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How Do Dental Implants Help Your Smile? [INFOGRAPHIC]

June 9, 2017

Dental implants are revolutionizing modern dentistry. That’s why we’re sharing today’s infographic with you. At Lapalco Family Dental, Dr. Landry and our skilled team want you to be aware of the ways dental implants can radically improve and restore your smile!

If you are missing one tooth, or several teeth, consider dental implants from our Marrero dental office. Call us today at 504-264-6461 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Landry to see if this is the right tooth replacement option for you!

Lapalco Family Dental Is Your One-Stop Dental Shop! [VIDEO]

June 1, 2017

Don’t you love those stores that offer anything from bananas to home improvement tools? Where you can get everything you need in one convenient location?

That’s one of the many things you’ll love about our Marrero, LA dental office. Hear more from our own Dr. Landry about Family Lapalco Dental’s commitment to meeting your various dental needs with the same convenience of your local one-stop shop.

From dental cleanings and exams to dental implants, our team is here for you! Give us a call at 504-264-6461 today or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.

Dental Implants: Replace Your Teeth, Resume Your Life [PHOTO]

April 9, 2017

You don’t have to accept missing teeth as just another part of aging. At Lapalco Family Dental in Marrero, LA, we give our patients the latest in teeth replacement options to help you resume the quality of life you had before.

Look at this photo diagram of how dental implants work. Dr. Landry and our highly skilled, experienced team have used dental implants to help many patients regain their smiles, restore the functionality of their teeth, and even to prevent bone loss.

Time and again, dental implants prove to be one of the greatest teeth replacement options in modern dentistry. Do you imagine a healthier, more beautiful smile for yourself?

Why not call Lapalco Family Dental today at 504-264-6461 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and find out if dental implants will work for you!

dental_implants_3_ Lapalco Family Dental _ Marrero, LA

3 Ways To Treat A Damaged Tooth

January 3, 2017

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — lapalcodental @ 8:56 pm

If your tooth is aching, schedule an appointment with Dr. Landry for treatment. Our Marrero, LA dental office can treat your tooth with a tooth-colored filling, a dental crown, or a root canal. You can also visit us for restorative, cosmetic, and general dentistry. Call 504-264-6461 to schedule your appointment today!

Missing Teeth Are a Genuine Pain

October 24, 2016

At Lapalco Family Dental, we see both children and adults. So we know that losing a tooth or even several teeth when you’re a child is usually no big thing. You know it’s temporary and that those gaps will be closed by new adult teeth. But it’s a different story when you’re an adult and lose a tooth or teeth.

Suddenly, you’re looking at the prospect of flashing a gap-toothed smile for the rest of your life. Or, not smiling at all. You many not know it yet, but you’ll be more likely to chew on the side with more teeth. That can lead to premature wear on those teeth, to muscle imbalances, and to headaches.

Let’s be clear: there are plenty of adults who live with one or more missing teeth. But very, very few are happy about that fact.

You may have thought that replacing that missing tooth or teeth was too expensive. The fact is that getting a dental bridge or dental implant may actually save you money down the road. And either option will greatly improve your quality of life.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is basically three crowns bonded together. A crown (or cap, as you may have heard it called) is either a hollow or solid “false tooth.” In the case of dental bridges, the hollow end crowns, known as abutments, fit over healthy teeth. Those teeth will likely need to be reduced a bit in size so that the crowns look natural.

The solid crown that fills the gap is called the pontic. Once the abutments are cemented into place, the pontic takes over the smiling and/or chewing duties for the missing tooth.

Dental bridges are very well-established technology. The materials used to make them are more durable and lifelike than ever. Despite those materials, bridges still have some potential drawbacks.

The first drawback is in the nature of design itself. Chewing exerts tremendous pressure; when you chew on a pontic, that pressure is transferred to the abutments, increasing stress on those teeth. Over time, that stress can lead to failure of the bridge. Also, decay can compromise one or both abutments, again causing the bridge to fail. That’s more common than you might think, because dental bridges require a special flossing technique that not everyone takes the time to master.

Still, a dental bridge can be a good solution. Generally speaking, one or crowns, or perhaps the bridge itself, may need to be replaced every 8 to 10 years. Some last longer, others fail more quickly.

Dental Implants

The state-of-the-art solution for missing teeth is the dental implant. The implant itself a tiny titanium screw that is inserted through the gum and into the bone below. Once the bone has fused to the screw, the dental restoration is firmly attached. That restoration is a single solid crown for one implant, or a bridge or even a full arch of replacement teeth when a number of implants are used.

Implants offer a number of advantages over dental bridges. The implant basically replaces a tooth root. That transfers the pressure of chewing to the underlying bone, which helps keep it healthy. Bridges can’t do that.

The titanium implants themselves should last as long you live, and restorations that are placed on implants tend to last considerably longer. So, while implants may be a more expensive option up front, many people actually save money in the long run.

You don’t have to live with the embarrassment and pain of missing teeth any longer. But

there’s only one way to know which option is right for your needs, and that’s to schedule a consultation with Lapalco Family Dental. To schedule a visit at our dentist office in Marrero, LA, call 504-264-6461 or fill out our online form.

Dental Implant Options at Lapalco Family Dental

June 25, 2015

Lapalco Family Dental in Marrero, LA is a full-service dental practice; we have consolidated all our treatment capabilities into a one-stop shop for all your oral health needs, and this includes dental implants. Unlike many practices that only claim to offer dental implants but instead only refer patients to oral surgeons, and may only place the crowns (or artificial teeth, the visible portion of implants), we offer a truly comprehensive, under-one-roof dental implant experience. This is of course much more convenient for you, our patients, but it also means you will be getting your dental implants placed by a dentist and staff that you’re familiar with and who knows your specific oral health needs and goals (in terms of health and aesthetics).

Dental implants are a life-changing solution for those who have lost teeth. We offer both standard dental implants (read previous posts for more information) and implant retained dentures; this allows us to help more people in our community.

If you’ve been living with the misery (both physical and emotional) caused by the loss of one or more teeth, you should come in for an evaluation to see if you’re in good enough health to receive dental implants. You don’t have to live with the compromises in performance and appearance caused by lesser, more conventional solutions (conventional dentures and bridges)!

Understanding Implant Retained Dentures

Dentures are a type of prosthesis, and have long been used to solve the problems caused by tooth loss. Dentures are still effective, and if it does turn out that you are among the minority of patients who can’t ever receive dental implants, they are still a viable option, along with dental bridges (neither requires surgery for placement). Conventional dentures are also still quite popular, because they are perceived to be less expensive than dental implants. Perception is often different from reality, however: while dentures have a lower upfront cost than implants, they require continuous maintenance (otherwise you risk serious infections), and they must be replaced frequently, usually because they no longer fit in your mouth (for a number of reasons, and poorly fitting dentures can create a number of embarrassing and even dangerous complications for the person wearing them).

However, dentures are an effective way to replace multiple lost teeth; it isn’t practical, and is usually very costly, to replace each tooth with an individual implant if you have several missing teeth. Combining the best elements of conventional dentures and the reliability of dental implants, we offer implant retained dentures.

What Are Implant Retained Dentures?

Implant retained dentures are used primarily for the replacement of multiple teeth on the lower jaw; in many cases, a conventional denture for the upper jaw provides sufficient performance, and are less likely to lose their fit than lower dentures (loss of fit causes dentures to slip out of place, which can lead to humiliation or infection).

Implant retained dentures eliminate the slippage issue. Instead of depending on fit i.e. how the dentures interact with your oral tissues and certain teeth to stay in place, implant retained dentures use as few as two, or as many as four implants in the gums and lower jaw. The implants that are used are somewhat different from standard implants in that they are smaller, and usually don’t have the threading of standard implants (however, they are just as reliable). These are mini dental implants, and they are used for both implant retained dentures, and they can also be used in place of standard implants if you have too little bone density to support a standard implant, or if you simply have a jaw that is naturally more narrow than most.

Also unlike standard implants, implant retained dentures don’t always require multiple appointments; the implants can be placed along with the dentures on the same day. The dentures “snap” into place on the exposed “middle” part of the mini-implant known as the abutment, which is responsible for holding the anchor (the “artificial root” that is actually implanted in your jaw, and is not visible when in your mouth). The benefit of this is a marked increase in your bite strength: you will be able to eat more of the foods you’ve always loved, your ability to speak will be improved, if not totally restored to what it was before your tooth loss. Because the denture is held firmly in place by hardware and the implants, the slipping that causes so many problems for those who wear conventional implants is no longer an issue.

Finally, because implants are used, your bone density will also recover more quickly and with greater robustness. This is especially noteworthy when you consider that conventional dentures actually can contribute to the loss of jawbone density (which is already degraded from the initial tooth loss).

Are Implant Retained Dentures as Effective as Standard Implants?

Implant retained dentures are much more effective than conventional dentures across the board: you will get back most of your ability to chew and speak normally, your risk for infections will be greatly reduced, if not entirely eliminated (relative to conventional dentures), and you won’t have to deal with the often embarrassing accidents that are caused by poorly fitting conventional dentures.

However, it should be noted that implant retained dentures still have some limitations. You won’t have to change your entire diet or lifestyle, but you will want to avoid very sticky foods, or foods that require a lot of effort to chew. In addition, while they do take advantage of the reliability and strength of dental implants, implant retained dentures are still dentures. They must be cleaned frequently, regularly, and thoroughly to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria which can cause a range of complications and even very serious diseases.

Are You Ready for Dental Implants?

If missing teeth are a constant source of pain and shame, or if you’re dissatisfied with the performance of conventional dentures or bridges, call us to make an appointment for a consultation with your dentist.

Your dentist will help you gain a better understanding of all your options, as well as give you a comprehensive examination to determine if you are healthy enough (or could be healthy enough) for dental implants or implant retained dentures.

Dial 504-264-6461 to reach our front desk, or click here to reach our online appointment form, where you can book your visit right now!

Dental Implants: Do You Have What It Takes?

June 17, 2015

It wasn’t until relatively very recently that your options for addressing the aesthetic, physical, and psychological damage caused by missing teeth were fairly limited. You could either get conventional dentures, or a bridge, depending on the nature of your specific problem. Losing your teeth, even just one, is enough to change your life forever, and usually for the worse. Conventional treatments (dentures and bridges), while still effective, don’t really offer much. Your bite strength, which is critical to your ability to chew and speak properly, won’t improve much; for example, conventional dentures only give you back 10% to 20% of your bite strength back after you’ve lost teeth.

Fortunately, today you have a third option: dental implants. Dental implants are about as close as you’re going to get to replacing missing teeth with actual teeth. With dental implants, there will be no compromise to your ability to speak or chew properly, they’re discrete, perfectly replicating the appearance of your natural teeth, and they will last a lifetime (your implant fuses with your jawbone, and it literally becomes a part of you).

In our Marrero, LA dental practice, we get a lot of inquiries from patients looking for a permanent, no-hassle, no compromise solution for missing teeth. Dental implants certainly fit the bill, but not everyone can receive dental implants. You must be at a certain level of oral and general health, because getting dental implants is a surgical procedure, and because the dental implant is less likely to fail in a healthy body and mouth (the chances of this are very small for those with suitable health profiles).

Do You Have What It Takes?

It should first be noted that these “requirements” are flexible, and in many cases, your dentist will be able to repair problems that would otherwise prevent you from getting dental implants. A consultation with your dentist is the only way to know for sure if you can get dental implants.

The Condition of Your General Health

Your general health comes into play, because dental implants are placed surgically. Bridges and dentures are, in a sense, appliances you wear; dental implants owe their effectiveness to the fact that they are embedded into the jawbone, under the gums, where eventually the implant fuses with the bone as it undergoes osseointegration (part of the normal healing process, your jawbone grows around the implant, holding it permanently, firmly in place).

From a health perspective, this means you must be well enough and able to tolerate general anesthesia. Getting dental implants is a lengthy surgical procedure, and you need to be “under” for it. Some people simply don’t tolerate general anesthesia, and complications can even be life-threatening in some cases. If you know that you don’t tolerate general anesthesia, make sure your dentist knows so that it can be factored in to the decision-making process.

You must also be free of serious disease. Because everyone’s health is unique, what defines a “serious disease” for one person might be different for another. However, certain diseases seem to universally present problems for people who want dental implants. These include:

  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Type II Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure

As stated above, just having one of these diseases does not necessarily “disqualify” you from getting dental implants, but they should still be a major part of the discussion. For example, the most frequent cause of tooth loss in the US is advanced gum disease; it destroys your oral tissues and degrades the bone in your jaw, leading to loose teeth which may fall out, or require extraction. There is a strong link between diabetes and gum disease: if you have one, the chances are high you have the other.

The Condition of Your Oral Health

For many people who are interested in dental implants, having the right level of oral health is often a challenge; like we said, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and its effects can have a negative impact on your ability to successfully undergo implantation, and your ability to support the implant in your body without a relatively high risk of failure. However, there are certain things your dentist can do to help. For example, if your jawbone has been weakened by gum disease, you may be able to get a bone graft (the placement of bone in your jaw from elsewhere in your body).

Anything Else?

In addition to being in good oral and general health, you must be a fully grown adult to receive dental implants. There are no exceptions to this rule; a dental implant placed in a mouth that is still growing, developing, and taking shape is the equivalent of putting a wine glass in a cement mixer: implant failure is a certainty.

If you are a smoker, you should quit if you want dental implants. Smoking isn’t a great idea in general, but in the context of dental implants, smoking retards the healing process which is important to the long-term success of the dental implant. Smoking can also cause postoperative complications, and smoking also contributes to a condition called bruxism (known more commonly as “teeth grinding”). Bruxism puts a lot of stress on your teeth as well as implants, to the point where it can threaten the viability of the implants.

This isn’t limited to the period before or during your implantation; smoking while you have dental implants increases the chance of implant failure considerably.

Interested In Dental Implants?

The only way to know if dental implants are right for you is to call us and make an appointment for an exam and consultation. Your dentist will want to discuss your entire health history in addition to checking the condition of your teeth, jaws, and gums to make a final recommendation.

If you have missing teeth, the problems will only get worse: don’t delay, call today!

Dial 504-264-6461 to reach our front desk, or click here to access our online appointment form and book your visit right now!

Dentures or Dental Implants?

June 9, 2015

There is nothing like a missing tooth (or as in some cases, teeth) to change your life significantly for the worse. Teeth that have been lost have a negative impact on your appearance as well as your self-confidence, but that probably goes without saying. What may not be so obvious are how missing teeth affect the teeth that are left. Missing teeth can cause problems with the alignment of your jaw, leading to damaged teeth that are prone to infection and disease. You will also notice difficulty when you speak, or chew food (any food). You will lose bone density in the area where you used to have teeth (on top of any bone loss that likely caused your tooth to fall out), and the teeth that are left will even begin to move around, causing further alignment issues and ruining the natural shape of your face (giving you a “drooping” caved-in look).

In our Marrero, LA dental practice, we see every day the impact of missing one or more teeth. It’s more tragic when you realize that for the most part, losing your teeth can be easily avoided with good oral hygiene (twice a day brushing, flossing, and mouthwash rinsing) and regular visits twice a year to your dentist’s office (for deep cleaning and examinations). This because the overwhelming majority of teeth that are lost in the US aren’t due to calamitous injury, but disease (most often, periodontal or gum disease).

If you’re in the unfortunate position of having lost teeth (while gaining gaps in your smile), we have the solutions that can help you get your smile back, and your life as well. Dental implants can permanently replace lost teeth, with no compromises in performance or appearance. However, many people have some reservations about dental implants due to a perception that more conventional restorations, like dentures, have a lower up front cost than implants. This may be “solid math” when you’re in the grocery store, but when it comes to your teeth and oral health, you might want to consider the “total cost” of dentures versus the upfront cost of dental implants.

Seeing the Value of Dental Implants

If you were presented with a choice where cost is not an issue, wouldn’t you make the choice that provides the best value, because you don’t need to compromise?

Case Study: Dental Implants Vs. Dentures

Dental implants are simply more effective than conventional dentures you might consider because of their perceived lower cost. Keep in mind that dentures (and dental bridges, for that matter) are still effective ways to address tooth loss; it is a possibility that even if you know you want implants you may not get them, due to the condition of your oral and general health, and other factors.

If you are able to get dental implants, they really are your best bet, in terms of performance (in this case, your ability to chew and grind food, speak, and maintain the face of your shape and keep the jaws in proper alignment).

The Shortcomings of Conventional Dentures

Dentures are a form of prosthesis that simulate the appearance of natural teeth and gums. When they are fitted properly, they look fairly close to normal teeth (certainly to a point where no one would be able to tell the difference if they weren’t looking for it), and they do provide a limited degree of functionality and performance. However, traditional dentures put serious limits on your lifestyle. Dentures will allow only 10% to 20% of your natural bite strength, which at the very least will reduce your diet to foods that can be easily chewed.

When dentures lose their fit (this is a matter of when, not if), they can cause serious problems that range from the inconvenient to dangerous. For dentures to work their best, a good fit is critical because dentures depend on your oral tissues and teeth to stay in place (adhesives are also used to supplement this support). Dentures can lose their fit for a number of reasons, but mostly it is due to the natural changes that occur in your oral tissues and the “shape” of your oral cavity (mouth) that take place over time. One example that most people find surprising is that simply losing weight, while a worthwhile undertaking for your overall health, leads to considerable change in the structure of your oral tissues. Once the fit is lost, it is lost.

This leads to the first major drawback of dentures. Dentures must be constantly replaced, which over many sets of dentures represents a considerable investment of time and money. You may have paid less upfront for your dentures when you first got them, but you will be saddled with additional costs for long after. This fact isn’t lost on the majority of denture-wearers, who will avoid replacing their dentures for as long as possible. That is why it is common for dentures to slip and slide.

Dentures that slip and slide have a strong tendency to fall out, which is humiliating. It also causes the telltale “clicking” sound that many people associate with people who wear dentures. Finally, all that movement creates a lot of rubbing and friction between your teeth, oral tissues, and the dentures. This can cause mouth sores and serious infections in your teeth and gums; if this happens, those problems will need to be addressed, and you can add those costs to the “total cost” of wearing conventional dentures.

How Are Dental Implants Better?

Dental implants do not have the drawback of dentures; as we mentioned earlier, dentures require a precise, solid fit so that the prostheses can interact correctly with your oral tissues and teeth. This design is necessary because dentures must be removed frequently by the wearer for maintenance and cleaning (which is another added cost of dentures, by the way, as well as the adhesives that help your dentures stay in place).

Dental implants do not require removal for cleaning. In fact, you can’t remove them at all! That is because dental implants are surgically placed, directly into your jawbone and beneath your gums (getting dental implants does require surgery; if you aren’t comfortable with this, or you can’t tolerate general anesthesia, you may not be a good candidate for implants).

Over time, the implant will actually merge with the bone in your jaw, increasing their steadfast hold. Because the implants do not move, you will experience no loss in performance (you will have full bite strength), and you won’t have to deal with the embarrassment as when dentures fall out of your mouth. Additionally, because there is no movement, there is no risk for additional infection as a result of the implants. In fact, dental implants can actually increase your overall oral health because it actually promotes the regrowth of the bone in your jaw!

Finally, dental implants are permanent in the realest possible sense. Dentures need perpetual replacement, but your dental implants (with proper care) will last you the rest of your life.

Do you see how the “value” of dental implants exceeds the “savings” from the lower upfront cost of conventional dentures?

Considering Your Options For Missing Teeth?

The choice is clear: dental implants are simply the better, more valuable solution, if you can get them. Only your dentist can help you determine if dental implants are right for you.

Call us today for a consultation! Dial 504-264-6461 or click here for our online appointment form.