While regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smile, sometimes our teeth just can't keep up. If you're missing teeth, dental implants are a great way to replace them and provide a fixed solution to removable dentures. With today's dental implants we are now able to offer natural looking replacement teeth that are fixed in the jaw. Implant treatment provides us with the option to correct the most troublesome cases associated with missing teeth and poorly fitting dentures. If you're missing one or even all of your teeth, we believe that dental implants can help you rediscover the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is surgically placed into the jaw bone and used to support tooth replacement structures such as crowns, bridges and dentures. While the implant mimics the root of the tooth, the replacement structure looks and feels just like a natural tooth, providing you with a permanent solution for missing teeth that replicates the fit and feel of natural teeth. Because dental implants are considered to be the most modern and successful restorative treatment option available in dentistry today, they offer many benefits over other tooth replacement methods.
- Enhanced Esthetics: Implants are placed within the gums. The crowns that are attached to them emerge in a manner similar to a natural tooth. This offers a more realistic and natural look compared to other alternatives.
- Reduction of Bone Resorption: When a tooth is lost, the supporting bone structure gradually recedes over time. Dental implants integrate with the jaw bone and stimulate its preservation, allowing the bone to stay healthy and intact while maintaining your natural facial contours and appearance.
- Preservation of Adjacent Teeth: Other methods like fixed bridges must be anchored to adjacent teeth, unnecessarily sacrificing the quality and health of the surrounding teeth. Dental implants are independent and don't rely on the support of other teeth, thus providing the ability to preserve your good teeth.
- Eat Better: As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without discomfort.
- Comfort & Convenience: Dental implants can eliminate the numerous inconveniences and maintenance required with removable dentures. You can regain nearly all the capabilities associated with natural teeth, giving you renewed self confidence and improved self esteem.
The Dental Implant Procedure
All treatment begins with a thorough exam and consultation. Typically, the process can take from three to six months. In some cases, the process may take longer because additional treatments, such as bone grafting, may be required to build up the bone in order to receive the implant. The procedure and time frame chosen depends on several factors; your dental health, the condition and quality of your jaw bone, and the number of your teeth involved. We will discuss all appropriate treatment options and recommendations with you in order to customize the best plan possible for your individual requirements and goals.
Implant restorations in our office usually involve two steps. First, one or more implants are precisely placed into the jaw bone to mirror the location of the root of your missing natural tooth. After appropriate healing time has taken place, to allow for the implant to fuse within the bone, we will then take impressions of your teeth and bite in order to custom fabricate a connector post (abutment) and crown. The abutment and crown are then attached to the implant, completing the process. Once treatment is complete, your results will look and feel completely natural and can last a lifetime.
Often bone quality and density may not be ideal in every patient. The solution to this may require extensive bone grafting procedures in order to obtain an adequate foundation to restore an entire arch of teeth with dental implants. Our office offers a procedure known as the "All-On-Four" technique. This technique allows us to be able to restore an entire arch of teeth with a restoration that remains fixed in place with the placement of a minimum of 4 implants. With the "All-On-Four" technique, an immediate full arch provisional restoration can be loaded and fixed to the implants the same day, allowing the patient to go home the day of the procedure with a beautiful affordable solution for missing teeth.
Other Dental Implant Options
A totally fixed case may not be the procedure of choice for you. Implant dentistry can still provide you with a host of options such as implant-supported removable dentures. With this approach, fewer implants are involved and the denture snaps into the implants. This is a cost effective and successful choice for patients missing all of their teeth, or for those unhappy with the fit of their current dentures.
For more information about Implant Dentistry or to schedule an appointment, feel free to fill out our convenient contact form or call us directly at 212-935-9300.