What Causes Loose Teeth?

Having loose teeth as an adult isn’t normal. Many people go their whole lives without any problems with loose teeth. Others have loose teeth conditions get worse over time. What causes loose teeth, and why do some people suffer from this while others have no much healthier teeth?

Poor Dental Hygiene

One main cause of loose teeth is poor dental hygiene. Your dental hygiene needs to be good from the time you’re a child all the way through your entire life. Unfortunately, many adults fail to maintain good dental hygiene for one reason or another. They may suffer from dementia, which inhibits personal care habits, or they may just have fallen into bad habits in general. Whatever the reason, not brushing, flossing and rinsing can lead to loose teeth.

The reason this happens is that bacteria end up eating away at the teeth below the gum line. A pocket is then formed where the tooth meets the gum line. This is a place where food gets stuck, which in turn feeds more bacteria. Eventually, the gum tissue is no longer tight against the tooth, and the tooth gets loose.

Prescription Medication

Surprisingly, some prescription medications have side effects that can lead to loose teeth. The reasons may be unclear, but the results are the same. If you have loose teeth and are on prescription medication, check the fine print on your labels. Consider talking to your doctor about possibly changing medications if you feel the two are related.

Malnutrition

Older adults in America sometimes suffer unknowingly from malnutrition. This may be because of alcohol abuse or a lack of good eating habits. This malnutrition can lead to loose teeth. Unless vitamins and minerals are reintroduced back into the diet, the problem will persist and severe tooth loss may occur. If you suspect that malnutrition is a root cause of your tooth problems, consult with your personal physician as well as your dentist.

If you have one or more loose teeth, you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist may be able to save your teeth, or they may be able to offer you a solution such as dental implants. Contact us today for more information about your options in the event of loose teeth.

Replacing Old Implant Dentistry

Mainstream dental implants have been around since the eighties. Much of the work from that era consisted of the extensive use of soft gold bars and precision attachments to secure or latch on to removable appliances. When these appliances were first constructed, they were tight and well-adapted relying on elaborate interlocking locking mechanisms such as “O” rings, plastic snaps, metal slot attachments, and wire bars. Through daily use and as time progressed, many of the attachments wore down leading to appliances that were movable and less secure.  The dentist could often help the ailing situation by replacing some of the plastic retention housings for a mostly quick fix. 

When you account for the massive amount of function that these appliance endure, something is bound to happen and wear. Fast forward to today. Many of these same appliances no longer work as they were originally designed. The plastic replacement parts no longer can add to an improved fit, the plastic teeth used on these appliances have worn down, and much of the same dentistry has become discolored from the consumption of food. 

Today we have a dilemma to solve where the dental implants are surviving but the dental work is malfunctioning due to wear and tear.  Over the years with improved materials and techniques, it is possible to resuscitate and reuse dental implants buy redesigning the prosthetics and attachments for a renewed bite and smile while using the original old dental implants!

First, we analyze why the dentistry has failed, next we determine the type and size of the old dental implants and redesign the prosthetics for an improved fit and longevity.  It takes time and a little detective work to find out what dental implant system was used as there are now thousands of systems out there. Once all of that is known, the existing implant dentistry is disassembled and the new dentistry can be fabricated.  This is a great way of saving thousands of dollars by “recycling” those precious implants of yesteryear.

5 Important Facts About Dental Implants

Dental implants are restorative and preventative when it comes to oral health and having a bright smile. People are often unaware of how they work, so here are five important things to know about dental implants.

1. They Don’t Cost A Fortune

Dental implants are often talked about as an expensive and out-of-budget procedure. This is a myth, and the total cost is dependent on your needs. Dental insurance covers at least some of the cost in many cases. When paired against the alternative, such as expensive medical complications, implants are quite affordable.

2. Dental Implants Restore Function

Most people don’t understand how much of a difference tooth implants can make when it comes to speaking, chewing, singing and so much more. They can last decades, and ultimately restore your confidence along with all of the other benefits.

3. They’re Not Indestructible

Once your dental implants have bonded fully, you can resume a regular lifestyle and diet. For six months to one year, you have to avoid hard and crunchy foods. You also need to avoid biting and chewing hard. Using your new dental implants as a tool is prohibited during the healing phase. After that time has passed, your teeth will be durable and capable of chewing and crunching your favorite foods again.

4. Dental Implants Are Successful

You can rest assured that your implants will have a 95-percent success rate. This means that they bond appropriately to the jaw and serve a restorative function. The specifics of what success means is based on your treatment plan with your dental surgeon.

5. You Still Need To See A Dentist Regularly

While your porcelain and titanium dental implants are cavity proof and durable, you still need to brush and floss regularly. Seeing a dentist twice a year for follow-up care, x-rays and evaluating gum and jaw health is critical for overall oral and general health. Your dentist can spot any issues quickly.

Dental implants aren’t a miracle cure, but as technology advances, they get a higher success rate, restore more function and look aesthetically better. Quality dental surgeons will show you the reasons you can choose dental implants with confidence.

Dentures or Dental Implants? The Right Tooth Replacement Option For You

 

Adult tooth loss can be frustrating, inconvenient, and even embarrassing. However, if you have missing teeth, you are not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million adults in the United States have at least one missing tooth, while an estimated 40 million have lost all their teeth.

Luckily, modern dental technologies allow dentists to offer you multiple options for tooth replacement so you can pick the right technique for your smile. In this blog, we compare characteristics of dentures and dental implants to give you a better idea of which solution you may prefer.

Appearance

Some patients assume that dental implants offer a better-looking smile, but this idea doesn’t always hold true. While dental implants can appear almost identical to the color and shape of your other teeth, modern dentures look more natural than ever before. Additionally, dentures do more to reduce the “collapsed” look of the cheek and chin found in some patients with many missing teeth than dental implants do.

Both options can fill the gap of a missing tooth and offer an aesthetically pleasing replacement.

Compatibility

Often, the choice between dentures and dental implants comes down to the health of your jaw bone and oral tissues. Dentures can accommodate a much wider range of oral health symptoms and can even help conceal some of the issues that might disqualify a patient from receiving dental implants.

In order to be a candidate for dental implants, you must have adequate jaw bone density for each implant to anchor to. You must also exhibit good general health because the implant process can take a significant amount of time and may expose individuals with weak immune systems to a high risk of infection.

Dentures, on the other hand, require healthy gum tissues but do not necessarily need jaw bone strength to be fitted and worn comfortably.

Cost

When you invest in tooth replacement, you’re safeguarding your ability to smile, eat, and speak normally. Any tooth replacement option comes at a cost. The primary difference between the cost of dentures and dental implants is that more insurance companies are willing to cover most or all of the cost of dentures.

While some insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost for dental implants, many do not cover any of the expense. Because of this difference in coverage, dentures are often a more cost-effective option for patients with extensive tooth loss and implants may be more affordable for individuals with only one or two missing teeth.

Durability

When it comes to durability, dental implants last longer. With proper care, high-quality implants can last for the rest of your life. Even if the visible crown portion of the implant becomes damaged, it’s unlikely that your dentist will ever need to do work on the anchor portion of the implant.

Dentures generally last between five and eight years. Often, dentures need replacement, not because of the damage the appliance sustains, but rather due to changes in the shape and health of the patient’s oral tissues.

Functionality

Typically, dental implants provide a more secure eating surface than dentures do. Because implants are placed permanently, they shift less often and less dramatically than dentures can.

However, patients with high-quality dentures can use them for most of the activities that they would use natural teeth for. Patients may need to try multiple adhesives or have the fit of their dentures adjusted to improve functionality while they wear dentures.

In both cases, patients should be wary of particularly hard or sticky foods. These foods could damage the surface of the false teeth or encourage tooth decay in the patient’s remaining natural teeth.

Scalability

As discussed in the cost section, dentures are often preferred for patients with many missing teeth and dental implants for individuals who are only missing a few. However, both tooth replacement options can be used to replace any number of missing teeth.

If you prefer dentures but only have one or two gaps, you’ll be fitted with a partial denture. Partial dentures consist of high-quality false teeth attached to a base that fits over the roof or floor of the mouth. Partial dentures are similar to retainers used by orthodontists to keep teeth aligned after treatment with braces.

If you prefer dental implants and have a large amount of tooth loss, the initial process may take longer, but the final result is essentially the same as placing a single dental implant.

As you consider your tooth replacement options, consult with your dentist. While you can identify some factors in this decision, you’ll need an oral health care professional’s insight to determine whether you’re a good candidate for your chosen tooth replacement option.

Schedule an appointment at the practice of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer today to talk about how dentures or dental implants could restore your smile.