What is a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is an expert in the restoration and replacement of teeth. That means they have advanced education (beyond a general dentist) to repair teeth that are badly damaged as a result of trauma, decay, or circumstance. It also means, a prosthodontist has the capabilities to design, create, and place a false tooth, or teeth, in the patient’s mouth.
Prosthodontists are dentists too. They’ve completed a four year, Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree, and continued on after that, for an additional three years of specialized training and education in an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited prosthodontic graduate program. All of this training ensures they’re highly capable of handling complex cases of oral and maxillofacial (jaws and face) rehabilitation.
To summarize, a prosthodontist has advanced training and education in cosmetic dental treatments, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD), and more.
Why is it important to replace missing teeth?
A missing tooth in your mouth can cause several problems for your oral health. First, your teeth are meant to function together so you can successfully chew, speak, and smile. These can be difficult to do when a tooth or teeth are missing. Secondly, teeth play an essential role in forming your facial features. When a tooth or teeth are missing, the other teeth will eventually shift, causing the face to move or droop, which could result in an older appearance.
Dr. Lalonde highly recommends dental implants for anyone looking to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are the only treatment that restores both portions of a tooth above and below the gum line, which make them the most reliable, durable, and natural-looking tooth replacement available today. Whether you are missing a single tooth or need a full denture, nothing compares to dental implants for tooth replacement.
Are implants right for me?
In general, most people are candidates for dental implants, as long as they are in good health. Certain diseases or conditions can alter the implant process, so it’s essential to meet with Dr. Lalonde so he can assess your situation. Dr. Lalonde is happy to work with you to design a solution specific to your individual needs.
Do you accept dental emergencies?
Yes, we are available to treat dental emergencies. At Lafayette Restorative Dentistry, we understand how painful a dental injury or infection can be and that it may require immediate attention. We will make every effort to get you in to be seen by Dr. LaLonde as soon as possible.
In general, any dental situation that involves bleeding that won’t stop, severe pain, or saving a tooth that has come out, or is severely damaged, is considered an emergency. It is crucial to be seen as soon as possible if you or your loved one has a broken tooth, a tooth infection, or trauma/injury to the mouth or teeth.
When you call us, try to provide as much detail as possible about your condition.
What is an Implantologist?
An Implantologist is a dentist with an additional one or two years of training, after graduating from dental school, in the placement of dental implants. It is a small field that is not yet officially recognized by the ADA (American Dental Association).
Implantology is an area practiced by ADA recognized dental specialties like prosthetic dentistry, periodontology, and oral surgery.
What kind of sedation do you use at your office?
Our compassionate team at Lafayette Restorative Dentistry feels strongly that none of our patients should have to experience anxiety or stress for their upcoming appointment. Please speak with us about your fears and concerns, and we can let you know more about the types of sedation we offer. Following is an overview of what we offer:
Our lowest level of sedation is nitrous oxide. You may have commonly heard it referred to as “laughing gas.” It will help you to relax and take the edge off during your procedure. With this level of sedation, you will remain awake and will recover quickly after the procedure (and can drive yourself home, if needed).
Oral sedation also referred to as “conscious sedation,” will require you to take a pill before your procedure. You will remain awake for the procedure, but it will significantly relax you, and you will most likely not remember anything after the pill takes effect. We will monitor your vitals during your treatment. Once the sedation wears off, you will probably feel tired for the remainder of the day and possibly the next day, also. You will need to arrange to have a ride home after your procedure.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
The signs and symptoms of gum disease, or periodontal disease, include:
Swollen, red, and/or bleeding gums
Receding gums (will make teeth look longer)
Gums that have pulled away from teeth causing a pocket
Teeth align differently when biting
Pus coming out from gums
Bad breath or taste in the mouth
Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums as a result of bacteria in plaque. Everyone accumulates plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that adheres to our teeth. We can remove much of the plaque we have by brushing our teeth twice daily and flossing each night. Additionally, it’s imperative to have professional dental hygiene cleanings at least yearly, and best every six months to remove tartar (plaque that has hardened) that was not removed by brushing and flossing.
When the plaque and tartar are not removed, over time it will become infected, and the onset of periodontal disease will begin. If left untreated it can progress to a more severe stage. However, when detected early, periodontal disease is very treatable.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are the best, long-term solution for missing teeth. They can last for decades with proper care. Following are some recommendations to maintain your implants:
Twice daily brushing and nightly flossing
Avoid opening hard “things” with your teeth, or chewing on tips of pens and pencils
Practice good overall health—refrain from smoking
A procedure done by Dr. Lalonde, a skilled Prosthodontist, will ensure a more secure and long-lasting implant
How much does a dental implant cost, and is it covered by insurance?
Many variables affect the cost for a dental implant procedure, such as patient needs, bone quantity, and amount of work required. Dr. Lalonde and the Lafayette Restorative Dentistry team will meet with you to design a treatment plan specific for your dental implants. We will work with you and your insurance company to determine the costs and coverage, if applicable, involved.
There is no denying the investment dental implants require. However, when the advanced technology, longevity, and improved quality of life are taken into consideration, the value received is evident.
Do you accept payment plans for treatment?
We offer personalized insurance benefits check on your first visit, so you will know exactly what your insurance covers before any treatment. We also provide a variety of payment options to fit your situation.
How long should dentures last?
With proper care, traditional dentures can last anywhere between 5 and 10 years. Your overall health and age can affect the longevity of the dentures.
Dentures, whether implant or traditional, should be evaluated by Dr. Lalonde each year.