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What Dental Implants Can Do For You

Dental implants are so natural looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support:

Replace one or more teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.

Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.

Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable to chew.

An option for tooth replacement
Dental implant are now one of the most exciting and innovative ways to replace one or several missing teeth. Endosseous or root form dental implants have been used in dentistry for over 30 years, new designs and techniques have helped to make dental implants a predictable method of tooth replacement. The implant is shaped like a small cylinder that is usually made of a material (usually titanium) that is very compatible with the body. The implant mimics the root of a natural tooth. With an intermediate post that extends through the gums, the implant can support a crown. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, to replace multiple missing teeth, or to stabilize poor fitting full or partial denture.

Who is a Candidate?
Most people are good candidates for dental implants. An ideal candidate should be in good general health, and have an adequate amount of bone to support the dental implant. Before we can make a decision to see if dental implants can be an option, We will complete a thorough dental examination in which we will review your medical history, check your periodontal condition, and focus on your teeth and bone. We may also request special computer generated radiographs that will help us select the optimal size implant for your particular situation. Once all of this data is collected, your dentist and Dr. Weinstein will consult with you regarding your implant options, risks and benefits of treatment, and alternatives to treatment.

Are Implants Successful? How long will they Last?
As with any procedure dealing with living bone and natural functions, there can be no guarantee. Current implant technology has allowed us to maintain a success rate of about 90%. Since implants have been used and maintained in-patients for the past 30 years, they may last a lifetime. In addition to good oral hygiene, the ideal dental implant patient should be committed to a routine of maintenance and follow up to ensure the health of the implant and the surrounding tissue.

What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small metallic cylinders, shaped like the roots of natural teeth that are surgically placed into the jawbone as a substitute for the natural tooth roots. The material of the implants is usually titanium or other bone-like substances that are very compatible with the body. Dental implants serve as anchors to the new replacement teeth which are attached to the part of the implant that projects through the gums. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Dental implants are so natural looking and feeling you may forget you ever lost a tooth.

Who should have dental implants, am I a candidate?
Almost anyone who has lost one or more natural teeth can benefit from dental implants. The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Dental implants have been proven a valuable replacement for a single missing tooth and groups of missing teeth in the front and back of the mouth for anyone.

How long will the treatment take?
Each patient's implant therapy very specific. In general, once the implant is placed it generally takes 3-6 months from the time of implant placement until the tooth restoration can be placed. Completion may take longer depending on the healing process and the amount of time needed for the fabrication, of the implant supported teeth. In some situations the implant and the restoration can be placed immediately.

Tell me about the Procedure ?
The most important aspect of implant care is planning. During this phase, Dr. Weinstein and your dentist will determine the ideal location and type to implants placed. You will be presented with specific treatment plan that will outline the phases of your therapy. Once all your question and concern have been answered, we will begin your therapy. The surgical placement of dental implants is performed in the office with the use of local anesthesia (Nocivane). After the gum is very numb, a small incision is made in the gum to expose the jawbone. The implant is placed in the jaw and then completely covered with the gum. During the next four to six months, the bone grows around the implant and secures the implant like a natural root. After the four to six months-healing period, a second minor surgical procedure is performed and the implant is exposed. A small metal post, called a connector or abutment, is attached to the part of the implant that projects through the gum. Additional healing time is needed, from one to several weeks, and the new tooth or teeth, are then attached to the connector or abutment. Although the home care for dental implants in very similar to that of natural teeth, you will be provided with very detained instructions with the optimal home care routine.

Is the procedure uncomfortable?
No, the placement of dental implant is similar to other dental procedure preformed under local anathesia (Novicane). Since the area is completely numb, you will not feel any part of the implant surgery. Most often there is minimal post-operative discomfort you can resume normal activities the following day.

What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a bridge?
Every way you look at it, dental implants are a better solution to the problem of missing teeth.

Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompanies bridgework and dentures. No one will ever know that you have a replacement tooth.

Teeth Saving
Dental implants do not sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!

Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures. They will allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.

The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.

Does insurance cover implants?
Insurance coverage for implants depends on the scope of each individual's plan. Few dental plans have provisions for implants since most dental insurance schedules were developed before implants were considered routine clinical treatment. However, coverage under a patient's medical plan may be possible, depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of tooth loss.

What special qualifications does the periodontist have to place implants?
The placement of implants requires the same surgical skills that periodontists use to perform routine periodontal surgery. In addition, periodontists' expertise in diagnosing which natural teeth can be saved, can help determine whether the implant is likely to succeed. Periodontists also bring the team concept to implant treatment. We are accustomed to working with general dentists and other specialists as a team to accomplish comprehensive dental treatment. Maintenance care of implants is also important and periodontists are trained and experienced in providing a high caliber of ongoing maintenance treatment for implants as well as natural teeth.

What can I expect after treatment?
After treatment, your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they remain healthy.

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