My Blog

Posts for: March, 2015

By John Leitner DDS
March 30, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Find out why getting dental implants now could be worth it in the future.

By now you’ve probably at least heard something about dental implants, the tooth loss restoration that is designed to last a lifetime.Dental Implants If you are dealing with tooth loss, then chances are pretty good that you’ve probably even considered getting dental implants. So, why haven’t you gotten them yet?

For many, the price tag can be enough to make anyone a little nervous. Especially if your insurance company isn’t going to cover much of your procedure, it can feel rather daunting to pay this much for your smile. However, your Grand Haven family dentist is here to explain the benefits of dental implants and why they might just be worth the investment.

Dental Implant Benefits

What other tooth loss restoration offers a new smile for a lifetime? Only dental implants. While adjustments or repairs may need to be made over time with regards to the dental crown, the implant is made from titanium so it’s strong and durable. Since the titanium implant is surgically embedded into the jawbone it actually becomes a natural part of your smile. This is something cosmetic restorations just can’t offer.

Also, who doesn’t want to enjoy eating and speaking with ease? Dental implants are the only cosmetic option that completely restores these two functions. Sure, dentures and dental bridges can definitely make it easier than not having teeth; however, many patients are embarrassed to find that eating and speaking is not as easy when dentures move around or make audible clicking sounds.

Plus, dental implants boast health benefits that other tooth loss treatments don’t. Since dental implants are placed into the jawbone, where it becomes a permanent part of your bone, this prevents teeth from shifting into the open space where your tooth once was. Now you don’t have to deal with the potential for a bad bite, not to mention the loss of bone. In fact, dental implants not only preserve your jawbone, but help in the development of new bone cells.

Dental Implant Investment

While the upfront cost of dental implants can be overwhelming for anyone, we like to explain to our patients that the cost is so you can have a new smile for life. While it’s true that dentures and dental bridges are significantly less expensive and can be a great option for many patients, they also require frequent adjustments and repairs. Furthermore, they also need to be replaced every 10 years or so. Dental implants do not. So while dental implants may be expensive up front, you won’t have to deal with many more expenses down the road, as you would with other restorations.

Think you’re a good candidate for dental implants? Find out if you truly are by schedule an initial consultation with your Grand Haven family dentist, Dr. John Leitner, DDS. Give your smile a new lease on life with dental implants.


Daily personal care is essential for optimal oral health. Brushing and flossing in particular keep bacteria and acid, the main causes of dental disease, at manageable levels. But to gain the most benefit from your personal care, you need to perform these tasks effectively with the proper techniques and equipment.

For most people brushing begins with a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste that helps strengthen enamel. You should hold the brush at a slight angle and brush with a gentle motion to remove plaque, the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay — if you’re too aggressive by brushing too hard or too long, you could damage the gums. You should brush no more than twice a day for two minutes, and at least thirty minutes to an hour after eating to allow saliva time to neutralize any remaining acid and help restore minerals to enamel.

Although some people find flossing difficult to perform, it remains an important component of daily care. Flossing once a day removes plaque from between teeth where a brush can’t reach. If you need help with your technique using string floss, we’ll be glad to provide instruction at your next visit. If you have bridges, braces or other dental restorations or appliances that make string flossing difficult, you might consider other options like floss threaders or a water flosser.

There are also dietary and lifestyle choices you can make to enhance your daily care: limit sugary or acidic foods to mealtime and avoid between meal snacks to reduce bacteria and acid in the mouth; drink water to keep your mouth moist, which will inhibit plaque buildup; and stop tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and chewing habits like clenching or biting on hard objects. Above all, be sure to visit us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups, or when you notice abnormalities like bleeding gums, pain or sores.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can be done, but it requires a daily care commitment. Performing these hygiene habits in an effective manner will help preserve your teeth for a lifetime.

If you would like more information on effective oral care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


When her daughter Ashby was born in 2007, Nancy O'Dell was overjoyed; but she found the experience of pregnancy to be anxiety-provoking. O'Dell is host of the popular entertainment news show Entertainment Tonight.

After her baby was born she compiled her memories and thoughts into a book for first-time pregnant mothers. The book, “Full of Life: Mom to Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant,” covers a wide range of topics — including oral health during pregnancy.

“While my dental health has always been relatively normal, pregnancy did cause me some concern about my teeth and gums. With my dentist's advice and treatment, the few problems I had were minimized,” O'Dell told Dear Doctor magazine. An example of her experience is a craving for milk that started at about the time the baby's teeth began to form. She felt that her body was telling her to consume more calcium.

As often happens with pregnant mothers, she developed sensitive gums and was diagnosed with “pregnancy gingivitis,” the result of hormonal changes that increase blood flow to the gums.

“I love to smile,” said O'Dell, “and smiles are so important to set people at ease, like when you walk into a room of people you don't know. When you genuinely smile you're able to dissolve that natural wall that exists between strangers.”

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about dental health during pregnancy. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nancy O'Dell.”