What is a Dental Implant?
Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has fused with your bone, it can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rate for dental implants are extremely high and is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements.
Dental Implants have now become the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over different types of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in an additional charge. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.
About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, which gradually leads to the destruction of the support of your natural teeth. This disease affects more than 80% of Americans by the age of 45.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce enzymes and toxins which injure the gums. Injured gums turn red, swell and bleed easily.
If this injury is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.
Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar).
This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place deteriorate.
If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Pain is usually not present until damage from this disease is very advanced.
We strongly believe that each patient must be treated as an individual. Therefore, one of our goals during your first visit is to understand you as an individual. During this visit, you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns and expectations with Dr. Kuhns and our staff. Evaluating your x-rays, examining the condition of your mouth, and discussing your personal information and how that might impact treatment decisions allow us to serve in the capacity of an adviser.
In most cases, at the initial visit, future appointments will be determined, estimated fees discussed, and financial arrangements reviewed. So we may address all of your questions we encourage you to invite your spouse, friend, or family member to accompany you to this important appointment. This is especially valuable if this person will be actively involved in your treatment or financial decision-making process.
We strongly believe in thoroughly educating our patients and taking a "no surprises" approach to patient care. We will communicate with your general dentist, in the form of a letter and a personal phone call, when necessary, so that as a team we can all stay well informed of each other's treatment recommendations.