Tag Archives: Salem Dental Implants

Blade Implant Not Healing?

I don’t know what’s going on. I had a blade implant placed over 12 months ago and it still isn’t healed. Is something wrong or is this normal? Do I just wait it out?

Catherine

Dear Catherine,

Illustration of a dental implant

I’m curious as to why your dentist decided on a blade implant. While they have been in use for many years, there are better options in current practice. It’s generally used for people who don’t have a thick enough jawbone to retain a traditional screw implant but don’t want to do bone grafting.

Unfortunately, while traditional dental implants (pictured above) have a 98% success rate, blade implants only have around a 50% success rate. This should have healed within twelve months. At this point, something is wrong. You need to return to your implant surgeon and have them look and advice you.

Dental Implant Options

A woman's profile twice, one with facial collapse, one after
Wearing Dentures Leads to Facial Collapse

Bone loss in your jaw is usually the result of having missing teeth with no replaced root. For instance, if you removed your teeth but didn’t replace them or replaced them with removable dentures, the minerals in your bone start to resorb into your body. The result not only ages your appearance years, but it will also make you a denture cripple, forced onto a liquid diet the remainder of your days. This is known as facial collapse.

If you want to replace those teeth with an option which provides a prosthetic root, thereby preventing facial collapse, you need to have enough jaw bone. If you don’t, you have two great alternatives to blade implants.

Bone Grafting

This is a simple outpatient procedure which adds bone structure back into your jaw. The biggest benefit to this is it allows you to get screw implants which have a significantly higher success rate to the blade option.

All-on-4 Dental Implants

This doesn’t require grafting. Instead, the all-on-4 implant procedure places the implants at an angle helping them retain with less bone structure.

Cosmetic Considerations with Dental Implants

While it is wonderful to have a full mouth of teeth. If they’re not attractive teeth, you might not smile nearly as much as you would if you were provided with a stunning smile. Whether you are getting all new “teeth” or just a couple of implants, you’ll want a dentist who can make them match your teeth. You don’t want natural teeth next to obviously fake teeth.

One or Two Implants

I recommend before your implant crowns are made, you whiten the rest of your teeth. It’s an inexpensive way to drastically improve the aesthetics of your smile. But, the real reason for doing it before getting your crowns is the permanence of your crown color. Even professional teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure. That means if you get the crowns first and then decide to whiten your teeth, your natural teeth will whiten. Your tooth replacements will not. Doing the whitening first means your implant crowns can be made to match the beautiful new color of your teeth.

A New Smile with Implant Overdentures

If you are getting a new smile with your implants, you want an expert cosmetic dentist to do the work. You are talking about a complete smile makeover made from dental crowns. Finding an expert cosmetic dentist is a lot easier than it used to be. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has an accreditation program which helps patients to know who can give them a stunning smile.

Just go to aacd.com and click on find a dentist. Just make sure you put a check by “accredited dentist”. This way you get a list of those who are experts in their field.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

My Dentist is Gouging Me

I have full snap-on dental implants. I have four posts. I fairly regularly need the locator male retention caps. I’ve looked online, but they only seem to allow dentists to purchase them. Unfortunately, my dentist charges me $30 for one! I can tell they come in sets of four for $20. That’s a huge markup and one I just can’t afford to keep paying. Do I have other options?

Brandon

Dear Brandon,

dental implants anchoring dentures

Ouch! I’m guessing your dentist has high overhead and is using that markup to cover some of that. However, that’s quite a markup. You do want to keep up with your maintenance, especially after investing so much money in your dental implants. I have a couple of options for you that may help.

First, most dentists are very generous people and understand how expensive life can be. You could call around to a different dental office explaining your situation. It’s usually the dental assistant not the dentist who orders those materials using the dentist’s code. You could see if one of them would be willing to order for you and allow you to pay much less than your current dentist, making it affordable for you. You might even find someone who’d be willing to sell it to you at cost.

Another option is ebay. There are dental implant locator caps available there from overseas which don’t require any documentation that you’re a dental professional. They sell for about $20 per set. There is a catch though, it’s important you know EXACTLY what you need, including the resistance. They vary and you don’t want to end up with the wrong ones. Because of that, I’d try other dentists in your area first.

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

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.

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.