ADVANCED DENTISTRY

Dental Implants

For patients looking for a permanent solution for missing teeth other than dentures, we encourage you to learn more about dental implants in Bristol, VA and Blountville, TN. Dental implants not only replace one or more teeth, but they also provide stability and strength to other dental appliances. Typically implants are made from titanium metal and serve as artificial tooth roots. They can be placed during dental surgery into the jaws (upper or lower) and look extremely natural. These types of dental restorations are strong, durable, and stable.  They can last decades, although they may occasionally require re-tightening or replacement because of normal “wear and tear.”
There are numerous reasons why a patient may wish to consider dental implants:
* Allows you to replace a single tooth without affecting the surrounding teeth
* Can improve joint or bite problems that can often result in shifting teeth after a tooth loss
* Helps restore patient confidence in their smile
* Restores the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and digest efficiently
* Can enhance or restore facial tissues
* Support existing dentures or bridges and provides a more comfortable and secure fit
The process of installing dental implants happens over several months and requires a series of visits to the dental office. Step one is for the dentist to take x-rays and dental molds of the jaws and teeth. These will be used to determine if there is enough space, gum tissue, and bone for the placement of dental implants. Once it’s determined that there is, the surgery process begins by numbing the area, and the implant is surgically placed into the bone. It is then left to heal and integrate into the mouth for a period of approximately six months. There are various types of implants and depending on the type, some patients may require a second surgery to place a post or abutment that will later be used to hold the false tooth or teeth in place. Some patients can have this done during the initial surgery while others require it to be a two-step process.
It can take weeks several weeks for the dental implants to heal and for the laboratory to fabricate the new false teeth.  Once ready, there may be several fittings over a period of time, typically a month or two, to make sure the fit is just right. Once the implants are successfully healed and ready for restoration, the artificial teeth are attached to the implant and the process is finished.

Sedation Dentistry

Many people have fear and anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist, so they avoid going altogether. However these fears can keep a patient from getting much needed dental work completed and it can keep them from scheduling their dental visits for even routine maintenance and cleaning. This can ultimately affect the patient’s overall oral health when they do not regularly consult with a dental professional. One solution that would provide relief for so many is sedation dentistry.  This provides a way for a trip to the dentist to no longer be scary or uncomfortable.
Sedation dentistry in Bristol, VA and Blountville, TN, is the use of a sedative which can allow a patient to relax and remove that fear and anxiety, and instead have a pleasurable experience at the dentist. Sedation can be used for any type of dental work including routine cleanings, to common procedures such as veneers, fillings, root canals, or even extensive cosmetic work.
It’s important to understand that sedation dentistry does not involve putting a patient under, meaning  that the patient will be conscious the whole time. The oral sedation medication that we use will help reduce the patient’s anxiety level and allow the patient to relax to the point where he or she will be in a state that is similar to sleep.  This way the patient will feel no anxiety during the treatment.  They will be completely relaxed.  We also offer a more moderate sedation solution via nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas), which will help the patient achieve complete relaxation.  Local anesthetic is also administered so that there will be no physical pain. These options provide a solution for patients with dental anxiety so that they can get the care they need.

Dentures

Dentures are removable dental appliances used for replacing missing teeth and even surrounding gum tissues. They are fabricated to look just like your natural teeth but can be made to look even better while still remaining natural!
Two varieties of dentures are available at our practice, including partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are utilized when natural teeth remain, complete dentures are best when all the teeth in the arch are missing. Partial dentures are great for filling the spaces left behind by missing teeth and preventing the other teeth from shifting out of place.
A complete denture may include an immediate denture or a conventional denture. Immediate dentures are made well in advance and are placed into the mouth following the surgical removal of natural teeth. This eliminates the time period where patients will be without teeth during the healing process as is done with a conventional denture. This time period can be up to six weeks. Tissues and bone may shrink and heal, resulting in the need for adjustments. Both types of dentures are extremely durable and can last many years with proper care and regular adjustments and repairs as necessary.
Patients may consider dentures to replace one or more teeth in the dental arch. They can be used to enhance the smile, improve facial tissues, and improve the efficiency of digestion, speech, and chewing.
The process of obtaining dentures requires many appointments over several weeks. Molds and measurements are taken by the dentist to create a custom denture. Try-in appointments may be scheduled to check the color, shape, and fit. At the final appointment, the dentist adjusts the dentures precisely to ensure a comfortable and natural fit.
After patients obtain dentures, it is completely normal to experience soreness, increased saliva flow, and chewing and speech difficulties. However, as the tissues and muscles adjust to the dentures, this will subside.

Bone Grafting

When it comes to dental restorations such as dental implants and bridge work, many patients may require the assistance of bone grafting to prepare the jaw. The success of a restoration can greatly depend on the width, height, and depth of the jawbone at the site the implant will be placed. Jawbones that have sustained significant damage or have experienced loss and recession can make a poor foundation for the placement of implants. To ensure a restoration surgery is successful, a dentist may suggest bone grafting.
There are several reasons why a patient may need bone grafting. The first is the lasting effects of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease damages the bone of the jaw that supports the natural teeth and restorations. When left untreated, it can become progressively worse and cause teeth to become unstable and loose. Extraction can also result in a loss of 40-60% of the bone over the next three years. This is typically referred to as a bone defect. Injuries and infections can also cause recession of the bone, including physical impact such as a blow to the jaw.
Bone grafting can address bone defects and increase the foundation of the smile. It can improve jaw stabilization, during which the foundation is repaired for the placement of a dental implant, correcting deformities during restructuring. Preservation of the bone is also important when patients have experienced a tooth extraction or have had a severe case of periodontal disease.
To determine if bone grafting is necessary, the dentist will perform an oral evaluation. This may include a CAT scan or X-rays to take a look at the existing bone. The dentist measures the depth and width and determines the bone’s overall condition. Depending on the results of this examination, the dentist may even anesthetize the patient and explore beneath the gum tissue to see what is available for the placement of restorations.

Bone grafting involves several months. The process involves the harvesting of bone from the patient’s own body or with the assistance of a bone bank. This harvested bone is then added to the affected site. During osseointegration, the bone fuses together to stimulate cell growth and provide firm adhesion. This improves bone mass and growth to prepare the smile for the placement of restorations such as dental implants.Bone grafting is often closely associated with dental restorations, such as bridge-work and dental implants. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the foundation is unstable and the implant(s) cannot be supported. This is when bone grafting is usually recommended for the ensuing restoration.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Patients may consider the benefits of full mouth reconstruction. This is the use of several methods of dentistry to achieve a more beautiful smile that functions well. This may combine services such as crowns, veneers, and dental bonding to achieve the desired smile. Reconstruction of the smile can also reduce tension in the jaw and neck and address conditions such as TMJ and TMD.

CEREC Same Day Crowns

At our dental practice, we understand that your oral health and wellness is important to you. But we also understand that your time and energy is equally important in today’s fast-paced society. Our office aims to provide new and existing patients with dental crowns and other restorations in the shortest time possible. This is why we have invested in amazing equipment that allows us to achieve laboratory-quality restorations in just one appointment. We have access to the CEREC dental device.
CEREC is a special device used to mill out restorations right in our office during a same-day appointment. This is done using CAD/Cam technology, also known as “computer-aided design” and “computer-aided manufacturing.” This technology allows us to fabricate a dental crown in approximately 20 minutes while patients wait.
Instead of utilizing a temporary crown that is worn for weeks while waiting for a permanent restoration, patients can rest in the dental chair while we complete the crown from start to finish. The tooth is prepared, scanned by the computer, and the restoration is made immediately. The crown is bonded in place before the anesthesia wears off, and patients can leave the dental office without having to make a future appointment for finishing their procedure.

Periodontics

Periodontal disease, more commonly called gum disease, is a serious condition wherein your gums and the bone around your teeth become infected. This infection is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar. The plaque and tartar then start to eat away at the gums and bone in your mouth, eventually causing irreversible damage.
This all begins with the formation of plaque. When you eat food, particularly foods high in sugar or starch, it mixes with your saliva and can be a feeding ground for bacterial plaque.  If you are not brushing and flossing regularly to remove this plaque, it continues to grow and it accumulates around the gum line. This will cause your gums to be inflamed, a condition known as gingivitis. Eventually, if not removed or treated, bone loss starts to occur.  This is known as periodontitis. The most serious ramifications of this in the long term is tooth loss. This is an irreversible result that you will want to avoid.
You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene and brushing and flossing daily.  You should be visiting your dentist regularly, ideally every 6 months (or more often if you already have gum disease or other dental issues).  Professional cleanings can help remove the plaque and regular brushing and flossing can’t.  They can get to places that a toothbrush cannot.
How do you know if you have gum disease?  A few signs and symptoms are:
* Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
* Gums that are receding from teeth
* Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
* Loose teeth
* Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
Schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Bristol, VA immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is the state-of-the-art technique for the comprehensive control of pain and anxiety in dentistry. Other sedative techniques such as nitrous oxide are commonly used in most dental offices. However, IV sedation gives superior results that make it the method of choice for the highly fearful dental patient. With this type of sedation, medications are administered directly into the blood stream. The greatest advantage of IV Sedation is that if someone is not sedated enough, the doctor can administer more medication and the effects are instantaneous. Because of the kinds of drugs used and the method of their delivery, IV sedation allows us to control their effects precisely.
This dental sedation option is not used commonly in most dental offices because of the specialized advanced training required and the requirements for certification by the State Board of Dentistry. The drugs used for IV Sedation are more effective than the same drugs taken orally. There is a more profound amnesia associated with this technique. With this level of sedation, you still retain your protective reflexes and are able to follow verbal instructions.
Our offices are highly trained and qualified to administer IV sedation so fearful patients are able to receive the dental treatment that they deserve. If your phobia is keeping you from visiting the dentist, contact our Bristol VA or Blountville TN office in order to schedule your consultation to learn more about this dental option today.

Sleep Apnea Appliances

Are you looking for a sleep apnea specialist? Are you or your partner struggling to get a good, full night’s rest because of your snoring or restlessness? Mountain Empire Dental offers a sleep apnea treatment that can help you and those around you!

Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially life-threatening medical disorder that causes your body to stop breathing during sleep. The muscles in your throat start to relax and your tongue may fall back and block the airways as you sleep. This reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to all of your organs, including your heart and brain.

To recognize if you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea, the most common symptom that people suffer from is loud snoring. You may also stop breathing for short periods of time. If your breathing pauses from sleep, your body will briefly wake up, but you’ll remain unaware. This can happen throughout the entire night, every night, and you may wake up feeling unrefreshed because there hasn’t been enough oxygen reaching your brain.

In addition to the snoring and exhaustion, sleep apnea also has the ability to cause memory loss, morning headaches, depression, irritability, and concentration issues. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a number of overall health issues, including stroke, heart attack, or worse!

Mountain Empire Dental offers sleep apnea appliances for patients who are suffering from sleep apnea or sleep-related breathing issues. This appliance is typically worn when you’re sleeping to help control your breathing patterns throughout the night.

To learn more about our available sleep apnea appliances, contact our Bristol or Blountville offices and schedule a consultation today!

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