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12 May 2015

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

If you have lost teeth, either to tooth decay, age, or unforeseen accident, you may be considering dental implants. Implants are a great alternative to traditional dentures and bridges. Unlike other tooth replacement methods, they remain in your mouth permanently. It’s the closest you can come to having your real teeth back!

These works especially well because the base of the implant is a titanium screw. Medical-grade titanium alloys are fully biocompatible. This means that, in a healthy person, the risk of rejection or infection is practically non-existent. Titanium also allows for osseointegration, i.e. the bone around it conforms to the shape of the titanium without soft tissue in between, making the implant stable.

However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. When you book an appointment with your dentist in Ottawa, they may evaluate your candidacy for the treatment based on any of the following factors.

Cancers and Cancer Treatments

Leukemia, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy all increase the risk associated with dental implants. Leukemia is a cancer that begins in the bone marrow and creates abnormal white blood cells, interfering with the body’s ability to heal itself or fight infection. People who are receiving chemotherapy, especially women, are highly susceptible to cancer-related osteoporosis as a result of decreased calcium. Additionally, radiation therapy can limit bone regrowth, making the chances of successful implant integration lower.

Chronic Illnesses

Your Ottawa dentist may also alert you to the effects that certain chronic illnesses have on your candidacy for implants. One such example is diabetes, which if not under control may negatively impact your body’s natural ability for self-repair. However, patients who take medication to manage diabetes symptoms may still be able to receive dental implants. Autoimmune diseases also create a higher risk of implant rejection, as a foreign object may be attacked by the body’s defenses. Even those who take immunosuppressant medication may be at a higher risk of infection. If you have a chronic health condition and aren’t sure if implants are right for you, please consult a physician as well as your local dentist in Ottawa.

Smoking

Tobacco use has been linked to many diseases (and also leaves terrible stains on your teeth – yuck!), including gum diseases which may severely inhibit implant acceptance. Even if you do not suffer from gum disease, the heat caused by smoking, as well as the intake of toxic by-products including nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen monoxide, can increase the risk of infection.

If you are considering getting dental implants and have any of the above health issues, or any other condition that you think may interfere with the procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact both your doctor and your Ottawa dentist. They have the expertise and knowledge necessary to help determine if implants are right for you.

23 Apr 2015

Invisalign: the Best Fit for your Smile

Ottawa dentists know everyone wants to feel good about smiling – and can you blame them? A smile is supposed to signify happiness! So it’s always a shame when someone is afraid to smile, because they feel self-conscious about crooked or overcrowded teeth. Braces gave people the option of straightening their smile with the use of brackets installed on each tooth, connected by a metal wire that would be replaced regularly and tightened to slowly but surely move their teeth into the ideal positions for eating, talking, and of course, smiling with ease.

But today, traditional braces aren’t the only option. Many dentists in Ottawa are recommending clear braces like Invisalign to their patients. The benefit of Invisalign is that when you wear it, it is nearly invisible – allowing you to show off your constantly-improving smile as your teeth straighten themselves out.

The creation of these clear braces started in 1997 in Menlo Park, California, where the newly founded Align Technology, led by Zia Chishti, worked to bring their dream of a new and efficient orthodontic system to fruition. Invisalign was approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998, where it became available in 1999.

While dentists in Ottawa and around the world may have initially hesitated to adopt the new technology, it proved to be very popular amongst people seeking orthodontic treatment. As more newly beautiful smiles emerged, it became clear that Invisalign was an innovative new way to deliver orthodontic treatment and help people put their best smile forward.

Fast-forward to today, and many dentists in Ottawa have come to trust Invisalign to straighten their patients’ teeth. The technology, which uses digital 3D imaging to map a patient’s teeth and chart their desired changes, uses a multitude of clear brackets, each one different and closer to the end result, to smoothly and comfortably reposition the teeth. Dentists and orthodontists are trained and certified before they can prescribe or use Invisalign, ensuring a high standard of quality is maintained, and that every patient gets their best smile.

From a wild idea that no one was sure would work, to a trusted ally of dentists in Ottawa and around the world, Invisalign has come a long, long way to become a go-to solution for orthodontic care. But is its success any surprise? Giving people the gift of confidence in their smile is a truly great achievement on its own, but to do so in a way that lets them feel more at ease along the way is truly priceless.