My Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

By Elite Smiles
June 19, 2021
Category: Oral Health
UntreatedGumDiseaseCouldCostYouYourImplant

Your teeth can take decades of daily biting and chewing and not miss a beat. But they do have a nemesis, dental disease, which can easily get the upper hand. As a result, millions of people lose teeth each year to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

But while both the living tissue that makes up teeth and gums are susceptible to bacterial attack, the non-living materials in a life-like dental implant are impervious to disease. That being the case, you would think your implants wouldn't need as much hygiene as your other teeth.

But they still do. True, implants in themselves aren't affected by infection, but the bone and other tissues that support them can become diseased. This often happens with advanced cases of gum disease.

There is, in fact, a particular form of gum infection associated with implants called peri-implantitis ("peri"—around; "it is"—inflammation), which occurs in the gums around an implant. Once it starts, peri-implantitis can advance at a rapid pace.

This is because implants don't have the gum attachment of real teeth, which can fight and slow the advance of a gum infection. Because an implant doesn't have this attachment, any infection around it continues virtually unimpeded. If the bone supporting an implant becomes infected, it can weaken to the point that the implant fails.

But this dire scenario can be avoided with continuing hygiene and maintenance of the gum tissues surrounding the implant. You should brush and floss every day around implants to remove dental plaque, the bacterial film most responsible for dental disease, just as you do with natural teeth.

It's also important to keep up regular dental visits for cleanings to remove lingering plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). Your dentist may also notice and clean away any residual cement from the restoration, which can also cause gum inflammation.

And, you should promptly see your dentist if you notice any telltale signs of a gum infection, such as swelling, redness or bleeding, especially around implants. The quicker we diagnose and treat a case of gum disease, particularly peri-implantitis, the less likely it will endanger your implant.

If you would like more information on maintaining dental implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Elite Smiles
December 30, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you considering dental implants? Dr. Geetha Sripathi at Elite Smiles is an implant expert, successfully restoring smiles so you eat, speak and look as you should. We encourage you to arrange a consultation at our Morrisville, NC, office.

The story of dental implants. It goes back in history with a benchmark discovery in the 1950s. A European scientist saw that human bone adheres to titanium metal. Dubbed osseointegration, this amazing process creates the most stable and permanent artificial tooth available today. Osseointegration also guarantees a realistic smile appearance and lifelike biting and chewing.

It all happens when Dr. Sripathi evaluates your gum tissue and bone and reviews your systemic health in her Morrisville office. Special 3D X-rays reveal if you have sufficient bone in your jaw to accept one or more titanium metal implants. Rough-in texture and shaped like a threaded screw, a dental implant resides in the empty tooth socket. After it's fully healed, the site accepts a metal post and custom-designed dental crown.

What dental implants can do for you. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says dental implants are the only tooth replacements to improve the health and quantity of bone in your jaw. So, if you have one or more teeth extracted, you should begin the dental implant process as soon as possible.

Also, over time, dental implants get better and better. They rarely fail or need replacement, unlike other dental prosthetics which only set on top of your gums. Traditional dentures and bridges do not halt the soft and hard tissue recession which invariably begins after tooth loss. With implants, you are practically guaranteed an efficient, beautiful smile for the rest of your life.

Tips on dental implant care. As you enjoy your renewed smile, you may find that your personal care habits have improved. Many implant patients quit the dangerous tobacco habit so their implant sites stay healthy. Also, you should brush carefully around your new teeth two times a day and floss as your dental hygienist instructs. See Dr. Sripathi semi-annually for a check-up and professional cleaning.


Come to Elite Smiles
Dr. Geetha Sripathi and her staff are proud of their innovative restorative treatments. Why not book an appointment in their Morrisville, NC, office to get the information you need for an informed decision? You may be surprised at your options, including inventive dental implants. Call us at (919) 388-0137.

By Elite Smiles
October 23, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental implants  

What's the most successful tooth replacement available today? By far, it's the dental implant. Surgically placed in-office by Dr. Geetha Sripathi at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, dental implants mimic real teeth in appearance and function. Plus, they improve jaw bone density and size, a wonderful therapeutic benefit.

Frequently asked questions about dental implants

What does a dental implant look like?

A dental implant is a titanium screw or cylinder which your dentist inserts into the jaw bone. The implant replaces your natural tooth root and actually bonds with the bone through something called osseointegration. On this firm foundation, your Dr. Sripathi attaches a metal abutment, or post, and a custom-crafted porcelain crown.

Why is a dental implant superior to a bridge or partial denture?

A dental implant is the only tooth replacement which replaces a missing tooth from the root on up. It improves bone size, shape and strength every time you bite and chew on it. Dental implants stay in place for years, and they need no denture adhesive or clasps to anchor them.

Do I need to see a specialist for my procedure?

Dr. Sripathi performs the entire implant treatment--from initial examination and X-rays to implant placement and restoration--at Elite Smiles in Morrisville. She uses multiple dental implants for patients requiring more extensive tooth replacement.

Is the implant surgery comfortable?

Locally-injected numbing medication takes care of any discomfort during the procedure. Afterwards, you may need over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen at home for a few days to resolve minor residual soreness.

How do I know dental implants are right for my situation?

Dr. Sripathi meticulously evaluates her patients to determine if dental implants are the proper tooth replacements for their individual needs and preferences. Special three-dimensional imaging shows her if you have adequate bone structure to support implants. Also, the dentist reviews your medical history. Most teens and adults are healthy enough for dental implants. However, diabetes, immune deficiencies, cancer treatment, alcohol abuse and pregnancy often prohibit or postpone implant placement.

How long do dental implants last?

The American College of Prosthodontists reports that dental implants last a lifetime when you brush and floss them carefully and see your dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups. Success rates for implant procedures are up to 95 percent.

Find out more about dental implants

Fill those smile gaps, improve bone health and bite, and chew and smile with confidence. Call today for a friendly implant consultation with Dr. Geetha Sripathi at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, NC, at (919) 388-0137.

AvoidImplantFailurebyWatchingOutforTheseMouthProblems

There are several reasons why dental implants are so popular. Perhaps the most important, though, is their longevity: if maintained properly implants can last for decades. However, they’re not indestructible—certain mouth conditions could put them at risk for early failure. But if you address emerging problems early, you may be able to prevent that unfortunate outcome.

Your implants may be in danger, for example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This occurs when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth when not chewing or speaking. Usually triggered in adults by high stress, teeth grinding can subject both natural teeth and implants to damaging levels of force. Over time this can cause bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could also cause a direct break in an implant.

But there are ways to stop or at least reduce the effects of teeth grinding. One effective way is a custom-made bite guard you wear while you sleep. Made of hard plastic, the guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other, reducing the amount of force generated.

A more prominent problem is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection caused by built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when it persists for an extended period of time can damage tissues and supporting bone. It can also cause a specific form of gum disease related to implants called peri-implantitis, in which the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, leading eventually to possible implant failure.

If you have implants, then, you should brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease, as well as see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. And if you notice anything like reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dentist immediately. The sooner you undergo treatment, the better the outcome for your implants as well as your overall health.

Dental implants can give you years of great service and can prove to be well worth the cost. But you’ll have to stay on your guard against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger them down the road.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method that Rarely Fails.”

Dental ImplantFinally, you've lost that troublesome front tooth. Oddly shaped and weak since childhood, it has fractured, and your dentist, Dr. Geetha Sripathi at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, advises replacement with a dental implant. What is a dental implant, and who qualifies for one? Read about this ingenious artificial tooth and why you are a good candidate to receive one.

The dental implant

In her Morrisville office, Dr. Sripathi and her team place dental implants--either singly or in multiples--to replace one or more teeth lost to decay, gum disease, accident, or in your case, congenital malformation and weakness. The single-tooth implant has three distinct components: a titanium metal screw, a metal alloy post and a customized ceramic crown.

Amazingly, titanium and human bone bond to each other almost inseparably through osseointegration. Combined with Dr. Sripathi's expert oral surgery skills and your good oral health, your implant can last indefinitely.

What makes you a good candidate?

Of course, because Dr. Sripathi knows your oral health and history well, she can predict how successful your implant procedure can be. She'll take some digital x-rays and a three-dimensional scan to confirm you have enough bone in the empty socket to support an implant. Bone density and other factors determine dental implant success.

In addition, your overall health must be strong, and you should be diligent about oral hygiene--brushing, flossing, and getting your routine check-ups and cleanings at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, NC.

It helps to be a non-smoker, too, because cigarette smoke degrades the gums and bone supporting dental implants. In fact, the American Dental Association says that smokers experience a 15.8 percent implant failure rate, necessitating removal of the devices. People who do not smoke, however, enjoy a success rate of over 98 percent.

The treatment

Dr. Sripathi does the entire implant procedure right at Elite Smiles. She uses local anesthetic to ensure complete patient comfort. Then, she creates a small opening in the gums and bone. After she sets the titanium implant into the jaw bone, she sutures the site closed. Then, osseointegration begins. This process takes several weeks to accomplish, but when fully healed, the site can accept the extension post and porcelain crown.

Over time, the bond between implant and jaw strengthens even more. You'll enjoy oral function that is natural and smile appearance that is exceptional...no more hiding that weak tooth!

Learn more

Go ahead: schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Sripathi at Elite Smiles. She'll take you through this amazing restoration step by step, leaving you with a new tooth that feels and acts like a natural one. Phone us today at (919) 388-0137.