A Patient's Guide to the Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are today's most advanced replacements for missing or damaged teeth. Their natural look and feel sets them apart from other restorations. If you want dental implants, you may be curious about the procedure.
Dental Implant Benefits
Improve Chewing and Speaking Functions
With a new dental implant, you will no longer have to chew around a damaged or missing tooth. You will not have to restrict your diet to accommodate your compromised teeth. Your speech will be clearer.
Retain a More Youthful Appearance
Missing teeth cause the jawbone around the socket to reabsorb into the body due to a lack of stimulation from chewing. An implant provides this natural stimulation and keeps the bone healthy. You will not have to worry about your face sagging due to missing teeth.
Many people with missing teeth feel self-conscious and reluctant to smile. You can share your smile with family and friends with a new implant.
Improve Oral Health
Dental implants improve oral health by keeping adjacent teeth stable. If you leave a space in your teeth, their neighbors will drift out of position and could cause a greater risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
The Dental Implant Procedure
This outline explains the process of getting single-tooth dental implants. Like other medical procedures, healing times may vary based on oral and overall health.
Step 1: Dental Consultation
When you express interest in implants, your dentist will schedule a consultation. Your dentist will fully evaluate your oral health and determine how implants could benefit your smile. Your dentist will explain the procedure and help you determine the best course of action.
The dentist will check whether you have enough bone mass in your jaw for implant placement. If your bone mass needs improvement, you can undergo a bone graft procedure from an oral surgeon, as discussed in Step 3.
Step 2: Tooth Extraction
If your existing tooth needs replacement, your dentist will extract it and allow the area to heal before proceeding. We perform many extraction procedures in our office.
Step 3: Bone Grafting
You may need a bone graft if your jawbone does not have enough volume to hold an implant post. A bone graft can often happen simultaneously with a tooth extraction.
To complete a bone graft procedure, the oral surgeon makes an opening in the jawbone and inserts ground, sterilized material derived from natural or artificial bone. The surgeon places a dissolvable membrane over the bone material to keep it in place. The material provides a structure for the new, healthy bone tissue to grow around. In four to six months, your bone graft can support an implant.
Step 4: Implant Post Placement
Implant posts are small titanium anchors. The doctor opens the gum and jawbone to insert the anchor, which gently screws into the bone. The dentist closes the gum over the incision and sutures it closed.
Over the next three to six months, the biocompatible titanium material bonds with your jawbone in osseointegration, creating a strong foundation for your implant.
Step 5: Abutment Placement
The dentist will ensure your post has healed before proceeding to the abutment. An abutment is a small cap inserted into the post. It holds the dental crown that replaces your original tooth. During this procedure, the dentist seats the abutment in the post and secures the gum around it. It will need to heal for approximately two weeks before proceeding.
Step 6: Crown Placement
The next step involves placing the final restoration. The dentist torques the crown down to provide a solid, strong attachment. After you have become accustomed to the implant, your new tooth will feel natural. Again, feel free to smile, talk, and eat your favorite foods.
Step 7: Regular Maintenance
While caring for a single-tooth dental implant is easy, neglecting it can lead to serious complications. Brush and floss regularly as you would natural teeth. Be sure to keep all your dental appointments to allow your doctor to monitor your implant's health.
Call Queens Crown Dental
Dental implants can improve your oral health, quality of life, and appearance. We invite you to schedule a consultation to discuss whether implants are the right choice. We offer single-tooth implants as described here and implant-supported bridges and dentures. Please call our Honolulu office at 808-526-2800 for further information.
How to Help Those Devastated by the Maui Wildfires
The August 2023 wildfires on the island of Maui took scores of lives and left many residents homeless. People from Hawaii and worldwide want to help the victims of these devastating fires.
The fire's aftermath has deeply moved people from Hawaii and beyond. However, not every fundraising campaign helps the people of Maui effectively, and other donation links may be fraudulent.
Determining which charities can most effectively help the Maui community recover from these tragic events can be difficult. We have provided a guide to local and national charities that use your donations to impact Maui residents directly.
- American Red Cross of Hawaii: The Red Cross welcomes monetary donations to support their efforts to feed, house, and supply the residents of Lahaina and surrounding areas who have experienced the impacts of the wildfires. They also accept volunteers.
- Hawaii Salvation Army: This organization feeds and shelters thousands of wildfire survivors.
- 'Aina Momona: This local organization focuses on targeted campaigns for the Hawai'i Community Foundation, Maui County Firefighter Relief, and local families.
- Maui Nui Strong: This local organization accepts donations and seeks volunteer support from the community.
- Kākoʻo Maui Fund: This local fund helps to provide efficient aid to community organizations and residents.
- Donate at Foodland Stores: Customers of Foodland can donate at the grocery checkout or contribute their Maika'i points to the relief effort.
- Aloha United Way: This organization supports many wildfire relief efforts in Maui, including feeding and housing evacuees and providing financial support to organizations.
- Maui Food Bank: The food bank lists the most urgently needed items on its website, including canned meals, baby food, and formula. Residents and those outside the area can also donate funds to the food bank and hold virtual food drives.
- World Central Kitchen: This worldwide organization feeds many evacuated families daily with help from local chefs and restaurants.
- Verified GoFundMe Pages: GoFundMe has vetted a list of fundraising accounts that will help individual families and community efforts.
In addition to the resources listed above, we recommend that you always double-check with Charity Navigator before committing to a donation. Charity Navigator can confirm whether an organization is legitimate and how much funds go directly to relief efforts.
Helping With the Recovery Effort
The Hawaiian islands' powerful community spirit has helped bring people together and ensure that the most vulnerable have what they need. The need for volunteers and donations will continue as the weeks and months pass, even as the news coverage begins to fade. As we move forward, please keep the people of Maui in your thoughts and continue supporting their efforts to recover as a community.
Contact Queen’s Crown Dental
We understand that many of our valued patients may be personally affected by the fires in Maui through friends and family. Please accept our deepest sympathies. Please call our Honolulu office at 808-526-2800 to discover how we are helping the local community.
Reasons Why Dental Cleanings Are Important
Dental cleanings are a key element of proper oral care. Visiting the office every six months for a cleaning and comprehensive examination allows your dentist to monitor your oral health.
We would like to share eight reasons why dental cleanings are so important to your oral health:
1. Helps Prevent Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
During a dental cleaning, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup. Excess plaque and tartar cause gum disease and tooth decay. Both tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss if they go uncontrolled.
2. Keep Teeth Looking Their Best
Routine cleanings remove surface stains, keeping teeth shiny and bright. Your dentist and hygienist can address any problems interfering with your smile's appearance. They may also recommend further care like bonding and teeth whitening.
3. Detect Early Signs of Oral Cancer
You may not realize your dentist is checking you for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings are a necessary part of every cleaning and exam. The dentist checks your head, neck, mouth, and throat for possible warning signs. When this disease is detected early, it is much more treatable and has a better prognosis.
4. Monitor New and Ongoing Problems
The dentist and hygienist look for signs of decay, gum disease, fillings and crowns that need replacement, and many other potential issues. Proactive care can save you time and money in the long run.
5. Reinforce Home Care Procedures
Hygienists instruct patients on the fine points of oral care. Even adults need tips on proper brushing and flossing to maximize results. Better at-home care can improve your oral health and prevent complications.
6. Maintain Your Overall Health
Oral health has a strong connection to overall health. Researchers believe gum disease may cause systemic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and preterm birth. Tooth decay could lead to abscesses and infections that spread to the blood, becoming dangerous to your health.
7. Avoid Tooth Loss
Practicing excellent oral care helps to keep your teeth for a lifetime. Cleanings help to prevent tooth damage, lowering the chance that you will need costly restorations like implants and bridges.
8. Small Investment for Great Benefits
Most insurance plans fully cover dental cleanings. With a small investment of your time and money, you can prevent many serious dental issues from arising.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings
When you consider these eight points, you will understand why dentists emphasize the importance of preventive care. Dental cleanings protect your oral and overall health and allow you to share a bright smile with the world.
Call Queen's Crown Dental
If you would like to schedule a cleaning or any other dental care appointment, please call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800 . We can help brighten your smile and maintain excellent oral health.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings are the modern way to fill cavities. When tooth decay leads to a hole in the enamel of a tooth, the cavity needs to be filled to preserve the health of the tooth. When left untreated, a cavity will only worsen, getting deeper and deeper until the tooth needs more complex treatment or is untreatable.
If your dentist has informed you that you have a cavity that needs to be filled, you may be wondering how long composite fillings last? Here’s what you can expect.
What is a Composite Filling?
Composite resin is a tooth colored material that resembles natural tooth enamel in form and function. When a tooth has a cavity, the decayed portion of the enamel must be removed. Then the cavity is filled with composite material that is thick like glue, then hardened using a special light that holds the tooth together. The composite material can be made to match the color of your existing tooth enamel so that it looks natural.
Average Lifespan of a Composite Filling
The average lifespan of a composite filling is reported to be between 7 and 12 years. However, you may find that your filling lasts longer than average and some patients have composite fillings that last a lifetime. What makes them last or not last? There are a variety of factors that affect the lifespan of composite fillings.
Factors That Affect the Longevity of Fillings
The following factors may affect the lifespan of composite fillings:
- Location of the tooth. Where the tooth is located in the mouth may affect how long the filling lasts. Molars bear the brunt of the chewing force, meaning fillings may wear down more quickly in molars than in other teeth.
- What part of the tooth is filled. If the filling is at the top, the chewing side, of the molar it will most likely wear down more quickly. Fillings in between the teeth may last longer because they aren’t affected by chewing.
- Oral hygiene habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep your teeth and your filling clean. Composite fillings adhere more effectively to healthy enamel that is strong and free of plaque. Good oral hygiene habits also prevent plaque from forming around a filling that could cause new decay.
- Teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth, the force will take its toll on a filling that is on the chewing surface of a tooth. It is recommended that you wear a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth and fillings.
- Eating habits. What you eat can affect the longevity of your composite fillings. Eating hard or sticky foods and chewing on ice, bones, or non food items can damage your filling and cause it to wear down or even come loose. Make sure water is the last thing in your mouth after consuming sugary foods.
- Frequency of dental care. Having your teeth cleaned and examined every 6 months will help your composite fillings last longer and may prevent the need for additional fillings.
Are Composite Fillings Better Than Metal?
Yes, composite fillings act like a glue and hold the tooth together. We are able to make more conservative cavity preparations with composite thus keeping more natural tooth structure in the tooth which equals strength.
Metal fillings can last as long as composite fillings but they tend to be less conservative. This is because it is retained in the tooth through mechanical retention. Metal fillings also contain small amounts of mercury, which is known to be harmful to the body in large quantities and can stain the tooth after several years. Metal fillings also expand and contract with changes in temperature at different rates than natural tooth structure. This can cause gaps between the filling and the tooth and potentially cause the tooth to crack at the end of the filling's lifespan.
In the end composite fillings look more natural, have the same if not better lifespan than metal fillings, and are less likely to damage the tooth because it acts like a glue holding the tooth internally together.
Queens Crown Dental Provides Composite Fillings
Having a cavity filled is a quick and simple procedure. Queens Crown Dental takes a modern approach to dental care, providing composite fillings for effective cavity treatment.
Call 808-526-2800 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
A Step by Step Guide to Dental Implants
Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement and is the best single tooth replacement therapy we can recommend. This is because they function and look just like a real tooth. They also maintain the highest level of patient satisfaction once complete.
To gain a better understanding of what they are and to determine whether or not they may be a good option for you, let’s take a look at this step-by-step guide to dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are separated into three components. Thai implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant or post is anchored into the bone and is commonly made of special titanium. Consider this as an artificial root that will fuse with the jaw bone for strength and stability. This fusion process is called osseointegration and can take a couple of months, varying person to person. Your dentist will need to make sure that the post and the bone are completely fused together before the patient can chew on the implant.
The next step is to add an abutment to the implant to secure the new tooth in place. This artificial tooth is a dental crown completely customized to match the color and contouring of the other teeth so that it blends in beautifully.
This crown is attached to the abutment that is held securely by the implant. And that is the general overview of how the dental implant process works.
Additional Steps for Dental Implants
Sometimes there are additional steps that need to take place before the dental implant process can get started. This can add additional time to the already lengthy implant process. The good news is that even though it may take a little bit, the final product will still be well worth the wait.
So, what are these additional procedures?
Bone density is crucial in securing dental implants. Your dentist will determine whether or not you have sufficient bone density - or if bone grafting needs to take place. Remember, the implant must have enough bone to latch onto for a secure finish. If there is not enough, bone grafting will be done to boost the density. This procedure will take a few months to fully heal and be ready to handle the implantation.
Another potential procedure that may need to be done prior to getting dental implants is a tooth extraction. In instances where you have a broken tooth or a decayed tooth that cannot be saved, the course of treatment you have decided on may be to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant.
Once the tooth is extracted, you will need to allow time for the area to heal before proceeding with the dental implant.
It is important to be patient with dental implants. They are a wonderful boost to your oral health, but they do take time - especially if any of these extra procedures are necessary.
Dental Implants at Queen’s Crown Dental
If you are looking for a more permanent solution to replace missing teeth, then Queen’s Crown Dental has the best option for you - dental implants.
To learn more or find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact us today at 808-526-2800. Or, book an appointment online.