Posts for: April, 2016
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
Before we discuss cosmetic options for transforming your smile, and before any preparations for treatment, there’s one question that needs to be answered: What do you want to be different about your smile?
There’s a common misconception that cosmetic changes to the teeth and gums — a “smile makeover” — is primarily a technical achievement based on rigid principles of beauty. Patients believe they must defer to their dentists for what will look best. But that’s not the entire picture: what’s often lost in the understanding is that it’s your smile — the smile at the end of the process you must be comfortable showing with confidence.
In this regard, there are two types of patients, with no right or wrong view — simply what a patient perceives as the smile they want. Some want the “perfect” smile — the greatest level of regularity between teeth shape, size and alignment and the maximum level of brightness. Others are more comfortable with a “natural” smile, a more subtle look with just enough change to create something new and different. The latter may even desire a less than perfect look that doesn’t “fix” all their imperfections — the ones they believe give their face “character.”
Knowing to which side you lean is important at the outset. It’s then important for you to communicate those expectations with us. While we’re focused on the technical aspects of treatment — tooth length, the lineup of teeth with other facial features or the gum-to-lip distance — only you can express what’s going to be a beautiful yet comfortable smile for you. By meshing the technical requirements with your personal desires, we’re able to formulate a makeover plan that fits you.
It all begins with a comprehensive examination to determine the exact health state of your mouth, and it may be necessary to first perform dental work to improve it. From there we can discuss what is and isn’t possible to change the appearance of your teeth and gums. In the end, we want the same result as you — a beautiful smile you’re happy and confident to show the world.
If you would like more information on smile makeovers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Great Expectations: Is what you get what you want?”
Bridges and dentures aren't the only options if you've lost a tooth. Dental implants offer an excellent, long-term tooth replacement alternative. Your Cohasset dentists, Kevin Thomas, DDS, and Aaron Chenette, DMD, of Cohasset Dental, share a few of the benefits of dental implants.
Dental implants help you smile again
Dental implants not only replace a missing tooth or teeth but also help restore your confidence. Once your dental implant is complete, you'll no longer feel embarrassed to smile or laugh.
Implants are a permanent tooth replacement option
Bridges or full or partial dentures can cover a gap in your mouth, but these prosthetic devices will eventually have to be replaced, unlike dental implants. Implants are placed in your jawbone. Over the next three to six weeks, your titanium implant bonds to the surrounding bone. Since the implant becomes a permanent part of your jaw, it normally never needs to be replaced.
Dental implants keep your jaw strong
Tooth loss can weaken your jawbone. The roots of your teeth provide the stimulation your jawbone needs to remain strong and healthy. When a tooth is lost, so is that stimulation. Eventually, the jawbone begins to shrink at the site of the missing tooth. If you lose several teeth, shrinking can be more pronounced and may cause your face to sag. Since dental implants replace the roots of your teeth, your jawbone continues to receive the stimulation it needs to stay strong.
Dental implants make it easy to talk and chew
Losing a tooth isn't only a cosmetic issue. Tooth loss can affect your ability to chew and speak normally. Although full or partial dentures replace missing teeth, your biting power decreases when you wear dentures, making it difficult to eat some of your favorite foods, like whole apples or corn on the cob. There's no loss of biting power with implants, which means that you can continue to enjoy all of your favorite foods.
Dental implants are good for your budget
Although the initial cost of dental implants may seem high, implants are often the most budget-friendly choice when you consider the long-term costs. Before you make your decision, consider the one-time cost of implants versus replacing dentures or bridges several times during your life.
If dental implants sound like the perfect solution to you, call your Cohasset dentists, Kevin Thomas, DDS, and Aaron Chenette, DMD, of Cohasset Dental, at (781) 383-9393 and schedule an appointment. Perfect your smile with dental implants!