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May 30, 2017

What's the Better Choice, Dental Bridge or Implant?

What's the Better Choice, Dental Bridge or ImplantSometimes, patients who come in to see us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial are not sure what’s the better choice, dental bridge or implant. Thanks to advances in technology, patients who have lost teeth or who may need to have a tooth pulled have more options than in the past. It is a good idea to consider all the factors before making the best choice for your situation.

The Process

The more traditional restorative dental bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth and using them as anchors. A three-tooth bridge is created and in the process.

On the other hand, a dental implant only involves the one tooth. Dental implants are very similar to crowns. While a crown uses the original root as the base for a cap, an implant creates an artificial root as the foundation for the crown.

Implants are comprised of three parts. The implant is actually a titanium post that is screwed into the patient’s jaw. The tissues of the surrounding jawbone grow around the post, creating a stable base for the crown. An abutment is then placed over the implant protecting the gum line as the tissue continues to grow. In the last step, a permanent crown is adhered to the abutment.

Risks

Because dental implants involve surgery, there is a larger risk of complications. There is a possibility of infection at the site. The surrounding teeth can suffer as a result of the surgery or infection. There is a chance of permanent nerve damage that can numb your mouth. If the implant is done in the upper portion of your mouth, there is a risk of unexpected sinus problems. However, this risk is fairly rare these days.

The lower jaw has a higher risk of nerve damage. The actual surgery to your lower jaw is much longer in surgery time as a result, and the cost associated with lower jaw surgery is higher. Many people will opt out of an implant in their lower jaw due to these factors and the possibility of a numb chin. Additional risks for implant surgery include issues with the bone failing to fuse with the dental implant and failing bone grafts (for larger implant procedures).

The risks of a dental bridge are more minimal, but a dental bridge can still collapse if the teeth used for support are not strong enough or healthy enough. An ill-fitting bridge may also result in decay of the tooth underneath.

Time

Healing for most implants takes longer anywhere from two months to 11 months (if a bone graft is involved), though for the most straightforward implants the healing can be completed in as little as a month. Traditional dental bridge-work, on the other hand, can take as little as two or three weeks. For some people, the length of healing time is an important consideration.

Cost

Dental implants can be costly and may not be covered by insurance or if it is covered, the rate of coverage may be lower. Bridges, being more traditional, tend to be well covered by insurance. The most costly part of an implant is not the implant itself, but the crown, which is needed for either procedure. For whatever reason, some insurance companies will not cover a crown that is being applied to an implant, but will cover one being applied for a bridge. If cost is a concern for you, thoroughly investigating what your insurance will cover will be an important part of you decision. Our staff can certainly help you sort out what’s covered by your insurance and how much your final cost will be. We also accept financing through Care Credit.

Are You a Good Candidate?

Some people must make a decision about whether to get a bridge or an implant based strictly on what option their current health will allow. While a bridge seems to work well for almost anyone as long as the surrounding teeth are in good condition, a dental implant has many more health considerations.

Children are generally not good candidates for implants because the bones in their jaws have not reached maturity. People who smoke or have weakened immune systems are not considered to be good candidates for implants. Diabetics are also generally considered unsafe candidates for implants. The best potential patients for implants have healthy jawbones that can support an implant and also have healthy adjacent teeth surrounding the implant (this can make a difference in a person’s long-term oral health).

The overall history of a patient’s oral health is often considered. Patients who have issues with their oral health may not be good candidates. An oral surgeon will often consider how well an implant may last given the patient’s oral health history. If a patient doesn’t take care of their mouth in general, it is questionable how long an implant will last in such an environment. The health history of adjacent teeth is important as well. If your adjacent teeth are missing, have crowns, or have had a root canal, you may be a better dental bridge candidate. Good bones are also an important health consideration. Having a solid oral history and bone health is particularly important for the long-term success of an implant.

What’s the better choice, dental bridge or implant? The answer will depend heavily on your situation and personal circumstances. Many people who have implants are incredibly happy in the long run. Implants can last and preserve the overall health of your other teeth. Other people opt for bridges for a multitude of very good reasons and very happy with the results in the long run.

If you still have questions, call us at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, and we can help you determine which option may be best for you given your particular circumstances. If you know which option you would prefer, we can also get you set up for a consultation for the option you have chosen to confirm whether it is the best for you and your oral health.

April 16, 2017

What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?

What’s Considered a Dental EmergencyWimmer Dental in Centennial can always help when you have problems with your teeth, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s considered a dental emergency and should be addressed right away. It helps if you know what to do if you find yourself in a dental emergency. The first thing you should do is call our office. We will assist you in resolving your emergency and getting you in to see Dr. Wimmer as soon as possible.

Here are some tips from an article in the  Consumer Guide to Dentistry on what you can do until you can get to our office for emergency services.

Loose or Repositioned Tooth

If you have a tooth that is loose or repositioned, it’s important to call us right away.


Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth needs immediate attention. If you follow these suggestions immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, the opportunity for us to reinsert the tooth is very good.


Chipped and Cracked Teeth

What if your tooth gets chipped but you don’t feel any pain? You should still call us, but if there is no pain there may not be anything you need to do immediately. You might be able to wait a few days to come see us. In the meantime, be careful while chewing so as not to damage your tooth anymore. We may be able to smooth the chip out or add some composite filling material to repair the tooth.

A cracked tooth is serious because there is probably damage to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside. Sometimes the fracture is too severe for the tooth to be saved. If you crack your tooth, call us and we will get you in as soon as possible.

In the meantime:


At your appointment, we will take X-rays to diagnose the condition of your tooth. You may need a root canal if the soft tissue inside the tooth is damaged. If the pulp isn’t damaged, the tooth may just need a crown. If the tooth can’t be saved, your options may be dental implants or bridges.

Injuries Inside the Mouth

Any injuries inside the mouth to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue, are tissue injuries and are considered dental emergencies. Clean the area that’s injured with warm water. If your tongue is bleeding, pull it out and put pressure on the wound using gauze. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen which can cause increased bleeding. But you can take acetaminophen for the pain.

Temporary Crowns

If your temporary crown comes off, don’t worry, it’s not an emergency. Just put it back over the tooth so that the tooth stays in place. Call us so we can get you in to see Dr. Wimmer.

A temporary crown can easily be put back onto your tooth by placing either toothpaste, Vaseline, Chapstick or even a little bit of denture adhesive into the temporary crown and putting it onto your tooth with a little bit of pressure.

Infection or Abscess

An infection or abscess in your mouth can be a very serious emergency and will need immediate care.

Avoiding Emergencies

Most emergencies can’t be anticipated but there are a few things you can do to help prevent some of them. If you have routine checkups we can make sure your teeth are in good shape and catch any potential problems before they become an emergency. Please wear a mouthguard when you play sports. It’s really important because the mouthguard will help keep your teeth from being broken or knocked out. Avoid chewing on ice or anything hard that could break your teeth. Get a dental checkup before you travel for an extended period of time.

If you have any injuries, severe pain, or trauma to your teeth give us a call and explain your situation. Our staff at Wimmer Dental in Centennial knows what’s considered a dental emergency and we will tell you how you should address your problem. If it is an emergency, we will do everything we can to fit you into our schedule as quickly as we can. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer you the appropriate advice and get you an appointment. Our friendly staff will help you in any way that we can. We offer a variety of dental treatment services and our office also caters to the needs of our anxious and fearful patients, Dr. Wimmer provides oral sedation and nitrous oxide to alleviate your fears and provide a pleasant experience for your visit.

March 14, 2017

What is Sedation Dentistry?

What is Sedation DentistryOur dentist, Dr. Matthew Wimmer in Centennial, can answer the question, what is sedation dentistry and how can it make your dental experience more pleasant? We know that many of our patients feel anxiety or fear about going to the dentist. That’s why we do everything we can to make your feel comfortable. Let’s discuss your three options for sedation dentistry, including oral sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation. We can explain what they are and how they work.

Basically, sedation dentistry, sometimes called sleep dentistry, uses medication in different forms to help you relax while you have a dental procedure or cleaning. However, patients are usually awake. According to a WebMD article, sedation dentistry can relieve your anxiety and allow you to complete needed dental procedures, anything from filling a cavity to teeth cleaning.

Sedation dentistry can also be a successful way to complete dental work for people who have a low threshold of pain, have trouble sitting in a dental chair, have a sensitive gag reflex, have sensitive teeth or need a lot of dental work done.

Oral Sedation

This option uses a prescription pill that you take at home before you come to our office.

The medication in a pill form causes drowsiness and amnesia and helps you feel relaxed. The most common medication is Halcion (triazolam). It is taken about an hour before the dental procedure. It gives a deep level of relaxation and amnesia effect. For children, the most common medication is Versed (Midazolam) which is a liquid. The medication makes you drowsy, although usually, you will still be awake.

With oral sedation, some people do sleep through their dental appointment but usually can be awakened easily. You will need to have someone else drive you to your appointment and drive you home. The effects of the oral sedation medication will wear off within one to two hours after your appointment.

Some of the advantages of oral sedation are that it’s easy to administer, you just swallow a pill or liquid, it has a low cost, the medication is safe and easy to monitor, and it works well for most patients. It’s great for standard procedures like check-ups and cleanings.

Nitrous Oxide

Another kind of sedation that we offer at Wimmer Dental is nitrous oxide, sometimes known as laughing gas. It is an inhaled sedation. You breathe in the nitrous oxide combined with oxygen through a mask that is placed over your nose. The gas you breathe in helps you relax while Dr. Wimmer properly controls the amount of sedation you receive.

Nitrous oxide provides you with a relaxed feeling that takes away your anxiety during your dental procedure. The gas tends to wear off quickly. Usually, only a few minutes after your dental procedure has been completed, the effects of the nitrous oxide are gone. It is still best if you have someone drive you home.

Some advantages of nitrous oxide are it works quickly, it can be controlled, it has very few side effects, you recover fast, it has flexible duration, and it’s effective.

IV Sedation

For more intensive procedures like extractions and implants, IV sedation might be the best solution to calm their fears.

If you need a deeper relaxation, then IV moderate sedation may be your choice. With this type of sedation, medication is given to you through an IV in one of your veins, so it goes to work more quickly. The doctor can adjust your level of sedation. It will let you relax more deeply and is more controlled than with oral sedation. With IV moderate sedation, you can talk to Dr. Wimmer and will likely be awake, but you will be extremely relaxed. You might even fall asleep and may not remember the dental procedure.

Often, in addition to these types of sedations to make you feel less anxiety, Dr. Wimmer may also use a numbing medication at the procedure location to help relieve any pain or discomfort that may occur.

Children and the Elderly

If children are afraid of going to the dentist or won’t cooperate during a visit, they may benefit from sedation. Nitrous oxide has been shown to be safe for children. We make sure we follow the recommended dose for the child's age and weight.

Our older patients do very well with sedation but should always consult their regular health care provider prior to dental sedation.

Training

Each state's dental board carefully regulates the use of sedation techniques. It’s important that the dentist is well-trained and highly qualified to administer any type of sedation. Dr. Wimmer is a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, The American Academy of Implant Dentistry, The International Congress of Oral Implantologists, The American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Medical History

Before your dental procedure, Dr. Wimmer will discuss your medical history to make sure you are an appropriate candidate for sedation and ask you about any medications you're currently taking.

These types of sedation are very safe, but there are certain people, like those who may be extremely overweight or have obstructive sleep apnea, who should talk to their doctor before using sedation. In addition, people with chronic conditions, have asthma or other respiratory conditions may want to avoid sedation unless absolutely necessary.

Our experienced dentists and highly skilled dental team will always closely monitor your level of sedation to guarantee the greatest safety possible.

Hopefully, we have answered your questions about what is sedation dentistry and if it might be right for you. Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial takes the comfort of our patients very seriously and we will do everything we can to make sure we address your anxiety and concerns. We never want to let your fear or anxiety get in the way of good dental care. Dr. Wimmer provides the option of sedation to alleviate your concerns and provide a pleasant experience for your visit. At Matthew Wimmer Dental, we help our patients get the best care possible and provide dentistry that will improve your life. Contact us today if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

February 16, 2017

Affordable Tooth Replacement Options

Affordable Tooth Replacement OptionsAre you missing a tooth or several teeth, but think there are no affordable tooth replacement options? Do you want your beautiful smile back and you want to be able to eat all your favorite foods, but you worry about your budget? With today’s dental advances, there are now options available to you, and Dr. Matthew Wimmer at Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial can explain what might work best for you.

A lot of adults are missing teeth but don’t know about the many choices we offer for realistic looking replacements. There are several options. The most popular choice is dental implants but to make it easier on your budget, you can replace your missing teeth with dental bridges, dentures, or sometimes a combination of bridges or dentures with implants.

Dental Implants

Dental implants act just like your real teeth. They are strong because they are anchored to your jaw bone. The great thing about dental implants is they actually strengthen the surrounding teeth as well.

Bone loss can be a problem if you don’t replace a missing tooth. It’s called bone resorption. Osteoclasts break down the bone tissue which releases the mineral and transfers the calcium from the bone to the blood. When a tooth is missing, this happens because the tooth’s natural roots are no longer in the jawbone. This leaves a space and after a while it can cause the jawbone to deteriorate.

Interestingly enough, not only does a missing tooth impact the area surrounding the missing tooth, it also impacts the healthy teeth around it and you can lose the other teeth from decay. It also increases the chance that gum disease will develop in the missing tooth area.

Our dentist, Dr. Matthew Wimmer, is thoroughly trained and experienced in all aspects of dental implants. In fact, he has also completed a one-year training program in Implant Dentistry and is a fellow of the California Implant Institute and holds fellowship status in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Dental implant procedures take place in our office, so there is no need to be referred to another doctor's office. Our office also offers computer guided dental implant surgery. This allows all aspects of your implant surgery to be planned using a 3D model of your jaw with a special computer program. The computer program generates a surgical guide that allows Dr. Wimmer to place your new dental implants exactly where they should go.

There are many benefits to dental implants, including they avoid shaving other teeth down as needed for a bridge, implants have a higher long-term success rate than conventional crowns and bridges, they can stop the denture from moving around or falling out while eating, and implants can even allow the removal of the part of your upper denture that covers the roof of your mouth in some cases.

In addition, dental implants can help you preserve your jawbone because the titanium posts used for the implants will actually fuse with the jawbone after a while. This helps to continue stimulating growth and reduces the potential for bone loss. Dental implants are strong and last a long time but they are also more expensive than the other options.

You should consider the options of a small dental bridge or full or partial dentures to help replace missing teeth.

Bridge or Partial Denture Over Implants

A bridge or partial denture over implants may be an answer if you have two or more teeth missing that are next to each other. One or two implants can help anchor the bridge or partial denture. This way you don’t have to use healthy teeth to support the bridge and your removable partial denture won’t need clasps because it can attach right to the dental implant. 

Overdentures or Full Dentures Over Implants

Overdentures or full dentures over implants may also be an option for you to consider. This plan uses both implants and dentures. A full denture arch is attached to 4 or 6 dental implants. The implants are usually placed two or more at a time. So, if you want to get the implants all at once and still wear the full denture while your mouth heals, this could be the answer.

When all of the implants are in place, the dentures will attach to the implants with a special abutment. This allows the dentures to look and fit a lot more naturally. If you want, you can even remove the dentures at night so you can clean and maintain them. But when they are in, they are very secure and won’t fall out. You won’t have a need for that sticky denture cream that holds your dentures in place and you won’t worry about them falling out when you eat.

These procedures use several options together which allows you to combine the long-term benefits of dental implants, including strength, durability, long-lasting, and a natural fit, with bridges and dentures which may be easier on your pocketbook. These are great options for many people and ones you may want to consider to more easily fit your budget.

So, if you are missing a tooth or several teeth and you’re worried about the cost, come talk to us at Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial. There are affordable tooth replacement options that you should consider and no reason why you should not have a beautiful smile and the ability to eat whatever you want. Come and see us and find out what will work best for you. We can explain everything, answer your questions and take care of every step of the process.

By the way, our office also caters to the needs of anxious patients! Dr. Matt Wimmer provides oral sedation and nitrous oxide to alleviate your anxiety. Our office staff is here to help you. We take most dental insurance plans. We know dental procedures can be expensive, so we accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards. For patients needing help with financing, we accept patient financing through Care Credit.

January 9, 2017

What Happens if I Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?

What Happens if I Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?Are you missing a tooth? If so, you’re not alone. Over 178 million people in the United States are missing teeth, and that number is expected to increase in the next twenty years, according to the American College of Prosthodontics. Our dentist at Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial has seen tooth occur because of wear, injury, cancer, and gum disease. But do you wonder what happens if I don’t replace a missing tooth?

When you look in the mirror, you may discover that missing teeth make you look older, and some people think, less attractive.

You may experience additional health issues including diabetes, nutritional changes, coronary artery disease, obesity, and some kinds of cancer.

Bone loss is another problem if you don’t replace a missing tooth. This is called bone resorption. Osteoclasts break down the tissue in your bones which releases the mineral and transfers the calcium from the bone tissue to the blood. This happens when a tooth is missing because the tooth’s natural roots are no longer in the jawbone. This leaves a space, and over time it causes the jawbone to deteriorate.

But here’s the real problem. Not only does it impact the area of the missing tooth, but it also impacts the healthy teeth around it and puts you at risk of losing even more teeth from decay. It also increases the chance you will get gum disease in the missing tooth area.

It can also change the way your face looks, changing its shape, and your lips may look asymmetrical and sunken.

A missing tooth may also reduce your ability to eat certain types of foods. Depending on the location, it may be hard for you to bite or chew certain types of food. If this is the case, sometimes you begin to overuse other teeth to compensate for the things you can’t do because of the missing tooth. This may lead to poor nutrition and consequently diminish your health. You may experience digestive issues from eating softer foods or not fully chewing foods before swallowing.

Again, depending on which teeth are missing, it can affect the way you speak. Particularly if you are missing your front teeth, you may not be able to clearly pronounce certain words. Some people develop a lisp or can’t pronounce certain sounds. This can impact communication, limit social interactions, and potential jobs.

With a tooth missing that can be noticed, you may not want to smile or speak as much. This affects almost all aspects of your life. In addition, if your missing tooth is from gum disease, you may also have bad breath. Both of these things create social and professional barriers.

Now that you know what happens if I don’t replace a missing tooth let’s talk treatment. There are a few options, including dental bridges, a partial denture, dental implants, and full dentures.

Dental implants are sturdy, durable, and compared to the other options, much longer lasting. In addition to offering these benefits, dental implants can also help you preserve your jawbone because the titanium post used for the implant will actually fuse with the jawbone over time. This helps to continue stimulating growth and minimizes the potential for bone loss. Dental implants will also help restore your confidence since they look and feel like real teeth after the installation process is complete.

A bridge or partial denture over implants can work if you have two or more teeth missing next to each other. One or two implants can help be the anchor for a bridge or partial denture. This way you don’t have to use healthy teeth to support the bridge and your removable partial denture won’t need clasps because it can connect right to the dental implant.

Overdentures or full dentures over implants may also work for you. This combines implants and dentures. A full denture arch can be attached to 4 or 6 dental implants. The implants are most commonly placed two or more at a time. This allows you to get the implants over time, and still wear the full denture while it heals. When all of the implants are in place, the denture clips to the implants with a special abutment. Most people feel this allows their dentures to look and fit more natural. You can remove the dentures at night to be cleaned and maintained, but when they’re in, they are secure and won’t fall out. You can continue to have more implants placed, and just use a bridge or single implants instead of dentures.

Of course, if you are just missing one tooth, single dental implants may be your answer. A small dental bridge can also help with a single missing tooth. Full or partial dentures can also help replace missing teeth in a row.

Our dentist, Dr. Matthew Wimmer is thoroughly trained in all aspects of dental implants. All dental implant procedures take place in our office, so there is no need to be referred to another doctor's office.

We also offer computer guided dental implant surgery. With this method, all aspects of your implant surgery are planned using a 3D model of your jaw with a special computer program. The computer program generates a surgical guide that allows Dr. Wimmer to place your new dental implants exactly where we planned them in the computer. 

There are many benefits to dental implants, including: 

So, if you want answers to your question about what happens if I don’t replace a missing tooth, make an appointment with our office at Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial, and the doctor will sit down with you to discuss your options. We’ll also take a look at your budget, lifestyle, and insurance coverage to determine the best course of action. Tooth loss isn’t the end. Let us give you back your smile. Call today to schedule your appointment.

 

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