Bridgeway Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dental Implant FAQs

 

Dental Implant FAQs

 

Hello!  My name is Jenee and I am the resident Dental Implant Coordinator here at Bridgeway Oral Surgery.  I have the most amazing role here, I get the privilege of being your resource and advocate throughout the implant process in our practice.  I am excited that you are doing your research and considering replacing your missing tooth or teeth with dental implants.  I thought that it would be helpful to hear the most common questions I am asked by patients like you! 

I was told I’m not a good candidate for implants.

Many people have visited other implant practices and were told they are not a good candidate for dental implants.  Some of this could be based up your medical history, the doctor’s experience, or the corporate business model.  About 30% of the patients we see are second opinions!  We’ve seen it all and cared for it all.  This is the benefit of seeing an oral surgeon with decades of experience.  Our surgeon has restored the smiles of patients who had previously been told they can never have a dental implant.

What are Teeth-in-a-Day?

Teeth-In-A-Day is a term coined by a corporate dental center for a very specific procedure.  This procedure, also called All-On-4, was developed to help give patients with no teeth (edentulous), or with multiple failing teeth, the benefit of securing their dentures with dental implants.

We’ve been doing this procedure for patients since the early 2000s.  One way we differ from the corporate dental centers is that we recognize that every patient is unique.  We construct the treatment around you and your bite rather than a set business model.  The bonus is that we work as a team with YOUR dentist!

I’ve been missing my tooth for a long time.  Can I still get an implant?

The answer is in most cases is YES!  You can still have a dental implant!   There is however a chance that we may need to perform a bone graft to help reconstruct any bone loss that can happen when teeth have been missing for a long time.  The best way to find out is to come in for an exam.

I have been told that implants are expensive.

Although dental implants could cost more out of pocket up front, in the long-term, dental implant can actually be less expensive than a 3 crown bridge.  A bridge is essentially crowns stuck together.  Your dentist will prep the anchor teeth by shaving down the enamel (exposing the soft layer of dentin) and gluing the bridge onto the prepped teeth.  The cost of the bridge is your dentist’s time to prepare the teeth and for the bridge itself.  The American Dental Association and most insurance carriers consider the lifespan of a bridge to be 10 years as compared to a dental implant which could last the lifetime of the patient.

Example:

Estimated cost to replace one lower back molar with a dental implant:  $7,000

Estimated cost to replace one lower back molar with a 3 crown bridge: $6,000

Because the implant requires a strong bony foundation, there are always circumstances in which the implant could exceed the cost listed above.  When making a decision it’s important to think long-term and understand the pros and cons of all your replacement options.

Cost of dental implants

Why dental implants

I saw an ad for inexpensive implants.

You truly get what you pay for!  Many of the ads that you see on billboards, buses, or in newspapers are simply marketing tactics to lure patients in with no promises that the advertised ad is the price you will actually pay.  When seeing a doctor about dental implant treatment interview them!  Here are a few questions to ask:

·         How long have you been placing dental implants

·         How many implants do you place a year?

·         How many failures do you have?

·         How would you deal with a complication?

I had a friend whose body rejected the implant.  Could this happen to me?

Rejection is not likely.  This was a more common 30 years ago when implants were new.  Failures can happen, though.  If an implant is going to fail, it’s more likely it will fail within the bone mending phase (during osseointegration).  Here are some reasons an implant could fail:

·         Overall Patient Health and Medications

·         Patient Hygiene

·         Quality of Bone

·         Patient Bite

·         Implant Positioning in the Bone

·         The Use of Third-Party Components

Does it hurt to get a dental implant?

Dental implant placement is about the least uncomfortable procedure we do in our practice.  The majority of our patients report that they only needed to use over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the minimal post-operative soreness.

Why is guided surgery important?

Guided surgery is far more accurate than the more common free-hand technique.  Guided surgery helps ensure that the implant is placed in the optimal location and angle for aesthetics and function.  This creates a more predicable restorative process and can help in the long-term health of the implant.  Regardless if the site received a bone graft, the area where natural tooth roots were (socket) has a tendency to alter the trajectory of the implant.  This discrepancy can create a difficult and less than ideal restorative outcome, or even failure of the implant. 

 

If you have more questions regarding dental implants I would be happy to set up an appointment to chat!  Please give me a call: 510-526-8000.

Although I may have the answers to many of your questions, I do, however, understand the need to do your own research!  Another resource to check out: www.thedentalimlantguide.org.  This is non-profit public health site that is focused on delivering the most comprehensive, unbiased, and accurate information about dental implants and implant treatment.

Safety First

Safety is our #1 Priority

Check out our new video on how Dr. Doucet and the Bridgeway Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery team treats patient safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRViR7LVVhk

Safety is our #1 priority—they’re not just words, we at Dr. Michael Doucet’s oral surgery practice put those words to action.  Don’t get us wrong, awesome customer service, extensive experience and utilizing the latest technology are all important parts of running a business, and all of which are things we pride ourselves in.  But in our unique line of work, all business and clinical decisions must be filtered first through the question: “How will this impact patient safety?”

So if Bridgeway Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery’s entire operational strategy were to be summed up in a simple equation, it would look something like this:

PATIENT SAFETY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>everything else

 

Ensuring patient safety takes continual vigilance.  We’re constantly running emergency drills in our own facility with our own equipment and our own surgical team (“That’s right, team.  Break out the crash cart and step lively.  We’re running a code, again.  Go! Go!”) because it is crucial that everyone knows their role in an emergency and can perform it to a T without giving it a second thought.

Our training is top notch and always up to date.  In addition to completing dental school and going through 3 years of ABOMS-approved postgraduate training in surgery, Dr. Doucet has 30 years of experience practicing oral surgery in the San Francisco East Bay.  Dr. Doucet is PALS and ACLS certified.  In fact, our surgical support team members are ACLS certified, which goes beyond the industry standard.  For procedures where patients are under general anesthesia, a separate, specially-trained dental anesthesiologist is there to manage the patient’s airway, monitor vital signs and administer anesthesia while Dr. Doucet focuses on performing the surgery.

Dr. Michael Doucet and our team at Bridgeway Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery go to great lengths to embody the phrase, “Safety is our #1 priority,” because nothing else concerns us more.

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Understanding Teeth: Each Tooth Has A Job To Do!

Each tooth has a specific job!

Job of each teeth.

Each tooth has a job to do. Don’t let your teeth do the job of another tooth.

Numbers and names of teeth

The numbers and names of all your teeth

 

There are four different types of teeth in the mouth.

  • Incisors: These teeth are in the front of the mouth.  They have a sharp biting surface and are sued for cutting food into small chewable pieces.  Both children and adults have a total of 8 incisors.
  • Canines: These teeth are at the corners of the dental arches.  They have a sharp, pointed biting surface.  Their purpose is to grip and tear food.  Both children and adults have a total of 4 canine teeth.
  • Premolars: These teeth have a flat biting surface.  Their function is to tear and crush food.   All 8 premolars are unique to the adult or permanent dentition.
  • Molars: These are the largest teeth in the mouth.  They have a flat biting surface.  They are designed to chew, crush, and grind food.  The wisdom teeth are the third set of molars.  Molars help give support to the facial structures and people missing all their molars have a sunken in or older appearance.  Children have a total of 8 molars and adults have a total of 12 molars, which include the wisdom teeth.

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Understanding Teeth: Parts of a Tooth

Your teeth are made up of four major tissues: Enamel, Dentin, Cementum, and pulp.  The pulp is the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth.  This is where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are.  Cementum is the on the surface of the tooth root.  It is attached to the jaw bone by fibers (both periodontal ligaments and the gum tissue).  The Dentin is the yellow layer that is under the enamel.  Dentin is a much softer tissue than that of the Enamel and prone to decay when exposed to bacteria.  Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized part of the human body.  It is designed to be tough and durable.  Enamel is your tooth’s last line of defense.  Unlike other tissues in the body, enamel does not regenerate.

To help maintain the enamel on your teeth it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits: brushing, flossing, mouthwash and regular visits to your dentist.  Preventing the decay means protecting the enamel by keeping your teeth clean.  Excess food that is trapped on and in between teeth can quickly turn into bacteria that can break down the enamel and eventually the entire tooth. Tooth decay is a preventable disease.  So do your part and exercise your right for a clean and bright smile!

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Oral health affects your overall health and well-being

Did you know that your oral health affects your overall health and well-being?  Not taking care of your teeth can lead to more than bad breath and loss of teeth.  An unhealthy mouth has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have shown that less than 1% of Americans floss on a daily basis and 34% did not visit a dentist at all last year.  You and your dentist are a team!  Between your routine dental visits and proper at home oral hygiene (flossing and brushing) practices, you can lower your risk and prevent many diseases and illnesses.

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Fun Facts About Wisdom Teeth

Fun Facts about Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth

Spring Break is fast approaching and for many teens, this is the ideal time to have their wisdom teeth removed.  Most people know wisdom tooth surgery as a rite of passage and excuse to eat ice cream.  There is a lot more to them that that.  Here are some fun facts about your third molars:

  • Wisdom teeth got their nickname from the age when they typically grow in. Wisdom teeth don’t actually grow out until the dental arch becomes larger, around 17-25, this time is referred to as the “age of wisdom.”
  • According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. This can be because the teeth are impacted and difficult to properly clean.
  • Thirty-five percent of the population is born without wisdom teeth. Researchers debate whether this is evolution or culture.  Modern humans no longer need these teeth for survival.  Some researchers have looked into the link between how different cultures use their jaws.  In parts of East Asia, for example, it is common to find people without wisdom teeth.
  • Nine out of ten people have at least 1 impacted wisdom tooth. A tooth becomes impacted when there is not enough room for the tooth to enter the mouth in full function.  If left alone, this could cause damage to neighboring teeth or cause infection.

Bridgeway Oral Surgery believes that the decision to remove your wisdom teeth is one that should be made with you, your family, and your dentist or oral surgeon.  Please give our office a call to answer any questions you may have about your wisdom teeth or to schedule an appointment.

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Smile it’s International Happiness Day

Did you know that smiling boosts your immune system and relieves stress by releasing endorphins.  We all smile in the same language.   Your smile is the best thing you can wear and the first thing people notice about you.  Unfortunately, 1/3 of US adults are unhappy with their smile.  If you or someone you know is unhappy with their smile, give our office a call and our friendly team can help you redesign your smile!

Another Happy Patient

I could not hope for a better dental experience. Thanks to all!
–David W.

Patient Testimonial

The best. I couldn’t have been more satisfied.”
–Cleo G.

5 Factors that Determine Dental Implant Success Rates

Many patients ask us what the success rate is for dental implant surgery, meaning the percentage of dental implants that end up permanently integrating to the bone in the patient’s jaw. While it is difficult to come up with a single percentage that covers the entire population, there are several factors that affect the implant success rate.

1. Smoking. Smoking is a factor that significantly impairs healing and decreases chances of implant success. If you are a smoker and are considering dental implants, it is in your best interest to cease smoking 6 months prior to implant surgery in order to increase your chances for a permanent result. If you are in the East Bay Area, there is free support available to those who would like to quit.

2. Bones. Solid, healthy bones are also typically a necessary indication to perform dental implant surgery. If it is determined that your bones are not sufficient to support a dental implant, there are several types of bone grafting procedures available to bulk up the bone and make implant placement a possibility for you.

3. Staging. The staging of the surgery is also another key factor. Recent studies suggest that staging the surgery in more than one procedure by extracting the tooth, waiting several months for the post extraction site to heal, and then placing the implant increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Not everyone poses the same risk of failure by staging the implant surgery in only 1 stage. When you choose an implant provider, be sure he or she evaluates your anatomy to determine a treatment plan that will allow you the best possible and longest lasting outcome.

4. Diet. How you eat after implant surgery plays a role in your implant’s osseointegration as well. It is recommended that patients maintain a soft food diet and to try to avoid chewing in the area of surgery for 3 months after implant surgery, or as directed by your surgeon. Keeping a healthy, well-balanced diet is also good for your overall health, and will aid in the healing process.

5. Hygiene. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene as a part of post implant surgery care. Brushing, flossing and rinsing regularly will help reduce the chances of an infection developing and compromising the integrity of your implant.