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Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Okay, perhaps “everything” is a bit of an exaggeration—but we do have the answers to some essential questions if you’re thinking about replacing a missing tooth with an implant.

The construction of dental implants is simple and elegant. Most often, a titanium cylinder or screw is implanted into the jawbone. After several months, the implant becomes fused with the bone, a process called “osseointegration.” An abutment can then be secured inside the implant, extending above the gum line, and a crown is securely attached to this abutment. The result? A tooth that looks and functions just like a natural tooth.

Unlike dentures and partial bridges, which may need to be replaced every five to seven years, an implant can last a lifetime. The material usually recommended for implants is titanium, a metal that integrates well with human bone and is resistant to corrosion, although non-metallic alternatives are also available. Over a period of months, the implant fuses into the bone. The result is a base that is as strong and stable as your natural root.

Because the stability and longevity of an implant depend on its fusion with the bone surrounding it, your jawbone must have healthy density and the necessary depth and width to support an implant. When we lose a tooth, the bone underneath begins eroding as well. The longer you wait to replace a tooth, the more the jawbone beneath it shrinks. Advanced gum disease can also lead to bone loss.

Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis can often restore jawbone strength and density with a procedure known as bone grafting. This is a type of surgery which uses your own bone, a synthetic grafting material, or a processed bone grafting material to repair and replace damaged bone. After three to four months of healing, the jawbone is generally strong and dense enough to accept an implant.

The procedure takes place under local anesthesia. Sedation dentistry is also an option if you feel it would make your experience more comfortable. Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis will make a careful incision in the gum tissue. A drill will be used to create a small opening for the implant within your bone, and the implant will be gently positioned. A healing cap will be placed over the implant which will extend through the gum tissue, or the site will be closed and a healing cap applied in a second procedure after the bone heals.  The entire process takes about an hour for a single implant, and you will be given careful and detailed instructions for aftercare.

Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, which takes several months, you are ready for restorative work. The dentist you choose to do the restoration will oversee the fabrication of a crown designed to match your natural teeth and to fit perfectly in the space left by your missing tooth. An abutment piece will be fitted into the implant, and the crown will be attached to the abutment. The result will be a stable, anchored tooth that functions and feels like a natural tooth.

Oral surgeons like Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis are specialists. They have a minimum of four years of surgical education and training in a hospital-based residency program. They train with medical residents in fields of study such as general surgery, anesthesiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, and otolaryngology (the study of the ear, nose, and throat).

Because oral and maxillofacial education and training are focused on the bone, muscles, skin, and nerves of the face, mouth, and jaw, an oral surgeon is the best choice for your implant surgery and, in fact, any kind of oral surgery.

We gave it a try, but we probably haven’t answered “everything” you’d like to learn before deciding on a dental implant. But there is someone who has the knowledge and experience to assess whether you are a suitable candidate for an implant procedure and to perform your implant surgery safely, comfortably, and successfully: Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis. Make an appointment at our Bronxville office today with someone who really does know everything you need to know about dental implants!

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Anemia and Your Oral Health

One of the most common clues that you might have anemia is found in your smile. If you’ve noticed that your gums are suddenly paler than they used to be, it could be a sign that you’re anemic. What does this mean for your general health—and your oral health?

There are several types of anemia, which have can be caused by different medical conditions and which can cause different symptoms. The most common form of anemia, and one of the most easily treated, is iron-deficiency anemia.

Iron is essential to our health. Why? It’s all about the red blood cells. First, some biology.

Every cell in your body needs energy to live and to function. Cells get this energy from the foods we eat, which are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose molecules are transported by our blood cells to reach all parts of the body. But that’s only the first step.

Energy is released into the cells when the chemical bonds holding glucose molecules together are broken. And this requires oxygen. Once inside our cells, glucose and oxygen react, breaking the chemical bonds of the glucose molecules, reconfiguring their atoms to create carbon dioxide and water byproducts—and releasing energy into a form your cells can use.

So, how do we move this oxygen from our lungs to our cells to start the process? That would be our red blood cells again. But this process can’t happen without adequate iron. More biology!

Red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin, and hemoglobin contains iron. In fact, well over half of the iron in our body is found in our red bloods cells. And here’s the key to iron’s importance: iron attracts oxygen molecules.

Hemoglobin picks up oxygen in our lungs and delivers it throughout the body, where it becomes glucose’s essential partner in fueling our cells. Without enough iron, your body won’t be able to create the red blood cells it needs so that all of your cells, tissues, and organs can get the oxygen they need to function efficiently.

When might you suspect that you’re anemic? Your gums, the lining of the mouth, the inside of your lower eyelids, and your skin can take on a paler hue—the classic sign of anemia. But other symptoms which you might not necessarily associate with anemia are also common, including:

And because anemia affects the whole body, your oral health isn’t immune. It’s not just a matter of pale gums. Iron deficiencies can cause:

Iron-deficiency anemia can have several causes, among them insufficient iron in the diet, medical conditions which cause bleeding (such as ulcers), heavy menstruation, pregnancy, or growth spurts in children and teenagers. Treatment will depend on the cause of your anemia. It might be as simple as a change in diet or an iron supplement, or it might require further treatment options. Do consult with Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis before taking iron supplements, as too much iron causes iron toxicity, which can be very dangerous.

If Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis and our team suggest that you might be anemic, or if you notice changes you think might be caused by anemia, see your physician for a simple blood test. Besides iron-deficiency anemia, there are other forms of anemia and other diseases which can mimic these symptoms, so it’s important to get a doctor’s diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with anemia, let our Bronxville dental team know.

One last “if”: If you do have iron-deficiency anemia, don’t delay treatment. The sooner your red bloods cells are back at their peak, the sooner you—and your gums—will be back in the pink!

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Why Adults Are Choosing Invisalign®

These days, it’s become more common to see adults at our office getting their teeth straightened with Invisalign clear aligners . . . that is, if you can see them! Whether they are seeking to overcome the stigma that “braces are just for kids,” or simply want straighter teeth without a mouth full of metal, Invisalign is an effective and easy solution.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, from 1994 to 2010 the number of adults 18 and older who request braces increased by 58 percent: from 680,000 to 1.1 million a year. Many adults enjoy how discreet the aligners are and that the user doesn’t need to avoid any foods or make dietary changes the way you would with traditional braces. Also, each treatment is unique to the patient.

With an Invisalign treatment, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits over traditional braces:

If you’re interested in Invisalign as a treatment option, please let Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis know. We’d be happy to help you on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile!

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Thanks to Invisalign®, you can have a perfect smile without metal wires or brackets!

When it comes to straightening your smile, our team at Bronxville Dental Care knows that having a mouth full of metal braces may not be your idea of fun. Luckily for you, Dr. Jenny A. Kanganis can offer a cosmetic alternative: Invisalign!

Using a series of clear, comfortable, and completely customized aligners, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted without traditional braces.

Since Invisalign aligners are discreet, they’re hardly noticeable when you speak and smile, and because they’re removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want. Just remember to brush and floss before putting your aligners back in! Treatment with Invisalign is just as effective as with metal braces, and the results are just as amazing!

If you want to know more about Invisalign, contact our Bronxville office to schedule an appointment.

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