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Posts for tag: Dental Implant


Dental implants are far and away the most “tooth-like” restoration available today for missing teeth. Not only do they look real, they also mimic dental anatomy in replacing the tooth root.

To install an implant, though, requires a minor surgical procedure. And, as with any surgery, that includes a slight risk for a post-surgical infection. For most patients this isn't a major concern—but it can be for people with certain medical conditions.

One way to lessen the risk for implant patients whose health could be jeopardized by an infection is to prescribe a prophylactic (preventive) antibiotic before implant surgery. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the measure for patients with artificial heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and other heart-related issues.

In the past, their recommendation also extended to people with joint replacements. But in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS), the ADA downgraded this recommendation a few years ago and left it to the physician's discretion. Indeed, some orthopedic surgeons do recommend antibiotic therapy for patients before surgical procedures like implantation for up to two years after joint replacement.

These changes reflect the ongoing debate over the proper use of antibiotics. In essence, this particular argument is over risks vs. benefits: Are pre-surgical antibiotics worth the lower infection risk for patients at low to moderate risk in return for increased risk of allergic reactions and other side effects from the antibiotic? Another driver in this debate is the deep concern over the effect current antibiotic practices are having on the increasing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

As a result, dentists and physicians alike are reevaluating practices like prophylactic antibiotics before procedures, becoming more selective on who receives it and even the dosage levels. Some studies have shown, for example, that a low 2-gram dose of amoxicillin an hour before the procedure can be effective with much lower risks for side effects.

If you're considering dental implants and you have a medical condition you think could be impacted by the procedure, discuss the matter with your dentist and physician. It may be that pre-surgical antibiotics would be a prudent choice for you.

If you would like more information on getting dental implants, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics.”

May 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Loss   Dental Implant  

Your appearance isn't the only thing that changes after tooth loss. Biting difficulties, shifting teeth, and other problems can all occur as a result of losing one or more teeth. Fortunately, dental implants provided by your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, can help you restore your smile.

The Consequences of Tooth Loss

Losing a tooth, whether the loss occurs due to an accident, tooth decay, or another reason can be more challenging than you anticipated. Every time you look in the mirror, you're reminded of the dramatic change in your appearance. Even if the gap in your smile isn't visible, you may still experience one or more of these tooth loss consequences:

  • Eating Difficulties: Eating is no longer second nature if you've lost teeth. Tearing, grinding, and chewing may become difficult depending on the location of the lost tooth. If you only chew on one side of your mouth, stress and wear may increase on those teeth.
  • Poor Nutrition: A healthy diet is essential for good health. If chewing becomes difficult, you may avoid certain foods or even omit entire food groups. Without a mix of nutrients in your diet, your health may be affected.
  • Shifting Teeth: After tooth loss, your teeth begin to move as they try to fill in the gap in your mouth. When the teeth drift, they may begin to overlap. The change to the alignment of your teeth not only affects your appearance, but it may also change the way your upper and lower teeth fit together when you close your mouth.
  • Jawbone Resorption: Resorption occurs when your jawbone shrinks due to loss of stimulation from tooth roots. As the bone shrinks and weakens, some of your teeth may begin to loosen. If the bone can't adequately support facial muscles, you may experience sagging in the lower part of your face.

Dental Implants Help You Avoid Common Tooth Loss Consequences

Dental implants offer a long-term solution to tooth loss. Thanks to innovative implant technology, it's possible to create a brand new synthetic tooth. The process starts when you undergo minor oral surgery to implant tiny titanium posts in your jawbone. The posts bond to your jawbone, replacing your lost tooth roots.

When bonding is complete in a few months, you'll visit the Lake Oswego dental office for the next step in the process. Your dentist will add tiny screws to the tops of your implants and make an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to create dental crowns to restore the visible parts of your teeth. Once the implants are connected to the crowns with the screws, you'll have fully functioning teeth that act and feel like your natural teeth.

Do you have missing teeth? Dental implants can fill the gaps in your smile. Call your dentist in Lake Oswego, OR, Dr. Smith, at (503) 635-3653 to schedule an appointment.