This really depends on not only your QUANTITY of bone but also the QUALITY of your bone. The reason you need the quantity of bone is because implants must be screwed into bone and not thin air, but the quality of bone is also important as if the bone is too soft, the implant may have difficulty staying stable enough to osseointegrate. Our 3D Xrays can very accurately determine your quantity of bone. The quality of bone however remains an unknown till the time of surgery.
Are metal fillings bad for me?
The official dental answer in Australia is still currently NO. Metal fillings are composed of amalgamation of metals usually of mercury, silver, tin, copper and other trace metals such of zinc - hence their official name dental amalgam. As you may be aware some of these metals, especially mercury are considered toxic. Most official dental bodies (including the Australian Dental Association) and health organisations still consider dental amalgam to be relatively safe as a restorative material as it is used in low doses and the amount of mercury released into the mouth is relatively low. However at Options Dental Care we choose to be an amalgam free surgery not because we view it as toxic (it may be or may not be, but that is unimportant to us as we do not use it) but rather that there are vastly superior materials to use in this new millennium. Amalgams have been around in their current format for around 200 years. We use fully bonded materials usually either composite resin or bonded ceramic inlays/onlays produced by our in house CEREC Omnicam machine.
How old is too old to straighten my teeth or improve my smile?
There really isn't an upper age limit for cosmetic type dentistry. Tooth straightening is usually achieved via orthodontic work but there are other methods that can be used such as crowns and veneers as well. It really depends on what you really want and what commitment (time and money) you are comfortable with to achieve your desired result. We have had many patients in their 60's getting adult orthodontic work done and people in their 80's getting new bridges.
Are Xrays Harmful?
Some people have the belief that all Xrays are harmful and cause cancer. This is a fairly narrow minded view that is inaccurate. It is true that medical xrays use Ionising Radiation which does potentially have mutagenic properties however the dosages used by modern Xray machines especially in dental are so small that the increased risk of causing cancer is so small compared to the risk of not picking up a medical issue that not using modern radiography to analyse issues thoroughly before commencing treatment should be considered medically negligent.
Proper medical radiography typically follows the ALARA principle - we use a dose As Low As Reasonably Achievable to achieve our treatment and management aims.
For the mathematically inclined - putting numbers into Xrays and harm Sieverts are the unit used to represent an effective dose of radiation and carries a 5.5% chance of eventually developing cancer based on the linear=no threshold model (which may be inaccurate when applied to small doses)
1 Sievert (Sv) = 1,000 MilliSieverts (mSv) = 1,000,000 MicroSieverts (μSv) 0.25 Sv = Acute radiation poisoning evident in your bloodwork if you get exposed to this in a short time. It's also about how much radiation you will pick up on a 6 month trip to Mars = 250 mSv = 250,000 μSv
In medicine we normally measure radiation doses in MilliSieverts - thousandths of a Sievert 10-30 mSv = Single medical CT Scan = 10,000 - 30,000 μSv 3 mSv = Background radiation-how much radiation you will normally get living on Earth in a year anyway = 3,000 μSv
Now for the dosages we use in this modern surgery - the following numbers are rounded up for ease of estimation - please notice we are on MILLIONTHS of a Sievert now 100 μSv = 3D Xray used in our surgery (have to zap 100 times to get to the minimum dose of 1 normal medical CT scan) 20 μSv = 2D digital OPG (it can be as low as 10 μSv but we have doubled it here anyway) 5 μSv = 2D digital single Periapical/Bitewing Xray
0.1 μSv = Amount of radiation absorbed by eating one banana - yes eating bananas too exposes you to radiation...
In conclusion, decades of study of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors as well other exposed populations has not reliably demonstrated evidence of increased cancer risk when exposed to doses below 100 mSv. As can be seen all diagnostic medical imaging typically used has doses well below this. In dental applications it is another few orders of magnitude lower again. Given the wealth of data on this topic collected over the last 100+ years, we have a very large body of evidence to suggest that at least in modern dentistry, the radiation from Xrays should be one of the least of your worries. Please worry about the pain from the needle or healing up after that extraction much more!
Why don't my Dentures Fit?
Simple reason - dentures just do not fit. It is just not a feature of their design parameters as there is too much inaccuracy along the way. This doesn't mean that you can't wear them and be happy. It all really boils down to patient expectations. Dentures are removable prostheses. Your natural teeth should be non removable (yes I have seen one patient who had a removable natural tooth). Dentures cannot be likened to natural teeth and cannot be expected to be as comfortable as natural teeth. Paraphrasing Professor Cyril Thomas who taught me all about dentures, "Upper dentures are 90% the dentist skill and 10% the patient - the reverse is true for the lower dentures". Complete upper and lower dentures only result in about a 25% chewing capacity as compared to a full set of natural teeth. Our dentists usually do not make dentures for the patients as we prefer our patients to try and save some money as we have an in house dental prosthetist who treats the patients directly. As my professor said - a lot of whether or not dentures are comfortable in your case is really dependent on you. If you have tried dentures and are still not quite happy with them, maybe it is then time to consider implants.
Do implants feel like teeth?
No they don't. However they are the closest procedure we currently have that will give you the appearance and function of your natural teeth. Implants are not living parts of your body like your teeth. They do not have any proprioception (spatial awareness). Also the shape of their 'roots' is round. Natural teeth do not have round roots. This quite often results in noticeably increased food trapping between implants and natural teeth and requires slight adjustments when you are cleaning and flossing them. However they really are the next best thing to your natural teeth after your have lost them.
We Would Love to Have You Visit Soon! Remember we can HELP you!
Weekdays: 9am - 6pm Closed Wednesdays and Weekends