Tag Archives: missing tooth replacement

Tooth Replacement: Restore Your Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant


Dental Implants: When Ancient Innovation and Modern Technology Meet!

Although considered by many to be one of the greatest innovations within the modern dental field, the origins of today’s dental implant can actually be traced back to around 600 AD!  Long ago, ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Aztecs were among the first known people to conceptualize the idea of replacing a broken or damaged tooth. However, as evidenced by ancient society’s utilization of seashells as makeshift replacements, or the ivory (not wood) set of dentures worn by George Washington during his presidency, finding an adequate replacement for something as vital as a tooth is no easy feat! 

Fortunately for us, we live in an age where the dental implant has evolved into a marvel of modern dental technology, thus allowing dentists to provide patients everywhere with a seemingly flawless replacement that is certain to exceed expectations!


Dental Implant: Purpose and Function 

To gain a full understanding of dental implants, one must first understand why it is necessary to replace missing teeth in the first place. While obviously having missing teeth make it exceptionally more difficult to chew and break down food, something you might not realize is that underneath a tooth’s crown (or exposed portion of the tooth) is what’s known as the root (or lower half of the tooth). Much like the submerged portion of an iceberg, the root of the tooth descends far beneath the gum line, and serves to both keep your tooth securely anchored within your mouth, in addition to providing the tooth with the sustenance needed to survive. If a tooth is damaged or destroyed; however, the sensitive nerves and vessels required to nourish the root are left exposed to any hazardous bacteria within your mouth. Without necessary protection from bacteria, the exposed tissue will surely become infected, thereby causing gum disease to develop.

Related Article: Gum Disease: Know Thy Enemy and Protect Your Health 

Due to the potentially serious complications associated with gum disease, a replacement should be sought out as soon as possible. While there are several different options to choose for replacing a tooth, it comes at little surprise that dental implants have emerged as one of the most popular options. 

As you may know, dental implants come in the form of a screw-like device that is designed to act as a base for the newly created dental crown. Once surgically inserted within the patient’s mouth, the crown is securely screwed into place, ultimately creating a sturdy replacement that will look and function like a natural tooth. With a long-term success rate of approximately 98%, implants are indeed the most effective option for replacing a missing tooth. Despite this however, it’s important to remember that implants are not for everyone and might not always be the correct solution, in the section below we will highlight the requirements needed to receive a dental implant and what situations could prevent someone from receiving an implant. 

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Dental Implant: Are You a Candidate?

If you wish to receive a dental implant, a dentist or oral surgeon must first determine whether you are a candidate to receive one. While the vast majority of people are able to meet the candidacy criterion, there are certain conditions that could possibly hinder a patient’s eligibility or outright disqualify them from implant candidacy, such conditions are listed as follows: 

Youth: First and foremost, you must understand that a dental implant is NOT a quick fix. An Implant is a long-term replacement for missing teeth and is not recommended for adolescents or patients whose jawbone might still be developing. While temporary solutions can be made available for younger patients, implants are generally reserved for adults who are otherwise in good overall health. 

Smoking: Although this might be a deal-breaker for some, it is important to realize that despite their high success rate, implants are far more likely to fail if the patient receiving them is a regular smoker. Due to the increased probability of failure, dentists may be unwilling to perform the procedure on patients who smoke and will often request the patient to quit prior to receiving an implant.

Gum Disease: Periodontitis or gum disease as it is commonly known, is a progressive infection of the gum tissue in which (if left untreated) can significantly damage the teeth, gums, and jawbone, and could trigger additional illnesses through the body. Indeed, gum disease can be the cause of tooth loss, however it is essential that the condition be treated prior to undergoing implant surgery. 

Pregnancy: For mothers who are currently expecting, your dentist will likely ask you to postpone receiving a dental implant until after childbirth, thereby avoiding any unnecessary stress during pregnancy. 

Untreated Diabetes: If you suffer from diabetes, you can still be eligible to undergo dental implant surgery; however, you MUST have the condition under control first! Only when you have sought out the proper medical treatment and stabilized your condition, will you be a viable candidate for treatment. 

Medications: While the majority of prescription medications shouldn’t present a problem, certain medications such as steroids or any drugs that may suppress the immune system (such as blood thinners) can increase the risk of complications during implant surgery. Therefore, it is imperative that your dentist be informed as to any and all medications you are currently taking prior to the implant treatment. 

Related Article: Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?


Dental Implant: A Few Things to Remember!

Although many of the aforementioned conditions could possibly prevent you from being a candidate for dental implant surgery, it’s important to remember that each patient’s situation is different and there might be ways to reestablish your candidacy depending on the given circumstance. While obvious examples of this such as quitting smoking, treating diabetes, and postponing surgery until after pregnancy, have already been discussed, there are several additional procedures that can restore one’s candidacy as well. If a patient has sustained any sort of bone loss, (due to facial trauma, periodontal disease, or other illnesses) procedures such as bone grafting or a sinus lift can be effective methods of restoring a patient’s jawbone, thereby providing it with the strength necessary to support a dental implant. 

If you have a missing tooth and would like to schedule a consultation to determine your candidacy for a dental implant, contact your nearest Overland Park Dentistry location!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?

Dental Implants: An Ancient Solution for The Modern World!

As a child, losing a tooth often coincides with a visit from the Tooth Fairy, along with the exciting prospect of finding a shiny coin (or crisp bill) under your pillow the next morning. Unfortunately, much like Santa and the Easter Bunny, once you reach adulthood, visits from the Tooth Fairy seem to no longer apply, thus losing a tooth just means a whole lot of trouble! Fortunately, your friends at Overland Park Dentistry are here to help you in such a situation. And while we may not be the Tooth Fairy, we do have something special that that is certain to get you smiling again; something known as dental implants!

While dental implants have recently come into vogue amongst the general public, dental implants have actually been around for much much longer than that. Recently, archaeologists have actually unearthed evidence of ancient dental implants used by the Mayan civilization around approximately 600 AD! That’s right, the practice of replacing missing teeth has been employed for much longer than most people realize, and while today’s dentists might not use seashells to replace missing teeth, (as the ancient Mayans did) we trust that you will find your custom-fitted replacements more than satisfactory!

Dental Implants: What Are They?

Beneath your gumline you have what are called roots. Your roots act as a tooth’s life source by connecting the pulp and blood vessels to your jaw, while simultaneously keeping the tooth anchored securely within its socket. However, if a tooth is destroyed, then it is necessary to not only replace the tooth itself, (which is known as a crown) but also to find a means of anchoring the tooth in place. Therefore, acting as artificial tooth roots, a dental implant is fitted within your jawbone, creating a base for the crown to be held in place. These screw-like devices are attached to the crown via a connector and can be designed to support multiple crowns, ultimately resulting in a sturdy replacement that looks and functions like natural teeth. Dental implants are unquestionably the most effective method of tooth replacement available, and if you meet the candidacy requirements, dental implants are generally your most viable option. But, are you a dental implant candidate?

Dental Implants: Candidacy Requirements

Although dental implants are often an ideal solution, it’s important to realize that implants are not for everyone and there is a certain criterion that you must meet to be a dental implant candidate.

Listed below are some of the following requirements for candidacy:

  • First and foremost, to be a dental implant candidate, it is important to be in good oral health. While you may have sustained a broken tooth, (hence the need for a replacement) if the surrounding gum tissue has remained healthy enough to sustain the minor surgery needed to insert the implant then you’re in the clear! While gingivitis is a relatively common condition that causes the gums to become slightly irritated or inflamed, if left untreated it can eventually lead to periodontitis or gum disease. Periodontitis is an infection of the gum tissue, and like any infection is prone to spread and worsen over time. If you have developed periodontitis, you should seek treatment prior to receiving implants or any cosmetic procedures as this condition can be very serious.
  • Another requirement to be a dental implant candidate is that the patient has to have a healthy, fully developed jawbone. If you have suffered from previous mandible ailments such periodontitis or oral cancer, there is a possibility that you may have sustained bone loss and therefore may require a bone graft prior to receiving dental implants. Additionally, if the patient is a juvenile and has not stopped growing, implants should not be employed until the jaw fully develops.
  • While it may sound silly or trivial at first, a final but equally as important candidacy qualification, is the understanding that the implanted teeth must receive exceptional care from you the patient. Although tough and very durable, dental implants DO have limits and CAN fail if neglected or improperly managed. While routine visits to your dentist are certainly important in ensuring the success of your implants, it is imperative that you practice daily oral hygiene; including brushing 2 to 3 times a day and flossing regularly. Additionally, if you are a smoker or struggle with substance abuse, it is highly advised that you discontinue use and resolve such addictions before receiving dental implant treatment.

Dental Implants: Tooth Replacement Done Right!

From the rudimentary replacement methods first employed by the ancient Mayans, to the state-of-the-art technology used by Dr. Kimes and his staff today, replacing missing teeth has always been important. Therefore, if you have a broken or missing tooth, there’s no need to suffer when there’s a fantastic solution that has helped people for many years and can certainly help you. Don’t wait; contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry and let’s see if you are a dental implant candidate if that is an effective course of treatment for you!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.