Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: June, 2014


You've probably heard about dental implants — today's best option for replacing missing teeth; maybe you even have one or more already. A dental implant is a tiny screw-shaped metal post that sits in your jawbone and supports a lifelike dental crown. Natural teeth and implant-supported teeth have differences and similarities.

The main difference between implants and natural teeth — besides the fact that you were born with one and not the other — is the way they attach to your bone. Implants actually fuse to the bone, becoming part of it. This is a unique property of titanium, the metal from which implants are made. Maintaining that attachment is extremely important; we will discuss how best to ensure that in a moment.

Natural teeth do not ever become part of the bone that surrounds them. Instead, they attach to it via the periodontal ligament (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth), which is made up of tiny fibers that go into the tooth on one side and the bone on the other. These fibers form a sort of hammock for each tooth.

Another difference is that natural teeth can decay while implant-supported teeth can't. But that doesn't mean you don't have to worry about dental hygiene — far from it! And here's where we get to the main similarity: oral hygiene is extremely important to maintain both teeth and implants. Lax oral hygiene for either can result in bacterial infections that may lead to gum disease, and even bone loss.

The main enemy of a properly fused implant is a bacterial infection known as “peri-implantitis” (“peri” – around; implant “itis” – inflammation), which starts when bacterial biofilm (plaque) is allowed to build up on implant-supported crowns. Peri-implantitis can lead to a well-like or dish-shaped loss of bone around the implant, which in turn can cause the implant to lose its attachment to the bone. If this happens, the implant can no longer function. Fortunately, this infection is preventable with good brushing and flossing techniques at home, and regular professional cleanings here at the dental office.

So another similarity, then, is that natural teeth and implants can last a lifetime with proper care. And that's the result we're aiming for!

If you would like more information about dental implants, please call us or schedule an appointment. You can also read more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Maintenance.”

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
June 10, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers   Lansing  
veneers lansing miIf you’re not a morning person, waking up and getting to work on time can be a laborious task, especially if you’re responsible for getting others to work or school on time as well. Lansing dentist Holly Scott-Hetchler knows that morning cup of coffee is essential to the start of your day. She also knows that even though these morning habits start your day off right, they can also lead to stained teeth that affect your confidence when you smile.
The world of modern dentistry has a solution for this very problem. Patients in Lansing that have badly stained, crooked, or misshapen teeth should consider veneers to improve the overall appearance of their smiles.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are tooth prosthetic devices, but are unlike dentures and dental implants because they are actually bonded to the natural teeth. Porcelain veneers can hide undesirable tooth defects, such as stained teeth or injured teeth. Occasionally, veneers are recommended to patients as the final step in a root canal procedure, and these covers are are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth.

Who Needs Veneers?

Celebrities Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, Katherine Heigl, Katie Holmes, and Zac Efron all owe their show-stopping smiles to dental veneers. However, celebrities aren’t the only people who have access to cosmetic dentistry. Porcelain veneers are a great option for patients who have gaps in their teeth or teeth that have been chipped or worn down over time. Dr. Scott-Hetchler believes that A-listers aren’t the only ones who deserve the opportunity to have a great smile. All her Lansing, MI patients receive excellent care and leave her office smiling like a Hollywood starlet.
For more information about veneers in the Lansing, MI area, call (517) 487-6333 to schedule a consultation with dentist Holly Scott-Hetchler today.

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Holly A. Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC 919 Chester RdLansing, MI 48912