San Diego Prosthodontics

How Can Dental Implants Reduce Long-term Dental Costs?

Patients who experience tooth loss have a variety of treatment options available to them.   It is important to seek consultation with your prosthodontist to consider all of your options and weigh the long-term benefits s associated with each treatment plan.

Dental implants are the most advanced tooth replacement method that dentists can offer their patients. However, many patients are worried that the costs of implants are out of their price range. It is important to carefully evaluate the long term costs and benefits of implants when comparing them to the alternative treatments.

Initially, the cost for implants may be higher than other alternatives such as permanent bridges and partial or complete dentures. However, this gap narrows when you consider the possibility that tooth replacements other than dental implants, may have to be adjusted frequently and even replaced.

With proper care, dental implants are designed to last a long time. Once an implant has successfully integrated with the jawbone, the implant will last decades. Unlike alternatives such as permanent bridges and partial dentures, dental implants integrate into the jawbone and mimic the biological teeth roots that they are replacing. This process, called osseointegration, prevents further bone loss or resorption. By comparison, patients with bridges, partial or complete dentures, continue to lose bone and these devices will need to be adjusted, relined and possibly replaced as the jawbone continues to change shape. These alternative treatments other than dental implants do not have any component that is analogous to a tooth’s root, and the jaw continues to wear away.

In addition, dental implants have no impact on surrounding teeth. Because they are integrated directly into the jawbone, they stand alone and do not affect neighboring teeth. Alternatives like dental bridges require crowns to be placed on adjacent teeth for support. This process necessitates sacrificing healthy enamel on those teeth which can require additional treatment down the road. Also, further bone loss can ultimately cause a bridge to fail long-term.

Patients considering dental implants should not dismiss this treatment plan merely because of the upfront initial costs.   Be sure to weigh the long-term costs and benefits of dental implants.

To learn more about dental implant treatment, please contact our experienced prosthodontic dental team at SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS.  Dr. Harold Gulbransen, Dr. Scott Recksiedler and their qualified staff will be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your individualized treatment options.

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Are You a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

Are you a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

If you are missing one or more teeth you may be a candidate for a dental bridge. Not only is a gap between your teeth unsightly, but other problems may arise as a result of the missing teeth. Missing teeth is not just a cosmetic problem. Chewing and talking may be more difficult and the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth can shift, affecting your bite.

One solution is to fabricate a dental bridge which literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Dental bridges are designed to look, feel and function like the natural teeth they are replacing. Dental bridges are cemented to your natural teeth or to implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth are referred to as abutments and they serve to anchor the dental bridge. The replacement tooth is called a pontic and is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. Pontics can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.

 

Dental bridges:

  • Restore the ability to chew and speak properly
  • Restore your smile
  • Maintain the shape of your face, preventing lip or face collapse
  • Distribute the forces of your bite, alleviating stress on other teeth
  • Prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of position and into the gap

 

There are several types of dental bridges, each made with different materials and better suited for certain area of the mouth and for certain types of situations. A Fixed Dental Bridge is a non-removable prosthesis which is attached to remaining natural teeth.

While conventional fixed dental bridges are highly effective in restoring oral health to the mouth, they do require the natural teeth surrounding the gap to be trimmed down and capped with crowns that will support the bridge. Implant-supported bridges are an ideal alternative for some patients who have sufficient jawbone density.   Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, where they integrate into the bone and can be used to support the bridge without the need for alteration of natural, healthy teeth.

Every patient is unique. To learn if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge, with or without dental implants, schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler,  trained specialists and Prosthodontists. After evaluating your mouth, they will advise you of all the options available to you to restore your beautiful smile.

 

Implant-supported Fixed Dental Bridge

 

Conventional Dental Bridge

E-max All Ceramic Dental Crowns

E-max All Ceramic Dental Crowns

Significant new developments in all-ceramic materials have led to the introduction of the e.max dental crown. Previously, dental crowns made from the most natural appearing materials weren’t as durable as those made of less esthetic materials like gold or other precious metals.

However, e-max crowns are fabricated with the newest in cosmetic porcelain, a lithium disilicate glass ceramic material that is natural in appearance yet stong enough to withstand the pressures and demands of the human mouth.  Researchers at the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics at the New York University College of Dentistry (NYU) found that the lithium disilicate ceramic material used in e-max dental crowns was far less likely to chip or fracture when compared to veneered zirconia-based crowns.

E-max dental crowns are designed using efficient pressed ceramic technology.  They represent the ultimate in metal-free esthetics and durability.  Unlike traditional dental crowns, there are no copings or metal substrates.  This means that e.max crowns are more natural in appearance and do not have the telltale “black line” of the crown’s metal substructure at the gumline like traditional crowns do.  In effect, the patient benefits from the best of both worlds–the beauty of all-ceramic dental crowns without compromising strength or durability.

Dr. Harold Gulbransen and Dr. Scott Recksiedler, at SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS, are  proud to offer the latest techniques in the field of Crown and Bridge Dentistry.

Custom-Milled Dental Implant Abutments

Custom-Milled Dental Implant Abutments

Dental implants offer one of the most successful and predictable restorative options for patients missing one or more teeth. The relative ease of placement of dental implants coupled with advances in implant design have made this process largely routine.

However, due to the fact that implants require certain volumes of bone in order to integrate in the mouth, implant placement often presents challenges for the restorative dentist. Traditionally, angled or two-piece stock abutments were employed to allow the prosthodontist or restorative dentist to correct for less than ideal implant placement. These stock abutments often presented limitations because of the sizes and shapes available to the restorative dentist.

With the advent of custom-milled patient specific abutments that are computer designed and milled, prosthodontists and restorative dentists can offer patients unsurpassed accuracy and precision when restoring dental implants. Custom-milled abutments can compensate for offset or angled implant placement while maintaining an anatomical shape This process combines state-of-the-art 3D optical scanning, advanced computer software, and precise manufacturing methods to deliver patient-specific abutments needing minimal or no modification. Each abutment is unique to each patient and is designed to simulate the natural tooth shape it replaces. Custom abutments are fabricated to mimic the crown preparation of a natural tooth while following the existing gum and soft tissue contours.

CAD/CAM custom-milled implant abutments are available for a wide range of implant systems. These unique abutments can be made of titanium, titanium anodized to a gold color, or zirconia, a tooth-colored ceramic material that gives a more aesthetically pleasing result when restoring anterior teeth.

At SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS, Drs. Harold Gulbransen and Scott Recksiedler maintain a fully-equipped dental laboratory where he is able to offer the latest advances in implant restorations. Our two full-time dental laboratory technicians provide on-site support when restoring dental implants.

 

Time to reline your Dentures?

How do you know when it’s time to reline your dentures?

 

When a patient has new dentures made, they are custom fabricated, according to the shape of the individual’s mouth. This assures proper fit and retention of the dentures. Usually, a set of dentures will last from five to ten years. However, due to the changes in the shape of the mouth, bone loss in the jaw, and normal wear and tear of the denture, a denture reline is often necessary. Both complete and partial removable dentures should be evaluated periodically to see if they need relining.

If your dentures no longer fit as well as they once did you may need to have a procedure done to refit the base of the denture, called a “reline” procedure. This procedure will enable your denture to fit better, and tighter, than it has previously. This procedure can be done by your prosthodontist, a specialist in denture care and maintenance.

At SAN DIEGO PROSTHODONTICS, the office of Dr. Harold Gulbransen and Dr. Scott Recksiedler, we have a laboratory on site that routinely performs lab relining for complete and partial dentures. We prefer laboratory relines in our office because they are the best and longest lasting type of denture reline, offering the best comfort for the patient. Laboratory processed denture relines are superior to chair side relines because the lab reline is fabricated with a more durable, less porous material.

Laboratory quality relines are completed in house at our on-site dental laboratory at San Diego Prosthodontics. The denture relining procedure involves capturing an impression of the current shape of the patient’s gums, transferring this information into our in-house laboratory, where this impression is converted into new acrylic resin in the denture.

Having our own dental laboratory staffed with two full-time dental technicians also allows Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler to do most denture repairs while patients wait. We stock thousands of teeth and can match any shape, size and shade of tooth. Tooth replacements and cracked dentures can be repaired easily on site.

Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler assist patients in determining their optimal treatment plan. Their advanced training in Prosthodontics geared with extensive clinical experience and our on-site dental laboratory, gives our patients optimal results.

Please Click Here to contact our office if you have any questions or wish to make an appointment for a comprehensive dental evaluation.