Find out how our Elkhart, IN, family dentist can treat your tooth loss.
Are you an adult who is missing one or more teeth? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here in Elkhart, IN, our dentist Dr. Sangyoung Lee offers many options for you to fill those gaps in your smile and to improve your oral health. Of course, you may have heard about dental implants, or artificial tooth roots, and how they could replace your missing tooth or teeth for the rest of your life. Let’s tell you a little bit about how implants work.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is designed to replace the roots of your missing tooth. You might not realize this but tooth roots are very important not just for the health of the tooth but also for your jawbone. After all, every once of your tooth’s roots are stimulating the jawbone to produce new bone cells all the time. When you lose a tooth you lose that stimulation and the jawbone starts to deteriorate. The only way to prevent bone loss is to replace your missing tooth roots with a dental implant.
Of course, the implant itself doesn’t look anything like real tooth roots (as it’s actually a small post or screw often made from titanium), but it can take the place of tooth roots.
How does an implant work?
In order to replace the tooth roots, the implant will need to be placed into the jawbone right where the missing tooth used to be. In order to do this, our Elkhart restorative dentist will need to perform a minor procedure to open up the gums and make a small hole in the jawbone where the implant will go.
It can take several months for the jawbone and gums to fully heal, but as they do they will grow around and fuse together with the implant. This is due to the fact that the implant is made from a biocompatible metal, so the mouth treats the implant just like a natural part of the body. Once the jawbone and implant become one, you will have a lifelong foundation from which to support a false tooth.
After this fusion between the jawbone and implant are complete, we will need to place a structure called an abutment over the implant. An abutment’s sole purpose is to connect the implant (the part that lies under the gums and isn’t visible) with the dental crown (the part you will see). In order to do this, we will have to make a small incision in the gums to place the abutment on top of the implant. After several more weeks of healing, it’s now time to cement the crown over the abutment to finalize your treatment.
Missing several or all of your teeth? No problem. We can place several implants along the arches of the jaws to support a dental bridge or dentures.
If you are dealing with tooth loss in Elkhart, IN, and want to find out whether dental implants are the right option for replacing your missing teeth then call Elkhart Dental Center today to schedule a consultation.
What your dentist in Elkhart wants you to know
Regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist are a vital part of keeping your smile healthy and beautiful, but you need to be taking care of your smile at home too. Fortunately, what you do at home to protect your smile doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time out of your day. Dr. Sangyoung Lee at Elkhart Dental Center in Elkhart, IN, wants to share the facts about how to enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
So, what does it take to keep good oral hygiene habits? To keep your smile healthy and beautiful, you should be:
Brushing after each meal and before you go to bed; always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums and fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel. Use a gentle, circular motion to clean all the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. Be gentle! It doesn’t take a lot of pressure to thoroughly clean your teeth. You can also use a sonic or electric toothbrush if you prefer.
Flossing at least once each day; you can use either waxed or unwaxed floss, whichever you prefer. Wrap the floss around the widest part of each tooth as you go down in between the teeth. The wrapping technique helps to keep the floss next to the tooth surface for more thorough cleaning. You can also use floss picks if you have arthritis or dexterity issues. Remember that flossing is vitally important because it is the only way to clean in between your teeth.
The goal of keeping good oral hygiene habits is to remove the plaque that clings to your teeth as thoroughly and frequently as you can. Plaque contains millions of bacteria that produce toxins. These toxins can lead to tooth decay, gum, and periodontal disease, destroying your smile.
Add regular visits to your dentist once each year, and professional dental cleaning appointments every six months, and your good oral hygiene program is complete. Your dentist and dental hygienist can help you enjoy a healthy smile for life.
Find out more about good oral hygiene habits and other dental topics by calling Dr. Lee at Elkhart Dental Center in Elkhart, IN. Call today and save your smile!
Are you interested in Invisalign from your Elkhart dentist?
Invisalign are clear aligners made using 3-D computer imaging technology. They're removable and comfortable aligners made to straight teeth. They're also transparent, which is great for adults and teenagers.
Your Elkhart, IN, dentist creates custom aligners using the specialized computer software. The clear aligners snuggle over your teeth and function just like traditional braces. They apply a gentle force on teeth to move them into their proper position.
The clear plastic aligners are made of polyurethane plastic, which means they're flexible and great for straightening teeth discreetly.
The whole procedure takes about 9 to 15 months. You switch out the custom aligner trays with another tray every 2 weeks and wear them for about 20 to 22 hours a day. Make sure you remove the clear aligners when you eat and rinse them with lukewarm water. Some people like to take their clear aligners off for special events, but that's unnecessary since they're transparent.
Advantages of Invisalign:
There are several advantages to using Invisalign. They don't hinder you from having a healthy oral regimen because Invisalign is a removable appliance. You'll clean your teeth more thoroughly than if you had traditional metal braces. The plastic also makes them comfortable; Invisalign clear aligners are thin and flexible, so they don't irritate the soft tissue in your mouth, unlike metal brackets or wires. The transparent braces are discreet and used to protect teeth from bruxism, teeth-grinding.
With Invisalign, you can eat whatever you want. Traditional braces prevent eating foods, like taffy, or corn, but that's not an issue with Invisalign. You can remove the trays so nothing gets stuck in them.
You'll need to visit your dentist once every six weeks to ensure the procedure is going as planned. If you have any questions or concerns about Invisalign, you can call your Elkhart, IN, dentist at (574) 522-0156.
Professional teeth whitening could give you the radiant smile you’ve been craving.
While using whitening toothpastes and simple commercial whitening kits that you find at your local drugstore can certainly prevent new dental stains from forming, if you are dealing with teeth that are yellow and dull then chances are good that you want results you can truly see. A vibrant smile can make you feel more confident and our Elkhart, IN, family dentist Dr. Sangyoung Lee is here to make that possible.
While not brushing or flossing regularly can certainly put a damper on your smile, the medications you use, the foods and drinks you consume and even the effects of natural aging can lead to stains and yellowing. When this happens you want a whitening product that actually works. Luckily, professional teeth whitening is the safest way to get your smile whiter and to say goodbye to stains. So, why choose professional teeth whitening from our Elkhart, IN, cosmetic dentist rather than whitening your teeth yourself? That’s easy,
A Stronger Treatment
While you can certainly us at-home whitening kits you won’t see the same results that you will with professional teeth whitening. That’s because the whitening gel we use contains the highest concentration of hydrogen peroxide, meaning that we don’t have to leave the product on nearly as long as at-home whitening gels to achieve amazing results.
Is your wedding coming up? Do you have a serious job interview? Or maybe you just want to give your appearance a spruce. Whatever is going on, there are many reasons to choose professional teeth whitening. It can take weeks of continuous use to see results from at-home whitening kits, but with our whitening system, we can get teeth several shades whiter in approximately one hour.
When you whiten from home you don’t always know if you are doing it right. Plus, you can just grab a whitening kit off the shelf without ever needing to come in for a consultation to make sure whitening is right for you. Some people experience tooth sensitivity because of whitening, and while it’s much harder to monitor and control this problem from home, we can certainly ensure that any sensitivity is kept to a minimum.
If you are ready to find out whether your smile could benefit from getting professional teeth whitening in Elkhart, IN, then it’s time you called Elkhart Dental Center to schedule a consultation with us.
Need a family dentist? Your Elkhart, IN, family dentist, Dr. Sangyoung Lee, is here to help.
Visiting your dentist for a biannual dental appointment is important to maintain your oral health. If you like eating hard candies and sugary food, well then opting for fruits and vegetables is a good idea to avoid cavities. Also, your doctor will teach you how to take care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day is a must. Make sure you spend 2 full minutes brushing your teeth and tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle to ensure you remove as much food debris as possible. Flossing your teeth before bed will also help preserve your natural teeth!
What can your family dentist do for you?
Here are some procedures and treatments your family dentist can provide you with:
- Crowns: A dental crown is a porcelain cap that covers a tooth. When your tooth is severely decayed and large portions of it are removed, your Elkhart family dentist uses a dental crown to help preserve what remains of your natural tooth. The crown will add support to your tooth and will conceal any cracks, dents, and chips.
- Bridges: Adults, ages 20 to 64, have around 3 decayed or missing permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Bridges are custom-made oral appliances that can conceal dental gaps, and help restore proper bite and chewing functions. There are different types of bridges:
- Fillings and Dental Bonding: In order to prepare your teeth for the composite, your family dentist will apply an etching solution to the surface of your tooth, then the composite resin that matches the color of your teeth is applied and molded to the right shape. The last step consists of the composite being hardened in place with a curing light.
For more information about your family dentist, you should contact your Elkhart, IN, family dentist, Dr. Lee, today!
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