From long before George Washington, up until very recent history, dentures were the only alternative for those who lost all of their teeth. Anyone who has lived with a denture (or knows someone that has) probably understands the tremendous daily toll it takes on life. While it may be funny when we see a denture fly out of someone’s mouth on “America’s Funniest Videos” it is no laughing matter to someone on a date or speaking in front of a corporate board. And make no mistake, tooth loss and dentures are by no means restricted to retirees.
What many people do not fully understand (even those living with a denture today) are the many health ramifications that go with having lost your natural teeth. These include:
1. Poor Nutrition: Those who can’t bite or chew correctly are greatly restricted in their food choices.
2. Poor Digestion: Chewing is the first step in getting the nutrition from your food.
3. Bone loss: Bones stay strong when stressed. The loss of teeth and tooth roots eliminates the stress needed to keep the bones that support them strong. This is why we see the shrinking faces of denture wearers. It’s also why their dentures must constantly be relined (tightened) to stay in place.
4. Quality Of Life: The loss of confidence in social situations and the fear of being placed in an environment that may cause you embarrassment greatly impact many denture wearers. They may feel old before their time. They may even feel handicapped.
Dental Implants have offered a solution to those with teeth for decades. A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone to act as an anchor for replacement teeth. Once in place the dental implant can last a lifetime and is as strong as a natural tooth root. After completing dental school, Houston’s own Dr. Rick Kline embarked on a course of study with the leading authority at that time on this type of dentistry. He studied with Dr. Carl Misch, who had pioneered many of the advancements in implant dentistry up to that time. Dr. Kline resolved to make restoring a functional, beautiful smile to those living with lost teeth the focus of his dental career. The state-of-the-art at this time (about 20 years ago) required that the dental implants have up to 9 months to bond with the surrounding bone before they could support the new replacement teeth. In many cases it took up to a year to fully restore someone’s smile. Even then, the results were worth the wait!
Dramatic improvements in the design of dental implants and a revolutionary new way of placing them, has now made it practical for dental implants to support replacement teeth in the same day they are placed! Dr. Kline adopted this approach about 10 years ago. Dr. Kline calls this alternative Teeth By Tonight.™ He has now restored hundreds of smiles using this technique and sees patients from around the World. Luckily for Houston residents, he is in their hometown.