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Posts for tag: dental implants

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
December 04, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
HowImplantsMightImproveBoneHealthWithDentures

Think dental implants only replace individual teeth? Think again—this premier technology can also support other kinds of restorations to provide better stability and comfort. And, they also help improve bone health when incorporated with any type of tooth replacement options, especially dentures.

Although traditional dentures have enjoyed a long, successful history as a tooth replacement solution, they can interfere with bone health. That’s because regular dentures fit in the mouth by resting on the bony ridges of the jaw, which has implications for the bone.

As living tissue, bone goes through a growth cycle with older bone cells dying and dissolving and newer cells forming to take their place. The teeth play a role in this growth cycle — the forces generated when we chew travel up through the teeth and help stimulate bone growth. When teeth go missing, however, so does this stimulus.

Traditional dentures can’t replace this missing stimulus. In fact, the constant pressure of dentures on the jaw may even accelerate bone loss. A sign this is happening occurs when the dentures’ once tight fit begins to loosen and they become uncomfortable to wear.

Implant-supported dentures can help eliminate this problem. We first surgically place a few implants in the jaw, the number determined by which jaw (the lower requires less) and whether the denture is removable or fixed. If removable, the denture has connective points that match the implant locations — you simply connect them with the implants. If fixed, the denture is screwed into the implants to hold it in place.

So, how does this help bone health? For one, the denture no longer puts as much pressure on the jaw ridges—the main support comes from the implants. And, the implants themselves encourage bone stimulation: The titanium in the implant has a special affinity with bone cells that naturally grow and adhere to its metal surface. This natural integration between implant and bone can stop bone loss and may even help reverse it.

If you’re interested in implant-supported dentures, you’ll first need to undergo a full dental exam with your dentist. These restorations aren’t appropriate for all dental situations. But, if they can work for you, you may be able to enjoy the benefits of an implant-supported restoration.

If you would like more information on implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
August 21, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants help you restore your smile in more ways than one. Dental implants aid in replacing missing teeth by serving as strong anchors to hold them in place. Additionally, by filling in the gaps from missing teeth, dental implants also restore normal tooth functioning by giving you a full set of teeth for biting and chewing. Speak to a dentist to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants. At Schoepflin Dental Excellence, Dr. Ronald Schoepflin and Dr. Scott Smith are your dentists for dental implants in Port Orchard.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal posts that replace the roots of missing teeth and hold artificial teeth in place. Individual teeth can be replaced with a single dental implant and a crown. Multiple missing teeth can be replaced with a few strategically placed dental implants and a dental bridge or implant-supported overdenture. Dental implants are placed directly in the jawbone. Consequently, candidates for dental implants must have sufficient bone to support placement of the implant. A dentist can determine if you might be a candidate for dental implants.

How Dental Implants Help

Dental implants can restore your smile and remedy many of the side effects that occur when teeth are missing. Your Port Orchard dental implants dentist can explain the different ways dental implants could help you based on your specific needs. One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they provide the most secure and longest-lasting method for replacing missing teeth. With dental implants, you will not have to worry about anything slipping out of place, as can happen sometimes with removable bridges or dentures.

Another benefit of dental implants is that, in addition to restoring your smile, they also restore normal tooth functioning. With missing teeth replaced, biting and chewing functions can be more evenly distributed across a full set of teeth, which reduces the strain on the teeth that were previously compensating for missing ones. Dental implants also provide support for facial muscles, which helps reduce the drooping and sagging that can occur when teeth are missing. Finally, replacing missing teeth with dental implants can restore normal speech, which can be affected by the gaps caused by the absence of teeth.

Restore your smile and so much more with dental implants. A dentist can tell you if you might be a good candidate. For dental implants in Port Orchard, schedule an appointment with Dr. Schoepflin or Dr. Smith by calling Schoepflin Dental Excellence at (360) 871-2959.

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
April 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
WhyYouShouldFlossAroundtheImplantsSupportingYourBridge

We've been using bridges to replace missing teeth for decades. Now, recently-developed implant-supported bridges are even more dependable, promising greater durability and less interference with remaining natural teeth.

But just like other restorations, you'll need to keep implant bridges clean to ensure their longevity. Although both the bridge and implants are impervious to disease, the supporting gums and bone aren't. If they become infected, they can break down and your restoration will fail.

Cleaning an implant-supported bridge includes flossing around each of the implants to remove dental plaque, a thin film of food particles and bacteria most responsible for dental disease. To perform this task, you'll have to pass the floss between the bridge and gums to access the sides of each implant.

To help make it easier, you can use a tool like a floss threader, a thin, shaft-like device with a loop on one end and a needle-like point on the other. You'll first thread about 18" of floss through the end and then pass the threader between the bridge and gums with the sharp end toward the tongue.

With the threader completely through, you'll then wrap the floss around your fingers as with regular flossing and move the floss up and down each side of the implants you can access. You'll then pull the floss out, reload the threader and move to the next section, repeating this process until you've flossed each side of each implant.

You can also use pre-cut floss with a stiffened end to thread between the bridge and gums or an interproximal brush with a thin bristled head that can reach underneath the bridge. And you might consider using an oral irrigator, a pump device that sprays a stream of pressurized water to remove and flush away plaque around implants.

To round out your hygiene efforts, be sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings. Your dentist can also advise you and give you training on keeping your implants clear of disease-causing plaque. Cleaning around your implants will help ensure your restoration will last.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental restoration, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
December 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

How dental implants from your dentists in Port Orchard, Washington can improve your smile

If you are missing teeth, you have probably tried bridges, partials, or dentures. Now, if you want tooth replacement that is more natural; you want dental implants! Dental implants can offer benefits which other forms of tooth replacement can’t achieve. Dr. Ronald Schoepflin and Dr. Scott Smith at Schoepflin Dental Excellence in Port Orchard, WA, can help you improve your smile with dental implants!

More About Implants

People choose dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth. The dental implant screw is placed during a simple procedure in-office, after which your bone fuses with the implant, locking it in place. The implant screw will become the “root” of your missing tooth. After the area has healed, a dazzling dental implant crown is placed over the implant screw, and you have a whole new tooth, virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth!

When you choose dental implants for tooth replacement, you will enjoy:

  • Natural beauty, because the dental implant crown is made of light-reflective materials which look just like tooth enamel
  • Complete stability, because your dental implants are surrounded by bone, so they will never move around
  • Easy maintenance, because you brush and floss dental implants just like natural teeth
  • Long-term beauty and results, because dental implants repel stains and will never decay

Dental implants can also help preserve your youthful face. Your body builds bone to fuse with the implants, so the full contours and youthful volume of your face is preserved. Implants make your jawline look firmer and more youthful!

Furthermore, when you choose dental implants, you are selecting the most successful surgical implant. In fact, dental implants boast a success rate of over 95 percent, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Interested? Give Us a Call!

You and your smile deserve to experience the benefits of dental implants. Discover why dental implants are the most sought-after tooth replacement available today by picking up the phone and calling Dr. Ronald Schoepflin and Dr. Scott Smith at Schoepflin Dental Excellence in Port Orchard, Washington! (360) 871-2959.

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
November 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
ReplacingaBackToothMayHelpYouAvoidFutureDentalProblems

Considering the costs, many people view replacing a back tooth as less important than a more visible front tooth. They’re rarely seen, so who will notice?

You might, eventually. A missing back tooth can set off a chain reaction of problems that can affect your overall dental health. Besides playing an important role in chewing food, back teeth also redistribute most of the chewing force away from the front teeth. Their absence can also affect the bite: adjacent teeth to the missing one will tend to migrate toward the open space, causing them to tip and rotate into an improper position. This can cause an increase in tooth mobility, excessive wear and erosion, and endanger their survival in the long run.

To avoid these and other problems you should consider some form of replacement. Most dentists prefer a dental implant for its life-like appearance and durability, and because its titanium post has a natural affinity with bone. Bone cells will grow around and permanently adhere to the implant, which may stop and even reverse bone loss in some cases.

Implants, though, require a certain amount of bone structure initially to anchor and position properly. If you have inadequate bone and don’t want to bone graft the area, the next best option is a fixed bridge, in which the missing tooth is replaced with an artificial crown known as a pontic. The pontic is fused between two support crowns that are permanently affixed to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth (also known as abutments). While fixed bridges restore function and inhibit tooth migration, they require the natural tooth supporting the bridge to be reduced to accommodate the crowns placed on them. This permanently alters them and places them at higher risk for future nerve damage, gum disease and decay.

One final option is a removable partial denture (RPD). Although RPDs restore function and improve appearance, their movement within the mouth may place additional stress on the teeth that hold them in place. This movement over time could damage or loosen them.

We can discuss which option is best for you after a complete dental exam. The important thing, though, is to replace the back tooth as soon as possible — doing nothing could cost you much more in the long run.

If you would like more information on tooth replacement, 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 Back Teeth.”