Category Archives: Dental Implants

Dental Implants for Stuntman?

Hoping you can point me in the right direction. I’m a stuntman and normally have no problems. But, in the last six months, I’ve lost two teeth. That’s quite a spate of bad luck for me. I need to replace those teeth but wondered if dental implants are stronger or a dental bridge. I don’t want anything removable because I’d think that would be a choking hazard.

Carlton

Dear Carlton,

Illustration of a dental implant

I’m glad you’re taking the time to research this ahead of time. You’re in a unique situation and have to be certain you’re getting the absolute best tooth replacement. Before we discuss your options, I want to make sure you’re wearing a mouthguard during your stunts. If you’re worried about appearance, your dentist can fashion one that will look like teeth.

Another thing to consider is whether you’re losing more teeth because of accidents at work or if they’re a little looser than normal because of some gum disease. If that’s the case, you’ll want to have your dentist start treatments right away or you’ll continue to lose teeth.

I’m not saying that’s the issue, just that you want to try to pinpoint why you’re losing teeth to see if you can eliminate the issue. Though, you can’t very well do anything about a run of bad luck.

Dental Implant versus Dental Bridge

As you can see from the illustration above a dental implant places a prosthetic root into your jawbone, making it the most stable replacement option. The implant mimics your tooth root. After the healing time and the bone has reformed around your dental implant, it will be as strong as your natural teeth were. But, just like you’ve broken your natural teeth, you can break your dental implant if enough force is applied.

An illustration of a dental bridge

The other option you asked about was a dental bridge. While a dental bridge will be bonded on (see image directly above), it’s not implanted into your jaw. They’re still stable, but not quite as stable as an implant.

Because of that dental implants are generally the better choice. However, if the adjacent teeth already need crowns, then a bridge may make more sense, though, you can certainly get more than one dental implant if you wanted.

Hopefully, your spate of bad luck will change soon.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Said I’m Too Old for Dental Implants?

I’m a little distressed and hoping my dentist is mistaken. He’s been my dentist for years, but sometimes I get the impression he doesn’t exactly “keep up” with the developments in his field. I’ve had dentures for 25 years. Back then I’d never even heard about dental implants. My dentures never really looked natural, but it’s getting impossible to keep them in even though I completely replaced them a few years ago. To top it off, now my face is smushing around them. I asked my dentist about dental implants and all he said was, “Not at your age.” I’m sick of dentures. Is there any way for a mature woman to get implants?

Sarah L.

Dear Sarah,

dental implants anchoring dentures

I’m sorry your dentist gave you the impression that your age would preclude you from getting dental implants. If you’re in good health otherwise, there isn’t really a reason why you can’t have them. Though, the length of time you’ve had dentures will require you to have another procedure done ahead of time in order to make them viable.

When your teeth were removed, your body started reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. While great for other aspects of your body, it’s a horror for your jawbone. This is why your dentures no longer fit and why your face has scrunched up around them. This is known as facial collapse.

Dental Implants are a Great Solution

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to that bone loss. Bone grafting can now be done as a one-day procedure. Once you have enough jawbone again, you’ll be good to go to get dental implants. The best part is, with implants in your jaw, you won’t have to worry about losing any more jawbone.

Now, I want you to know your dentures could have been made to look beautiful and natural, though you’d still have the same problem with the bone loss. What the dentures look like is really down to the cosmetic abilities of the dentist. It sounds like your dentist isn’t very artistic.

Unfortunately, you won’t get any better results from him next time, unless he’s done extensive training since then. If you want a beautiful smile, you need to find a different dentist to do these implants.

Who Should Do Your Dental Implants?

There are two things which need to factor into who you go to for this procedure.

1. Technical skill. They’ll need extensive training in the implant procedure. You want to make sure they’ve done post-graduate training.

2. Cosmetic Ability. If they get the implants right, that’s great, but you won’t like your smile much if he doesn’t make the implant crowns beautiful. The most artistic dentists are AACD accredited. In fact, many of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Can’t Eat Since Getting Dental Implants

I need help and I’m not sure how to get it. Over a year ago I went to the dentist for the first time in a long time. She said my teeth couldn’t be saved and recommended removing all of them and replacing them with dental implants. I couldn’t afford that initial procedure she recommended, but we finally settled on implant supported dentures. Even then, I had to get a loan through this program they use. Ever since the implants were placed I’ve been in massive pain. In fact, I’m in more pain now than I was when this started. I’d hoped when they added the denture after my healing period I’d feel better. That’s what the dentist’s office told me too. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. In fact, it hurts so much I can’t even wear the dentures. I’ve lost over 60 pounds because I’ve essentially been on a liquid diet for this whole time. I can’t live like this anymore. The dentist says everything’s fine and I’ll adjust, but I’m not seeing any improvement. What do I do?

Belinda K.

Dear Belinda,

Salem Dental Implants

I’m sorry you’ve been in so much pain and am a little concerned that you’re losing so much weight and your dentist doesn’t seem to care. While some postoperative pain is normal, what you’re experiencing seems to be anything but normal. Your dentist should be willing to make this right on her own, but it seems like she may need a little nudge.

If it were just the dentures hurting I’d think they’re just in need of adjustment. But, this pain has been consistent from the beginning. I haven’t examined you, but I am wondering if the dental implants were improperly placed. What I’d like you to do is get a second opinion from a highly skilled implant dentist. Look at some of the training and experience Dr. Burba has to get an idea of what kind of dentist you’ll want to visit to have this looked at. Don’t tell them who your dentist is, just explain your symptoms and go from there.

If it turns out your dentist did something that caused the problem you should be able to get a full refund. You’ll still be in the position of needing to replace all your teeth. Implant-supported dentures are a good option. Unfortunately, once you’ve had implants placed, if you lose them, you’ll need to have bone grafting done in order to have more. This procedure is fairly easy and can be completed in a day.

I almost wish you’d had a second opinion before going through all this. There may have been a chance to save at least some of your teeth. Of course, there’s no turning back the clock now. Hopefully, your experience will help someone else.

I’m also hopeful you can get this resolved quickly just by getting a second opinion. I’m sorry you’ve had such a negative experience.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

How Does Lil’ Wayne Have Permanent Grills?

I’ve got a friend who wants grills. I’ve been under the impression they’re temporary, which I thought would be okay because when she’s trying to get a job she can take them out. But, she’s saying she’s getting permanent ones like Lil’ Wayne. I’m worried she’s going to regret that decision. I’m hoping she’s wrong and she can’t get them permanently placed. Did he get dental implants?  That would be surgery. She tends to make really stupid decisions.

Stacey P.

Dear Stacey,

While you’re right that most grills are removable, there are some which are permanently placed.  You’re right, like dental implants, it does require surgery.

Lil’ Wayne has admitted that on a show with Jimmy Kimmel, as you can see here.

 

Hopefully, your friend has a good dentist who will help her think through the type of issues you brought up. She certainly has a good friend who is looking out for her.

The dentist should remind her that Lil’ Wayne is in a career where grills can be an asset, at least today. Trends change all the time. Maybe your friend will make a smarter decision than you’re giving her credit for.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Why Do My Dental Implant Keep Snapping Off?

Can you help me? I’m feeling desperate at this point?  I needed to replace a tooth I’d lost many years ago. My dentist insisted I get bone grafting done first, which I did. That had to heal. Then I had the implant surgery.  That required more healing.  Finally, a year later, I received the implant crown. Just a month later, it snapped off. My dentist offered to re-do everything. So, I go through it all again. The end of year two approaches. Then again, just a few weeks later the implant breaks.  He says he’ll re-do it one more time, but that is it. He thinks I’m doing something reckless with the implants, but I’ve racked my brain and cannot come up with what I’m doing wrong. Can you help me?

Katrina V. – Pennsylvania

Katrina,

The problem isn’t you. It’s your dentist. Tell him you just want a refund and get this done somewhere else. Dental implants shouldn’t break off like that.  When there is dental implant failure of this type,  it is usually for one of two reasons.

  1. Your dentist is cutting corners by purchasing implant materials overseas. A well-made implant will cost at least $200 here. If they’re purchased overseas they’re only a few dollars. The big problem with that, is they’re so cheap because they’re made cheaply.

When the first one broke it should have given your dentist pause to think about why.

2. A second reason for an implant to break is the dentist isn’t placing them properly. It’s not just a matter of lining up the implant to handle direct force. Our teeth move in a grinding motion, too, when we chew our food. If the implant isn’t carefully placed, just chewing will weaken and eventually snap.

I don’t like the fact that your dentist is trying to blame you for his incompetence. Either he was too incompetent to place them properly or he was too incompetent to recognize the implants he purchased were cheaply made and not holding up.

When you do go to another dentist to have these done, make sure it’s a dentist with enough training to be considered a dental implant specialist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Worried I’m Losing My Dental Implants

I struggle with gum disease. It’s been affecting my teeth and now I’m worried it’s affecting my dental implants. A few months ago I had dental implants placed after losing two teeth. My dentist tried to save them. He knew gum disease was in issue. In fact, we even doubled my dental appointments, getting me cleanings every three months. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts the teeth were lost. He said it was important I replace the teeth or the remaining ones will shift. His recommendation was dental implants. I LOVE them, but now am worried. They’re feeling a little loose. Am I at risk of losing those too?  Please tell me it’s not too late to save them?

Abigail W. – New Hampshire

Abigail,

I’m concerned about some of the things you’ve written. First, let’s talk about your gum disease. Simply increasing your cleanings and check-ups, while a good start is not enough.  They should have been doing specific treatments for your gums.

If you have gum disease he should have never given you dental implants. Gum disease is contraindicative for implants. Without intervention quickly, you’re going to lose your implants. If you think about it, it’s only logical. If your gums weren’t healthy enough to retain your teeth, they’re not going to be able to retain your gums either.

My recommendation for you is to see a different dentist who treats dental implants.  This one has obviously not given you the proper care.

If you get in quickly, there’s a chance you can save your implants.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Whitening Teeth with Dental Implants

I have two dental implants. I am glad I had the procedure done. I feel like I have my natural teeth back. Lately, I’ve been noticing how dingy my teeth look. I think the color is aging me. I’d really love to get my teeth whitened, but don’t want to damage my implants. Is there a special procedure for whitening your teeth with dental implants?

Nicci R. – Arizona

Nicci,

Dental implants are fantastic. You’re completely on spot regarding them feeling like natural teeth. That’s because of the root form that’s implanted into your jawbone.

Yes, yellowed or dingy teeth can age our appearance. In fact, one of the easiest things you can do to remake your smile is to whiten them. It makes you look years younger.

Getting your teeth whitened will not harm your dental implants. So that’s not a problem. Unfortunately, they won’t whiten either. Cosmetic work is made up of material that is impervious to the whitening gel. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your teeth whitened, though.

The solution is to replace the implant crown to match your new whitened smile.  You don’t have to replace the entire implant. Just the crown, so it won’t take long at all.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Now That My Implants Are Secure, Can I Smoke?

I had implants placed over eight months ago. My dentist insisted I quit smoking before he’d do them, which I did. The healing time is all over and I’ve been doing just fine. I know it’s been a while, but I am still craving cigarettes. Is okay to start smoking now that everything’s stable?

Jason B. – Idaho

Jason,

You’ve done so well without smoking, I’d hate for you to go back now.  You might be thinking just one, but before you know it,  you’ll be back to a pack a day.

I know it seems like you’re in the clear now that the healing time is over, but patients who smoke are at a much higher risk of dental implant failure than other patients.

Smoking reduces the blood flow in your gums, which increases the chance for gum disease and infection. That will cause your implants to fail.

I know it’s hard, but you’ve made so much progress. Don’t give up now!

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Can You Get Dental Implants With Low Sinuses?

I’ve been told I have low sinuses. Am I able to get dental implants?

Mark S. – Utah

Mark,

If you’re othewise a decent candidate for dental implants, then I’ll say, yes, you can get dental implants with low sinuses–with a couple of qualifiers.

  1. Depending on how low they are, you may have to get a sinus lift and some bone grafting done.  I would really get this looked at. It’s not a step you’ll want to skip if it’s necessary.
  2. You’ll want to get a dentist with advanced dental implant training. Any dentist can place these. But, any dentist can perforate your sinuses too. There are plenty of dental implant horror stories out there. That will mean a trashed procedure and lots of pain, along with a likely infection for you.  Some training institutes you can look for are: LVI (The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies), The Kois Center, The Dawson Center. There are others as well, just make sure they have the training necessary to do this properly.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

I have been trying to pick the best implant dentist in my area, but I’m not sure how to choose between them. I am missing several teeth and have been given a few different options. One doctor told me to fill all the spaces with dental implants, while another suggested an implant-supported bridge, and the third one told me to get as many as I could afford, and to do a traditional partial denture for the rest. Personally, I  liked the last option the most, but I think the second one was the best implant dentist. Should I go to him and see if he’ll do the other procedure?

Jonathan- Ft. Smith, AR

Dear Jonathan,

It’s good that you’re looking into all your options before embarking on an extensive treatment plan, and you’ll definitely want to get the best implant dentist, as that can make a world of difference in the final result.

The problem is, dentists often recommend things based on what they believe your results will be, and some of that comes down to skill. So, you may find one that doesn’t have a high success rate with bridges, and he’ll recommend a denture instead. For this reason, it’s a good idea to go with what the dentist recommends, because you’ll know he’s doing something he’s comfortable with and is skilled at.

With that said, the second one may have made his recommendation based on cost or something you said during the consultation. He may be perfectly content performing the procedure that the third one recommended. Go ahead and call the office and ask about the alternate procedure.

If the dentist prefers not to do that procedure, don’t push the issue. You may wind up pushing him to try to appease you, and that just means he won’t be doing a procedure he feels good about. Select based on skill, and go with the recommended procedure, or choose another highly-skilled dentist who performs the procedure you want.

Dental implants are an advanced procedure, which can have serious complications if not done well.  Make sure your dentist has post-graduate dental implant procedures. You also want to ask about his succesful dental implant experience.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.