My Blog

Posts for tag: Dental Implants

By DR. MARK RICHARDSON
December 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implants command attention among patients and oral health care providers. Gaining popularity over the past few decades, these Dental Implantsinnovative tooth replacements not only look and function as real teeth do, but they exercise and improve the quality and quantity of the jaw bone. In Kalamazoo, Dr. Mark Richardson uses dental implants to restore smiles damaged by tooth loss. Are implants right for you?

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a prosthetic device which helps people who have lost one or more teeth normalize their appearance and oral function. Whether you need one replacement tooth or an entire arch, dental implants are the best option because they feature titanium roots inserted right into the jaw bone. That's right--into the jaw bone. So, when you bite and chew on your new tooth, it keeps the bone strong and dense just as a natural tooth does.

Are dental implants right for you?

Millions of Americans have dental implants. Even if you are missing several or even all your teeth, implant-supported prosthetics, such as bridges or dentures, may restore your smile to full function and excellent aesthetics.

At his Kalamazoo office, Dr. Richardson will evaluate your oral health and your jaw bone density via three-dimensional scanning, X-rays and a visual examination. You need enough bone mass to secure your implant. If you are a good candidate, you will be referred to an oral surgeon to have the dental implant placed.

A dental implant has three parts: a titanium metal screw, a metal abutment and a custom-crafted porcelain crown. The titanium screw resides in the jaw bone, providing the rest of the artificial tooth the stability and durability it needs for day to day function.

Because the implant device is made of titanium, it bonds well with the surrounding bone. The bonding process is called osseointegration, and it practically guarantees the long-term retention of this amazing tooth replacement. The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness reports a 95 percent success rate for implant procedures.

Patience is key to implant success, too. Osseointegration cannot be rushed; so once the implant is inserted, you must wait several weeks to months for the site implant to bond with the jawbone. Once it has bonded, Dr. Richardson will complete your dental implant with a dental crown.

In addition, you increase the chances of implant success if:

  • You are a non-smoker
  • Brush twice a day and floss once a day at home according to American Dental Association guidelines
  • Get semi-annual check-ups and professional cleanings with Dr. Richardson and his team
  • Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth by wearing a mouth guard at night and practicing relaxation techniques

Learn more

Say "So long" to those worrisome and unsightly smile gaps. Say "Hello" to state-of-the-art dental implants and a great smile. For a personal consultation with Dr. Richardson, call his office staff today at (269) 343-6907.

By DR. MARK RICHARDSON
March 16, 2018
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: Dental Implants  

What can change your personal appearance, self-confidence, chewing, and biting more quickly than anything? Tooth loss can as empty dental implantsspaces cause bone and gum resorption and movement of any remaining teeth. A complete smile suddenly can be gapped and dysfunctional when a tooth is lost to trauma, periodontal disease or extensive decay and infection. However, the faster you replace that missing tooth with a modern dental implant, the more quickly your smile can normalize. Just ask Dr. Mark Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI about how dental implants can help your smile.

The typical dental implant

Actually, it's not so typical because its main structural component, titanium, has the ability to meld with human bone. So when the implant screw is placed into a patient's empty socket, the jaw bone immediately begins to osseointegrate, or fuse, with the device. Truly, the process is miraculous as it forms a strong bond capable of supporting the forces exerted on the metal alloy extension post and realistic porcelain crown. In fact, the more an implant is used, the sturdier it becomes.

The procedure

First, you must be cleared for the dental implant procedure. In his Kalamazoo office, Dr. Richardson will examine your teeth and gums and take X-rays to determine if you have adequate bone in your jaw to support the titanium implant. If you do, he'll refer you to an oral surgeon to place the dental implant.

Over the ensuing weeks, your jaw and implant will integrate, the healing process is critical to dental implant success and retention. When you return to Dr. Richardson, he safely can attach the extension post and customized porcelain crown.:

Living with a dental implant

Well, your smile gap (or gaps) will disappear. In its place will be a fully functional tooth that feels and looks incredibly real. Then, you'll be able to bite, chew, and speak perfectly without that unsightly space bothering you.

Next, you'll brush and floss your implant just as you do your natural teeth. Be sure to keep it free from plaque and tartar so the gums and bone stay healthy, and see Dr. Richardson twice a year. He'll check your oral health and the condition of the implant, and you'll receive your usual hygienic cleaning.

Versatile and durable

That describes this great tooth replacement. Dental implants serve as anchors for fixed bridgework and partial/full dentures, too. So if you have more than one smile gap or wear conventional dentures already, Dr. Richardson can work with you to complete your smile with implants. Most implant patients keep their prosthetics for the rest of their lives, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness.

Lose the gaps

And, improve your smile. Why not learn more about dental implants from a Kalamazoo, MI expert like Dr. Mark Richardson? Call his office today to arrange your individualized consultation: (269) 343-6907.

By DR. MARK RICHARDSON
May 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Are you ready to find out exactly what dental implants can do for your smile?dental implants

Tooth loss doesn’t have to define you and it doesn’t just have to be something you put up with. You deserve to have a healthy smile again and our Kalamazoo, MI, dentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, is here to make that possible. Find out more about dental implants and whether this is the best option for you.

A dental implant is often the best tooth replacement restoration because it actually mirrors a real tooth. While nothing is as good as maintaining your beautiful natural smile, getting dental implants in Kalamazoo can certainly come close. This is because the implant actually acts like tooth roots. It is placed into the jawbone, so it’s meant to function like a real tooth.

Here are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy with dental implants:

  • You’ll get a full smile back. This restoration is made to look just like a real tooth and no one will be able to pick out the dental implant from the rest of your natural teeth. The only person who will know that you have an artificial tooth is you.
  • You’ll regain confidence again. You’ll not only stop feeling self-conscious about smiling but you’ll also feel great about your appearance once again when you know you have a full smile to show off.
  • Chewing and speaking are two important components of everyday life that can be restored with implants. You don’t have to deal with tooth loss very long to discover that it can take a toll on your ability to speak properly, as well as how easy it is to chew food. Tooth loss can also make it impossible to get the proper nutrients you need since you may avoid certain hard-to-eat foods. With a dental implant that functions like a real tooth, you won't have to worry about that at all.
  • Once you lose one or more teeth, the jawbone is no longer getting sufficient stimulation it needs from the tooth roots to remain healthy. This leads to bone deterioration and weakness. By getting dental implants as soon as possible, you can prevent serious jawbone loss.

Are you ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for dental implants? If so, the next step is to call Dr. Mark Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI, to schedule your consultation. Let’s talk about dental implants!

By Mark E. Richardson, D.D.S.
June 30, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Bridges and dentures can replace a missing tooth, but they don't offer the benefits that dental implants do. Mark E. Richardson, D.D.S., your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist, is here to explain how dental implants work and the advantages of implants.

Implants replace tooth rootsDental Implants

Dental implants consist of three parts: the titanium implant, the crown and the abutment, a piece that connects the crown to the implant. The titanium implant looks like a screw and is placed in your jawbone. Over the course of several months, it bonds to your jawbone. Once bonding occurs, your Kalamazoo dentist connects the abutment to the crown, which will replace your tooth above the gum line.

Implants feel just like natural teeth

Just as your roots anchor your tooth in your jaw, your dental implant anchors the crown that sits on top of it. The titanium implant provides a stable foundation for the crown because it actually fuses to the bone in your jaw. When you bite into an apple with a dental implant, your new tooth won't move or slip. Over time, the fit of dentures can change, which can result in slippage and gum irritation when you bite and chew. Implants offer the ultimate in comfort because they feel like the tooth you lost.

Dental implants are a cost-effective solution

At first glance, dental implants may seem more expensive than bridges or dentures, but it's important to consider the lifetime costs of each option. Because implants bond to your jawbone, you'll probably never have to replace them. Bridges or dentures usually must be replaced several times throughout the years. When you compare the lifetime costs, you'll probably discover the implants are the better option.

Implants keep your jaw strong

Tooth loss can cause your jawbone to weaken and recede. Your tooth roots provide the constant stimulation your jaw needs to remain strong and healthy. When you lose a tooth, that area of your jawbone no longer receives stimulation. Dental implants offer the perfect way to restore your smile and keep your jawbone strong.

Dental implants are a confidence booster

When there's a noticeable gap in your smile, it's hard to feel confident about your appearance. Unfortunately, if you wait too long to replace your tooth, your other teeth may begin to overlap as they drift toward the gap. Soon, you'll not only have to worry about a missing tooth, but also about crooked teeth. Implants restore your confidence and help you keep nearby teeth straight.

Ready to replace missing teeth with dental implants? Call Mark E. Richardson, D.D.S., your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist, at (269) 343-6907 to make an appointment. Restore your smile with dental implants.

By Mark E. Richardson DDS
April 29, 2015
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: Dental Implants  

Dental ImplantsWhat's the best way to replace teeth lost to gum disease, decay, or trauma? The answer depends on many factors, but over the past few decades, more patients have been choosing dental implants to restore a gap in a smile.

Whether you need is to replace one tooth or several, the dental implant procedure works for patients who have healthy gums and enough jaw bone to support the metal screw or screws that form the foundation of a dental implant. In fact, the American Dental Association and other dental authorities state that dental implants have a more than 95 percent success rate and that implants prevent remaining teeth from drifting and jawbone from deteriorating.

Here's How a Dental Implant Works

Once your dentist has evaluated your mouth with a careful oral examination, x-rays and other imaging, he will begin the dental implant process. While this is truly a surgical procedure, nothing more than a local anesthetic is usually required.

Your oral surgeon will place a metal screw directly into the jaw bone. This screw is made of an amazingly biocompatible material, titanium. Bone accepts this metal so well that it actually grows around the screw in a process called osseointegration. During healing process, the implant becomes securely anchored to the jaw. The surgeon then attaches another metal piece, called an abutment, onto the implant.

In a subsequent visit, the dentist will glue a natural-looking and color-matched porcelain crown to the abutment. Together, the screw, abutment and crown form the finished implant. Adjusted for bite and well-matched for color, shape and size, this lifelike restoration looks, feels and functions just like a natural tooth. Implant patients enjoy normal speaking, chewing and a revitalized look to their smile. The jaw bone benefits from increased density and strength.

Who Can Get Dental Implants?

Again, healthy gums and sufficient bone are important, although there are procedures to heal diseased gums and to augment jaw bone that is too narrow or not adequately dense. In addition, implants may be used to support a multi-tooth bridgework or a full set of removable dentures.

People who are conscientious about dental hygiene make the best candidates for the implant procedure. While implants do not decay, gum disease is still a danger. Patients must floss daily and brush twice a day just as they would natural teeth. Routine cleanings and dental exams are a must as well.

Mark E. Richardson DDS

To return your smile to its healthiest and brightest best, call Dr. Mark E. Richardson in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area. He and his friendly staff would love to lend their expertise to helping you decide about dental implants. Call their family dentistry office today at 269-343-6907.