Congenitally Missing Teeth

The impact on children/adolescents and the importance of proper team planning

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There’s little argument that teenage years can be difficult. Homework. Acne. First love. Add to it a missing tooth and peer teasing can make this time even tougher. For many, this missing tooth could be no fault of their own. Instead, it can be the result of a condition known as “congenitally missing teeth”.

single-implant-case-duringTo give a little background … A normal adult has 32 teeth and for those born with congenitally missing teeth, one or more of the adult teeth do not form. In most cases the non-forming teeth are not of consequence – i.e. wisdom teeth. When the condition does impact teeth of consequence, it is most often a prominently visible front lateral incisor tooth or back 2nd premolar chewing tooth. This issue generally comes to light in elementary or middle school years when a tooth (or teeth) is noticeably missing either in dental x-rays by a general dentist, pediatric specialist and/or orthodontist. It is also something that can be simply noticed by the child or their parents.

single-implant-case-afterStudies show congenitally missing teeth impact approximately 2-5% of the population, which equates to one (1) in an average classroom of 30 children. It appears this condition occurs more often in girls, but boys are not immune.
There are no symptoms and while hereditary, almost always the patient will learn that a parent or grandparent has/had the same issue after the diagnosis.

The good news is that congenitally missing teeth is a treatable condition. Whether a front lateral incisor or back 2nd premolar, the key is proper planning for tooth replacement during adolescence. This often involves a team of dental specialists working in tandem with the general dentist, pediatric specialist and/or orthodontist. It should begin by the age of 9-12 years old, specifically the orthodontic treatment required in preparation for future tooth replacement. The orthodontic plan should involve consultation with a periodontist in order to prepare one’s mouth for the most optimum result. This proper planning generally includes a temporary prosthetic (plastic) tooth, which is ultimately replaced by a permanent tooth by the time a now mature teen reaches 17-20 years old. Treatment varies by case but generally involves a dental implant.

While congenitally missing teeth is not life threatening, this condition comes at a time when the impact can be life altering. Adolescence is such a formative time for children and teens. The importance of appearance, including a full mouth of teeth, cannot (and should not) be overlooked. In addition to purely aesthetic reasons, major concerns include health issues caused when teeth tip and shift as well as concerns resulting from having teeth in the wrong spots.

So like with many medical conditions, it begins with awareness.

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Dr. Kubikian Shops for Knowledge and Innovation at GNYDM

Finding the digital age in dentistry has gone mainstream

For many, the weekend that follows Thanksgiving is a flurry of activity – especially shopping on the streets of Manhattan. But this weekend also is when the dental community comes together for the annual Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in NYC. That’s where I spent time “shopping” for the newest innovations, enhancements and trends. Yes, me along with more than 50,000 healthcare professionals.

When walking the show, one word jumped out at me – digital. Although something I’ve incorporated quite a bit over the past year, it was clear the digital age in dentistry has gone mainstream. From seminars entitled “utilizing digital impression technology for every day dentistry, implants and esthetic cases” and “futurecasting the digital workflow” to any number of the 600 exhibitors with digital related products, the trend has taken hold.

In years past, I have visited the show with little specific need in mind. I like to meet vendors and see new products that can enhance the patient experiences, improve results and provide office efficiencies. However, this year I did have some particulars on my shopping list and was able to find just the right items. Mission accomplished.

drl-course-flyer-and-bioThis show is also a time when I get to spend time with peers from my field and other dental specialties to share insights, gain knowledge and learn from their experiences. It provides a plethora of ideas to bring home and not only incorporate within my practice but to build into the South Jersey Dental Club program. I like to have cutting edge speakers discussing the latest subjects, such as our February seminar on “Groundbreaking Technologies in Oral Health Care” by Daniel R. Llop, CDT, which highlights a digitally planned, fully guided implant placement and restoration protocol. This will be a great one for any and all in the dental industry.

Now I am home and back to the daily routine but already looking forward to next year!

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Types of Implant Tooth Replacements

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Long gone are the days when removable dentures or shaving adjacent teeth were the only options for replacing missing teeth. Now tooth replacements include: dental implants for single teeth, multiple consecutive teeth or for full arch replacement.

The various options can sometimes be overwhelming to patients. One’s lifestyle, the replacement’s longevity and cost are all key factors in determining the best course of action. Other crucial aspects include the number of missing teeth and the amount of jaw bone that has been lost or damaged. If you’re in need of a tooth or multiple teeth replacement, the below options are the optimal solutions.

Dental Implants Anchoring Non-Removable Teeth: Patients who are seeking long-lasting solutions almost always depend on dental implants. The titanium screws, which are anchored into the jawbone, are the most durable of all available tooth replacement choices and provide the foundation necessary for the tooth replacement to be permanently positioned. Depending on the patient’s needs, there are several types of implant placement strategies available, including single, multi-tooth and full arch replacement options.

Dental Implants Anchoring Removable Teeth: Removable teeth, commonly known as full (non-implant) dentures, are one of the first dental techniques used to replace an entire set of missing teeth. The plastic prosthetic teeth simply lay atop the gingival (gum) tissue and may rely on glue for support. Many patients gravitate toward relying on dental implants to help hold the dentures in the mouth. The benefit of using implants with dentures can be improved retention, no longer needing denture adhesive, and having a lighter, better fitting set of teeth. Even though the implants are permanent anchors to stabilize and support the denture, the denture can be removed and cleaned daily.

As with all major decisions, it is important to do extensive research before choosing the type of tooth replacement that’s best for you. Visit South Jersey Periodontics & Dental Implants where Dr. Kubikian, who is formally trained in dental implant placement, can assess your individual situation and advise you on the best course of treatment.

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Truth about Dental Implants

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Whether it is a result of tooth decay, gum disease, or an unfortunate accident, losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience. Dr. Daniel Kubikian, of South Jersey Periodontics & Dental Implants is the area’s leading specialist for dental implants.

Dental implants, which are tiny metal posts positioned into the jawbone, provide stable support for the replacement teeth which are placed on top of them. Because dental implants allow the replacement teeth to look and function normally, they are an excellent long – term solution for substituting missing teeth.

As technology has advanced and evolved, so has the type of dental implants available. Implants can range from single tooth implants, which replace one missing tooth without having to disturb neighboring teeth, to a complete arch, which involves replacing an entire row of teeth.

At South Jersey Periodontics and Dental Implants, Dr. Kubikian uses the most advanced technology to offer patients “Teeth in a Day”. This procedure, which takes only a few hours depending on the patient’s needs and the severity of the situation, allows patients to leave the office with non-removable teeth in one appointment!

To make this magic happen precisely, Dr. Kubikian combines two unique technologies. First, he uses a 3-D Cone Beam Scan to get an accurate 3-D picture of the patient’s face, teeth, and gums. Then, he utilizes his Digital Impression Scanner. By combining these two devices, Dr. Kubikian can perform a much more accurate and guided procedure, which optimizes the patient’s success rate, cuts down on procedure time and ultimately discomfort too.

Tooth loss can be tough to cope with, but thanks to the supreme care offered at South Jersey Periodontics, Dr. Kubikian will quickly have you out the door with a million-dollar smile. Contact the office today to schedule an appointment.

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