Implant Dentistry Long Island
Tooth loss is a common condition that can occur as a result of disease, trauma or poor dental hygiene. The best treatment for tooth loss is to replace the missing tooth, which can help prevent gum damage and tooth damage, as well as restore comfort and confidence in social situations. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to support tooth replacement structures such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Dental implants help patients regain the ability to eat, speak and smile without the pain and embarrassment of missing teeth.
Dental implants are titanium cylinders that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace the roots of the missing tooth. The replacement structure is supported by the implant, and looks and feels like a natural tooth. Implants offer permanent results and full functionality, which can result in people not knowing that you lost teeth in the first place. They do not sacrifice the strength of neighboring teeth like traditional bridges do, preserving your overall tooth health with added strength and reliability. Patients with implants should care for their implants the same way that they do for regular teeth, as these replacements do not require any special maintenance.
Dental Implants Before & After Photos
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Why should I replace a missing tooth?
People think missing teeth are simply a cosmetic issue, and if the missing tooth isn’t in an obvious location, they often opt to not replace the tooth or teeth. Beyond the cosmetic issues of a gap in your teeth, this can lead to various dental problems:
- The teeth surrounding the missing tooth or teeth no longer have pressure on them to stay in place, so they slide over into the gap. This movement can change your bite and overall alignment.
- When you chew or bite, a good deal of force in involved. The tooth takes this energy and transfers it down the tooth into the jawbone beneath. This energy signals the jawbone to build new bone mass, keeping it healthy. When a tooth is missing, that energy doesn’t enter the jawbone and it begins to deteriorate. Over time, this leads to a sunken appearance in the area as the jawbone collapses inward.
- A missing molar can keep a person from eating certain foods, due to the difficulty in chewing them. This can lead to nutritional issues.
- Missing teeth can create whistling sounds when speaking.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth replacement methods. Implants provide a natural replacement that looks and feels like your own tooth. Since the implants are drilled directly into the gum and act as a natural tooth root would, patients can enjoy the same comfort and confidence they experienced before tooth loss. Implants provide sturdy, long-lasting results by preventing bone loss and gum recession.
- Enhanced Esthetics
- Reduction of Bone Loss
- Preservation of Adjacent Teeth
- Easier Eating
Candidates for Dental Implants
Dental implants are recommended for patients in good general and oral health. A certain amount of bone in is required to support the implant, so a bone graft procedure may be required. Dental implants can be used for people who have gum disease or problem teeth, currently wear dentures or have bone loss. Most people see successful results from dental implants. Implants are not recommended for children because their jaw bones are not fully developed and can affect the appearance and function of the implant.
To find out more about dental implants, call Dr. Glasser’s Long Island office and schedule a consultation. Missing teeth can become a thing of the past, as patients can restore their smile with the convenience and effectiveness of dental implants.
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What is the procedure for placing a dental implant?
Having an implant placed is not a one-visit process. This is because the implant must be allowed to become a part of the jawbone, and this takes time. Once Dr. Glaser deems you’re a good candidate for an implant, here’s how the process goes.
The implant process involves four distinct steps:
- Implant placement — The area is locally anesthetized, and then Dr. Glaser makes a tiny incision in the gums to expose the jawbone. If needed, he drills a tiny hole into the socket that held the former tooth root. Now the titanium implant is screwed down into the socket.
- Osseointegration — The second step is what separates implants from other replacement options. Once the implant is placed, the jawbone is allowed to grow around the implant, making it part of the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes from three to six months.
- Attaching the post — Once your jawbone has adopted the implant, you return and Dr. Glaser attaches a post, called an abutment, to the implant. After the post is placed, we need to allow your gums to heal and settle around the post. This takes about six weeks.
- Attaching the false tooth — When your gums have healed, you’re ready to have the crown (false tooth) attached to the post. Dr. Glaser uses porcelain crowns in his practice, so you can rest assured your new tooth will beautifully match your surrounding teeth and provide unparalleled strength and durability. Once he attaches the crown, you can go out and immediately enjoy your new tooth.
How long is the recovery time for dental implants?
Recovery time is broken into parts that match the above procedure steps. After the implant is placed, your gums will heal quickly where we made the small incision. But you’ll need to wait from three to six months for the next step in the process, as your jawbone needs to grow around the implant. This isn’t recovery, it’s simply time spent waiting for the jawbone to accept the implant. Once we attach the post to the implant, your gums will need to heal again, and we allow a few more weeks to let them fully get back to normal. Again, “recovery” time would only be for a few days. After the artificial tooth is attached to the post there is no recovery; you can use your new tooth immediately.
Are dental implants permanent?
Dr. Glaser loves dental implants because they are the longest lasting dental prosthetic, often lasting the remainder of the patient’s life. Unless you develop severe gum disease, the titanium implant is set in the jawbone for the duration. You can break the artificial tooth atop the implant base, but that is easy to replace and attach to the implant base.
Bottom line? Your new dental implant will feel and function just like a natural tooth. You’ll be able to eat whatever you want (unlike with a bridge). And it will likely be there for the rest of your days. What’s not to like about that?
How long does it take for the dental implant base to fuse into the jawbone?
The most important step involved with a dental implant is when Dr. Glaser places the dental implant base down into the hole formerly occupied by the natural tooth root. He screws this down into the jawbone. Because our body full accepts titanium, the jawbone then grows around the titanium implant. This is what makes dental implants feel and function just like a natural tooth. This process, osseointegration, takes different amounts of time based upon how fast the person’s bone grows. For the jawbone to fully integrate the implant takes from 3 to 6 months.
What are the downsides of dental implants?
There aren’t really any downsides to these awesome prosthetics. Not replacing a missing tooth is not an option, as the surrounding teeth will tend to slide over into the gap, and this will mess up your tooth alignment and your overall bite.
The only other alternative to an implant for tooth replacement is a bridge. But bridges are not as strong as implants, and they need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. In contrast, most implants will last the remainder of the patient’s life.
The only downside, if you want to call it that, would be the timeframe for placing an implant. It can take up to 6 or 7 months from start to finish to receive a dental implant. While most patients feel the result is well worth the wait, others don’t want to wait that long an opt to have a bridge.
Implants are also more expensive than bridges. But that only accounts for the first bridge and its cost. Since most patients will need to replace old bridges at least once or twice, that is the actual cost, and it is comparable to the cost of an implant.
Is it painful to have a dental implant placed?
As with any dental procedure (or surgery in general), you can expect some discomfort. After all, there will minor cutting of the gums to access the former root socket and place the implant. There will be some soreness where the implant was screwed down into the jaw. There may also be some slight bruising. But most patients compare this to other dental procedures such as having a tooth pulled, a cavity filled, or having a root canal. Modern anesthesia ensures you’ll feel nothing during the procedure. We’ve found patients can usually handle the residual soreness from the various steps in the implant procedure with over-the-counter ibuprofen. These are not painful procedures.
More than 1/3 of the population of the United States is missing one or more teeth! There are so many dental, medical and even psychological effects associated with missing teeth, that I would like to mention some of the significant points that apply to them:
- Difficulty Eating - there is an up to 90% reduction in the biting forces necessary to chew food. This results in an inability to chew or bite through foods. Raw fruits and vegetables, steak, chicken, and rolls or bagels can often be a challenge. Most often denture patients are relegated to eating a soft diet or swallowing partly chewed foods.
- Denture Instability - due to the excessive force transferred to the underlying jawbone, the jawbone begins to atrophy and eventually erodes. This then gives less support to the denture resulting in further instability and resorption.
- Jawbone Atrophy - over a period of twenty years of denture use, excessive atrophy can occur to such a point where the patient is no longer able to wear dentures. At this point the patient becomes so dentally handicapped that basic function and appearance has reached maximum compromise.
- Dental Adhesives - are a messy but necessary means to hold the denture to the gumline.
- Esthetic Deficiencies
- Shorter Life Expectancy - Due to a loss of function and diminished sense of taste, full denture patients suffer from a higher rate of systemic disease. This is because they tend to add excessive amounts of salt, sugar and seasonings in order to taste the food they eat. Increased sugar consumption can lead to diabetes and obesity for those patients predisposed to this condition. Increased salt intake has been linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- Additionally, there is evidence of an increased rate of stomach and intestinal disorders due to the patients inability to chew properly, swallowing large pieces of food.
The statistics have shown that full denture wearers have an alarmingly shorter life expectancy - by ten years - than the general public.
According to leading psychiatric journals, when people experience embarrassment or self-consciousness while smiling or speaking due to the movement of their dentures, their levels of self-esteem are lowered and they begin to change the way they act or think about themselves.
Often times, they do the following:
- Change the way they smile
- Try to hold their lip down when speaking to cover their teeth (this is where the expression "keeping a stiff upper lip" comes from)
- Men may grow moustaches
- Women tend to wear less make-up in an attempt to not draw attention to their smile
Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation In Melville, NY!
Interested in learning more about dental implants and whether you are a candidate for treatment? Call us at (631) 423-6767 to schedule an appointment or for more information on this or any other service we offer. You can also fill out the form in our contact page for your consultation. Dr. Glasser and his experienced staff look forward to serving you!