1. Why should I see a Prosthodontist like Dr. Pickle?
Dr. Pickle is a board certified specialist in the area of Prosthodontics. A true dental specialist possesses three or more years of accredited residency past a dental school in order to earn a certificate in Prosthodontics. In addition, Dr. Pickle completed research to earn a Master’s degree in addition to his certificate. Dr. Pickle also holds a certificate in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics. He remains engaged in new techniques and advances in dentistry, and shares his knowledge through local continuing education courses to area practitioners.
2. I have heard a lot about dental implants. What are they?
Dental implants are the best choice for addressing your current needs and long-term results. Dental implants have been used routinely in the United States for over 30 years, and almost fifty years in Europe. Dental implants have become one of dentistry’s most reliable procedures with proven success rates from 95-100%! Dental implants are one of the most predictable procedures in dentistry today when used appropriately by skilled dentists. Dental implants are the standard of care endorsed by the American Dental Association for single tooth replacement. If you are missing all of your teeth, they are often the best choice or even the only choice to allow you to return as close to normal oral function and appearance as possible.
3. How exactly do dental implants work?
A dental implant is basically a replacement for a tooth root. The dental implant is made of titanium and usually about the size and shape of a tooth root. The dentist places the dental implant into the bone in place of a missing tooth. The dental implant is threaded and looks like a screw while the top of the implant is hollow and threaded on the inside. The dentist can connect the top of the implant to single tooth crowns and many other options like dentures, partials, multiple crowns, or even bars that hold a full jaw of teeth.
We use titanium because the body doesn’t reject it and the bone will grow into it to make the implant secured to support chewing. Many other body implants are made of titanium, like hips and knees, for the same reasons.
4. I am only missing one tooth. Do I need to see a prosthodontist?
This is one of the most common situations that people regularly face. The basic choices are:
- Make a 3-tooth bridge by cutting down and connecting the teeth on either side of the space, or;
- Place a single implant with a crown on it.
5. I am missing many teeth. What kind of replacement options can Dr. Pickle offer me?
In the past, the only way that dentists could treat this situation was with:
- Removable partial dentures
- Bridge with a lot of teeth in it
These are not good, reliable options that will last a long time, but they can suffice when needed. Dental implants are an ideal way to solve this problem, whether with fixed crowns or even to support a partial denture. There is much less stress on the remaining teeth because the implants help share the load; they also improve chewing by increasing the bite force. Translation: you can eat a larger variety of healthy foods
6. I have many bad teeth that I am not sure can be salvaged. Or, my general dentist tells me that I need dentures, or I already have dentures. I don’t want anything removable.
There are two main solutions that dental implants can provide:
- Place 2-4 implants and a removable denture that snaps in. This is a major improvement over conventional dentures and can be a viable treatment choice. The fewer number of implants reduce the cost.
- Place 4-6 implants and making a full set of “fixed” teeth that only the dentist can remove; you do not take them out every night. This is the closest option to natural teeth that dentistry can offer today. The fact that the dentist can remove them, repair or do maintenance on them, and easily put them back makes this a very valuable and attractive option. Sometimes this procedure can be done in one treatment appointment (after a number of planning appointments).
7. I have had extensive dental work done multiple times and I don’t want to go through it again. What can you offer?
Many people have experienced repeated dental work. If things are falling apart yet again and it all needs were redone, this may be the time to consider a different approach. Removing the teeth, or what is left of them, and using the good remaining bone to place dental implants for a new foundation is a very logical (and cost effective) alternative. Dental implant supported teeth will greatly reduce your need for significant dental work in the future.
8. I want or need my full mouth remade with crowns. Do you do that?
Absolutely. Dr. Pickle is expertly trained in the area of full-mouth rehabilitation, whether it involves teeth, implants and teeth, or only implants. As with any treatment solution, necessary diagnostic information will be gathered, including X-rays and 3D imaging, to determine if this is the best long-term solution for you. A variety of materials can be used to enhance your smile and give you the best esthetic outcome.
9. My partner snores at night. What can be done about that?
Snoring is a common complaint of spouses, both male and female. More than the noise being bothersome, snoring can be a sign of another condition called sleep apnea. Disturbances in sleep have been linked with other health conditions, including high blood pressure and generalized fatigue. Oral appliances can be made to help with both snoring and sleep apnea. However, your primary care physician will need to order a sleep test to determine the correct diagnosis. Many people who have sleep apnea wear a device called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device). For those who cannot tolerate a CPAP an oral appliance is often the only choice to help treat sleep apnea. Those who suffer from snoring can also benefit from an oral appliance. Dr. Pickle is trained to treat snoring or sleep apnea with custom-made oral appliances.
10. I have had bad experiences at the dentist in the past. What can you do to help?
We offer several forms of relief from anxiety and pain. If you suffer from dental anxiety and need something stronger than oral medications we can also offer you sedation appointments.