Is It Time for an Upgrade? Choosing Between Invisalign, Dental Implants, and Dentures

2022-02-14T15:42:40+00:00February 10th, 2022|Dental Implants, Dental Trends, Dentures, Invisalign|

Invisalign, Dentures, and Implants Monroe NC

If you feel this is the year to upgrade your smile, you have options. Adam Brown DDS offers several dental treatments that can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

Three of the most popular treatments include Invisalign, dental implants, and dentures.

The solution that works best for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, and our office can help you make the right decision. But for now, let’s break down these three types of dental treatments and discuss how they can take your smile design to the next level!

 

What Is Invisalign?       

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces. These clear aligners are used for teeth straightening, and they gradually shift teeth into their optimal positions. 

When using Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about metal brackets, wires, and other inconveniences of traditional braces. Most teenagers and adults who wear their aligners for the recommended 22 hours a day can correct their orthodontic problems. 

 

The Benefits of Invisalign     

When wearing metal braces, there are many foods that you must avoid, including corn-on-the-cob, popcorn, caramel, chewing gum, and chewy candies. Carrots, hard fruits and vegetables, nuts, and steak are also off-limits.

Because you can remove your aligner trays before meals and snacks, you can eat (and drink) whatever you wish, as long as you brush or rinse your teeth with water before re-applying the aligners.

The most obvious benefit of using clear aligners is that they are virtually invisible. Everyone knows you are undergoing orthodontic treatment when wearing traditional braces, but the average onlooker would not be able to tell when you are wearing Invisalign; the thin clear plastic is almost invisible.

Furthermore, it is easier to maintain oral hygiene when taking Invisalign treatment. It is common to notice stains on your teeth after wearing metal braces, if not gingivitis or cavities. Essentially, it is pretty challenging to brush and floss around metal wires and brackets, and even if you dedicate the extra time and effort, you may not be able to get into all the places you need to. 

All you have to do with Invisalign is remove the aligners, then brush and floss as you usually would. You can even clean your trays by soaking them in a cleaning solution or brushing them with a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Invisalign proves as effective as traditional braces for many patients, and they are much more comfortable. The smooth plastic fits snuggly to teeth, and you don’t have to worry about any brackets or wires poking your gums or cheeks. 

Even if you pay more for Invisalign, understand that emergency dental visits are less likely to occur because clear aligners are remarkably strong. There are no brackets or wires to break off. Moreover, more dental insurance plans are covering Invisalign.

 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are primarily used to replace missing teeth. Missing teeth can impact chewing and speaking, lead to severe teeth misalignment, and cause gradual bone loss. While there are several ways to replace one or more missing teeth (e.g., dental bridges, partial dentures, complete dentures, etc.), dental implants have become one of the most popular choices because they offer many benefits. 

The patient undergoes a minor procedure to replace the missing tooth’s root with a post; then, the dentist puts a permanent dental crown onto the implant. 

 

Benefits of Dental Implants   

Getting dental implants is not the cheapest treatment, but it is often the most effective way to replace missing teeth. It can help you maintain clear speech, make chewing food more manageable, and provide superior comfort. Implants also look entirely natural, are easy to maintain, and are durable enough to last for many years.

 

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are another way to treat lost or removed teeth. A dentist (or laboratory) fabricates these sets of artificial teeth and gums to fit each patient’s mouth. You can get full or partial dentures. In other words, you can either replace a few missing teeth or all teeth on the top or bottom gum line. No matter what type of dentures you receive, you will have them custom-designed to match surrounding teeth and fit your mouth visually.

 

Benefits of Dentures   

Dentures are typically a less expensive solution for improving a smile and avoiding various oral health issues. They can support the structures around the lips and cheeks, plus they allow you to eat foods as you usually would and speak clearly. Your dentist will recommend whether dental implants or dentures are the best treatment for your situation.

 

Dental Implants vs. Dentures   

As we’ve discussed, both dental implants and dentures are viable solutions for replacing one or more missing teeth. The best treatment for you will depend on preference, price, jawbone health, and other factors. Let’s talk about these two treatments in more detail:

 

Dental Implants Procedure

When getting dental implants, the dentist will replace the missing tooth’s root with an implant that they will cap with a crown. This involves extracting the damaged root and inserting a metal prosthetic root (called a “post”) deep into the bone. Once the bone has grown around the post to secure it, the dentist will place an abutment onto it before applying the crown.

Sometimes, the abutment can be placed during the same procedure as the implant, while other times, it can take a couple of months for the bone to bond to the post.  

 

Dentures Procedure

Dentures are prosthetic, removable teeth for replacing one or many missing teeth. The dentist takes an impression of your mouth (upper gums, lower gums, or both), depending on which teeth need to be replaced. The dentist will also observe your jaw alignment and bite to ensure the dentures can improve your speech and ability to chew. 

Then, a lab will fabricate preliminary dentures for the dentist to fit in your mouth and make any necessary adjustments to the set’s alignment and length. The dentist will then order your final set of dentures so that your teeth and gums look as natural as possible.

 

Costs of Dental Implants and Dentures

Dental implants cost more than dentures. Each dentist’s office varies on price, but the American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that an implant runs from $1,600 to $2,200 per tooth. In comparison, the ADA reports that a patient can receive a complete set of upper or lower dentures for about $1,600. 

 

Maintenance of Dental Implants and Dentures

Caring for dental implants is as simple as caring for natural teeth. All you have to do is brush twice a day, floss once a day, and go to your regular checkups at Adam Brown DDS.

Dentures require more maintenance to remain effective. For instance, you must soak them overnight in water or a cleaning solution. You must also remove your dentures and brush them after each meal or snack, and you will need to ensure that you brush any adhesive revenue from your gums.

Another thing to consider is that you will need to have your dentures refitted now and then as your bite changes. Conversely, dental implants are permanent, though you might need to replace a cracked or broken crown. 

 

Choosing Between Dental Implants and Dentures

Your dentist can help you make the right decision concerning dental implants or dentures. But here are a few factors to consider when thinking about your dental future:

Age

Dental implants can last for decades, meaning that people in their sixties or younger might get the most out of these permanent prosthetic teeth. Many older adults prefer to get dentures because they don’t require a time-consuming or invasive procedure.

Jawbone Density

Before you get dental implants, your dentist must ensure there is enough jawbone material to support the posts. If there isn’t, implants might not be a viable solution. 

Age, gum disease, tooth loss, and injury are the most common culprits of jawbone loss. With that said, some dental practices perform bone grafting to support jawbone density, which could be a good option if you can afford the additional time and costs. 

Comfort and Effectiveness

In most cases, dental implants feel more comfortable than dentures, and they also make chewing and speaking feel more natural. There are implant-supported overdentures; however, they can provide better comfort and chewing efficacy than conventional dentures. 

Oral Hygiene

You also need to consider daily hygiene when choosing between dental implants and dentures. Dentures require more time and effort to keep viable, while implants are lower maintenance. Keep an honest assessment of how willing and able you are to care for your dentures each day. 

 

Can I Choose More Than One Dental Treatment?

Yes, it’s possible to get more than one dental treatment at a time. Let’s discuss your options:

Can I Wear Invisalign with Dental Implants?

Some patients receive a dental implant and wish to correct their crooked teeth somewhere down the road. Implants are permanent fixtures, meaning they will not move from their original position. But your dentist can use clear aligners to reposition all the surrounding teeth. Typically, you can still get Invisalign in this situation.

With that said, if you only have a few remaining natural teeth, Invisalign may not be the ideal option. Adam Brown DDS can thoroughly evaluate your situation and help you find the best solution. 

Which Treatment Should I Get First?

If you have not received dental implants or Invisalign treatment, you may be wondering which you should get first. Understand that Invisalign holds your natural teeth in their sockets and gradually moves them into proper alignment. 

On the other hand, dental implants attach directly to the jawbone, which bonds directly to the implant over time. Thus, implants are permanently fixed, and it is typically best to straighten your teeth with aligners before having implants inserted.

When your teeth are aligned before implant placement, it ensures that all your teeth are in their optimal positions. Then, you can replace missing teeth with implants and crowns that look natural and aesthetically pleasing with surrounding teeth. Furthermore, your dentist can ensure that the gap remains healthy during the Invisalign treatment.

Are Dental Bridges a Viable Alternative?

Dental bridges are another type of treatment for missing teeth. Dentists can use a dental bridge, sometimes called a fixed partial denture, to fill the gap left by one or more missing teeth. Essentially, the bridge attaches to the surrounding teeth to support the mouth’s structure. 

Dental bridges are less expensive than implants, and most patients who receive them are satisfied with the result. However, some people are confused about the appropriate care and maintenance responsibilities, leading to bridges becoming ineffective or unsanitary. 

If you choose to get a bridge, ask your dentist for comprehensive care instructions to ensure your device works well and allows you to maintain oral hygiene. 

 

Conclusion

It’s 2022, and it could be the ideal time to upgrade your smile! While there are many available dental treatments, Invisalign, dental implants, and dentures are some of the most popular options among patients. 

Along with considering the information and advice above, contact Adam Brown DDS to schedule a consultation. We would love to speak with you, go over your options, and help you make the best decision for your future smile and dental health!

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Don’t Wait: Why Adults Should Visit the Dentist Regularly

2021-08-15T01:47:16+00:00August 15th, 2021|Adam Brown DDS, Dental Anxiety|

Adult Dental Anxiety

As a kid, you may have learned the fundamentals of oral hygiene, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and going to dental checkups every six months. Indeed, these practices are essential to maintaining a child’s oral health. But keeping a solid dental routine is just as vital for adults as it is for kids. Among other things, doing so helps you to prevent tooth decay and tooth loss, avoid expensive medical bills, and foster your all-around health and well-being. 

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t outgrow your good dental habits! Below, Adam Brown DDS will discuss some of the best reasons for going to the dentist and practicing consistent oral hygiene as an adult. And we’ll also cover some of the most common adult dental problems, as well as how you can overcome dental anxiety. 

 

Why Go to the Dentist as an Adult? 

So, you know that taking your child to the dentist is important. Let’s discuss why you, an adult, should also make regular visits to your local dentist office:

Maintaining Strong Teeth 

Dentists and dental hygienists have the expertise and equipment necessary to deeply clean your teeth. Even if you brush for two minutes, twice a day at home, you can’t eliminate the hardened plaque and biofilm (a.k.a. calculus) found in your teeth. And that’s especially the case if the calculus is located beneath your gingiva.

Along with following a dental hygiene regimen at home, going to checkups and cleanings at your dentist’s office every six months can help your teeth stay healthier and stronger than if you only use a toothbrush at home. 

It’s well known that adults are more prone to plaque buildup and periodontal disease. Oftentimes, such issues slowly progress and go unnoticed until they’re severe. If you skip your dental visits, gum disease and other problems can go undetected, eventually leading to tooth decay and tooth loss.

Reducing the Likelihood of Expensive Bills

As with other health problems, issues with your teeth and gums will be easier and safer to treat when you catch them early. And that means that you won’t have to spend as much money fixing those problems. For example, say you have a minor cavity. If you allow, even unknowingly, that cavity to keep spreading, it can enter the dental pulp over time and ultimately lead to infection. To put it into perspective: Your $175 filling just turned into a $2,000 root canal and crown, if not a $4,000 implant procedure.

Be proactive about being preventative. Get regular exams at the dentist so that any potential issues are addressed before they turn into emergencies.

Benefitting Your Overall Health

It’s well established that your oral health is strongly linked to your overall health. A number of diseases are often discovered through oral health issues. For instance, pneumonia and endocarditis, as well as pregnancy complications, are sometimes identified when patients come in with a dental problem. In fact, it is recommended that any woman planning to get pregnant should get a dental exam and address any issues as soon as possible. 

Health issues outside of your oral health can also impact your oral health. Heart disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS, for instance, tend to leave your body more prone to infection. This, in turn, can cause a variety of oral health problems. You won’t necessarily become diabetic because of poor oral health, but any oral health complications you have could be exacerbated by diabetes. Moreover, going to the dentist regularly can help you foster your mental health by boosting your self-esteem and giving you peace of mind. 

Minimizing Bad Breath

Anyone can have bad breath every now and then. But if you notice that your bad breath has become regular and cannot be mitigated by strong mouthwash or breath mints, you might have something a little more serious going on. 

Enter halitosis—the fancy medical term for chronic bad breath. Factors like dry mouth, leftover food particles, and tobacco use are common causes of halitosis. But severe health issues like sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and liver or kidney disease can also be the culprit. If you think you might have this problem, it’s advisable to visit the dentist so that you can be examined and determine whether your bad breath is or is not related to your oral health. 

Detecting Oral Cancer Early

We mentioned that going to the dentist is an excellent way to detect tooth and gum problems, and that includes oral cancer. Oral cancer comes with a higher death rate than some other types of cancers, primarily because it frequently goes undiscovered until it is well developed. And with each year you age, your chances of getting oral cancer become higher. 

Don’t rely on yourself to be able to identify oral cancer because it’s almost impossible. Oftentimes, there is no alarming pain or symptoms when oral cancer begins to develop, and it can appear in any area of the mouth and throat. 

A professional dentist or dental hygienist has the education and training necessary to recognize the signs and symptoms of oral cancer early in development. By going to the dentist every six months, you stand a much better chance of detecting the onset of oral cancer.

Increasing Your Self-Confidence

There’s no getting around the fact that straight, white teeth make for a great smile, which can add some major self-confidence. As we’ve said before, brushing and flossing each day can go a long way in maintaining your smile, but going to the dentist is the surest way to get rid of the plaque under your gum line, clean the hard-to-reach places between your teeth, and take care of stains. A deep cleaning, not to mention professional whitening services, will promote a healthier and brighter smile than you can attain by yourself. 

Yes, poor oral health can have a negative impact on your self-confidence. But, like it or not, it can also play a role in how others perceive you. It’s unfortunate, but bad teeth can negatively impact an individual’s personal and professional life. Going to the dentist to correct any dental problems and returning for regular checkups is the best way to keep your oral health in excellent shape. And doing so will inevitably shine through your smile and increase your self-esteem.

Getting Checked for Things You Can’t See

Many people may choose not to go to the dentist every six months because they brush and floss religiously, and their teeth and gums appear to be fine. However, even if everything seems good on the surface, you never know what underlying dental health issues—those which can only be diagnosed by a dentist—are developing in your mouth. Therefore, the safest bet is to attend regular checkups and to get any necessary exams, X-rays, and other simple procedures that can help you stay ahead of potential health issues. 

 

How Age Impacts Your Dental Health 

All of your body’s cells, tissues, and organs are impacted by the aging process. The changes that come with age affect every part of your body, and that includes your teeth and gums. Here are some of the most common dental health issues that adults face:

Cavities

Essentially, cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth that convert sugars and starches into acid. The acid then goes to work at eating away tooth enamel and, thus, cavities form. And these cavities often develop at the tooth’s root because of gum recession. 

Moreover, bacteria build-up occurs more easily if you suffer from dry mouth, which can also lead to tooth decay or tooth loss. There are several reasons older adults are more prone than younger people to get dry mouth. For some, it’s simply because of age. For others, it’s due to particular medications they take. And specific health conditions can lead to dry mouth as well. 

Gum Disease

Dry mouth is a serious condition because of how critical saliva is to oral health. Saliva helps your gums remain healthy and protects your teeth from decay. So, when your mouth is not producing enough saliva, it can put you at risk for a number of issues. Gum disease, tooth decay, mouth sores, thrush, and difficulty chewing, swallowing, and tasting are some of the most common examples.

Dry Mouth

It’s normal for the salivating glands in your mouth to produce less saliva as you progress in age. But dry mouth more often occurs in older adults as a result of medical problems. 

For instance, a wide range of medications can decrease saliva production, including those used to treat pain, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. You can also get dry mouth when undergoing cancer treatment, and many different health conditions (e.g., stroke, diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome, etc.) can be the culprit. 

Some of the most common dental health issues that occur in adults have to do with the gums. In the simplest terms, gum recession refers to when your gum tissue begins separating from your tooth; this exposes the root of your tooth and leaves you more vulnerable to bacteria build-up, which can result in inflammation and decay. 

Oral Cancer 

Perhaps the most severe dental health condition is oral cancer, which is most common in individuals over the age of 45 and twice as common in men than women. Lifestyle choices can play a big role in the development of oral cancer. People who smoke and/or use other forms of tobacco are the most susceptible. And people who add excessive drinking into the mix increase their risks even more. 

But those are not the only factors at play. Poor dental and oral hygiene, regularly taking immunosuppressants, and gum damage from rough teeth, fillings, or dentures can also cause cancer. Certain infections like the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) can be a cause as well.

 

Overcoming Dental Anxiety 

It’s no secret that a lot of children dread going to the dentist. But dental anxiety is also common in adults. Rather than allowing your anxiety to keep you from maintaining your oral health, consider this information and advice: 

The Most Common Culprits

There are many reasons why adults struggle with dental anxiety. In most cases, the fear of going to the dentist stems from childhood—usually because of an unpleasant or painful experience that is permanently imprinted on the mind. The good news is that there have been many advances made in dentistry over the last few decades, and most modern dental procedures cause much less pain (if any) than they used to. 

Another common culprit of dental anxiety is the fear of needles. A lot of people hate needles in general, while others are afraid that the anesthesia used in a procedure will not be effective. And sometimes, people are simply scared of being embarrassed. 

Say, for instance, that you’ve been dealing with a toothache for a while and are hesitant to visit the dentist because you’re embarrassed about your teeth or dread receiving bad news. Don’t worry—the team at Adam Brown DDS doesn’t judge or shame anyone!

Practical Steps to Take

If you’re struggling with dental anxiety, the best thing you can do is speak to your dentist. Chances are whatever is causing your anxiety is something that your dentist has heard many times before. And the only way they can help you is if you explain your fear and remain open to their suggestions. 

One thing you can do is to ask your dentist to thoroughly explain each stage of the appointment or procedure at hand so that you can mentally prepare. You could also agree on a stop signal such as raising your index finger or tapping your leg to notify your dentist that you need a break. 

Some individuals cannot stand the drilling or buzzing sounds during a dental procedure. If this is the case with you, consider bringing headphones to your appointment. In severe cases of anxiety, nitrous oxide or IV sedation can be administered; but those options are only chosen when the patient agrees to it. 

 

Conclusion 

The necessity of going to regular dentist visits doesn’t stop when you enter adulthood. The older you get, the more susceptible you become to dental health problems, and visiting the dentist is the surest way to prevent or mitigate them. 

Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from going to the dentist and getting any procedures necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you’re ready to make your next appointment, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact Adam Brown DDS today! 

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