Mon01262015

News

UPDATED: Missing Los Altos High School student found

UPDATED at 10:20 p.m. Jan. 21: Mountain View Police report that Avendano is safe after being located in Los Angeles County.

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The Mountain View Police Department is looking for 17 year-old Mountain View resident Lizbeth Avendano. Accordin...

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Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Dental implants: Creating myriad health-restoring opportunities

Courtesy of Dr. Ken schweifler The above illustration identifies the components of a single-tooth implant crown.

If you’re old enough to remember dental treatment prior to the invention and implementation of dental anesthesia in the 1950s, you will be able to relate to my sentiment that nothing up to that point had such a profoundly positive influence on the field.

The ability to block nerve sensation transformed the way we practice, enabling the performance of even the most complex procedures in a pain-free, anxiety-free environment. Perhaps nothing has revolutionized the field of dentistry since as much as dental implants.

In the past, when a single tooth was lost, a typical option would be a fixed bridge. Such treatment relies on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, often requiring aggressive reduction of healthy teeth that wouldn’t otherwise need to be restored for their own structural benefit. Because fixed bridges are a series of attached crowns, they preclude the ability to use traditional dental floss. Even though there are hygienic options to thread floss underneath the bridge, the technique requires a high level of dexterity and motivation from the patient. In my experience, most patients don’t spend the time to care for them adequately.

Over time, the bone that supported the lost tooth (or teeth) dissolves, leaving excessive space between the bridge and the tissue below it and contributing to more plaque/food retention and tissue irritation.

Dental implants treat single-tooth problems with single-tooth solutions. An implant designed to replace a single lost tooth has three components: the titanium implant that fuses with the jawbone; the abutment that attaches to the implant and protrudes from the gumline; and the crown (cap) that adheres to the abutment, restoring function and aesthetics.

By avoiding the needless restorative treatment on adjacent teeth that a fixed bridge requires, those teeth are preserved with their longevity more likely. Single-tooth implants can be cleaned just like natural teeth, because nothing impedes the passage of conventional floss. When a tooth is lost and restored with an implant, the immediate replacement root (implant) “tricks” the bone, minimizing bone loss. Due to the overwhelming benefits of implants over fixed bridge treatment, to treat a candidate for implants with a fixed bridge would be considered below the standard of care today.

Another treatment option, usually selected when more teeth are missing than could be treated well with a fixed bridge, is a removable denture (partial or full). A partial denture uses metal clasps to anchor it to the remaining teeth, and acrylic rests in those areas where teeth are missing and serves as the attachment platform for fake teeth. These clasps are often torquing on teeth already periodontally compromised, leading to the acceleration of tooth loss.

Patients with these appliances often complain that they affect speech, impede the sense of taste and create a negative image of old age. Full dentures receive similar complaints, but more pronounced. As multiple teeth are lost, the bony ridge that supported them dissolves.

These patients traditionally have relied on the inadequate retention of acrylic against tissue on a shrinking bony ridge. The upper denture benefits from the suction created against the palate. The lower full denture lacks that anatomic advantage and is commonly considered the most annoying, ineffective treatment in dentistry. Complaints about it have been unanimous in my practice – until now.

Perhaps the most profound benefits of dental implants are in creating more retention for full dentures, especially on the lower arch. By simply placing two implants on the lower bony ridge and creating a denture that adheres to those implants, the days of uncomfortable, restricted chewing and embarrassing slippage of the appliance in social situations are over.

In my experience, reluctance to pursue dental implants has been due primarily to the expense or concerns about failure. Initial treatment for a single-tooth implant is typically more expensive than a fixed bridge or denture, but it’s a much more predictable option that preserves remaining teeth and bone.

Studies show that within five to seven years, there’s a failure rate of 30 percent in teeth adjacent to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture. Sure, a three-unit fixed bridge (to replace one missing tooth) may cost less money than an implant, but if it fails because the teeth supporting it succumb to disease, then it’s going to need to be replaced. If I could add up the cost of replacing a fixed bridge or a partial denture, perhaps several times over a lifetime, dental implants are definitely the more economical option.

Some of my implant candidates express concerns about the risk of failures. I have heard more about implants failing from conversations my patients have had with friends and loved ones than I have ever seen in my practice. The success rate for dental implants varies from study to study, but generally is more than 90 percent, much higher than any other tooth-replacing option.

The impact dental implants have had on the field of dentistry cannot be overstated. We’re fortunate to be living in a time when this technology creates comfortable, health-restoring opportunities.

Dr. Ken Schweifler practices dentistry at 802 Altos Oaks Drive. For more information, call 941-2166 or visit www.dentistlosaltos.com.

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