New Port Richey and Trinity, FL Dentist
James C. Lewis, DMD
4101 Little Rd
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 372-7887
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4101 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34655

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Posts for tag: Dental Implants

By James C. Lewis, DMD
June 14, 2021
Category: Oral Health
UntreatedGumDiseaseCouldCostYouYourImplant

Your teeth can take decades of daily biting and chewing and not miss a beat. But they do have a nemesis, dental disease, which can easily get the upper hand. As a result, millions of people lose teeth each year to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

But while both the living tissue that makes up teeth and gums are susceptible to bacterial attack, the non-living materials in a life-like dental implant are impervious to disease. That being the case, you would think your implants wouldn't need as much hygiene as your other teeth.

But they still do. True, implants in themselves aren't affected by infection, but the bone and other tissues that support them can become diseased. This often happens with advanced cases of gum disease.

There is, in fact, a particular form of gum infection associated with implants called peri-implantitis ("peri"—around; "it is"—inflammation), which occurs in the gums around an implant. Once it starts, peri-implantitis can advance at a rapid pace.

This is because implants don't have the gum attachment of real teeth, which can fight and slow the advance of a gum infection. Because an implant doesn't have this attachment, any infection around it continues virtually unimpeded. If the bone supporting an implant becomes infected, it can weaken to the point that the implant fails.

But this dire scenario can be avoided with continuing hygiene and maintenance of the gum tissues surrounding the implant. You should brush and floss every day around implants to remove dental plaque, the bacterial film most responsible for dental disease, just as you do with natural teeth.

It's also important to keep up regular dental visits for cleanings to remove lingering plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). Your dentist may also notice and clean away any residual cement from the restoration, which can also cause gum inflammation.

And, you should promptly see your dentist if you notice any telltale signs of a gum infection, such as swelling, redness or bleeding, especially around implants. The quicker we diagnose and treat a case of gum disease, particularly peri-implantitis, the less likely it will endanger your implant.

If you would like more information on maintaining dental implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

YouCanHaveaSuccessfulImplantOutcomeifYourDiabetesisUnderControl

Around one in ten U.S. adults have diabetes, a metabolic disease that can disrupt other aspects of a person's health like wound healing and vision. It could also cause complications with dental implants, the premier replacement choice for missing teeth.

There are two basic types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone needed to regulate the amount of sugar glucose in the bloodstream. With the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond efficiently to the insulin produced.

Uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to several dangerous health conditions. In addition to vision impairment and poor wound healing, diabetics are at higher risk for other problems like kidney disease or nerve damage. Drastic swings in blood glucose levels can also cause coma or death.

Many diabetics, though, are able to manage their condition through diet, exercise, medications and regular medical care. Even so, they may still encounter problems with wound healing, which could complicate getting a dental implant.

An implant is composed of a titanium metal post imbedded into the jawbone. Because of its affinity with titanium, bone cells naturally grow and adhere to the implant's metal surface. Several weeks after implant surgery, enough bone growth occurs to fully secure the implant within the jaw.

But this integration process may be slower for diabetics because of sluggish wound healing. It's possible for integration to not fully occur in diabetic patients after implant surgery, increasing the risk of eventually losing the implant.

Fortunately, though, evidence indicates this not to be as great a concern as once thought. A number of recent group studies comparing diabetic and non-diabetic implant patients found little difference in outcomes—both groups had similar success rates (more than 95 percent).

The only exception, though, were diabetic patients with poor glucose control, who had much slower bone integration that posed a threat to a successful implant outcome. If you're in this situation, it's better if you're first able to better control your blood glucose levels before you undergo surgery.

So, while diabetes is something to factor into your implant decision, your chances remain good for a successful outcome. Just be sure you're doing everything you can to effectively manage your diabetes.

If you would like more information on diabetes and dental health, 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 “Dental Implants & Diabetes.”

By James C. Lewis, DMD
September 07, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  
ImplantsCanMakeItEasiertoRestoreMissingTeethinStages

A fair number of people with total tooth loss have arrived at this point after a long history of dental issues. It's quite likely they've had a series of bridges or partial dentures over the years to accommodate lost teeth at various times before moving to full dentures.

For many, it often seems easier to extract any remaining teeth at some point and simply move on to a total restoration. It's often better for oral health, however, to preserve any remaining teeth for as long as possible and update restorations as needed. Dental implants could make this type of staged restoration strategy much easier to manage.

Implants are tiny metal posts surgically imbedded in a patient's jawbone. Over time, bone cells grow and adhere to the implant's titanium surface, creating a strong and durable hold. Its most familiar application is as a replacement for an individual tooth.

But because of their strength and durability, this advanced dental technology is also used to support other restorations like bridges and partial or full dentures by way of a few strategically placed implants. And it's in that role that they can be useful in planning and implementing future restoration upgrades when needed.

Under this strategy, we add implants to supplement pre-existing implants from earlier restorations to support the updated dental work. For example, we might have previously placed an implant supporting a single tooth or a small bridge. When the need later arises for a partial denture, we can add additional implants to be used with the earlier one to support the new denture.

If the earlier implants have been well-placed, we need only to add enough implants necessary to support a full denture when the time comes. How many will depend on the particular type of denture: A removable lower denture may only require one additional implant with one already in place. A fixed upper or lower denture will require enough to bring the number to between four and eight.

Taking this long-term approach can be more cost-effective in the long-run. More importantly, it can make for a smoother path for the patient and help preserve remaining teeth for as long as possible.

If you would like more information on restoration options for lost teeth, 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 “Replacing All Teeth but Not All at Once.”

By James C. Lewis, DMD
September 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Curious about dental implants? If you're missing one or more teeth, you should learn all you can about these amazing tooth replacements. Dental-ImplantDr. James Lewis, your dentist in New Port Richey, FL, and serving Trinity, places dental implants. Implants increase bone density, optimize biting and chewing and look completely natural.
 

Questions about dental implants

What does a dental implant do? A dental implant replaces a missing tooth, or when more than one is placed, implants anchor full or partial dentures. Both dentists and patients consider implants as today's best artificial teeth.

I understand dental implants are made of titanium. Why use this metal? The actual implant device typically is fashioned from titanium. Screw-like or cylindrical in shape, implants are situated in the jaw bone itself, just as natural tooth roots are. As implant sites heal, the bone bonds to the devices through osseointegration. Through a true miracle of Nature, titanium and human bone cells become practically inseparable.

How long will my implant last? It will last indefinitely--even for the rest of your life. Both the outcome of your implant procedure and the device's lifespan depends on your oral health and on your hygiene habits--in-office check-ups and cleanings with your dentist in New Port Richey and Trinity, along with proper brushing and flossing at home. Also, your oral health, systemic well-being and implant life improve if you stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco.

Are dental implants strong? Yes, implants are very strong and stable. In fact, they function just as well as healthy natural teeth, allowing you to eat corn on the cob, apples and other foods which wearers of conventional dentures avoid.

Can anyone get dental implants? Usually, healthy teenagers and adults with sufficient bone in their jaws can. If you are pregnant, undergoing cancer treatment or have trouble controlling your blood glucose levels, you may have to postpone implant procedures.

Will implant placement hurt? It's no more uncomfortable than a deep filling or crown placement. Dr. Lewis numbs the implant site with local anesthetic before beginning the one-hour oral surgery. Afterwards, acetaminophen or ibuprofen takes care of any tenderness from the sutures.

Can dental implants fail? The Academy of Osseointegration says that implants can indeed fail, but this is relatively rare. Gum disease around the implant site (peri-implantitis) may necessitate implant removal as may tobacco usage. Also, excessive forces associated with teeth grinding may wear the supporting bone. Dr. Lewis will carefully evaluate you before proposing implant placement.
 

Find out more

Before you decide on any tooth-replacement option, please contact Dr. James Lewis serving New Port Richey and Trinity, FL, for a one-on-one consultation. He is a Fellow in the International College of Oral Implantology and has wonderful expertise and experience. Call today: (727) 372-7887.

By James C. Lewis, DMD
May 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Missing teeth, whether they're obvious or not, can change your appearance and lead to biting or chewing problems. Fortunately, it's Implantpossible to restore your smile with dental implants offered by your New Port Richey, FL, Dr. James Lewis.

Dental implants restore teeth from the roots up

Thanks to dental implants, it's possible to completely rebuild your missing teeth. An implant consists of a small titanium post added to your jawbone during minor oral surgery. The post gradually bonds to your jawbone during the next three to six months and serves as a synthetic replacement root. It's topped with a dental crown that fills the visible gap in your mouth.

Implants prevent changes to your smile

Although a gap in your smile is the most noticeable difference after tooth loss, other changes can gradually alter the alignment of your teeth. Soon after you lose a tooth, nearby teeth begin to drift in an attempt to close the gap in your smile. Drifting affects:

  • Appearance: Teeth tend to overlap as they drift, which can completely change your smile.
  • Function: Drifting teeth may cause your bite to change, making chewing, biting and tearing food difficult. Bite changes can also lead to jaw stiffness and headaches.
  • Cavity Risk: Cavity-causing plaque collects in overlapping areas and can be very difficult to remove.

Adding a dental implant helps you avoid these changes and also keeps your jawbone strong. Jawbone resorption, an issue that occurs when your jawbone begins to shrink after tooth loss, can lead to loose teeth or even tooth loss. Your implants help you avoid further tooth loss by providing constant stimulation to your jawbone.

Most people can benefit from implants

Dental implants are an excellent choice for many people. Implants are an ideal option no matter how many teeth you've lost. If several teeth in a row are missing, your dentist may recommend an implant-supported bridge. Implants can even be used to replace all of your teeth. Implant-supported dentures look and feel natural and won't affect your biting power.

Restore your smile with dental implants! Call your New Port Richey, FL, dentist, Dr. James Lewis at (727) 372-7887 to make an appointment.



Dentist New Port Richey FL James Lewis DMD

James Lewis, DMD

Dr. James Lewis prides himself on establishing personal relationships with his patients so he can help make their dreams of having a beautiful, healthy smile come true...

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