news and events
News and Events
Dental Implants: The Closest Thing to Having Your Own Teeth
Dental implants are truly game-changing. The technology has evolved to the point where we can offer them to most patients. The success rate for this procedure is the envy of other procedures, especially with our office’s unique approach.
At Westoverhills Family Dental we know many of our patients and prospective patients have questions about dental implants. We want you to be as happy and comfortable as possible with your dental service. Let’s take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we receive.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants is actually a highly technical subject, because you’re actually talking about multiple procedures. First, the implant itself must be inserted into the bone. Then, the crown must be fit onto the implant in a separate procedure. These crowns also require an abutment that is used to attach a crown, bridge or removable denture to the dental implant fixture which hangs on to a healthy, neighboring tooth. Many offices add separate charges for each and every one of those procedures.
However, our office is committed to helping our patients save as much money as possible. If you’re missing a tooth, a dental implant is not just some cosmetic, vanity-saving device. It will preserve your bone structure, your face structure and your ability to eat and speak normally. This is why we’ve made the decision to forgo charging each of these procedures as separate items. We treat them all as a single procedure. You can save $500 or more when you choose Westover Hills Family Dental.
We work hard to make sure dental implants remain affordable. We offer coupons, work with most insurance plans and offer Care Credit financing. More and more insurance companies are providing dental insurance coverage of up to 50% for implants, making dental implants more affordable than ever before.
What are some common problems or complications associated with dental implants?
Believe it or not, we don’t see a lot of problems. Westover Hills Family Dental has an in-house periodontist. Dental implants are about the gum and jawbone as much as the tooth. This expertise is necessary to place the tooth properly. Failing to take the gums into consideration can lead to ripping, tearing, infection and aesthetic problems.
Most dental offices send you to a periodontist across town. This makes miscommunication a likely possibility when it’s time to place the tooth. Keeping this professional service in-office ensures the tooth will be placed properly the first time. And since tooth placement problems are the number one cause of complications, we’ve achieved an enviable 98% success rate on all dental implants.
At Westover Hills Family Dental, dental implants are totally safe. Most of our patients never experience any post-operative pain!
What are the pros and cons of dental implants?
The alternative to a dental implant is usually a bridge. With a bridge, you have to alter two other teeth in order to place a single replacement tooth. This puts weight and stress on the neighboring teeth, which are now handling twice the chewing burden. Bridges are also very difficult to clean.
Bridges leave a gap between the false tooth and the gum line. Over time, the gap gets larger. Bone deterioration is a common result.
Meanwhile, implants, which have been placed properly and receive adequate attention to gum health, are literally the next best thing to having your own teeth. They look, feel and act like real teeth. You clean them just like you clean your real teeth.
Some patients will need additional procedures before benefiting from dental implants, however. If you have gum disease, for example, you might not have enough bone to place the implant. This means a second surgery would be necessary to augment and replace bone.
Dental implants take more time to place compared to bridges. It’s a two-part procedure. The implant needs time to integrate with the bone (a process called osseointegration) before a custom-made crown (the “tooth”) can be added. We use a healing cap until osseointegration has occurred. That cap can require a little bit of extra care. There is a 6 to 8-week waiting period before the final crown can be placed. Most of our patients feel like the long-term benefits are well worth the wait.
What should I know about choosing an office to perform my dental implant procedure?
We’ll be the first to tell you to shop around. Take time to read reviews on third-party websites. Ask for pricing bids. No matter what, you’re going to have to chip in some of your own money. It’s in your best interest to shop around.
With that being said, you’re not looking for a car here. You’re making an investment in your own body. It’s important that you take all factors into account. Ask questions. Ask lots of questions.
The biggest, most important question you should ask is, “Can you offer implants and restoration services at the same office?” Remember, most bad implants are the result of a lack of communication between the professional who places the implant and the professional who handles the restoration. If the implant is angled incorrectly, there can be all sorts of problems. You need doctors who will communicate and work closely with one another to come to a consensus on what needs to happen for a successful procedure.
Got more questions?
Call Westover Hills Family Care Dental at (210) 774-6432 today! Our doctors will be happy to sit down with you to discuss any questions or concerns you have about dental implants. Make an appointment for a thorough assessment of your current dental health needs. We’re here to help you achieve a happy, healthy smile that will last a lifetime!
Visit WebMD for further information on Dental Implant Procedure.
The holidays have passed, but the impact of those sugary treats you may have eaten has not. After a holiday, most of us go on and on about its consequences to our waistlines, but our teeth are probably suffering, too. Sugar consumption and poor oral health go hand-in-hand.
People consume an estimated 130 pounds of sugar per person per year. That isn’t a ton, but it is excessive! Sugar consumption can negatively impact your overall health in the following ways:
- An expanding waistline
- Coronary heart disease
- Type II diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
- and Cavities
How Sugar Consumption Causes Cavities
The severity of sugar’s impact on your teeth can vary depending on the amount, type and form of sugar consumed, but the effects remain the same – cavities. However, the total amounts of sugar you eat have less of an impact on your teeth than how often you consume the sugar.
Sugar consumed in liquid form, such as sodas or juices, gets into every hard-to-reach nook and cranny in your mouth. Even with regular brushing, those sugars can be difficult to reach encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria.
Chewing foods laden with sugar can leave larger-than-normal amounts of sugar residue on your teeth. Your saliva will not wash away this residue. And harmful bacteria are invited to wreak havoc on your tooth enamel.
Unless you brush after eating small amounts of sugar often, eating large amounts not very often is better for your tooth enamel. A 12-oz can of soda is not as harmful to your tooth enamel if you drink all of it in a few minutes versus sipping those 12 ounces over a few hours. Here’s why:
Plaque, a sticky substance, is always forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria. The bacteria contained in the plaque feeds on the sugar in foods you eat or drink. Acids are created in about 20 seconds and last for about 30 minutes. Those acids can destroy your tooth enamel over time. Acidic environments promote cavities.
Sugar Consumption Causes Issues That Go Beyond Cavities
Severe erosion can lead to issues that go far beyond a cavity. It can lead to:
- extreme changes in your bite (the way your upper and lower teeth come together)
- a significant reduction in the size of your back teeth
- tooth loss and/or extraction of unhealthy teeth
- the replacement of dental work
- gum surgery
- dental implants
Cavities And Issues Caused By Sugar Consumption Can Be Prevented
Yes, cavities and deeper issues caused by tooth decay can be prevented, but how? Sugar is in almost everything we eat, every day, all year long. Here’s how:
- Brush your teeth at least twice each day
- Floss your teeth at least once each day
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash
- See your dentist at least twice a year for teeth cleaning and checkups
- And of course, avoid foods high in sugar
Go a step farther. Reduce your overall sugar consumption. Incorporate these 6 simple changes daily:
- Eat a variety of real foods from each of the five major food groups –
- Protein (beef, chicken, wild-caught fish, dry beans, peas and other legumes). Eating more protein will curb your craving for sweets.
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Whole grains
- Dairy products
- Drink half your weight in ounces of water every day. On extremely hot days and when you exercise, you should drink even more water. For example, if you weigh 200lbs, you should drink 100 ounces of water each day. That’s about six 16-oz. bottles of water. Keeping your body well hydrated is crucial to your good health. Read The Importance of Water in the Diet.
- Eliminate sodas. Drink water, flavored water or green tea instead.
- Avoid or limit candy, cookies and pastries. Limiting your consumption of them to small servings once or twice a week can greatly reduce your sugar consumption.
- Limit snacks. Eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day will provide optimal energy and health. Choose healthful snacks like raw vegetables and fruits, cheese, peanut butter or nuts and nut butters. By the way, cheese stops the acid attacks from sugar on your teeth.
- Beware of product labels that read “low-sugar” or “sugar-free.” Many low-sugar or sugar-free products use artificial sweeteners. There are potential health risks associated with use of artificial sweeteners. Research shows they can still create an acidic environment in your mouth.
A Permanent Remedy for Tooth Decay Caused By Excessive Sugar Consumption
If sugar consumption has caused tooth decay, tooth loss or other poor oral health issues, don’t wait. Call Westover Hills Family Dental at (210) 774-6432. Ask for a free consultation to discuss your options. Choose to restore your oral health and a great self-image today.
Most people need dental implants. Statistics tell us that almost 7 in 10 adults between the ages of 34 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to injury, disease or some other cause. Losing a single tooth may not seem like a big deal, but it can set off a cascade of events that could lead to a drastic decline in oral health in a very short time.
Dental Implants: The Best Solution
Dental implants are the most effective way to stop the progression of tooth loss. How?
- They are set directly into the jaw bone
- They fuse with the jaw bone in a process called osseointegration.
- They prevent further bone loss
- They stabilize the bite
- They are not susceptible to decay
- They look and feel like natural teeth
- They have a success rate of close to 98%
- They can last a lifetime with proper care
Dental Implants: The Cost
No doubt about it, dental implants are expensive. But understand you are buying a service, not a product. The costs vary depending on:
- your location
- who is performing the dental implant procedure
- the number of dental implants needed
- whether or not bone grafting is required
You can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth with dental implants. However, the longer you wait, the more complicated and costly the implant procedure will be.
A conservative cost estimate for a single implant is $3,000-$4,500. This includes the cost of surgery for placement, all the components and the dental implant crown.
Dental implants have become the treatment of choice for missing or failing teeth. Even so, dental insurance considers dental implants a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, dental insurance does not pay for implants typically. Some dental insurance will help pay for the implant crown portion.
Dental Implants: The Possible Complications
Because placing dental implants is a surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications that must be considered. Dental implant success rate is quite high. Unsuccessful procedures are possible due to:
- fracture of the dental implant
- overloading of the dental implant
- damage to nerves, blood vessels and teeth in the surrounding area
- poor positioning of the dental implant
- poor bone quality
- lack of bone quantity
Careful planning and a qualified surgeon can help avoid these problems and an unsuccessful dental implant. As with all surgical procedures, you must be healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and heal properly. Review all medical conditions with your surgeon prior to your dental implant procedure.
If you are missing one or more teeth, it is imperative that you choose to take care of this right now, without delay. Avoid the following major problems associated with tooth loss:
- Migration (unwanted movement) of adjacent teeth
- Bite problems
- Gum disease and tooth decay
- Bone resorbtion (eroding away) under missing teeth
- And more of the same, unless you choose to take care of tooth loss right now
Are you missing teeth? Replace them with dental implants right away! Don’t hide or stifle your smile any longer. Contact Westover Hills Family Dental Care at (210) 960-9165. Schedule your consultation with us today.
We know and understand the importance of vitamin D for bone health. We’ve been taught since we were kids to drink milk in order to build strong bones. But do we know how vital this vitamin is for good oral health? We rarely hear how important it is for strong, healthy teeth. So while millions are missing teeth or muddling along with failing teeth, it behooves us to address why this vitamin is key to good oral health.
Vitamin D Deficiencies Increase With Age
The tendency to experience low vitamin D levels increases with age. As mentioned in Dangerous Deficiency, one study revealed “Up to 99% of long-term care residents are deficient in vitamin D. It’s natural that vitamin D deficiencies increase with age, because your:
- Body changes. Your skin’s ability to naturally produce or absorb this vitamin deteriorates with age.
- Exposure to sunlight decreases. You may spend less time outdoors in the sunlight.
- Eating habits change. With age, you may experience failing or missing teeth causing you eat fewer foods rich in vitamin D and calcium.
Vitamin D Deficiencies Increase Oral Health Risks
Here’s why. Low levels of vitamin D start a vicious cycle of poor health: You begin to lose teeth which impacts your overall health. Missing teeth make it harder to eat nutritiously. Foods like disease-fighting fruits and vegetables, nuts and other high-fiber foods are difficult to eat with failing or missing teeth.
Some experts suggest that calcium and vitamin D deficiencies may put you at risk for periodontal disease. Inflammation of the gums is a symptom of periodontal disease. Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory. Periodontal disease increases cytokine production. This vitamin suppresses it. This indicates that vitamin D can decrease your risk of getting periodontal disease. Additionally, this vitamin is thought to stimulate the immune system. This stimulation of the immune system can help ward off bacterial infections in the gums that may cause periodontal disease.
In some trials, vitamin D indicated a nearly 50% reduction in tooth decay.
“The leading causes of tooth loss in older adults are periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay.” See Oral Health Information For Older Adults.
Can Good Oral Health Be Restored?
Yes! If you’re already missing teeth, restore your good oral health by replacing missing teeth. You have two options.
Option 1 – Dentures. The number of US adults needing dentures is projected to increase from 33.6 million in 1991 to 37.9 million in 2020, according to research published in The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Dentures can be a quick way to replace missing teeth, but they won’t improve oral health. Dentures do not address tissue damage that may lead to further tooth decay or other health problems.
Option 2 – Dental Implants. Dental Implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth. By replacing missing teeth with dental implants, you can restore your teeth to a healthy, fully functional state and minimize future oral health issues. Contact a provider like ClearChoice.
Because dental implants do not attach or cover neighboring teeth, they allow those teeth to get chewing stimulation needed for bone growth. Dental implants fill in gaps that might otherwise trap food and promote decay. And because dental implants are anchored into your jawbone, they will not slip or move when you eat, like some dentures will.
Restore your good oral health by increasing your consumption of foods rich in vitamin D such as:
- Calcium-fortified juice
Recent research indicates that vitamin D deficiencies are more prevalent than healthy levels of this vitamin. However, too much this vitamin can cause damage to your kidneys, liver or heart. You can find recommended vitamin D levels by age in this fact sheet on vitamin D: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/, or ask your doctor to order blood work to determine your vitamin D level. Your doctor can advise supplementation accordingly based on the results of your blood work.
While you can’t undo damage already done to your jawbone and teeth, you can prevent further bone damage, inflammation of the gums, and tooth decay.
- Replace missing teeth with dental implants.
- Start eating plenty of vitamin D-rich foods without hesitation!
- Get 20 minutes of sunshine daily.
- See your dentist every 6 months for an oral exam to ensure continued health of your teeth and gums.
Yes, vitamin D plays an important role not only in bone health but also in good oral health. Contact Westover Hills Family Dental where we understand the importance of a beautiful and healthy smile.