Choosing Between Implant and Bridge

The Pros and The Cons

Dental implants and bridges are means to fill up gaps between teeth. Though they serve the same purpose, they are constructed differently. An implant is a false tooth that’s attached to a titanium post to be inserted in the jaw bone. A bridge is composed of a false tooth (or a few more) suspended between two crowns that the dentist cements onto prepared natural teeth on either side. Unlike an implant, the false tooth of a bridge isn’t embedded in the jaw bone.

Dental bridges require simpler work than implants. It does not involve surgery, hence it is less traumatic or painful. It is relatively quick, easy and safe. It may take only a couple or so dental appointments over a few weeks. Bridges are also more affordable than implants.

Bridges may not be as natural-looking. People may notice that you are wearing bridges, even if the crown color approximates the color of your natural teeth. Opting for a dental bridge will necessitate preparing your natural teeth to be used as abutments to hold the bridge in place. A considerable amount of enamel structure will have to be worn down as a preparation. Lastly, bridges require replacement periodically, like every 5 to 7 years. The bone tissue beneath the artificial crowns tends to reposition, creating instability leading to a shorter lifespan.

Dental implants, on the other hand, can last a lifetime if they are of high quality. They look, feel and function like your natural teeth. Unlike a bridge, an implant stands on it’s own support without putting strain on other teeth. This helps to protect surrounding teeth. One other advantage is that they stimulate and preserve natural bone growth, preventing bone loss. In a bridge, the artificial teeth do not contact with bone, hence, it does not promote bone health.

A rather serious, multi-stage surgery is required for dental implants and some degree of risk may be encountered, like infection, nerve damage or jaw fracture. And because bone heals slowly, implants may require 3 months at the least for bone to heal. It must be followed-up consistently to see that proper integration of implant to bone is achieved, besides checking for complications. The cost of implants is another issue that makes this option worth a lot of consideration.

Helping You Choose The Best Option

Considering a bridge or an implant for missing teeth? Come to Bellevue Overlake Dental for some serious discussion and we can enlighten you about your two options.

Research: Children Coping with Dental Braces

Children’s Struggles and Successes

Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden studied children with severe overbite who underwent orthodontic treatment early. While there were contributory success factors, the children and their families went through tough times dealing with teasing and the difficult and painful periods of adjustments.

An overjet is the extent of vertical overlap between the upper central incisors and the lower central incisors. Sometimes, the overlap is so severe that the protruding upper teeth are described as that belonging to rabbits. Children with a severe overjet cannot even cover their teeth with their lips.

The study involved a hundred children, who’ve had orthodontic braces, ages 7 to 14. About 13% of them said they had been teased about their appearance wearing those braces. Some were ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone. Others displayed their braces in school, like they were trophies. It is very much an individual experience. This is the age range when children are active and lively, and easily run the risk of being injured when the lips cannot function as cushions for the teeth when they should.

During the mixed-dentition stage, when both the primary and some permanent teeth are present in the mouth, orthodontists recommend a removable appliance. However, this makes speech impossible as the appliance fixes the upper and lower jaw to each other, though mostly used at night; or the orthodontist can wait until all permanents come up so a fixed brace can be used to correct the overjet. Meanwhile, the protruding teeth remain unprotected during the waiting period. In the study, six of ten children failed with their treatment for they simply did not use the appliance for the required 10 hours a day.

The researchers noted that the children who had successful treatment were helped by their mothers who nagged their children to stay within treatment, left reminders around the house, among others. The kids also invented ways to measure success, like using their thumb grips feeling the gaps between teeth close from month to month. The research believed that being up and honest with the parents and kids regarding the difficulty of orthodontic treatment, the associated pain and swelling, the duration of therapy, help prepare everyone for the challenges.

Original Article

Team Effort for Treatment Success in Bellevue

To ensure success in orthodontic interventions, the required teamwork from all participants is essential. Patients, their parents and their orthodontist come together in ensuring that roles are fulfilled to attain that straight and functional dentition for life. That is what Bellevue dental braces are for.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease: Have Same Origins?

The Bone Destructive Diseases Are Linked

Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is an autoimmune disease causing chronic joint pain. In RA, the immune system, instead of attacking the body’s enemies – bacteria, viruses, toxins – is attacking the body’s joints. The abnormal response leads to inflammation and damage of the joints. And being a systemic condition, RA may affect other organs and body systems.

Along with pain, people with RA experience fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever. RA symptoms and effects come and go, sometimes there is a period of high disease activity called a flare; it can last for days or months. During this activity, other organs can be affected – painful, red and sensitive eyes, inflamed blood vessels, lumps under the skin, and dry mouth and irritated gums or gum infection.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontal Disease

Research has long recognized the link between periodontal disease and RA. Studies have shown that those with RA are more likely to have periodontal disease than those without RA. A German study, in fact, found that the rate of periodontitis was 8 times higher in those who have the autoimmune disorder. Additionally, their periodontitis is more severe and involves more tooth loss than those who do not have RA.

The link between the two chronic diseases can be seen in certain inflammatory biomarkers which both have at elevated levels. They also have the same genetic markers, present in people with both RA and progressive periodontitis. Both also have the same mechanism of action.

Periodontal inflammation damages the gums and supporting ligaments around teeth, invading the jawbone and causing bone loss. RA brings about inflammation that attacks the soft tissue that lines the joints (the synovium), progresses to the bone, eventually destroying it.

Now, of significant scientific interest is the role of a particular species of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis or P. gingivalis, often found in both periodontitis and RA. Researchers say it can be the causative pathogen for both conditions. It is unique than other bacteria in that it contains an enzyme that the body recognizes as a foreign substance.

It may be the one responsible for the autoimmune response in RA, but if it is also found in periodontitis, could it mean that periodontal disease may have an autoimmune component, too? Certainly, more research is needed to prove this hypothesis.

Caring For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in Bellevue

It becomes more critical for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis to have frequent dental visits to monitor their gum health. Our team at Overlake Dental see to our patients more prone to gum disease because of their medical conditions.

What’s Common Between Osteoporosis and Gum Disease?

The Link: Bone Loss

Osteoporosis is a skeletal condition characterized by reduction in bone mass and changes in the micro architecture in bone. This disease leads to increased bone fragility and in many cases, fracture. Living bone, which constantly breaks down and is replaced, will no longer be able to keep up when osteoporosis sets in. Bone resorption or breakdown will overtake new bone deposition. The main causes of osteoporosis are aging, menopause (brought about by estrogen deficiency), and lack of Vitamin D and calcium. It also has a direct relationship on oral and dental health.


Osteoporosis tend to affect women more than men. Menopausal women can suffer less dense and brittle bones, making them susceptible to fracture, notably of the wrists and hips. Their jawbone supporting the teeth can weakened and lead to tooth mobility and tooth loss. Other dental issues can manifest if the jawbone is low in density, such as loose or ill-fitting dentures. The condition can impair oral surgical procedures, such as dental implantation, which may be contraindicated.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is the progressive loss of supportive gingival tissue in the gums and jawbone. It may involve development of gum pockets, bleeding and loss of attachment. If untreated, bacteria colonies can cause systematic destruction of gum tissue, and eventually the underlying bone.

Both osteoporosis and periodontal diseases are bone destructive diseases, it has been hypothesized that osteoporosis could be a risk factor for the progression of periodontal disease. If osteoporosis is not addressed, periodontal inflammation can further weakened bone until it breaks down. This is why periodontitis can be more progressive in patients with osteoporosis.

Treatment for osteoporosis involves estrogen supplements or estrogen replacement therapy. Estrogen lowers the rate of attachment loss and also lowers gingival inflammation, which in turn protects teeth from periodontal disease. Studies have shown that women receiving osteoporosis treatment had less periodontal probing depth and clinical attachment loss and less gum bleeding than those who did not receive therapy. It was also found that higher family income and more frequent consultations with a dentist were associated with a lower prevalence of periodontitis.

Close Osteoporosis and Periodontal Watch in Bellevue

If the medical doctor and your Bellevue dentist work together in tandem to closely monitor the patients that are at an increased risk of developing both diseases, it can lead to better management and control.

Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease are Linked

Gum Health And General Health

It is well documented that links exist between the health of the mouth and diseases that affect other parts of the body. Every new research points to their association. Studies are proving that conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, reflux disease, and others can impact oral health and vice versa. Such studies can help the medical field and the dental profession provide interventions to help affected sufferers reduce their risks and improve lives.

Gum Disease and Periodontitis

Now there is a new study, published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, this time making the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It discovered that people who have suffered from gum disease for ten years or longer are 70 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s a huge study involving 25,000, examining those who are 50 years of age and older who have chronic periodontitis, the severe form of gingivitis. The study, however, did not determine any direct causal link between the two conditions, but have observed that the incidence of Alzheimer’s is higher in those who have long-standing gum disease.

There’s a very small study, though, that also points to the link. Twenty patients were examined, half have dementia, the other none. Gum bacteria was found in some patients with dementia.
Experts hypothesized that gum bacteria can enter the bloodstream through everyday activities – eating, chewing, toothbrushing – and can be carried to other parts of the body, including the brain. They can trigger an immune system response, killing brain cells and leading to changes in the brain, typical in Alzheimer’s.

That be so, still, gum disease is a preventable and treatable infection of the gums. By making sure that you take care of your oral health, you will decrease your risks for its associated medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. So if you have beginning gingivitis, you must be able to take steps early enough to arrest the condition that it does not lead to periodontitis.

Proper dental hygiene is the cornerstone of good oral health. Regular brushing and flossing at least twice a day with fluoride will protect teeth and gums. Keeping your dental appointments is another must. A healthy lifestyle with regards to diet and habits also help. The best approach is certainly prevention.

Preventing Medical Conditions with Healthy Gums

Be sure you keep teeth and gums healthy with regular dental visitations. You may just keep medical situations at bay with regular help from your dentist. Come by Ovelake Dental and consult with us regarding gum health.