Aaron M. Schertzer DDS PC

5445 Telegraph Road
Saint Louis, Missouri 63129
(314) 892 -2120

 

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Posts for: January, 2019

By Advanced Dental Arts
January 20, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
ImplantPlacementintheSmileZoneRequiresExtraAttention

Dental implants are popular with both patients and dentists for their durability and likeness to natural teeth. That natural look, though, can be difficult to attain, especially in what’s known as the “smile zone” — the area of the mouth where teeth are most visible when you smile.

Our biggest concern is the upper front teeth, where the gums are most visible, especially if you smile widely. It takes considerable skill, experience and artistry to position implants in this area so that they appear to naturally emerge from the gums and blend well with other teeth.

To obtain that natural look, we must first assess whether or not there’s enough bone present, which tends to dissolve (resorb) when a tooth is missing, to sufficiently anchor the implant in the right position. There also needs to be sufficient bone around adjacent teeth to support the tiny triangles of gum tissue between teeth called papillae. Without the papillae an unattractive black hole may result between the implant and an adjacent tooth or implant.

Another factor we must consider is the type of gum tissue you have. Everyone generally inherits one of two types of tissue from their parents: thin or thick. The type you have can influence the way the implant appears to emerge from the gums. If you have thick gums, they’re easier to work with and can cover more of the implant. Thinner tissues aren’t quite as easy and are less forgiving if an implant isn’t placed as precisely as possible.

In recent years, improvements in implant design have sought to provide greater stability around bone and gum tissues to offset some of the issues we’ve mentioned. A variation on the design of the top of the implant (where the crown is attached) changes the direction of growth for gum tissues from a horizontal orientation to a vertical one, which can help with the final appearance.

The first step, if you’re considering dental implants for a tooth in the smile zone, is to visit us for a complete examination to see if any of these factors may have an impact on your situation. We can then advise you on the best course of action to achieve the most attractive smile possible.

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 “Implant Aesthetics.”


By Advanced Dental Arts
January 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

Metal braces aren't the only option if you would like to straighten your teeth. Since you'll be wearing your braces for a year or two, it's important to choose a brace type that's right for you. Your Oakville, MO, dentist, Dr. Aaron Schertzer helps you care for your smile with a range of family dentistry services and procedures.

 

What types of braces are available?

Common brace types include:

  • Metal Braces: Metal braces offer an excellent choice if you have mild to severe orthodontic issues. The braces consist of metal wires threaded through brackets attached to the front surfaces of your teeth with dental cement. Adjusting the tension on the wires periodically realigns your teeth. Although metal braces are very noticeable, they're one of the least expensive orthodontic treatment methods and may be the only choice if you have a severe or complicated orthodontic problem.
  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces also use the wire-and-bracket method, but these braces are designed to be less obvious than metal braces. Their brackets are made of clear ceramic while the wires may be metal, clear or tooth-colored. Ceramic braces are usually used to treat mild to moderate orthodontic problems.
  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces, one of the more expensive orthodontic options, are made in an Oakville area dental laboratory to ensure that they fit your mouth perfectly. The brackets and wires are attached to the back of teeth and can't be seen when you smile or speak.
  • Invisalign: Invisalign, the newest orthodontic treatment, eliminates the need for wires and brackets. If you choose Invisalign, you'll wear custom-fit trays that gradually re-position your teeth. Each tray in the series is worn for approximately two weeks before being switched out for the next tray in the series. The clear trays are practically invisible and are removed when you eat, brush, or floss your teeth. Invisalign is best suited for people who have mild to moderate orthodontic problems.

 

Do you need a little help choosing braces? Your Oakville, MO, dentist, Dr. Aaron Schertzer, offers family dentistry services and can help you decide which option is right for you. Call him at (314) 892-2120 to schedule an appointment.


By Advanced Dental Arts
January 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
CouldaMetalAllergyKeepYouFromGettingaDentalImplant

The dental implant is the closest thing in modern dentistry to a natural tooth. This is because an implant replaces more than the visible crown — it also replaces the root, thanks to a metal post imbedded in the bone.

But what if you have a metal allergy — are you out of luck replacing a tooth with an implant? Before answering this question, let's take a closer look at metal allergies.

An allergy is an overreaction of the body's immune system to a particular foreign substance. This response can be as inconsequential as a minor rash or as life-threatening as a shutdown of the body's organ systems. You can be allergic to anything, including metals.

Usually, these allergies are to specific kinds of metals. For example, about 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel, while smaller percentages are allergic to cobalt or chromium. Most allergic reactions to metal occur from external contact with jewelry or similar metal items that create rashes or other anomalies on the skin. On a more serious note, an allergy to metal in a body replacement part could result in the body rejecting it.

Metals have also played an important role in dental care, particularly dental amalgam used for tooth fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of a precious metal like gold or silver with other metals like copper, tin and, in small amounts, mercury. While dental amalgam has been used safely for decades, there have been rare cases of inflammation or rashes.

This brings us to dental implants and the most common metal used in them, titanium. The commercial version of this metal is highly prized in medical and dental applications because it has a special affinity with bone. Bone cells readily grow and adhere to the metal, which strengthens the bond between the implant and the jawbone.

Even if you have a rare allergy to certain metals, it's even rarer that would include titanium. In one particular study of 1,500 implant patients less than 1% reported any reaction at all.

If you're concerned, you can undergo testing to see if you react to titanium. More than likely, though, you'll be able to join the millions of other patients who have successfully restored their smiles with dental implants.

If you would like more information on dental implants as a tooth replacement option, 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 “Metal Allergies to Dental implants.”