Monday, September 12, 2016

Dental Implants and You

While the initial procedure takes
one to two hours, the healing
process following installation
lasts about three to six months
Dental implants make it possible to replace any cavity affected tooth. Thanks to this dental innovation, cavities need not be something set in stone. With dental implants, you have all the functionality of a natural tooth with none of the cavity. Dental implants offer reassurance and a glimmer of hope for those who suffer with un-repairable cavities.

To start, we begin by exploring the humble beginnings of the dental implant. It all started in 1952, when a surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Branemark was running research efforts to study blood flow in bone. In one of his experiments, Branemark placed a titanium chamber inside of a sample of bone. Much to his surprise, when Branemark later went to remove the titanium chamber, he found that it had fused with the bone. Today, this fusion process is known as osseointegration.

Titanium is a corrosive-resistant metal that can also be found in body piercings, sunscreen, and jewelry. It makes an ideal implant post as it is strong, non-toxic and as mentioned, capable of fusing with bone. One reason for its widely accepted application in bone is that it forms a protective oxide film in exposure to oxygen. The artificial crowns placed atop of these titanium rods can be made of anything from pure gold to porcelain.

In the initial visits regarding dental implants, a dental professional will inventory a part of the head known as the stomato-gnathic area. The word stomato refers to mouth, while the word gnathic refers to jaws. This assessment is done via x-rays and visual inspection by your dentist. The area is surveyed to determine bone strength and overall capacity for retaining implants. In addition to this, the dental professional will verify that no other infections are present which may compromise surgery.

Dental insurances typically cover less than ten percent of dental implant services. Health Insurance is a better bet for obtaining coverage for these costly procedures. To provide a ballpark estimate for costs involved, titanium rods are commonly listed at $400 to $950 while the abutment ( or middle part connecting rod and crown ) are about $250 to $500 dollars. Lastly, the crown is the most costly of all ranging anywhere from $1000 to $3000 dollars.

The services performed by your dentist are also a major factor in regards to the prices. You are paying not only for the implants themselves, but also for the trained dental professional who becomes familiar with your unique situation. Another factor playing into the price tag is dental implants require a wide range of resources outside of the dental clinic.
 
 
Dental implants require multiple dental professionals throughout the processes of manufacture, installation and maintenance. The first person, a dental laboratory technician, is responsible for the physical production of the crown. Next, a restorative dentist is responsible for the planning and setting in place of the crowns created in the laboratory. Lastly a periodontist, or oral surgeon, is responsible for the surgical installation of the titanium posts.

Dental implants require attentive care as the titanium posts can be affected by an infection unique to them, known as peri-implantitus. This condition can rapidly degenerate bone around the implant leading to the loss of bone and rod foundation. This makes meticulous dental hygiene all the more important. If the titanium rod is visible it should be addressed as soon as possible. Being able to see the titanium rod means the gum has receded and an infection could be underway. Scrupulous oral hygiene combined with routine dental appointments are vital for avoiding situations like this.

By and large, dental implants are a safe and effective choice when it comes to tooth replacement. Unlike similar dental procedures, implants need not depend on nearby teeth for foundation. In combination with this, crowns can be switched out when necessary, thus eliminating many of the hassles that come with maintaining natural teeth. With proper maintenance, dental implants have the capacity to last a lifetime.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Importance of Treating an Infected Tooth

When a cavity is left untreated, there is a risk that infection can take hold at anytime. If you have a cavity that has progressed into an infection, it is important to get to a doctor as soon as possible. An infection can go from being just a toothache, to a life threatening emergency before you know it.

Here we see the basic bodily
components of a generic bacterium
One question a lot of people likely ask themselves is, how do I know if a tooth is infected? Some signs to look out for are swelling of the face, sudden fatigue, and localized pain in areas such as the ears and sinuses. If you have any of these symptoms, it is essential that you get to a dentist or doctor as soon as possible.

When you see a dentist in regards to an infection, in most cases you will be put on a course of antibiotics. This mandates about a week before the tooth can dealt with. The logic for this being that, when a tooth is pulled, there is a ten percent risk of developing a systemic infection afterwards. In conjunction, there lies a twenty-five percent chance of progressed infection in those with an already compromised immune system1. The farther along that an infection advances, the greater its chance of making its way to the bloodstream; all the while causing a multitude of complications.

In the rare instance that a bacterial infection does reach the blood, it can cause a condition known as infective endocarditis. This condition occurs when bacteria make their way into the bloodstream and reach the heart. These bacteria build up in blood, forming a tiny mass in the valveways2. As a result, it is especially important that those with heart problems receive antibiotics when a systemic infection is suspect.

In September of 2011, a twenty-four year old Cincinnati man died of an infection almost exactly like infective endocarditis. For the sole reason of being without insurance, Kyle Willis had been putting off having his tooth taken care of. It was not until his face began to swell that Kyle admitted himself into the emergency room. For whatever reason, that night Kyle choose to buy the pain medications prescribed to him by his doctor rather than the antibiotics.

This would turn out to be a deadly decision for Kyle. As a result, the pain medication may have very well numbed his senses to the infection, allowing it to progress outside of his immediate awareness3. In this particular case, the bacteria reached Kyles bloodstream, where they traveled to his brain and caused it to fatally swell.

Another Cincinnati man would later lose his life to a similar infection. John Scneider of Mt. Orab Cincinnati was thirty-one years old when he checked into the hospital for what he believed was a sinus infection. It was here that the doctors discovered John actually had sepsis from an untreated cavity. In Johns case, the infection advanced to such a degree that it shut down some of his major organs4.This brings us to a condition that is very important to be aware of, known as sepsis.

Sepsis is an infection of the blood that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream. When bacteria are in the blood they release toxins into it by means of their routine metabolic processes. This triggers inflammation throughout the entire body, eventually causing the shutdown of multiple organ systems as happened to John. Some of the beginning signs of blood sepsis include low blood pressure, fast heart rate, confusion, and fever. Sepsis is a serious condition that can kill fast, because of this it is vital that you take care of an infected tooth as soon as possible.

In conclusion, it is important to recognize the signs of an tooth infection early. Tooth extractions may seem expensive, however they really are not. A simple extraction will set you back maybe sixty to eighty dollars, and that's without insurance. Without a doubt, routine extractions and antibiotics save peoples lives from deadly infections. Bacterial infections are no joke and can grasp hold of the body in a matter of days. Seek help when you are showing signs of a tooth infection, especially if it shows no signs of improvement.


Sources
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0049712/
2. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/antibiotics-before-procedures-beyond-the-basics
3. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/insurance-24-year-dies-toothache/story?id=14438171
4. http://www.wlwt.com/news/tooth-infection-causes-blood-infection-leads-to-mans-death/25868246