Category Archives: Restorative Dentistry

How Dental Implants Can Save Your Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

lots of smilesMany patients put off going to the dentist. Whether they’re afraid of the pain, the noise of the procedures or the monetary cost of dental work, putting off dental visits can turn small problems into larger ones. Left long enough and your teeth can be lost due to decay, infection, or physical problems like cracking.

For the most severe dental problems, one of the common treatments is the dental implant. Where fillings remove small areas of decay with a synthetic substance and crowns place a cap over an existing tooth root, implants replace the entire tooth – root and all. The process is involved, but done properly, a tooth implant can last many decades, potentially even a lifetime.

The procedure starts by removing the existing tooth and root, and placing a titanium implant post into the patient’s jawbone. This metal post is the foundation for the entire implant, and it should be allowed to heal for 6-12 weeks, as the bone forms a permanent bond with the metal post. Once firmly bonded, the dentist will attach a second metal connector – known as an abutment – to the post, which provides a connecting surface for the replacement tooth. The dentist will then make impressions, modeling the entire mouth so that the replacement crown perfectly matches your existing bite. Finally, the crown will be attached permanently to the abutment, providing a solid, permanent tooth

While there may be some pain in the initial extraction, the rest of the procedure can typically be done under local anesthesia (such as Novocain). The procedure does take a few months to allow the post to properly bond to the jawbone, but once complete, the patient will have a natural looking, durable, convenient replacement for even the most severely damaged teeth.

For more information on dental implants and/or to make an appointment, call Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

Taking Care of Business: Dental Implant Edition | Indianapolis Edition

Dental ImplantYou never thought it could happen, but your dentist tells you that you need dental implants. What exactly does that entail? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root similar to a screw that is placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Like a prosthetic for your smile. It will take a few procedures but once it’s done, it’ll be like you never had a missing tooth.

But what now? You have a basic grasp of daily oral care, but implants can’t possibly be the same to maintain as normal teeth, right? Does this mean you will need to retrain yourself a new dental care routine in order to look after them? Not exactly, but you will definitely have some things to alter a bit. The following are just a few things to keep in mind as you are going forward with your brand new teeth.

Once you have your implants in place, you will have a tooth/teeth that will look just like the others. You will be able to eat normally, speak without issue and no one will be able to tell so you can smile just as you did before losing the tooth. While implants are designed to withstand quite a bit, but just because they aren’t your originals, it doesn’t mean you can go neglecting them. They may not be able to get cavities like your originals, but they can go bad on you like the real versions. You can get inflamed gums and infections, or periodontal disease, just like before. So consider them exactly like your real teeth when you are looking after them. Dental implants are generally meant to last for decades to come, but they are still breakable. Handle them with care. Make sure you are careful when you are cleaning or caring for them.

Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure that everything is working properly and the surrounding gums and bone are being maintained and remain healthy. They will also require x-rays periodically to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. If gum disease is taking place, your gums will recede, showing your implants and making them weaker and prone to breaking. Dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.

For more information on dental implants and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website dentalimplantsinindianapolis.com.

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynndale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

What Are My Options For Missing Teeth?

ThinkstockPhotos-146796980If you don’t feel confident about having a few missing teeth, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, most have had a couple of decayed or missing teeth by the time they’re adults.

Now, it doesn’t matter how you lost your teeth, what matters is that you have them replaced. This is because having missing teeth replaced can go a long way in giving you back a complete set of teeth. This means you’re getting your smile back. Not only that, but the way you chew and speak will all go back to how it once was when you still had a full set of teeth.

Listed below are some of the tooth replacement options that should be available at your dental care professional.

Dental Implants

Because they’re surgically implanted, dental implants offer a long-term and durable solution to those who have a few missing teeth.

The typical process of getting an implant involves three stages that take place over several weeks and even months. The first of the process is where the implant is surgically buried, and the second is where the implant is checked for proper integration and some of the posts are connected. In the last part of the process, the dentist installs the prosthetic tooth and the patient walks out of the clinic with a new, full set of teeth.

The lengthy process is a huge disadvantage. However, many dental health professionals do not see that as much of a problem. This is because dental implants are the most similar to natural teeth among tooth replacement options, and are the ones who can possibly last for as long as the patient lives.

Bridges

Dental bridges are, basically, dental appliances used to bridge the gap left by missing teeth.

Unlike dental implants that are surgically implanted and allowed to fuse with the jawbone, bridges rely on the adjacent teeth for support. Like an anchor of sorts. The effect on the adjacent teeth is something worth taking note of if you plan to get a dental bridge to replace your missing teeth.

Dentures

For those who are missing more than a couple of teeth, dentures may be your only hope.

Dentures are removable appliances with artificial teeth and come in as partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the former and the latter is that the former, which as the name suggests, replaces only a set number of teeth. Meanwhile, full dentures require all of the remaining teeth to be removed first to, basically, be replaced by a full set of removable artificial teeth.

Now, as you can see, you are not entirely hopeless. More importantly, though, is that it doesn’t matter which of the three treatment options you choose. The important thing here is that you have those missing teeth of yours replaced. Because, if not, you’re going to end up with an incomplete smile and the many other complications that come with it, such as increased risk for gum disease, malocclusions, jaw pain, and so on.

If you’re interested, visit your dental health professional immediately and have yourself checked to see which of the three treatment options will benefit you the most.

If you’re interested in replacing your missing teeth with the dental restorations mentioned above, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to see which of three treatment options will benefit you most or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for more information.

What Can You Do About Missing Teeth?

lots of smiles

If you don’t have a full set of pearly whites, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, most adults have lost a couple of teeth already, either to decay or some form of accident. But, then again, you wouldn’t know, considering that most adults often sport complete smiles.

If you’re wondering how some adults have managed to hide their missing teeth quite well, then you’ve come to the right place.

Listed below are some of the tooth replacement options that you can avail at the dentist’s office.

  • Dental Implants – Dental implants are surgically implanted into your mouth, offering a sturdy and long-term solution for your missing teeth. The process typically involves three stages and can take several months to finish. However, despite how long the procedure takes, a lot of people are willing to wait because dental implants are considered to offer the best mix of both durability and comfort out of all the other tooth replacement options available.

 

  • Bridge – Bridges come in different types, but they’re generally dental appliance used to bridge the gap left by your missing teeth. Unlike dental implants, which are simply surgically attached to your mouth, bridge uses the adjacent teeth from your missing teeth for support, like an anchor of sorts.

 

  • Dentures – Dentures, basically, are removal appliances that mimic how a full set of teeth looks, as well as functions. You may be fitted with full dentures, which will basically replace all of your teeth, both the remaining and missing ones. Or, you can be fitted with overdentures, which just fit over your few remaining teeth. Either way, dentures are often recommended only to those missing just a couple of teeth. It is not uncommon for those wearing dentures to complain for the first few weeks or even months, as it takes time to adjust to these appliances.

Prevent Teeth From Falling Out

Save from the accidental trauma that may knock out a tooth or two from your mouth, it is possible to prevent the loss of teeth. And, judging by how much of a hassle either one of the three procedures stated above can be, it’s best that you try and shape up your oral routine.

For starters, you can start by thinking that age is the predominant factor, because it isn’t. Like so many other complications, lifestyle, diet and healthy practices play much bigger factors than the year we were born.

In the case of missing teeth, healthy practices via good oral hygiene is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene and in more ways than one, prevent teeth from eventually falling out. This is likely because missing teeth are usually the result of severe gum disease, a dental complication that can be prevented with regular and daily brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

It’s also best to remember that missing teeth just isn’t bad for your look. It’s bad for your health in general.

That being said, it’s best to remember to take proper care of our teeth and give it a good “workout” every day. After all, unlike going to the gym, keeping our teeth in tip-top shape doesn’t require you to go out of your house –it may not even require you to go out of your room!

If you have missing teeth that need replacing, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website to learn more about the dental services Dr. George Kirtly offers.

Dr. Geroge Kirtley welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beach Grove and Warren Park.