Posts for tag: dental implants

By Kenneth Woo, DDS and Associates
May 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants, offered by your dentists, Drs. Kenneth Woo, Ho Kai Wang, and Edmond Woo in Gaithersburg and Kensington, MD, offer Implantan innovative way to replace missing teeth. If you've been considering restoration options, you'll want to take a look at these four important implant benefits!


1. Implants feel like natural teeth

Bridges and dentures restore the visible parts of missing teeth, but even though they look like real teeth, they may not feel very real. Biting power can be reduced when you have one of these restorations and irritation to the gums can occur, particularly if the restorations don't fit well.

When you replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, your new tooth will feel like the one you lost. In fact, it will be rooted in your jawbone just like a natural tooth.

Placed into the jawbone by the dentists at our offices in Gaithersburg and Kensington, MD, dental implants are small titanium posts that act as synthetic tooth roots. In just a few months, implants bonds to the bone, creating a stable root for the dental crown that will be attached to the top of the implant. The dental crown replaces the part of your tooth visible above the gums.


2. Dental implants may save you money

Most people only think about immediate costs when considering tooth restoration options. Although dental implants may be a little more expensive initially, they can certainly save you money over your lifetime!

Bridges and dentures must be replaced every 10 to 15 years or so, while healthy implants may never need to be replaced over an entire lifetime! Although you'll need new dental crowns periodically due to wear-and-tear, the cost to replace a crown is much less than what you'll pay for new crowns and bridges.


3. Implants keep your jawbone strong

Jawbone resorption (shrinking) can occur after tooth loss because the bone is no longer stimulated by tooth roots. This problem can lead to the loss of other teeth and facial sagging. Conversely, dental implants constantly stimulate the jawbone and prevent resorption.


4. Dental implants offer an excellent alternative to removable full dentures

Dental implants aren't just for single missing teeth—they are are also a good choice if you've lost multiple, even all of, your teeth. Implant-supported dentures are attached to a metal framework or directly to implants. These dentures improve comfort and biting power, and never slip or slide when you bite!


Interested? Give us a call!

Fill the gaps in your smile with dental implants! Call your dentists, Drs. Kenneth Woo, Ho Kai Wang, and Edmond Woo, today by dialing (240) 683-3833 for Gaithersburg, and (301) 933-1833 for Kensington.

By Kenneth Woo, DDS and Associates
January 08, 2019
Category: Oral Health

Implant-supported fixed bridges are growing in popularity because they offer superior support to traditional bridges or dentures. They can also improve bone health thanks to the affinity between bone cells and the implants' titanium posts.

Even so, you'll still need to stay alert to the threat of periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection usually triggered by dental plaque could ultimately infect the underlying bone and cause it to deteriorate. As a result the implants could loosen and cause you to lose your bridgework.

To avoid this you'll need to be as diligent with removing plaque from around your implants as you would with natural teeth. The best means for doing this is to floss around each implant post between the bridgework and the natural gums.

This type of flossing is quite different than with natural teeth where you work the floss in between each tooth. With your bridgework you'll need to thread the floss between it and the gums with the help of a floss threader, a small handheld device with a loop on one end and a stiff flat edge on the other.

To use it you'll first pull off about 18" of dental floss and thread it through the loop. You'll then gently work the sharper end between the gums and bridge from the cheek side toward the tongue. Once through to the tongue side, you'll hold one end of the floss and pull the floss threader away with the other until the floss is now underneath the bridge.

You'll then loop each end of the floss around your fingers on each hand and work the floss up and down the sides of the nearest tooth or implant. You'll then release one hand from the floss and pull the floss out from beneath the bridge. Rethread it in the threader and move to the next section of the bridge and clean those implants.

You can also use other methods like specialized floss with stiffened ends for threading, an oral irrigator (or "water flosser") that emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen plaque, or an interproximal brush that can reach into narrow spaces. If you choose an interproximal brush, however, be sure it's not made with metal wire, which can scratch the implant and create microscopic crevices for plaque.

Use the method you and your dentist think best to keep your implants plaque-free. Doing so will help reduce your risk of a gum infection that could endanger your implant-supported bridgework.

If you would like more information on implant-supported bridges, 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 Kenneth Woo, DDS and Associates
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   smoking  

With a 95-plus percent survival rate after ten years, dental implants are one of the most durable replacement restorations available. Implants can potentially last much longer than less expensive options, which could make them a less costly choice in the long run.

But although a rare occurrence, implants can and do fail—often in the first few months. And tobacco smokers in particular make up a sizeable portion of these failures.

The reasons stem from smoking’s effect on oral health. Inhaled smoke can actually burn the outer skin layers in the mouth and eventually damage the salivary glands, which can decrease saliva production. Among its functions, saliva provides enzymes to fight disease; it also protects tooth enamel from damaging acid attacks. A chronic “dry mouth,” on the other hand, increases the risk of disease.

The chemical nicotine in tobacco also causes problems because it constricts blood vessels in the mouth and skin. The resulting reduced blood flow inhibits the delivery of antibodies to diseased or wounded areas, and so dramatically slows the healing process. As a result, smokers can take longer than non-smokers to recover from diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, or heal after surgery.

Both the higher disease risk and slower healing can impact an implant’s ultimate success. Implant durability depends on the gradual integration between bone and the implant’s titanium metal post that naturally occurs after placement. But this crucial process can be stymied if an infection resistant to healing arises—a primary reason why smokers experience twice the number of implant failures as non-smokers.

So, what should you do if you’re a smoker and wish to consider implants?

First, for both your general and oral health, try to quit smoking before you undergo implant surgery. At the very least, stop smoking a week before implant surgery and for two weeks after to lower your infection risk. And you can further reduce your chances for failure by practicing diligent daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

It’s possible to have a successful experience with implants even if you do smoke. But kicking the habit will definitely improve your odds.

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 “Dental Implants & Smoking.”

By Kenneth Woo, DDS and Associates
August 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantsSmile gaps cause a number of problems. Most obvious are the facial changes and poor self-image caused by missing teeth. Fortunately, Dr. Kenneth Woo, Dr. Edmond Woo, and Dr. Ho Kai Wang span gaps with state-of-the-art dental implants--artificial teeth custom-designed to look and operate just like real teeth. Plus, dental implants from these skilled Gaithersburg and Kensington, MD, dentists improve jaw bone density and size every time you bite and chew.

A superior choice

When you lose a tooth in an accident or suffer extensive decay or severe gum disease, you have many choices to replace it. Partial dentures or fixed bridgework are the conventional methods. However, they pose problems of extensive wear on teeth adjoining the dental appliance, they need replacement after 10 years and they simply set on top of your gums.

Dental implants are different from and superior to traditional prosthetics because implants reside in the jaw bone below the gum line. Through what scientists call osseointegration, implants preserve and even improve bone quality, avoiding the bone, gum, and facial changes associated with tooth loss.

Dental implants boast a 40- to 50-year lifespan, states the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness, making them a wise, long-term option--even for extensive tooth loss. Dental implants from your Gaithersburg and Kensington dentist can support bridges, partials, and full dentures, too.

Who can get implants?

Most healthy adults and teens whose jaws have finished growing can receive implants. A detailed dental examination and X-rays will tell if you have sufficient bone in your jaw to receive the titanium implant devices. Additionally, non-smokers and individuals who practice careful brushing and flossing habits are great candidates.

The procedure itself takes place in two stages:

  1. Implant insertion with the benefit of local anesthetic
  2. Bonding of a metal abutment and porcelain crown

Between the two stages, your dentist leaves adequate time for the implant to integrate with the jaw bone, creating a firm foundation for the rest of the appliance.

Gaps? What gaps?

Make them disappear, and enjoy wonderful oral health, function, and aesthetics, too. Explore dental implants with Dr. Kenneth Woo and his professional associates. Contact us today for a personal consultation. We have two area offices. In Gaithersburg, phone (240) 683-3833, and in Kensington, call (301) 933-1833.
By Kenneth Woo, DDS and Associates
July 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   diabetes  

One of the best and most successful tooth replacement choices available is the dental implant. No other restorative method is as similar in both form and function to a real tooth as an implant; and with a success rate of 95-plus percent after ten years, it’s one of the most durable.

But there can be extenuating circumstances that make obtaining an implant difficult or sometimes impossible. One possible problematic situation is the systemic disease diabetes.

Diabetes is a hormonal condition in which the body is unable to sufficiently regulate the amount of glucose (a basic sugar that provides energy to the body’s cells) within the blood stream. Normally, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin to reduce excess glucose. But diabetes interferes with this insulin production: if you have Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas has stopped producing insulin altogether; if you have the more common Type 2, the body doesn’t produce adequate insulin or it doesn’t respond sufficiently to the insulin produced.

Over time diabetes can affect other areas of health, especially wound healing. Because the condition gradually causes blood vessels to narrow and stiffen, the normal inflammatory response to disease or trauma can become prolonged. This in turn slows the rate of wound healing.

Slow wound healing can have a bearing on the recovery period just after implant surgery, especially the necessary integration process that takes place between the bone and the titanium metal implant that provides its signature strength. If that process is impeded by slow wound healing caused by diabetes, the risk increases dramatically for implant failure.

That’s the worst case scenario if you have diabetes, but only if your condition is out of control. If, however, you have your blood sugar levels well regulated through medication, diet and exercise, then your chances for implant success could easily be on par with someone without diabetes.

So if you’re diabetic and are considering dental implants for missing teeth, it’s important to discuss the possibility of obtaining them with both your dentist and the physician caring for your diabetes. With your overall healthcare team working together, there’s no reason why diabetes should stop you from enjoying this premiere restoration for missing teeth.

If you would like more information on obtaining 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 “Dental Implants & Diabetes.”