coupon for details!
CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY! 630-848-2010
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Do you have symptoms of gum disease? You are not alone. Breath odor is one of many symptoms that can be very telling. Check out what Dr. Oz has to say then call our office to schedule an exam with one of our top notch hygienist!
Kiley Hirons would like everyone to be healthy and believes one of the best ways to achieve that is through your mouth.
A graduate of the dental school at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Hirons these days works in Naperville as a part of the Naperville Dental Specialists team, at 55 S. Main St., in the new Promenade area.
A native of St. Louis, Hirons, 30, came to the Chicago area where she worked as a consultant for Arthur Andersen, and it was there that her interests in working on behalf of others really got started.
“I was sort of raised with that mentality of helping others given that my dad owned his own business, and I saw the opportunities that gave me,” Hirons said. “When I worked at Arthur Andersen, one of the partners there had a son that had leukemia and that was how I got involved with raising research and awareness money for them.”
A single woman, Hirons describes herself as being physically active, which fit perfectly with the variety of bike and foot races she has parlayed into the $10,000 she has already raised in support for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“There is a group they call ‘Team in Training,’ and I’ve done three marathons and also participated in a century (100 mile) bike event, which were held to raise awareness about these diseases,” Hirons said. “I started getting involved in this before I went to dental school, and it’s something I had in my tool bag when I came here to Naperville.”
Hirons said she chose dentistry as a career over business because she enjoys working individually with people and also likes “being accountable for the things we do.”
“I also like working with my hands, and when I was in college, people would make lists for me about things they wanted me to fix,” she said. “With dentistry, you have to look people in the eye, and you’re accountable for what you do. Probably 90 percent of the things you do are good, but I want to be accountable for everything that happens.”
Hirons has also used her dental skills to help others who are less fortunate living in Chicago. One day a week she gives of her time to those on public aid, where many of her patients are children.
“Probably 65 percent of the people I see are children, and it’s nice to be able to provide dental services to people less fortunate at a lower rate,” she said. “You probably wind up working twice as hard to make less money, but people appreciate what you do for them so much, and I actually feel lucky I’m able to do this service for them. The work keeps me grounded, as everyone isn’t as well off as many of the people here in Naperville.”
Hirons has also done volunteer work with the Lincoln Park Zoo and works annually as a volunteer for the Chicago Dental Society, which hosts an annual convention in the area.
Her efforts to raise money and help others, she said, are fueled by the education she has earned, which she regards as a privilege.
“The United States is one of those places where you can do that — get an education, which allows you to then give something back to the community,” she said. “An education isn’t something tangible — it’s something that you’ve earned, and it allows you to give back to others. There is a growing disparity between those who have things and those who don’t, and the beauty of the training I’ve received is that it allows people a way to give something back.”
Nominate someone between the ages of 21 and 40 who has a bright future in Naperville. Send nominees for The Sun’s weekly Up-And-Comer column to Dave Sharos at email@example.com. Make sure to send their name, phone number and e-mail address.
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We’re so proud of BOTH schools for participating and for doing such an amazing job on the windows for the contest! Good Luck to all these wonderful future artists!!
CLICK: Naperville Sun
Aspiring artists from Naperville North edged out the talented team from Neuqua Valley in the annual holiday window competition sponsored by Innovative Orthodontic Centers and Naperville Dental Specialists.
“It was a difficult decision to select the winner this year,” said Dr. Anthony LaVacca. “Both windows demonstrated amazing artistic talent, and both truly have the Christmas spirit.”
For its festive mural — complete with a set of pearly whites and Ike the Bear — Naperville North’s art club received a $500 prize. Neuqua Valley art club members will find plenty of uses for their $200 runner-up award.
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55. South Main St. Suite 241, Naperville, IL 60540 (630) 848-2010
Wow ~ What a great day yesterday with all the trick-or-treaters around downtown Naperville! So many people! It was great! We went through all our candy – Everyone had a good time! I was exhausted when the day was over…. So worth it! My family came out – So much fun!
The Main Street Promenade building, which is where our office is located, has a breezeway where we set up balloons and a display table. Dee, who is one of Innovative Ortho’s clinical assistants, was helping pass out balloons with the NDS staff and the Official Blackhawks team mascot, Tommy Hawk.
There was this one adorable little boy who kept trying to feed Tommy. The candy kept falling out of his beak. That little boy would laugh and laugh – one of those great toddler giggles! The laughter was contagious – everyone laughed, it was so cute.
And if you ever have any questions about your teeth in general, or about braces, just ask… Give a call or send an email! We Are Here For You!