Dentistry in El Paso, TX
Dyer St Suite B-1 El Paso, TX 79924
(915) 751-1007

Posts for tag: dental implants


So, you’ve just acquired an attractive restoration with dental implants. You may be thinking at least with these teeth you won’t have to worry about dental disease.

Think again. While the implants and their porcelain crowns are impervious to decay the surrounding gums and bone are still vulnerable to infection. In fact, you could be at risk for a specific type of periodontal (gum) disease called peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant).

Bacterial plaque, the thin bio-film most responsible for gum disease, can build up on implant crowns just as it does on natural tooth surfaces. If it isn’t removed with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings the bacteria can trigger an infection in the gums.

Besides weakening gum tissues, gum disease can also cause bone loss, of critical importance to dental implants. An implant depends on the bone they’re inserted in to hold them in place. If the bone around an implant becomes infected it could begin to be lost or dissolve (resorb), which could lead to loss of the implant.

That’s why it’s critical to keep the natural tissue structures supporting your implants infection-free. Not only is daily hygiene a must, but your implants and any remaining natural teeth should undergo professional cleaning at least twice a year or more if your dentist recommends it.

Cleanings involving implants will also be a bit different from natural teeth. While the dental materials used in the crown and implant post are quite durable, regular cleaning instruments can scratch them. Although tiny, these scratches can become hiding places for bacteria and increase your risk of infection.

To avoid this, your hygienist will use instruments (known as scalers and curettes) usually made of plastics or resins rather than metal. The hygienist may still use metal instruments on your remaining natural teeth because their enamel can tolerate metal without becoming scratched creating a smoother surface.

While keeping implants clean can sometimes be a challenge, it’s not impossible. Implants on average have a long-term success rate above 95%. With both you and your dentist caring and maintaining these state-of-the-art restorations, you may be able to enjoy them for decades.

If you would like more information on caring for 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 “Dental Implant Maintenance: Implant Teeth must be Cleaned Differently.”

By El Paso Viva Dental
February 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are widely recognized as the best tooth replacement option available. For most people, though, it’s a long process: after a tooth is extracted the socket is allowed to heal and fill in with new bone before implant surgery: that can take anywhere from two to five months. Afterward, there’s usually a two– to three–month period after the implant is placed before the permanent crown (the visible tooth) can be attached.

Without adequate bone present the implant’s long-term stability might be compromised. Furthermore, the implant’s durability is dependent upon bone growth around and attaching to its titanium post after surgery in a process known as osseo-integration. These two considerations indeed serve a critical function in the implant’s ultimate success.

In recent years, however, a variation to this traditional implant process has emerged that allows for immediate implantation right after extraction. Besides combining extraction and implantation into one surgical procedure, immediate implants minimize the disruption to a person’s appearance (especially with visibly prominent front teeth) when combined with a provisional crown.

Immediate implants joined together that replace a full arch of teeth can receive biting forces and succeed. Individual implants that replace single teeth, however, won’t work in all situations and must be undertaken with care to ensure long-term success. Because there may be less available bone, the implant must fit snugly within the socket to maintain as secure a hold as possible. The surgeon must also take care not to damage too much of the gum and bone tissue when extracting the tooth, which could affect both the integrity of the implant and its appearance in the gum line.

Temporary crowns may be attached during the implant surgery, but they’re installed for appearance’ sake only. For individual crowns, they must be designed not to make contact with the teeth on the opposing jaw to avoid generating biting forces that will cause the implant to fail and stop the bone-healing process that occurs with osseo–integration.

If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to discuss with us which type of procedure, traditional or immediate, would be best for you, and only after a comprehensive examination of your mouth and jaw structure. Regardless of the approach, our goal is to provide you with a smile-transforming restoration that will last for many years to come.

If you would like more information on the dental implant process, 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 “Immediate Implants.”

By El Paso Viva Dental
November 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   crowns  

If you've lost a tooth, you have a number of options for replacing it. Perhaps the best choice in terms of lifelikeness and durability is a dental implant.

All implants have the same basic architecture: a titanium metal post imbedded in the jawbone to replace the root; and an abutment, a metal collar that links the post with a lifelike porcelain crown. But implants can vary in how the crown attaches to the abutment and post — either cemented to the abutment or screwed through the abutment to the post.

Either method will permanently secure the crown to the implant. But there are advantages and disadvantages for each.

A screw-retained crown may better facilitate any future repair that might be needed. For a skilled dentist it's a simple matter of removing the screw and then the crown from the abutment. There's less risk of damage to the implant during repairs or crown replacement. Many dentists also prefer screws for crowns placed at the same time they're installing the implant post (a procedure called immediate loading).

The screw access hole, however, could pose a cosmetic problem. Although we can cover it over with tooth-colored filling, it may still be noticeable and unattractive especially for a tooth visible when you smile (in the smile zone). There's also the possibility the porcelain around the access hole could chip.

By contrast, cemented crowns have a smooth, unbroken surface and are aesthetically ideal for smile zone teeth. But the cement could interact poorly with gum and bone tissue in some patients, causing inflammation and possible bone loss.

And unlike screw-retained crowns, cemented crowns are difficult to remove for implant repair. We may have to drill through the crown to access the screw between the abutment and the post, and then repair it cosmetically if we use the same crown. Again, the final result may not be quite as visually appealing.

In the end, it will depend on the implant's location, how your body reacts to the cement or your dentist's preference. In either case, though, you'll have a tooth replacement that's functional, life-like and able to endure for many years to come.

If you would like more information on 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 “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”

By El Paso Viva Dental
November 09, 2018
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: dental implants  

When you face tooth loss, your oral health and facial structure change. Impaired speech, biting, and chewing, along with bone recession, tooth drifting, and premature facial aging, impact patients who lose even one tooth—dental implants counter these problems. Your dentist, Dr. Stephen Yi, at El Paso Viva Dental, can tell you if these artificial teeth could help your smile.

It's a fact

Conventional dental prosthetics—bridges and full/partial dentures—cannot reproduce natural oral function or clear speech. Slippage, wear and tear on adjoining teeth, and more characterize these tooth replacements. Conversely, dental implants replicate natural smile aesthetics and oral function so well that patients forget they have tooth replacements.

Why are dental implants successful? The answer lies in the attraction human bone has for the titanium in the dental implant screw. This is called osseointegration. Once Dr. Yi surgically places a dental implant into the jaw bone, bone cells actively bond to the device, creating a firm foundation for the metal alloy post and ceramic crown which finish the single-tooth implant.

The procedure

Most dental implant procedures involve the replacement of one tooth. However, multiple implants may support bridges or dentures, too.

The single implant treatment takes a few visits to El Paso Viva Dental. Dr. Yi will examine and image your prospective implant site to ensure your mouth is healthy and has enough bone in the jaw to support an implant. These factors are essential to dental implant success.

Then, he injects a local anesthetic to numb the area and opens the gums and jaw bone. He inserts the implant and closes the gums with sutures.

At home, your gums and bone will heal. As they do so, osseointegration creates that inseparable bond dental implants are known for. After many weeks, you'll return to the dental office to receive the post and porcelain crown.

Keeping implants healthy

Dental implant procedures feature a high success rate—about 98 percent, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness. Disciplined oral hygiene is critical, however, for long-term retention. Also, stopping all tobacco usage keeps implant sites free of infection. (The National Institutes of Health report that smokers experience implant failure rates of 16 percent)

Are you a candidate for implants?

Find out through a consultation with Dr. Stephen Yi. Call the El Paso Viva Dental today to arrange an appointment, and ask about the dental implant special. Phone (915) 751-1007.

By El Paso Viva Dental
July 13, 2018
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantsSmile gaps hurt your self-confidence, oral function, and jaw bone density. If you have lost teeth and wish to complete your smile, Dr. Steve Yi of El Paso Viva Dental in El Paso, TX, can help with dental implants. Secured with titanium screws inserted into the jaw bone, these amazing artificial teeth close gaps permanently.

What is a dental implant?

It's a tooth replacement device which is far superior to conventional fixed bridges or other dental prosthetics. The single-tooth implant has three parts:

  • A titanium metal screw, or root
  • A metal alloy extension post
  • A lifelike porcelain crown

Because the screw is made of titanium, the human jaw bone adheres to it exceptionally well, forming an inseparable bond. The bond also ensures that the supporting bone and gum tissue remain intact and strong. This develops through a naturally-occurring mechanism called osseointegration.

Osseointegration takes many weeks to accomplish, but when complete, both patient and dentist are assured of a reliably strong tooth replacement that will last indefinitely. Dental implant success rates are high, reports Dental Tribune Science, but sufficient healing time, diligent oral hygiene habits, and good overall health are critical to implant longevity.

Evaluating for and placing implants in El Paso

Dr. Yi likes to do a complete oral examination, including a visual inspection, X-rays, and a CT scan, to determine oral health and jaw bone strength. Also important is the location of the implant--front teeth are generally easier to replace--and if bone grafting is necessary. After this detailed consultation and a "yes" decision, the entire implant treatment happens at El Paso Viva Dental.

The treatment involves incision of the gums and careful insertion of the implant into the bone. Sutures close the site, and the patient returns home to heal. Healing takes many weeks, and during that time, the patient must not bite or chew on the implant as those stresses threaten successful osseointegration.

At the next dental appointment, Dr. Yi inspects the site, and if all is well, re-opens it and bonds on the extension post and customized crown. Afterwards, the patient gently uses the implant: eating, brushing, and flossing as usual.

Life with dental implants

Dental implants look, feel, and bite just as real teeth do. When you smile, that gap is completely closed, and you can feel confident that your new tooth won't slip or make your speech odd or slurred.

However, Dr. Yi cautions that good at-home and in-office hygiene is essential. While implants cannot develop cavities or be rejected by the body's immune system, the surrounding gums and bone can develop an infection called peri-implantitis. It resembles advanced gum disease and can destroy the surrounding jaw bone. To avoid peri-implantitis:

  • Stop smoking
  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Get six-month cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Yi

A fantastic smile

It can be yours with dental implants from El Paso Viva Dental. Contact the office for a consultation appointment in El Paso, TX, and ask about our special implant pricing. Call (915) 751-1007.

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El Paso Viva Dental

El Paso, TX Dentist
El Paso Viva Dental
9584 Dyer St Suite B-1
El Paso, TX 79924
(915) 751-1007
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