Why have I been referred to a Prosthodontist?
Your dental needs are beyond the scope of a general dentist. This referral is indicative of the strong commitment to optimal dental care that your dentist has for you. We will stay in communication with your dentist during your treatment. After your treatment is completed you will return to your dentist for routine dental cleanings and maintenance.
Why should I see a Prosthodontist?
Prosthodontists provide an extremely high level of care to patients with missing teeth, or those who have significant damage to their existing teeth. Prosthodontists also work with patients with congenital defects as well as problems arising from trauma and neglect.
Do I need to be referred by my general dentist to see the specialists at Advanced Dental Designs?
No. We work with many general dentists and other dental specialists and, although many of our patients are referred to us by general dentist it is not a requirement. In fact, many of our patients are referred by their family, friends or colleagues. If you feel that our services could be of benefit to you give us a call.
Will I ever have dentures that fit comfortably?
Yes. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Frey has the education and experience to make you a properly fitting, comfortable denture. In addition, Dr. Frey performs all of the lab work in his lab at the office. He will pay particular attention to proper lip support, correct tooth positioning, jaw function, and bone height. If you have limited bone support, particularly on your lower jaw, Dr. Frey may recommend and discuss the possibility of an implant supported denture.
Is it normal to have to remove my dentures all the time because they get sore?
No, it is not normal. If dentures cause soreness they are not fitting properly. Often soreness is caused by improperly made dentures, dentures that have been worn for too long, weight loss, or dry mouth. These are all things that can be improved upon. We recommend that all of our patients consider dental implants to improve the fit , function, and comfort of their dentures.
How do I take care of my dentures?
Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches. Stand over a folded towel or basin of water when handling dentures. When you are not wearing them, store your dentures away from children and pets. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It’s best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard- bristled brushes that can damage dentures. Some denture wearers use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid, which are both acceptable for cleaning dentures. Avoid using other powdered household cleaners, which may be too abrasive. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, or remade due to normal wear. To reline or rebase a denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base. Dentures may need to be replaced if they become loose and the teeth show signs of significant wear. Dentures become loose because a mouth naturally changes with age. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features. It’s important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems.
Should I use a denture adhesive?
Denture adhesive can provide additional retention for well fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult Dr. Frey immediately. Some patients can not tolerate denture adhesive, these patients have been successfully treated with dental implants.
What are some problems associated with long time denture use?
Over time, as you wear your denture, you continually lose the bone structure that supports your soft tissues. Because your soft tissues actually make contact with your dentures, they too will start to recede with the bone; this will lead to discomfort and loss of function. Patients with extreme bone loss are no longer able to wear their dentures.
What treatment options are available to denture wearers to stop bone loss and increase function?
Patients with loose lower dentures due to bone loss are great candidates for dental implants since as little as two implant fixtures can hold the denture so that it no longer “floats” around causing soreness and difficulty with speaking, chewing and smiling. Of course, more implants would increase comfort and function.
How do dental implants stop bone loss?
Implants prevent bone loss by transmitting bite forces during the chewing process down into the jawbone. The jawbone reacts to the loading by increasing the bone density. Implants are well known for their ability to stop bone loss and restore facial skeletal structure while significantly improving nutrition.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Age is not a deterrent. If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant placement. If you are considering dental implants, you must have a thorough oral examination and a comprehensive review of your medical and dental history. If you are not ideal for implants, there are ways of improving the outcome, such as bone grafting. X-rays and study models may be taken as part of your thorough oral examination.
Why do I need full mouth x-rays?
It is very important for us to have a clear and full picture regarding the health and condition of your natural teeth and supporting bone structure for diagnosis and treatment. In order to provide a comprehensive examination, the specialists at Advanced Dental Designs require a current image of each individual tooth within the last year. This eliminates the guesswork of changes that may have happened since your previous full mouth x-ray. Once you are an established patient, Dr. Frey recommends a new full mouth x-ray every three to five years.
What are study models?
Study models are replications of your teeth and are important tools for prosthodontists during the course of your treatment. They allow us to evaluate your bite three-dimensionally and make measurements without you being present. We can then model the shape and structure of your new smile by creating a wax image as a three-dimensional representation of the proposed care. Dr. Frey does a significant amount of preparation for your treatment plan and dental care while you are not in our office by utilizing these study models.
What is an overdenture?
An overdenture is a removable denture that fits over a small number of remaining teeth or implants. The natural teeth must be prepared to provide stability and support for the denture. The implants must have an abutment or supporting bar to connect to the denture. Dr. Frey can determine if an overdenture would be suitable for you.
Is there another way I can have a tooth replaced other than a bridge?
Yes. Dental implants can provide artificial teeth that look natural and feel secure. Dental implants can also be used to attach full or partial dentures. Implants, however, are not an option for everyone. Because implants require surgery, patients must be in good health, have healthy gums, have adequate bone to support the implant and be committed to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you are considering implants, a thorough evaluation by Dr. Frey will help determine if you would be a good candidate.
What type of anesthesia is used for implant placement?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafts can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without sedation.
Do dental implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.
What is the recuperation time after implant placement?
Most patients are able to return to their usual activities 24 hours following surgical implant placement. Your gum tissue may be sore for a few days at the location of the implants but this is well tolerated.