What you can do to make your future dental implant less expensive?

In certain circumstances, some teeth cannot be saved due to extensive decay, infection, or lack of finances.  Some might believe that it’s easier just to have the problem tooth removed and deal with replacing it with a dental implant in the future.  Rarely, however, does the body heal in such a way that leads to a simple implant placement down the road.

For those of you who have ever had ever had an adult tooth removed (other than your wisdom teeth), you might notice that over the years, gradual changes in the bone occur if nothing is done to replace the tooth.  The most noticeable change is that the bone where the tooth used to be becomes sunken and narrower.  In essence, the bone “melts” away because there is no longer a tooth that requires the bone support

(Click on the picture below for a video of normal healing after tooth removal).

Bone healing without a bone graft
The usual process of bone healing after a teeth are extracted

The reduced bone levels after healing can make the future implant placement more complicated, expensive, and can even preclude the placement of an implant if there is not enough bone at all.  Insufficient bone levels may require additional surgical procedures to help increase the bone volume.

To prevent this situation from happening, a simple procedure called a bone graft (or socket augmentation) can be done at the time the tooth is extracted.  By placing bone material in the extraction socket right after the tooth is removed, the amount of bone shrinkage is minimized as healing progresses.  This allows for a more straight-forward, less complicated implant placement which usually translates to a less expensive procedure down the road.

(Click on the picture below for a video of healing with a bone graft)

Bone Graft or Socket Augmentation
Healing of the jaw after teeth are removed and the bone is grafted

The Bottom Line: If you are having a tooth removed and plan on replacing it in the future with a dental implant, speak to your dentist about a bone graft or socket augmentation to create optimal conditions for a simpler (and usually less expensive) implant placement.

– Dr. Michael Banh

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The Uxbridge Public Library turns 125 years old!

Every time I visit the Uxbridge Public Library both in person and online, I grow more impressed by how it has managed to keep pace with the changing times despite budget cuts.  From constantly updating their book selection to offering E-Book downloads, to blazing trails with its active facebook page and loyal twitter following, it is incredible to see how much this library does for the community.  It’s hard to believe that this year, the UPL will mark 125 years of promoting literacy and spreading the joy of reading in our town!

UPL
Celebrating 125 years of serving the Uxbridge community

To help celebrate this momentous occasion, a black-tie event called “Book Lovers’ Ball and Benefit” is being held on April 14, 2012 at Wooden Sticks with the goal of raising funds for the Library Expansion Fund.

My brother, Dr. Vi Tu Banh and I are proud to be GOLD sponsors of this event, as libraries such as as the UPL have been a fundamental part of our own childhoods and careers.  A passion for life-long learning is a must for people of all ages and career paths, and that begins with an early love for reading.

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket for the Book Lovers’ Ball and Benefit, please visit http://www.uxlib.com/modules/bookloversball/

– Dr. Michael Banh