Implant Dentistry with Dr. Ed Warr

Dr. Ed Warr just completed his advanced certification in dental implant procedures, becoming Ashland’s very own dental implantologist. Dr. Warr moved to the Rogue Valley (2 years) ago, bringing his experience in dentistry to local residents. We caught up with Dr. Warr to ask him about dental implants and learn more about his work in dentistry.

Dr. Warr, thanks for being available to do an interview with us today. To begin with can simply share with our readers what an implant actually is?
An implant is a man-made tooth root.  Implants are made of titanium and have a specialized coating that enables bone to grow on and attach to the implant.  Dental implants can be used to replace single and multiple missing teeth or hold dentures firmly in place for better function.

Does an implant require the use of other teeth for fitting?
When replacing a single tooth, an implant is the method of choice.  Traditionally, bridges have been used.  However, a bridge requires the crowning of additional teeth that often times do not need crowns, resulting, for example, in a three tooth solution to a one tooth problem.  An implant does not require the involvement of other teeth and is therefore a one tooth solution to a one tooth problem.  If there are multiple teeth missing, implants are still the best method of tooth replacement.  They help maintain bone health in the jaws, they do not get cavities and the have superior function in comparison with other tooth replacement options.

What about just going toothless after the the loss of a tooth? Pros and Cons?
Many people feel like they should just go without teeth.  There are many issues with this.  One is that if you are missing one tooth, the remaining teeth are forced to do a greater share of the work.  This results in other teeth breaking apart more quickly (because they are being forced to do more) and starts a domino effect toward losing multiple teeth.  Another issue is that when teeth are missing, the surrounding teeth shift around resulting in a change in bite dynamics which has a negative effect on the jaw joint and is also associated with increased wear and tear on teeth.  A third issue is that when a tooth is lost, the bone that supported it atrophies and disappears, just like a muscle will atrophy from lack of exercise.  Bone loss will result in many problems, including but not limited to a change in facial appearance, increased tooth sensitivity (due to recession of surrounding gum tissue) and loss of additional teeth because of compromised supporting bone.  So going without teeth will save money in the short term, but in the long term there are a host of problems that arise out of missing teeth.

Is it affordable?
Absolutely!  Implant dentistry has long been thought of as very expensive and this is true, it has been.  And while we are not giving it away, we believe that the best treatment option should be affordable.  To that end, we have worked hard to make our implant dentistry as inexpensive as it can possibly be while still allowing us to provide a high quality, long-lasting solution to those who miss their teeth.  We have a variety of payment options and offer significant discounts for those who qualify.  Please call our office to find out more!

What is involved in getting an implant?
For a simple dental implant, we schedule a placement appointment (60-90 min), a couple of follow up healing check appointments (10 min) and a stability test appointment 3 months after the placement.  I am surprised at how comfortable the surgery has been for patients.  Many say that it was easier on them than having a filling.  Recently, while doing an evening care call to a patient who had had a tooth pulled and two implants placed, the patient reported he was feeling just fine, “a little soreness, but otherwise great.”

List your top 3 dental tips for trying to save your own natural teeth?
Prevention, Prevention and Prevention.  Great dental health begins with regular dental checkups, great homecare and proper management of factors that influence the dental climate (i.e., diet, dry mouth, gastric reflux, medications, etc.).  Regular checkups will help identify small problems before they become big ones.  We all know we should brush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily.  If you are and it seems ineffective, visit your dental office and get coaching in how to do it more effectively.  And if you have factors that negatively affect your mouth, employ strategies to balance those factors.  For example, if you like chocolate chip cookies, enjoy them and promptly clean your teeth afterwards by swishing with some water, chewing some xylitol containing gum or brushing your teeth.  If you take medication that drys out your mouth, use strategies/products designed to keep your mouth wet.  The list goes on, but you get the idea.

How old were you when you first became interested in becoming a dentist?
While I was in college I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare field.  Two of my uncles were dentists and, after spending time with them, I decided that dentistry would be a great fit.  I enjoy the technical, hands on aspect as well as the fact that I am able to make a significant impact on the health and lives of my patients.

What message would you send to young people out in the community who might be interested in becoming a dentist?
If you are truly interested, give me a call and come spend an afternoon at the office.  Getting involved is the best way to find out if you like something.  And, if you enjoy it, start planning on how you will will achieve that goal.  Those who write their goals down are much more likely to achieve them.

Two years ago you became partners with Dr. Marut at Today’s Dentistry. How do you see your two strengths coming together to offer great service to the local community?
Dr. Dan Marut has been the best business partner I could hope for.  Our combined clinical skills offer a comprehensive resource for patients.  An example is of a recent patient who suffers from extensive periodontal disease (bone loss resulting in loose teeth) and is missing multiple teeth.  We were able to offer this patient options ranging from implant supported dentures replacing his natural teeth to saving his natural teeth by using Periolase therapy to heal the gums and bone around the remaining teeth.  Periolase is the best therapy available for treating periodontal disease.  And if the teeth are hopeless or already missing, we can use implant dentistry to replace them and restore beauty and function to our patient’s mouths.

Every year Today’s Dentistry teams up with LocalsGuide and Ice Cream Man to put on Ashland’s Free Ice Cream Social. Can we expect to see you there this year?
Absolutely!  Ice Cream on a hot summer day is unbeatable.
Any last comments for our readers?

If you are missing teeth or have wondered about how implant dentistry will improve your quality of life, please contact your dentist and find out how dental implants can help you.

Thank you very much!