Dentures, Partials, Crown & Bridge – We Are Your Source.

posted: January 21, 2019

When it comes to replacing missing teeth these days, a number of adults make the decision to go forward with dental implants. However, dental implants are not always a preferred choice for individuals facing tooth replacement, nor advisable for some.

For example, the health of some individuals may hold potential problems when it comes to implant success. This is true for people undergoing cancer treatment or who take certain medications for osteoporosis. For some of these patients, the risks may be too high.

Additionally, some mouths are too small for implant placement at proper depths or angles. For instance, if a back tooth needs replacing and the bone mass is minimal, even bone rebuilding procedures may fail to overcome the challenge of the best positioning.

Although our office offers advanced skills and training in the diagnosis and placement of dental implants, rest assured that we also have advanced training and skills in other methods to replace teeth.

Our patients also have access to many features and advanced technology that optimize comfort, speed healing time, and minimize treatment time. Some procedures can be completed in just two visits.

In addition to dental implants, options to replace missing teeth include…

Crown-&-Bridge – A fixed bridge is held by teeth on both sides of the area where a natural tooth or teeth are missing. After adjacent teeth are prepared for crowns (also referred to as ‘caps’), a ‘bridge’ (typically an adjoined row of two or more replacement teeth) is affixed to crowns that are placed over prepared teeth on each side. With the support of crowned, natural teeth, a bridge restores appearance and chewing ability. In our Summerville dental office, we utilize CEREC 3D technology to create beautiful, ceramic crowns and bridges — in a single visit! In addition to a significant savings in time, this also reduces numbing requirements by half. These crowns and bridges have the look and feel of natural teeth and are created to blend with neighboring teeth.Partial Dentures – A Partial Denture fills the gaps from missing teeth for natural chewing ability and to curtail shifting of remaining natural teeth. Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to gum-colored bases that are custom-formed to the contours of your natural gum shape (its height and width). Removable partial dentures typically attach to natural teeth with metal clasps or devices. Precision attachments are generally a more desirable option for many patients since, unlike those held with clasps, telltale signs of wearing an ‘appliance’ are not visible in a smile or while laughing.

Full Dentures – A Full Denture is typically removable and replaces all teeth as well as the foundation of gums that may have diminished over time. New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new teeth because even the best fitting denture can feel awkward at first. Some have difficulty eating for several days and may notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty. However, once the patient has adjusted to this new feel, a denture can be worn comfortably and function with stability.

Replacing a tooth is a big decision, and affects a large number of adults. It is estimated that over 69 percent of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 years have at least one missing tooth.

It is also highly important to replace a missing tooth.

The arrangement of teeth is a balanced support system that provides proper support and stability. Not replacing a tooth can trigger a domino effect of continual oral challenges. Typical problems include drifting, shifting, and an increased risk of gum disease and decay.

In a normal, healthy mouth, there is a natural balance of alignment. Each tooth has three or four companion teeth. These include adjacent teeth on either side as well as the upper or lower teeth that meet them. Upper and lower teeth must work harmoniously to provide comfortable chewing function.

When a tooth is lost, the proper position of neighboring teeth is at risk. When teeth shift or tilt, it can lead to chipped, broken or fractured teeth. Eventually, this can cause problems with the TMJ (jaw joints), which may lead to headaches, migraines, worn teeth, and clenching or grinding during sleep.

Not replacing a tooth also places others at higher risks for being lost. Statistics show that a neighboring tooth is the most likely be lost next when subjected to the same conditions. With each tooth lost, the problems are magnified and the cycle of tooth loss continues. And, so do the associated decisions, costs, and treatment time for replacement.

For many reasons, we recommend dental implants whenever practical and desirable to the patient. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) five million implants are placed in the U.S. each year. They restore dependable biting and chewing, have a nearly 98 percent success rate, and are designed to last a lifetime (making them an excellent investment).

Still, we understand an implant is not the preferred or most practical choice for every patient. Once our patients know the options recommended for their needs, we respect the wishes of each and are committed to the best outcome for each.

If you need to replace missing teeth or an existing appliance, let’s discuss your options during a no-charge consultation appointment. During this time, I’ll explain the advantages and challenges of each and the procedures involved. Call 843-871-6351.

While you’re here, we can also have our Insurance Coordinator and Financial Coordinator meet with you to determine easy payment plans according to your needs.

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Online ‘Deals’ For Dental Implants May Not Be The Bargain You Want.

posted: December 12, 2018

When it comes to dental implants, there can be some rather confusing information on the internet. Online “sales” for implants often promote unusually low prices, such as $999 offers. Yet, these enticing prices don’t always give people a clear picture of what their treatment costs will actually be.

Dental implants are a highly successful replacement system for missing natural teeth. This is largely because implants are held by the jaw bone, just as natural tooth roots were once. Through this sturdy foundation, biting and chewing stability for the attached teeth are restored.

However, there are particulars you should know if you are considering dental implants. Rather than be lured by a low price advertised online, keep the following in mind to get the most from your investment:

First, know your product. Dental implant systems are generally made up of 3 parts:

  1. The implanted portion, which is positioned in the jaw bone to serve as a man-made tooth root.
  2. The “abutment,” which is a post that is secured inside the implanted piece. This is the part that your replacement tooth (or teeth) will be attached.
  3. The replacement teeth (also referred to as “restorations”).

While that $999 price may cover the implanted piece, that’s of no good to you without the other components. Those will be added fees. However, there are additional things you should keep in mind.

Comfort options are very important during the dental implant placement process. Does the low price include Oral or I.V. sedation? If not a “mini-implant” placement (short implants placed at minimal depth), or if you need more than one implant, we recommend our patients to have Oral Sedation for optimal comfort and relaxation.

We include Oral Sedation in the cost of your implant placement, so you needn’t worry about an added fee for the comfort level you deserve. For those who desire a deeper level of sedation, we also offer I.V. Sedation, also known as “twilight sleep.”

Another consideration is the type of implant. Do you need a single implant or one that will support a bridge of two or more teeth? Some of these “deals” may have you paying for an implant for each missing tooth. However, one implant can typically hold more than one tooth.

Because the cost of dental implant treatment largely depends on the number of implants placed, having two or more teeth attached to just one implant can save you significantly in overall treatment costs.

It is highly important to select your implant dentist carefully. Does the dentist offering the low fee know which implant is best for you? Or, is he or she offering a particular type at a bargain rate?

Dental implants are not “one size fits all.” There are over 50 different types of implant systems, each designed to accommodate specific needs. If a type that is not right for you is selected and placed, you could end up with a failed implant.

When an implant fails, this means that it must be removed in order for the bone to re-heal and regenerate so a new implant can be placed. This takes additional time and expense, and the expense is in addition to what you’ve already spent. Having an experienced dentist with advanced training in all types of implant systems will help you enjoy an optimal outcome with minimal risks.

Also to be acknowledged is the look and feel of the implant restoration. Especially if the tooth could be visible in a smile, you want the replacement tooth (or teeth) to have the look and feel of a “real” tooth. The low price you may be getting, if the restoration is included in the cost,  may not satisfy you when it comes to the appearance of your smile.

What all this comes down to is getting the most for your investment. This begins and ends with a dentist you can trust. Having your dental implant treatment overseen by an experienced implant dentist who is committed to your long-term well-being is more important that the risks you take placing low price as your main priority.

We are proud of our reputation for providing state-of-the-art technology, advanced techniques, and recommendations that come from an ethical commitment. We never over-treat or under-treat and respect the desires of our patients regardless of their preferences.

You are invited to schedule a no-charge consultation appointment to discuss your individual needs and goals. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and make recommendations. We can discuss various implant systems that will work best for you as well as comfort options, treatment time, and payment plans. If you have insurance coverage that may apply, we can also begin research on what you might reap from that.

Our ultimate desire is to provide each patient with an ideal outcome for a reasonable fee. We believe that our commitment to you will provide you with results that exceed your expectations. Too, the most frequent statement we hear from our completed implant patients is, “It’s the best investment I’ve ever made.” followed by, “I only wish I’d done this years ago!”

Please allow us to show you why our patients feel this way! Call 843-871-6351 to tap here to begin.

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Here, Technology Enhances Comfort, Saves You Time, Optimizes Treatment Outcome

posted: July 17, 2018

Let’s say you’re nearing the time when an ’empty nest’ in on the horizon. In anticipation of having extra space, you may have some ideas as to how free space could be reconfigured. A workout room? A media room? An office for a new in-home business?

Although designers and contractors could come in with a sketch pad and pencil, wouldn’t you be more assured with a visual proposal that gave a firsthand view of where, what, and how?

Today’s technology is designed to eliminate guesswork and provide the means to achieve goals without unexpected glitches.

This is true for dentistry as well. Advanced computerized technology has given dentists the tools to diagnose, treatment plan, and perform procedures with precision based on each individual’s needs and goals.

Dental offices can vary significantly when it comes to advanced technology. Not only does this equipment require a monetary commitment, most require intense training of the dentist and staff members in order to utilize each piece properly. While some of these advancements can seem rather intimidating, I’ve found that they can be of such benefit to our patients that the learning process becomes exciting.

Case in point – when I first invested in CEREC 3D technology, I took a couple of courses but avoided using it for months. When I decided to truly master it, I became so enthralled at the results that I pursued every advanced course I could take. Now, I am a proud Mentor for CEREC 3D, providing training assistance to other dentists who make this positive leap into the future of dentistry.

While my goal has always been to provide options that enhance patient comfort, save them time, and create optimal outcomes, it has also been important to select technology that is ‘green.’ At Smiles By Andrews, we have incorporated features that are environmentally-friendly, which minimize the use of chemicals, save water, and reduce waste.

What’s in this for you, the patient? Read on to learn about the many advanced features available to you in our Summerville dental office:

• Imaging With 3D Cone Beam Technology – This 3D imaging gives a clear view of the mandible and maxilla (upper and lower jaw) for intricate assessment for diagnosis and treatment planning. The process is fast and comfortable with patients exposed to minimal levels of radiation. This is used for patients in need of root canals, periodontics, orthodontics, dental implants, TMJ therapy, and crowns (caps) or bridges as well as surgical procedures. Cone beam imaging (3D X-rays) also provides images that pinpoint the mandibular nerve canal for pre-surgical planning for ideal implant positioning.

Dental Implants As Easy As 1 – 2 – 3 In One Dental Office! We have incorporated this technology so your entire implant treatment can be performed in one comfortable location in minimum appointments with exceptional outcomes!

  1. CEREC Omnicam uses a small camera to scan inside the mouth, capturing full color 3D digital images. These images are sent to computer software that is used to create crowns, bridges, partial and teeth for implant attachment, in minutes.
  2. For Dental Implant placement, CEREC 3D computer software creates a surgical guide that pinpoints precise locations, depths, and angles for each implant. This enhances implant success and eliminates the need for ‘flaps’ to be cut in gum tissue. These guides enable me to gently penetrate gum tissue at each implant location. By minimizing disruption to gum tissue, patients enjoy enhanced comfort with rapid healing.
  3. For the teeth attached to the Implants, our technology creates your final teeth with advanced technology, saving you time and ensuring a precision fit and ideal shade match.

• Single Appointment Crowns & Inlays – CEREC 3D creates beautiful, durable ceramic restorations (crowns, bridges, partials, implant teeth) using the latest in computerization, ready for placement in a single visit. No temporaries needed! No second appointment needed! No second numbing needed!. CEREC 3D also reduces numbing requirements by half.

• Laser Therapy – This technology is used for oral tissue treatment that causes no bleeding and reduces numbing requirements for precision gum contouring, bacteria removal, uncovering implants, repair of oral ulcers and other tissue related procedures.

• Digital X-Rays – Our digital radiology system reduces exposure to radiation by up to 90%, giving enlarged on-screen images instantly. Magnification aids in early diagnosis, which reduces treatment time and costs, and is more comfortable than traditional “bite wings”.

• Oral Cancer Detection – The VELscope System is a hand-held device that aids in early detection of oral cancer. The exam is non-invasive, painless, and takes only minutes. The process gives us a better visual of abnormal tissue that may be, or may lead to, oral cancer.

• IntraOral Imaging – This provides enlarged views of specific areas inside the mouth, giving patients greater understanding of problem areas and more involvement in treatment decisions.

• Computerized Charting – This advanced feature measures and stores your oral status while predicting vulnerable areas. Your oral health is recorded and stored at each visit, providing easy retrieval for future comparisons.

• Advanced Sterilization system – Using a process that meets or exceeds the guidelines set forth by OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), all instruments used in patient care are heat sterilized by advanced equipment and trained staff.

We are proud of the environment we offer to our patients. Experience the benefits of these features yourself! We are always happy to welcome new patients to our office and even offer a free consult for those who wish to ‘check us out’ before committing to an appointment. Just call our friendly staff at 843-871-6351 or tap here to schedule.outside and inside office photo

While we are pleased to offer this technology, what our patients notice most is the respectful, friendly, compassionate environment we provide. Regardless of your need, we are committed to exceptional care with an emphasis on comfort.

I hope to meet you soon!

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Dental Implants Made Simple

posted: July 10, 2018

When most people think about a dental implant, they envision a replacement tooth that is held by the jaw bone. This is correct since Dental implants are unlike replacement teeth supported by neighboring teeth (as in crown-&-bridge) or a denture that is contoured to fit the ‘ridge’ where tooth roots were once held.

However, a dental implant is not one piece, but actually made up of three parts. The first part is the implanted portion. This piece is similar to a hollow screw that is positioned in the jaw bone beneath the gum tissues. This is your tooth root replacement. This piece is designed to recreate the presence of a tooth root, which is beneficial for the bone that supports it as well as the replacement teeth that will be attached to it.

Once placed, the bone begins to grow around the implant, securing it in place. This process takes approximately 3-4 months and is known as “osseo-integration.” During this phase, patients are able to wear temporary teeth (or often, their existing denture or partial) comfortably.

The second and third components of dental implants are referred to as the abutment and the restoration. These are typically placed in the same appointment. After the phase of osseo-integration is complete, an opening is made in the gum tissue over each implant site. Into the implant, a post is secured and a replacement tooth (or bridge) is then attached to the post.

With the implant held by the jaw bone and the replacement tooth secured to the implanted portion, the look, feel and function of real teeth is restored. This means that your implants will have the same foundation as that of natural teeth so you can enjoy dependable biting and chewing strength and stability.

When more than one tooth is missing in the same area, a bridge of two or more teeth can often be attached to one implant. For those missing all upper and/or lower teeth, a full arch of teeth can often be secured to 4 to 8 strategically-placed implants. This is an appealing option for people who are missing all of their upper or lower teeth and want to replace the discomfort and frustrations of a ‘rocky’ denture.

This option also minimizes the expenses associated with dental implant treatment. Because the cost for dental implants is largely based on the number of implants placed, attaching a bridge of teeth or securing a full arch can translate into a tremendous savings.

In our office, we utilize advanced CEREC 3D technology to create single crowns, bridges, and even full arches of replacement teeth. These ‘restorations’ are made of beautiful ceramic that is natural-looking and durable. This also saves you a tremendous amount of time by eliminating waiting time for a dental lab. Additionally, there is no need for a second appointment for a dental lab’s final teeth to be placed.

In addition to restoring the ability to eat and chew securely and comfortably, dental implants help to halt bone resorption that occurs when tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw bone.

What is this?

Without the presence of tooth roots, the bone lacks necessary stimulation that helps to maintain its mass. Dental implants recreate this stimulation, preserving the bone’s height and mass.

In addition to placing neighboring teeth at risk, bone loss can create changes in facial appearance that are aging far beyond one’s actual years. These changes include deep wrinkles around the mouth, a pointed chin, jowls that form from detached facial muscles, and a mouth that appears collapsed into the face.

There are many types of Dental Implants, each designed to accommodate individual needs and preferences. We offer a free Consultation that allows interested adults to learn the types best for them and have their questions answered thoroughly.

During this time, we can also discuss affordable payment plans. These can break your treatment costs into easy monthly payments, often with no interest charged and no down payment required.

Call 843-871-6351 to schedule your no-charge appointment.

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Dental Care In Summerville – What Makes Us Different

posted: April 15, 2018

“A rose is a rose,” is a common alteration of Shakespeare’s “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  Both mean the same, basically, in that one rose is the same as all the others. However, we know that’s not the case. outside and inside office photo

One dental office or one 6-month dental cleaning may be far different in one office than the other. For example, one dental office may make comfort a high priority while another moves patients through care in a rushed pace with little regard to comfort.

In our office, we’ve taken a number of measures to ensure patients understand the difference as well as feel it. We hope that each patient comes to find, with each appointment, that it’s not one thing but a combination of things that make the difference.

Below, we’ve listed a few areas we know affords our patients with an elevated standard of care as well as a noticeably high level of comfort:

• Advanced Technology – We’ve carefully incorporated a number of state-of-the-art features that shorten treatment time, enhance results, and optimize comfort. These include Cone Beam Imaging (for 3-dimensional views of teeth, gums and supporting bone structures), CEREC 3D computerized technology (for one-appointment crowns and implant restorations), ‘Silent’ Drills (that eliminate the high-pitched whine of a drill, replacing it with a gentle whir), and Laser Dentistry (which reduces bleeding and speeds healing).

• Staff Longevity – I am so proud of the longevity of each team member. For decades, many have worked by my side and become “like family” to patients. Newer staff members have immediately sensed the unified team spirit here, feeling fully supported in their commitment to excellent patient care.

• Exceptional Comfort – In addition to oral sedation (a sedative in pill form), I am Certified to provide I.V. sedation (twilight sleep). This provides a deeper level of comfort through ‘sleep dentistry’ and erases most, if not all, memory of treatment afterward. In addition to sedation options, all measures are taken for the highest level of patient comfort possible, starting with a gentle touch and care that is paced to each individual’s specific need.

• Complete Dentistry – In addition to providing all phases of Dental Implants, you’ll find all levels of dental care are covered – for all ages and all needs. Everything from six-month checkups to root canals to tooth replacement to therapy to treat gum disease – our patients appreciate having all services in one, convenient location.

• Skilled, Ethical Care – Our patients know our recommendations are made based on what is in their best interests. By instilling a sense of confidence with each, they have faith in us to provide the best care according to their individual needs and goals. This has created strong bonds that we feel is the foundation of “exceptional dentistry.”

You should feel positive about your dental caregivers, at every visit. If you feel something is missing in your relationship with your dental office, consider scheduling a no-charge consultation appointment. During this time, we’ll discuss how our office may be compatible to your needs and desires, enabling you to achieve a healthy, confidence smile you’ll love to share.

Call 843-871-6351 to schedule. I look forward to meeting you and including you as one of our many happy patients!

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Is Your Face Aging More Than Your Years?

posted: April 04, 2018

I can’t imagine that any adult over the age of 30 wants to look older than they are. Most of us are hoping to go into our elder years with people saying, “Oh, you certainly don’t look your age! I would have guessed you no more than age xx.” (preferably 10 or more years less than we really are!)

Mere flattery or not, we love to hear that we are aging well. And, American adults are willing to invest heavily in keeping a more-youthful look. According to a 2015 article published in Markets & Trends entitled, “U.S. Skin Care Market to Reach Nearly $11 Billion in 2018,” they estimate nearly $11 billion will be spend on skin care in the U.S. this year. (http://www.gcimagazine.com/marketstrends/segments/skincare/US-Skin-Care-Market-to-Reach-Nearly-11-Million-in-2018-311287121.html)

While we slather on expensive creams and color our hair, an unfamiliar factor (to many) that contributes to the appearance of more years than we’re due is the decline in jaw bone mass from tooth loss.

Ever heard the term ‘granny look?’ Although this is the extreme of a shrinking jaw bone, it is pretty descriptive when it comes to an aged appearance that no one wants. It conjures up an image of an older woman who has a pointed chin, deep wrinkles around the mouth, and a mouth that seems collapsed into the face.

This all occurs when the jaw bones that supported natural teeth no longer have tooth roots to provide stimulation. When the roots are removed, the jaw bone doesn’t receive the nourishment and stimulation needed. Without this, they slowly begin to shrink. This process is known as resorption.

As the bone shrinks from a missing tooth or teeth, neighboring teeth are at higher risk. Due to various factors, the next tooth to be lost is typically one that is adjacent to a missing tooth.

Bone loss is not always obvious for people who wear dentures or partial dentures. They tend to look in the mirror when their denture is in place, which plumps up the face. However, it is what’s taking place below the gums that causes changes in facial appearance. These changes will only become more severe with time.

Bone loss contributes to deep wrinkles that form around the mouth with the corners of the mouth turning downward, even in a smile. As it continues, the mouth appears to collapse into the face and jowls form from the detachment of facial muscles.

For those who wear dentures or partials, the pressure this places on the ‘ridge’ actually accelerates the rate of resorption. This is the gum-covered arch that the denture or partial rests upon. For those who sleep in these appliances, the 24/7 pressure speeds the rate of resorption even more.

As resorption continues, the gum ridge begins to flatten as it’s foundation shrinks. Denture wearers often first notice bone loss when their denture begins to move while eating. Eventually, even denture adhesives are unable to prevent uncomfortable rubbing or slips while eating. Speaking and laughing also becomes overshadowed by the fear of embarrassing moments.

Because dental Implants recreate stimulation to the jaw bones that support them, they are able to halt the rate of bone loss. Additionally, because they are placed in bone, just as tooth roots were once, they provide the same dependable foundation of natural teeth.

Dental implant systems have also evolved so they are able to accommodate specific needs. For example, some types can be placed in adults who have experienced severe bone loss. The All-On-4 implant system requires only minimal bone to adequately support a full arch of teeth on just four implants.

Regardless of the implant type selected, a dentist who is trained and experienced in all implant types is your best choice for a successful result. In our office, our patients know their implant treatment is backed by advanced training in all implant types with both oral and I.V. sedation (twilight sleep) available.

Using the cutting edge technology of CEREC 3D, we are also able to create replacement teeth at the same appointment our patients are having their implants placed. This eliminates waiting for a dental lab to create your final restoration (replacement teeth) and a second appointment to place them. It also cuts numbing requirements in half.

Dental Implants restore biting and chewing comfort as well as the ability to speak and laugh confidently. Call 843-871-6351 to schedule a free, private consultation. During this time, I’ll make recommendations based upon your specific needs and goals. We can also discuss treatment costs and easy payment options.

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Why Dental Implants?

posted: November 07, 2017

When an individual is missing natural teeth or facing the removal of a tooth (or teeth), I take time to help the patient understand his or her options for replacement as well as why replacement is needed (even when missing a back tooth that is not visible in a smile).

Like the legs of a table or wheels on a car, each tooth plays a role in proper alignment. When a tooth is missing, the tooth above (or below) will grow longer since it does not have an opposing force to help keep it in place. By the same token, the teeth on either side of the open area will begin to tilt out of their positions.

This misalignment leads to a number of problems, including chipped, cracked, broken and fractured teeth. Improperly aligned teeth also contribute to a misaligned bite that places stress or strain on the jaw joints, which is commonly referred to as TMJ disorder.

The TMJ (temporo-mandibular joints) hinge the lower jaw to the skull. When properly functioning, the joints rotate harmoniously every time the mouth opens, while chewing or speaking and even during swallowing.

Misaligned teeth transfer stress and strain to the the jaw joints. This can lead to night-time clenching and grinding, worn teeth, frequent headaches, migraines, dizziness, ear ringing and sore jaw joints.

Obviously, there is a domino effect when lost teeth are not replaced. At the same time, people who wear dentures or partial dentures may encounter an entirely different set of challenges.

When teeth are missing, the jaw bone that once supported their roots begins to shrink. This process is known as resorption. When the bone resorbs, it declines in height and mass. This reduced mass of bone creates a vulnerable foundation for remaining natural teeth. Statistics show that the next tooth you’re most likely to lose is one adjacent to a missing tooth.

Unbeknownst to many people, wearing dentures or partials actually contributes to the rate of bone loss. The pressure these appliances place on the bone speeds up the process of resorption. For those who sleep in their dentures, bone loss occurs at an even faster rate.

When the bone declines in mass, the denture or partial will eventually begin to slip or rub uncomfortable spots on tender gum tissues. This is because the appliance is custom-designed to the unique contours of an individual’s gum ridge. As the gum ridge flattens due to resorption, the fit becomes less and less secure. Over time, even denture pastes and adhesives will do little to hold the appliance in place.

We recommend dental implants for a number of reasons. The main advantage is how dental implants restore natural biting and chewing ability without requiring the support of neighboring teeth (as with some partials and crown-&-bridge combinations).

Additionally, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. They will not experience decay, require root canals or cause damage to neighboring teeth. And, because they recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw bone, bone loss is halted.

When it comes to dental implants, the only obstacle for some people is cost. Although the fees associated with implants are all ‘up front,’ the problems experienced with dentures and partials that require future expense will not creep up and need continual upkeep.

Dental implants are one of the most successful implant-in-bone procedures, with a nearly 97 percent success rate. When you place your treatment in the hands of an experienced dentist who is trained in all types of implants, you optimize your potential for a successful outcome. He or she can choose the type that is truly best for your individual needs.

In our office, we combine experience, skills and comfort. We offer oral and I.V. sedation and use advanced technology to maximize comfort and precision placement. Here, safety and comfort are priorities with our entire team and our track record is exceptional.

To discuss your individual needs, call 843-871-6351. We will be happy to make recommendations and discuss easy payment plans that require no down payment and are interest-free.

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Crowns In One Appointment Save Time, Enhance Comfort.

posted: October 30, 2017

Tis the season – already. Once November arrives, there seems to be a mad scramble to be ready for the holidays. Stores are already full of holiday decor, gift baskets and Christmas wrapping paper.

Early preparations help us to save time, being able to avoid crowded stores and last-minute panic as the holidays draw near. For those who are considering having dental treatment completed before the holiday dash, we can help by offering CEREC 3D single-visit crowns and implant restorations (replacement teeth that are attached to the implanted posts).

CEREC is a computerized process that takes precision measurements, creates a custom-designed crown, and actually manufactures it in one appointment. The process is comfortable and the results are beautiful.

cerec machine

Single visit crowns, bridges and dental implant restorations

First, we use a handpiece to take images of various angles of the prepared tooth to be crowned. This information is loaded into CEREC’s computer and I enter specifics for shade, etc.

Then, while the patient is still numb, a ceramic block is placed in CEREC’s milling unit. In an efficient process, the block is formed into the customized crown’s shape — all while the patient relaxes comfortably. In minutes, the final restoration is ready for placement.

What does this mean? The greatest advantage most people find is the savings in time. Rather than have an appointment to have the tooth prepared and a temporary placed AND return for a second appointment to place a crown created by a dental lab (often 2-4 weeks later), CEREC requires just one appointment for BOTH.

Not only does this eliminate the need for a second appointment, the patient avoids the need for a second numbing injection. No more waiting hours to overcome lip numbness a second time around!

The CEREC 3D process is quick, easy and provides a durable, beautiful result. Patients like that shade matching is precise and CEREC restorations provide excellent longevity.

Additionally, since wearing a temporary crown is not necessary, the worry of eating cautiously for fear it could dislodge (which often occurs at the worst of times!) is a non-issue. With CEREC, no temporaries are needed!

Today’s dental technology is designed to provide patients with exceptional results while maximizing patient comfort. We have found the CEREC process accomplishes both – with hundreds of patients quickly becoming fans of this advanced technology.

One of the reasons I agreed to serve as a CEREC Mentor to other dentists is because of the advantages to our patients. With every piece of technology we select, it is always with this goal — what is best for our patients when it comes to optimal outcomes and a comfortable experience.

CEREC 3D techology is just one of our many advanced features. To learn more about the state-of-the-art technology available in our office, please visit: https://www.smilesbyandrews.com/comfort-advanced-features/

Ready to tend to dental needs in half the time? You are invited to begin with a no-charge consultation. We’ll be happy to discuss options recommended for your needs and answer your questions. Call 843-871-6351 to schedule.

 

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Replace Missing Tooth (Or Teeth) Several Ways

posted: October 02, 2017

Today’s dentistry offers many options for replacing teeth. And, with modern techniques, materials and technology, tooth replacement can create a natural look, feel and function.

In our office, we utilize advanced technology that can save patients time, enhance comfort and create an exceptional look and feel for virtually every need.

Creates replacement teeth in a single visit!

When it comes to replacing teeth, patients have many choices with a wide range of fees associated with each. Yet, like anything, having dentistry done for a ‘bargain rate’ means corners were cut somewhere. This typically results in compromises, sacrificing longevity, function and overall satisfaction.

Replacing a tooth (or teeth) is no place to go ‘cheap.’ Choose an option that is the very best for a reasonable cost. Choose your dentist carefully, according to skills and experience. If the treatment fee is beyond your means, ask about payment plans. In many cases, these help patients finance their treatment for no down payment with no interest charged. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of treatment while making monthly payments that fit your budget.

Today, the preferred tooth replacement option is a Dental Implant. Dental Implants restore a natural biting strength and stability since the implanted portion is anchored by the jaw bone, just as natural tooth roots. After placement, we use the advanced technology CEREC 3D, which creates replacement teeth from a computerized image. While you comfortably relax, the replacement crowns (or ‘restorations’) are created and ready to attach to the implanted portion. The teeth created by CEREC provide an optimal look, feel and function with exceptional longevity. The attached teeth will not move when eating, will not slip when speaking or laughing or cause uncomfortable rubbing on tender gums. And, because implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, otherwise healthy, natural teeth do not require crowning to serve as supports to replacement teeth. However, with Dental Implants, the best advantage of all is their lifespan. Dental Implants are designed to last your lifetime, making them an exceptional investment.

Crown-&-Bridge combinations are a familiar means of replacing one or several teeth in one area. However, a bridge can be placed only when it is bordered by natural teeth on each side. These adjacent teeth are crowned so they can support the bridge on each side. Today’s bridges are made of porcelain and designed to blend beautifully with adjacent teeth. In our office, we use CEREC 3D technology to create porcelain crowns and bridges in a single visit, which eliminates the wait time needed by a dental lab. No second numbing! No second visit! No wearing temporaries! With CEREC technology, you can leave your appointment with your final porcelain crowns and bridge ready for you to enjoy.

In our office, a partial denture also can be placed in a single visit. A ‘partial’ replaces several teeth and is secured to existing natural teeth. A partial consists of teeth on a base, which is contoured to fit the unique shape of your gums and blend attractively with natural teeth and gums.

For those who are missing all upper or lower teeth, a ‘full arch’ denture is the preference of some patients. Full dentures restore the look of a full smile with comfortable chewing and speaking ability. While not as ideal as Dental Implants, dentures offer a more affordable way to enjoy confidence when smiling, eating and laughing. Relines can be done should the denture begin to slip (due to decline in jaw bone mass, known as ‘resorption’).

Our goal is to create an ideal result for the tooth replacement option you prefer and to provide each patient with an outcome that makes them smile! If you are missing teeth, replacing them is vital. Missing teeth can lead to problems associated with bite misalignment and contribute to further tooth loss as well.

Call 843-871-6351 to arrange a no-charge, no obligation consultation appointment. During this time, I’ll discuss the options that are recommended for you according to your preferences. Our financial coordinator can also discuss payment options, if desired.

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All On 4 Dental Implants Overcome Obstacles, Affordably!

posted: September 11, 2017

Dental Implants are nothing new. You may be surprised to learn that they’ve been around since ancient Egypt. Through archeological digs, it was found the Egyptians carved shells or stones into tooth shapes and placed them in jaw bones where natural teeth had been lost.

An excavation in Honduras showed the Mayan civilization from 600 AD used a similar process. During a 1930’s dig, a human jaw bone was found that had tooth-shaped shell pieces positioned in sockets of missing teeth.

As attempts at dependable tooth replacement continued, implant versions made of metal and gold were discovered in ancient cultures in North and South America, the Mediterranean and Middle Asia.

However, successful developments actually made significant inroads during the World War II period after it was noted that certain metals showed consistently successful results.

Progress soared after titanium was developed by NASA. Using titanium, a Swedish surgeon found that the jaw bone would grow around implants to secure them in place.

The first titanium implants were placed in a mid-30’s male patient in 1965. He had four lower implants inserted and had fully functional teeth for over 40 years (the remainder of his life), enjoying the same benefits as his natural teeth.

So, here we are in 2017, with Dental Implants having one of the highest success rates of any implant-in-bone types (including hips, knees and joints). With proper placement and maintenance, Dental Implants are designed to last your lifetime!

Today, there are also many types of implants designed to accommodate various needs and goals. One of the most recent has been the All-On-4 Dental Implant system.

The beauty of this implant is how it overcomes the obstacles of bone loss and allows for the immediate attachment of teeth. And, it is one of the most affordable implant systems!

Bone loss occurs when natural tooth roots no longer exist in the jaw bone. As the bone declines in mass, the fit of a denture or partial changes. Over time, this creates a challenge when eating and laughing as the denture moves, often rubbing uncomfortably on tender gum tissues.

However, successful implant placement in the past required a certain height of bone mass. To accomplish this with prior systems, bone rebuilding procedures were needed to restore bone to a sufficient height before implants could be placed.

tooth implants full jaw

All-On-4 Dental Implants

The All-On-Four system is designed so that unique angles are used in placement. Using just four implants, they are designed to support a full arch of teeth by distributing the load evenly. Since the cost of Dental Implant treatment is largely based on the number of implants used, this also keeps costs to a minimum.

For people who have struggled with dentures for years, an especially appealing feature of All On Four is that the teeth attached are non-removable. Just like natural teeth, they do not come out of the mouth to clean or while sleeping.

I have been involved with implant dentistry for many years and have found the developments in design, materials and placement techniques an exciting part of dentistry. My implant patients who have opted for the All-On-4 system have been especially pleased.

We all hope to keep our natural teeth for a lifetime, but for those who have lost all of their upper or lower teeth, Dental Implants provide an exceptional option for tooth replacement — one that restores the ability to eat, laugh and feel confident every day!

If you’ve considered replacing missing teeth, call 843-871-6351 to schedule a free consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss the type of implant system that will work best for you and I’ll answer your questions. We can also have our Financial Coordinator discuss easy payment options, if desired.

NOW is the time to enjoy a smile that enhances the many pleasures of life — savoring food you love, laughing with friends and family, and waking up with a smile. Call today to arrange a free, private consultation.

 

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Missing Teeth? Many Options To Replace Them.

posted: August 17, 2017

A missing tooth is more than a flaw in the appearance of one’s smile. It can lead to problems with the proper alignment of neighboring teeth. When teeth tilt or turn out of their proper positions, the result can lead to chips, fractured or broken teeth, night-time grinding or clenching, worn teeth, headaches, migraines, jaw joint pain and more.

The best time to replace a lost natural tooth is immediately after it’s removed. However, today’s dentistry offers exceptional ways to replace teeth at any time, even though that have been missing for decades.

Through advanced materials, techniques and technology, replacing one, several or an entire ‘arch’ of missing teeth can be done to provide stability, dependability and comfort with an exceptional look and feel in the process.

Dental Implants – I recommend implants to most individuals because they are a ‘one and done’ investment. When properly maintained, an implant is designed to last a lifetime. They are the closest thing to natural teeth because the implanted portion is supported by your jaw bone, just as your natural tooth roots were once. This means they restore a natural biting strength and stability. The teeth attached to an implant will not move while eating and will cause no uncomfortable rubbing on gum tissues. And, because an implant does not rely on neighboring teeth for support do not need crowning. That means the integrity of surrounding is protected. Another bonus of an implant is its ability to protect bone mass. By recreating stimulation in the jaw bone, similar to what a natural tooth root provides, the process of bone resorption is halted. An example of this bone loss is the ‘granny look’ of long-time denture wearers. Bone loss thins and weakens the strength of the jaw bone. Dental implants preserve the jaw bone, helping you to maintain a healthy bone mass.

smiling dental patient

There are exceptional options in tooth replacement today. The goal is to restore smiling confidence!

Crown-&-Bridge – When replacing one or several teeth in one area, some people prefer a bridge that is supported by natural teeth on each side. To support a bridge (of one or more teeth) the natural teeth on both sides are crowned. Then, the crowns connected to the replacement tooth or teeth being replaced. In our office, we use the state-of-the-art computerized technology of CEREC 3D. This technology can take measurements and create ceramic crowns and bridges while you wait. By eliminating the need for a dental lab, this means you don’t have to wear a temporary and won’t need a second appointment to have the final ‘restoration’ placed. And, this process cuts numbing requirements in half! CEREC 3D means you can walk out of our office with your final crown-&-bridge ready to enjoy, all in one visit!

Partial Dentures – A partial denture is designed to replace several upper or lower teeth. Typically, a partial connects replacement teeth to a framework, which is then secured to existing natural teeth with a fit that is stable and comfortable. Because a partial is created to the contours of your gums and custom shade-matched, it will blend attractively with natural teeth and gums.

Full Dentures – For people who are missing all of their upper or lower teeth, a ‘full arch’ denture can be made to restore the look of a full smile. While not as secure as Dental Implants, they are made to fit comfortably for chewing and speaking. Dentures offer a more affordable way to enjoy a full, comfortable smile that restores confidence when speaking or laughing with others. Relines can be done periodically should the denture begin to slip (due to jaw bone resorption).

We believe every patient should enjoy a confident, comfortable, and attractive smile. We want you to understand all your options so you can select the best tooth replacement for your needs and goals.

Call 843-871-6351 for a no-cost, no obligation consultation. During this time, I’ll discuss the best options based on your needs and preferences. While you’re here, our financial coordinator can go over payment options. Some require no down payment and are interest-free.

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One-Appointment Crowns Make The Process Simple, Quick.

posted: July 19, 2017

It wasn’t that long ago when, to log onto the internet, the ‘dial up’ process was required. Getting online began with that awful, high pitched whine while waiting for connection, only to be forced to wait as pages and images slowly appeared in choppy segments, piece by piece.

How nice that technology has changed the process to an almost instantaneous one. We now click on and have what we need in mere seconds. Dentistry has also created a faster method for crowns (caps), dental implant restorations and some bridges, thanks to the advanced technology of CEREC 3D.

CEREC 3D is computerized technology that creates beautiful, durable restorations in a ‘single visit’ process. It begins by taking precision measurements of the tooth and then customizes ceramic restorations to provide an exact fit and ideal shade.

Before CEREC, it was necessary to wear a temporary while a dental lab created the final teeth. The patient would have to return for another appointment (and another numbing) to have the final restoration placed. Not only does the CEREC process eliminate the need to return for a second appointment, it also prevents the need to wear a temporary. Another bonus is in shade matching. Since relaying specific tints to a dental lab has been eliminated, shade matching is more exact.

When it comes to the advantages that patients like the most, not having to wear a temporary and doing everything in one appointment are the most appealing aspects. Of course, they love the natural look and feel.

CEREC is a registered trademark of Dentsply Sirona, Inc. As a CEREC 3D Mentor for other dentists, I’ve also been involved in testing new features that keep this technology continually on the cutting edge when it comes to modern dentistry. Learn more about this technology as well as other advanced features in our office at: https://www.smilesbyandrews.com/comfort-advanced-features/

You are also invited to stop by our office to discuss your specific needs. Call 843-871-6351 to schedule a free consultation.

 

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Do I Need To Replace A Tooth That’s Not Visible In A Smile?

posted: May 10, 2017

A smile with a missing tooth detracts from one’s appearance, which is why most people want to replace it as quickly as possible. It also sends a message to others that creates a lasting impression.

The appearance of a smile has a significant level of importance. Studies have also shown that lasting impressions are made within the first three seconds of meeting someone. According to a Kelton Research study of over1,000 American adults, nearly 30% of those surveyed say the first feature they notice when meeting someone new is their teeth. Twenty-five percent of these cite teeth as what they remember the most later.

Adults are now gaining greater awareness of how their smile can impact their potential for employment or advancement in today’s competitive job market. For those who are re-entering the dating scene, an appealing smile can help project a more youthful appearance and upbeat personality.

During an annual meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), speaker H. Asuman Kiyak, PhD discussed the psychological issues affecting people who have experienced the loss of a tooth and addressed how this loss can affect quality of life.

In addition to appearance, the social relations component of quality of life is altered with missing teeth. Results from a survey distributed to nearly 20,000 AGD members revealed that over 86% of responding dentists cited social embarrassment as one of the greatest problems associated with tooth loss, causing over half to avoid social interaction because of it.

Combine these emotional issues with the fact that a tooth neighboring a missing tooth area is at the highest risk of being the next you’ll lose. Additionally, without natural tooth roots to keep the jaw bone stimulated, the bone will begin to melt away. This bone loss can change facial appearance as the bone declines in height and width.

It is easier to protect a tooth than replace it. This is why we recommend crowns or inlays for the ultimate in longevity and durability. In our office, we can prepare your tooth and place a crown or inlay in a single visit. Using CEREC 3D technology, we are able to create beautiful ceramic crowns, bridges and implant replacement teeth. This precision, in-office process means patients avoid having to wear a temporary or return to have a dental lab-created crown placed.

However, when a tooth is lost, there are several options for replacing it. From dental implants to crown-&-bridge combinations to partial dentures, these provide a natural look and feel with excellent longevity.

Your smile says a lot. Don’t let a missing tooth send the wrong message or disrupt the health of other teeth. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 for a free consultation to discuss your best options.

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High-Tech Dentistry Enhances Comfort, Saves You Time

posted: April 24, 2017

Our patients enjoy one, comfortable office for nearly every dental need, from regular cleanings to dental implants and everything in-between. In addition to added relaxation options of Oral and I.V. Sedation, our office features some of the most advanced dental technology available to reduce treatment time and optimize comfort.

Just some of the advanced features you’ll find in our Summerville dental office include:

Dental Radiology With 3D Cone Beam Technology – This 3D imaging covers the whole dentition area (all teeth and jaws, from ear to ear), giving a clear view of the mandible and maxilla (upper and lower jaw). This provides an intricate review of diagnostic requirements and is ideal for treatment planning of endodontics (root canals), periodontics (treatment of gums), orthodontics (tooth realignment), dental implants, TMJ (jaw joints) and dental prosthetics (crowns, bridges, partials, dentures and teeth attached to implants). Cone beam images also pinpoint the lower jaw nerve canal for pre-surgical planning for ideal implant positioning. The imaging process is fast and comfortable and exposes patients to minimal levels of radiation.

One Appointment Crowns & Inlays – CEREC 3D creates beautiful, durable ceramic restorations using the latest in computerization, ready for placement. The tooth is prepared and, while the patient relaxes for a brief time, their ceramic crown or bridge is created and ready for placement — no dental lab needed (that takes weeks). CEREC 3D also eliminates the need for temporaries and reduces numbing requirements by fifty percent.

Laser Therapy – Treatment of gum tissues using our laser is ideal for precision gum contouring, bacteria removal, uncovering implants, repair of oral ulcers and other tissue related procedures. Additionally, the laser causes no bleeding and reduces numbing requirements.

‘Silent’ Drill – We use handpieces that sound like a gentle whirr – with no high-pitched sound of a drill. This handpiece also has better precision and is much quieter.

Digital X-Rays – This digital imaging (x-ray) system reduces exposure to radiation by up to 90% while providing enlarged, on-screen images instantly. Its magnification aids in early diagnosis, helping to reduce treatment time and costs. Patients also like that this fast process is more comfortable than traditional “bite wings”.

Oral Cancer Detection – As a standard part of a patient’s annual examination, we use the VELscope Early Detection System. This is a hand-held device that aids in early detection of oral cancer. The exam is non-invasive, painless and takes only minutes. This process gives a better visual of abnormal tissue that may be, or may lead to, oral cancer.

CASEY Patient Education – To enhance patient communication and their involvement in treatment decisions, we use wall-mounted video technology in treatment suites. These also feature step-by-step information on the latest dental procedures.

IntraOral Imaging – To enhance patient understanding of areas in need, this technology gives enlarged views of specific areas in the mouth that can be easily viewed by the patient while in the treatment chair.

Computerized Charting – At each visit, a patient’s oral health status is recorded and stored, providing easy retrieval for future comparisons. This not only measures the patient’s oral status, it helps in predicting vulnerable areas. This allows patients to be proactive so preventing problems in the first place can occur.

Sterilization System – In our office, all instruments used in patient care are heat sterilized. Our process meets or exceeds the guidelines set forth by OSHA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

We are also proud that many of the features in our office are environmentally-friendly, helping to preserve precious natural resources and reducing the use of chemicals.

For a firsthand look at our advanced features, and to learn more about the patient benefits of each, feel free to ask. We are also happy to help you understand your options!

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All-On-4 Dental Implant System Overcomes Many Problems

posted: January 04, 2017

A growing number of adults now choose Dental Implants to replace missing teeth. They are the closest thing to the natural teeth you once had, restoring the ability to bite and chew comfortably and dependably. Not only are Dental Implants designed to last a lifetime, they come with a number of additional advantages.

It is a misconception that an implant is needed for each missing tooth. Often, one implant can support a bridge of several teeth. For those who wear a full upper or lower denture (or both), just 6 or 8 strategically-placed implants can often support a full arch of teeth. Because the cost of implants is largely based on the number of implants placed, this helps to keep treatment fees at manageable levels for many individuals.

For denture wearers, however, a prominent goal in replacing their denture is to avoid having to take their teeth out again. Having to remove their denture and soak it in a glass at night is anything but desirable. In the past, certain Dental Implant systems that support removable teeth have been the more economical options. However, modern implant dentistry has developed a system to support non-removable (or ‘fixed’) teeth while keeping treatment fees within an affordable range.

tooth implants full jaw

All-On-4 Dental Implants

The All On 4 implant system is designed to support a full arch of non-removable teeth on just 4 strategically-positioned implants. Because the implanted portions are placed at unique angles, they are able to distribute the force of biting and chewing on fewer implants.

Another benefit of All On 4 is its ability to be placed in minimal bone. For many people who are long-time denture wearers, the jaw bone that once supported natural tooth roots has melted away. This process of bone loss is known as resorption. Years of wearing dentures can lead to a significant amount of bone loss from the pressure of the denture on the upper or lower arch. Without sufficient bone mass to support the implants, many have been told they do not have enough bone to support Dental Implants. This is another area where All On 4’s unique design overcomes the obstacle.

While we applaud the advantages of the All-On-4 implant system, there are many types of implants, each designed to accommodate specific needs. It is important to rely on a dentist who is specifically trained to diagnose and place all types of Dental Implants. This way, you will enjoy the full advantages of your new teeth! The type of Dental Implant best suited for you can be determined after an examination and review of x-rays (we use Cone-Beam digital imaging for an in-depth 3D view).

In my office, you can begin with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss your individual needs and what may work best for your preferences.

Call 1-877-966-9009 to arrange a time that works for you.

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