Posts for tag: dental implants

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
May 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are a long-lasting option for replacing missing or extracted teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or dental implantsmany, depending on each patient’s needs. Dental implants are placed in the jaw bone for a secure hold so patients lacking sufficient bone are not good candidates for dental implants. A dentist can determine if you have enough bone for placing a dental implant. Dr. Ken Yasuhara is your dentist for dental implants in Honolulu.

Dental Implant Parts

Dental implants are comprised of three main parts. The portion of a dental implant that is placed in the jaw bone looks like a small screw and is referred to as the implant. This piece is usually made of titanium, which is a strong, durable, and hypoallergenic metal. The implant functions like the root portion of a natural tooth by holding an artificial tooth in place.

Another main part of a dental implant is the implant crown, which is the artificial tooth. The implant crown looks just like a natural tooth and is custom made for the most natural look and best fit possible. The third part of a dental implant is the abutment, which connects the implant and crown together. The abutment is screwed onto the implant and the crown is attached to the abutment. The implant crown is the only portion of a dental implant that is visible once all parts have been put in place.

Procedure for Placing Dental Implants

The metal implant portion of a dental implant is placed into the jaw bone through a minor surgical procedure that usually only requires local anesthesia. After the metal implant is placed in the bone, the area is given time to heal before placing the implant crown. As the surgical site heals, another process known as osseointegration naturally begins. Osseointegration refers to the natural process of the metal implant and bone fusing together over time. Within a few weeks, the crown can be placed over the implant permanently.

To be a candidate for dental implants, patients must have enough bone in the jaw area to support the placement of a dental implant. Bone in the jaw area naturally begins deteriorating when teeth are missing so if teeth have been missing for an extended period of time there is not always enough bone left to support a dental implant. Your dentist in Honolulu can determine if you have enough bone by reviewing an x-ray image of your jaw bone.

Dental implants are a durable long-lasting option for restoring your smile, whether you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth. For dental implants in Honolulu, HI, schedule an appointment with Dr. Yasuhara by calling (808) 947-8900.

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
April 29, 2019
Category: Oral Health
WhyYouShouldFlossAroundtheImplantsSupportingYourBridge

We've been using bridges to replace missing teeth for decades. Now, recently-developed implant-supported bridges are even more dependable, promising greater durability and less interference with remaining natural teeth.

But just like other restorations, you'll need to keep implant bridges clean to ensure their longevity. Although both the bridge and implants are impervious to disease, the supporting gums and bone aren't. If they become infected, they can break down and your restoration will fail.

Cleaning an implant-supported bridge includes flossing around each of the implants to remove dental plaque, a thin film of food particles and bacteria most responsible for dental disease. To perform this task, you'll have to pass the floss between the bridge and gums to access the sides of each implant.

To help make it easier, you can use a tool like a floss threader, a thin, shaft-like device with a loop on one end and a needle-like point on the other. You'll first thread about 18" of floss through the end and then pass the threader between the bridge and gums with the sharp end toward the tongue.

With the threader completely through, you'll then wrap the floss around your fingers as with regular flossing and move the floss up and down each side of the implants you can access. You'll then pull the floss out, reload the threader and move to the next section, repeating this process until you've flossed each side of each implant.

You can also use pre-cut floss with a stiffened end to thread between the bridge and gums or an interproximal brush with a thin bristled head that can reach underneath the bridge. And you might consider using an oral irrigator, a pump device that sprays a stream of pressurized water to remove and flush away plaque around implants.

To round out your hygiene efforts, be sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings. Your dentist can also advise you and give you training on keeping your implants clear of disease-causing plaque. Cleaning around your implants will help ensure your restoration will last.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental restoration, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
January 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
Implant-SupportedDenturesCouldBoostYourJawboneHealth

People have depended on dentures for generations—and they still do. That's because they work, both in restoring dental function and a smile marred by missing teeth.

But they have one major drawback related to bone health. That's because living bone has a life cycle: as older cells die, new ones form to take their place. The pressure generated when we chew stimulates this growth. But when this stimulus goes missing along with the teeth, the cell replacement rate slows and bone volume and density gradually diminishes.

Traditional dentures can't transmit this chewing pressure stimulus. And because they rest directly on the gum ridges, they can adversely affect the underlying bone and actually accelerate bone loss.

But implant technology potentially solves this bone loss problem with dentures by using implants rather than the gums to support them. It's a two-fold benefit: first, the implants relieve much of the irritation to the gums and bone caused by traditional dentures. Primarily, though, the implants themselves can slow or even stop continuing bone loss.

Most implants are made of titanium, not only because it's compatible with the body, but also because it has an affinity with bone. Over time bone cells grow on the titanium post imbedded in the jawbone. This process not only creates stability and durability, it can improve bone health.

In recent years dentists have incorporated implants with dentures to create two exciting treatment options. With one option, the dentist installs two or more implants in the jaw, to which a specially fitted removable denture can be attached. You would still have the ease of removing the denture for cleaning, while gaining greater stability and a reduced risk of bone loss.

The other option is a fixed denture (or bridge) attached permanently to implants. For this option, a patient's jawbone must be adequate and healthy enough to support at least four to six implants. A fixed denture is also often costlier and more complex than a removable denture, but it can feel more like real teeth. It also promotes better bone health too.

Although both options are more expensive than traditional dentures, they can pay dividends for long-term dental health. Implants could help you enjoy your new dentures and resulting smile for a long time to come.

If you would like more information on dental implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
September 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   crowns  
ChoosingaScreworCementtoAttachanImplantCrown

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 Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
August 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantsDiscover the unique benefits you’ll enjoy when you get dental implants in Honolulu, HI.

Dealing with tooth loss? If so, you may be pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to do to get your smile back on track. Don’t worry; this is where our Honolulu, HI, restorative dentist Dr. Ken Yasuhara comes to the rescue. We pride ourselves on creating customized dental restorations to ensure that your new tooth looks and feels exactly the way you want. Want to learn how dental implants can help you? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

What is a dental implant?

An implant is a tiny metal post or screw that, in essence, functions just like tooth roots. In fact, an implant is designed to take the place of your missing tooth’s roots. In order to do this, an implant will need to be placed into the jawbone where the tooth once was. This provides a strong, long-term foundation from which to support a false tooth.

What should I know about getting dental implants?

Implants are the next best thing to real teeth and they can last the rest of your life if you care for them properly. Of course, this doesn’t always mean that an implant is the best option for replacing your missing tooth or teeth. It’s important that you understand what goes into this treatment so that you can decide, along with our Honolulu dentist, if this is the right tooth replacement option for you.

Here’s what you should know about getting dental implants:

  • In order to get an implant you will need to undergo minor surgery right here in our office. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia, and it allows us to place the implant into the jawbone.
  • An implant is made from biocompatible metal, which means that the jawbone and oral tissue will treat the metal implant like it’s a natural part of the body. As the bone and tissue heal from surgery, they will grow around the implant and fuse together with it to become one strong unit.
  • Sometimes another minor surgery is required in order to place a second part of the implant, known as the abutment, on top of the implant to connect the metal post with the dental crown. Whether you require this surgery or not will depend on the type of dental implant you receive.
  • While an implant is designed to replace a single missing tooth, if you are missing some or all of your teeth then multiple implants can be placed along the arches of the jaw to support full or partial dentures.
  • Implants are a great option for healthy adults who are missing one or more teeth. Implants are not right for children or young teens because their jawbones are still developing.

If you are an adult faced with tooth loss in Honolulu, HI, we know that nothing is more important than getting your smile back. Let our aesthetic dentist Dr. Yasuhara and his dental team help you. Call us today to schedule a consultation.